EXECUTIVE ORDER D-77-03


WHEREAS, I have proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties as a result of wildfires and high winds; and

WHEREAS, these fires have destroyed hundreds of thousands of acres, more than three thousand homes and businesses, and caused the loss of valuable records; and

WHEREAS, the Employment Development Department and the Office of Emergency Services estimate that thousands of workers became unemployed as a result of the wildfire emergencies and are in need of immediate financial assistance; and

WHEREAS, those who have lost family members and/or lost or sustained damage to their homes, property, businesses or employment require important government records such as certificates of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage, and marriage dissolution records, as well as driver's licenses, identification cards, vehicle registration certificates, and certificates of title, to obtain assistance from federal, state and local governmental agencies, make claims for and collect insurance, find new employment, and for other purposes related to losses suffered in the fire; and

WHEREAS, those who need to replace or obtain important government records to mitigate their losses and rebuild their lives as a consequence of the wildfire emergencies require immediate assistance from state and local governmental agencies to replace these records; and

WHEREAS, the Office of Vital Records of the State Department of Health Services and local registrars, county recorders and county clerks are statutorily required to impose fees upon persons requesting copies of certificates of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage, and marriage dissolution records, and the State Department of Motor Vehicles is statutorily required to impose fees upon persons requesting replacement driver's licenses, identification cards, vehicle registration certificates, and certificates of title; and

WHEREAS, the State Department of Motor Vehicles is statutorily required to impose late fees on persons who are late in renewing their vehicle registration or late in transferring ownership of a vehicle, and the suspension of these requirements would provide relief to persons whose lives have been severely impacted by the fires; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to Government Code section 8571, during a state of emergency the Governor may suspend any statute prescribing the procedure for conduct of state business, and

WHEREAS, the suspension of the statutory one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants who are unemployed due to the wildfire emergencies would provide these unemployed workers with immediate financial assistance; and

WHEREAS, the suspension of the statutory requirements with regard to the imposition of fees upon victims of the fire to replace or obtain certificates of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage, marriage dissolution records, driver's licenses, identification cards, vehicle registration certificates, and certificates of title would waive the imposition of these fees and reduce the impact of the wildfire emergencies upon persons whose lives have already been severely impacted;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GRAY DAVIS, Governor of the State of California, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, including the Emergency Services Act, in particular Government Code section 8571, do hereby issue the following orders to become effective immediately:

IT IS ORDERED THAT
, pursuant to Government Code section 8571, the provisions of Unemployment Insurance Code section 1253 imposing a one-week waiting period for unemployment insurance applicants is waived with respect to all applicants who are unemployed as a result of the wildfire emergencies in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties, who apply for unemployment insurance benefits during the time period beginning October 21, 2003 and ending on the close of business on April 24, 2004, and who are otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT
, pursuant to Government Code section 8571, the provisions of Health and Safety Code sections 103525.5 and 103625, and Penal Code section 14251 requiring the imposition of fees are hereby suspended with regard to any request for copies of certificates of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage, or marriage dissolution records by any resident of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego or Ventura Counties who suffered a loss of a family member, property, business, or employment in the wildfire emergencies in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties, and that copies of certificates of birth, death, fetal death, and marriage, and marriage dissolution records be provided to such persons without charge.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Government Code section 8571, the provisions of Vehicle Code sections 9265(a), 14901 and 14902 requiring the imposition of fees are hereby suspended with regard to any request for replacement of a driver's license, identification card, vehicle registration certificate or certificate of title by any resident of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties who suffered a loss of such documents in the wildfire emergencies in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties, and that a replacement driver's license, identification card, vehicle registration certificate, or certificate of title be provided to such persons without charge.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Government Code section 8571, the provisions of Vehicle Code sections 4602 and 5902 requiring the timely registration or transfer of title, are hereby suspended with regard to any registration or transfer of title by any resident of Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties who suffered a loss of such registration or title documents in the wildfire emergencies in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Ventura Counties, and that the time covered by this suspension shall not be included in calculating any late penalty pursuant to Vehicle Code section 9554.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, the suspension of the fee, timely registration and transfer of title provisions only shall remain in effect within each county until such time as the Governor has terminated a proclaimed State of Emergency in such county.

I FURTHER DIRECT THAT, as soon as possible, this order be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this order.

This order does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or equity by a party against the State of California, its departments, agencies or instrumentalities, its officers or employees, or any other person.