TxDMV Announces Rule Changes
Earlier this month the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles announced several rule changes that affect dealers. These changes relate to the acceptance of electronic signatures, certified copies of Texas titles and delinquent transfer penalty fees. Check out the blog post below for a full explanation of the changes and how they may affect your dealership.
Acceptance of Electronic Signatures by County Tax Assessor-Collectors
Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to allow electronic signatures after January 1, 2019 may be submitted to the county tax assessor collector's office through webDEALER on certain title documents. These include 1) A secure title document; 2) Dealer's Reassignment of Title / Form VTR-41-A; 3) Auction Sales Receipt / Form VTR-71-A; and 4) Power of Attorney for Transfer of Ownership to a Motor Vehicle / Form VTR-271-A (TXDMV would NOT comment on notary issues). Paper documents will still be permitted at your local tax accessor's office. Senate Bill 1062, passed during the 85th Legislative Session, required the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) to adopt rules by January 1, 2019, to establish a process to accept electronic signatures on secure documents. In accordance with Senate Bill 1062, the department adopted rules regarding the use of electronic signatures, which are effective January 1, 2019.
Changes to Certified Copies of Texas Titles
Currently, Texas titles and CCOs share the same document number and issue date. Issuance of a CCO does not change the document number or issue date, nor does it invalidate any prior Texas title or CCOs. Senate Bill 2076 amended Transportation Code, Section 501.134, to specify a lawfully-obtained CCO supersedes and invalidates any previously issued Texas title or CCO. A CCO issued on or after December 31, 2018, will be issued a new document number and issue date, and the Registration and Title System (RTS) will be updated immediately. As a result, any CCO issued on or after December 31, 2018, will supersede any prior Texas title or CCO issued and will be the only acceptable Texas title to transfer ownership. Original Texas titles and CCOs issued prior to December 31, 2018, will remain valid until a new Texas title or CCO is issued. RTS will also require the entry of the last four digits of the document number on the Document Number Verification TTL022 screen for all Texas ownership documents beginning December 31, 2018. The document number and title issue date must match the current record in RTS to ensure a Texas title or CCO is the most recent, valid document.
Delinquent Transfer Penalty Fees for Unrecovered Stolen Vehicles
Transportation Code, Section 501.145, establishes the period in which a title application must be submitted. In most situations, a proper, complete application must be submitted within 30 days of the date of transfer. Section 501.146 sets the penalty for not making proper application in the required time. When applicable, a $25 delinquent transfer penalty is assessed as of the 31st day, and $25 is assessed for each additional 30-day period up to a maximum of $250. The Registration and Title System (RTS) currently does not allow for the collection of delinquent transfer penalty fees for unrecovered stolen vehicles when no record is found for the vehicle and the “Vehicle stolen – Waive registration” box is checked on the Title Types TTL002 screen. This prevents collection of the delinquent transfer penalty. With RTS Release 9.2.0 on December 31, 2018, programming will be implemented to allow for the collection of the delinquent transfer penalty appropriately.
Texas statute does not exempt insurance companies from the delinquent transfer penalty when submitting delinquent title applications through county tax assessor-collector offices. Penalties apply to applications in the name of an insurance company the same as for other private party transfers, including for an unrecovered stolen vehicle. Exceptions to the delinquent transfer penalty can be found in Section 3.2, “Delinquent Transfer Penalty,” of the Motor Vehicle Title Manual. The department will update the Motor Vehicle Title Manual with the next revision to remove the reference to the insurance company exemption for unrecovered stolen vehicles.