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Department of Transportation Records Guide

Agency History - Chronology

1849 Territorial Legislature establishes a system governing pilotage on the Columbia and Willamette rivers.

1905 Oregon’s Secretary of State begins registering vehicles. A one-time fee of $3 was charged with fees collected and certificates issued by the secretary of state. All revenue was placed in the General Fund and dedicated to road building.

1907 Legislative Assembly creates the Railroad Commission. 1911 Annual renewals of motor vehicle licenses begin. Chauffeur registration law becomes effective.

1913 State Highway Department created by the Legislative Assembly. Oregon Highway Commission established.

1916 Columbia River Highway dedicated.

1917 Legislative Assembly shifts road-building responsibilities from the counties to the state.

1919 Oregon enacts the nations first gasoline tax.

1922 Highway Department establishes a Maintenance Division.

1947 The Legislative Assembly authorizes the construction of the Highway Building.

1956 The Department of Motor Vehicles established as a separate government branch. Duties include motor vehicle registration, driver licensing, and collection of the gas tax.

1965 Motorcycle endorsement program initiated. Implied consent law passed by Legislative Assembly.

1971 Environmental Unit established to prepare Environmental Impact Statements and Environmental Asements for projects using federal funds.

1973 The State Highway Commission renamed the Oregon Transportation Commission.

1980 State Parks and State Police expenditures were removed from the Highway Fund.

1985 Oregon Vehicle Code created.

1990 The duties, functions, and powers of the Oregon Department of Transportation related to parks and recreation are assumed by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

1992 The Oregon Transportation Commission approves a plan to restructure six divisions into a single agency. The Oregon Traffic Safety Commission becomes part of ODOT as the Traffic Safety Section.

1993 The Legislative Assembly approves the restructuring of ODOT.

1995 The duties, functions, and powers for the regulation and enforcement of motor carriers and railroads transferred from the Public Utility Commission to the Oregon Department of Transportation. ODOT solidifies its Ethics oversight by creating the Safe Haven program.

1999 Legislative Assembly passes legislation creating the Oregon Department of Aviation using the Oregon Department of Transportations’ Aeronautics Division.

2001 Legislative Assembly approves the Oregon Transportation Investment Act setting aside 500 million in funding for state highway construction, renovation, and modernization projects. The Legislative Assembly creates the Freight Advisory Committee to advise the Director of Transportation and the Oregon Transportation Commission on issues, policy, and procedure impacting multimodal freight mobility in Oregon. The Road User Fee Task Force is created to develop alternatives to Oregon’s gas tax.

2003 The Oregon Innovative Partnership Program is created to facilitate public-private partnership transportation projects.

2007 Board of Maritime pilots removed to Public Utility Commission

Delta On to bibliography

Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722

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