Certified Final Objection No. 7 of the

Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules

At its meeting on December 16, 1988, the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (Committee) voted to make a preliminary objection to Final Proposal 88-131 containing proposed rules of the Commissioner of the Department of Safety governing driver licensing. The agency responded on January 25, 1989, by amending some of the proposed rules to address the Committee's concerns.

At its meeting on January 27, 1989, the Committee voted, under RSA 541-A:3-e, V(c), to make a final objection to three of the rules in Final Proposal 88-131: Saf-C 1002.02(d), 1002.04(d), and 1002.08(a)(3)h. The final objection has been filed with the Director of Legislative Services for publication in the New Hampshire Rulemaking Register. The effect of this objection is stated in RSA 541-A:3-e, VI:

After a committee-objection is filed with the director under paragraph V(c), to the extent that the objection covers a rule or a portion of a rule, the burden of proof thereafter shall be on the agency in any action for judicial review or for enforcement of the rule to establish that the part objected to is within the authority delegated to the agency, is consistent with the intent of the legislature, and is in the public interest. If the agency fails to meet its burden of proof, the court shall declare the whole or portion of the rule objected to invalid. The failure of the committee to object to a rule shall not be implied legislative authorization of its substantive or procedural lawfulness.

The following outlines the rules to which the Committee objects and the reason for the final objection.

Proposed rules Saf-C 1002.02(d) governing the original driver's license application, and Saf-C 1002.04(d), governing the renewal license application that an applicant for a license supply his or her social security require number. Under Saf-C 1002.08(a)(3) h., failure to include the social security number is a reason for rejecting the application as incomplete.

The Committee objects that proposed rules Saf-C 1002.02(d), 1002.04(d), and 1002.08(a)(3) h. are not in the public interest, pursuant to Committee Rule 403.01(f), because the Committee determined that the rules are designed to benefit the administrative convenience of the agency to the detriment of the public. The grounds for the preliminary objection to Final Proposal 88-131 were the same.

In his response to the preliminary objection the Commissioner added a new rule Saf-C 1002.015 requiring, in paragraph (a), the social security number for original and renewal applications, but also stating in paragraph (b) that the number "shall be used only to establish the identity of the individuals affected by driver's license or motor vehicle registration laws, or for any purposes required by federal law. To protect such individuals privacy, the social security number shall be released by the department for such purposes only." Paragraph (c) states that the number shall be printed on the driver's license unless the applicant specifically requests on the application that the social security number not be printed. Rules Saf-C 1002.02(e) and Saf-C 1002.04(e) have been added also to refer to the basis for release of the social security numbers under Saf-C 1002.015(b). Rules Saf-C 1002.02(f) and 1002.04(f) have been added to require the applicant to check the appropriate box on the original or renewal-application if he or she does not want the social security number to appear on the license.

Despite the amendments to the rules in the Commissioner's response, the Committee determined that Saf-C 1002.02(d), 1002.04(d) and 1002.08(a)(3)h. are still contrary to the public interest by being designed to benefit the administrative convenience of the agency to the detriment of the public.