Revised VTR-136 Brings Relief to Dealers in Closed Counties
With a number of counties closing across Texas . . .
With several counties closing across Texas, TIADA has received the following question from a number of dealers: How should title applications be submitted if the designated County is closed?
In a recent bulletin, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) offered guidelines on steps dealers should follow when processing title applications. In this week's blog, we take a look at some of these guidelines and frequently asked questions.
On the VTR-136, if the purchaser doesn't check the county where the vehicle was purchased, dealers will first want to determine if the county the purchaser designated remains open. TxDMV has gathered information provided by tax assessor-collectors and published a list of county closures, which outlines services that are still available within each listed county. Keep in mind this information changes frequently so you should always check with the respective county.
If the county the purchaser selects on the VTR-136 remains open, it's business as usual.
If the county the purchaser selects on the VTR-136 is closed and the other county options on the VTR-136 are also closed, Transportation Code, §501.023 allows a title application to be submitted to any county willing to accept the application. Also, in response to some of the county closures, Form VTR-136 has been revised to include language that allows the dealer to submit the title application to any county willing to accept it.
Relevant changes to the revised Form VTR-136 can be found below:
“I acknowledge that I was provided with this form and have voluntarily selected the county listed above in which to have the title application and initial registration, if applicable, filed by the dealer. In the event I have selected my county of residence and the county is closed, I authorize the dealer to submit the application to any county willing to accept the application.”
The purchaser(s) county of residence as designated by the purchaser(s) above is closed, and the title application will be submitted to the following Texas county:
What if the purchaser selects county of resident and the designated county is closed? Dealers should submit Form VTR-136 with the title application to the county the vehicle was purchased or is encumbered. If those counties are closed, the dealer can transfer in any county that is willing to accept the application.
What if the purchaser completed an older version of the Form VTR-136 before there were any county closures? Make a new designation using the new Form VTR-136, which allows willing counties to accept applications.
What if the purchaser designated the dealer's or lienholder's county, but that county is closed? A new designation needs to be made and it can only be the purchaser's county of residence if that county remains open.
What if the purchaser prefers to keep designated county, but the county is closed? The title application can be held and filed in the purchaser's designated county once the county re-opens.
Does the purchaser need to come back in person to assign a new designation? No need. This can be done electronically. The purchaser would just need to complete and submit Form VTR-136 online or indicate their new designation by email.
Do dealers need to keep records of these designations? Yes, dealers should keep any updates to this information, including new designations of county and filed VTR-136 forms, with their records.
What if the county TAC Office is open but not accepting transfers from dealers? Then the county is considered closed.
What if the county TAC Office has limited the number of transfers or drop off locations? Dealers must transfer in the county if the county is open, even in a limited capacity.
How can a dealer find a county that will accept a transfer? If the county selected on the Form VTR-136 is closed to dealers and you cannot find a county to accept the transfer, TIADA can assist members:
1) Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org,
2) Put “title transfer” in the subject line, and
3) Be sure to include your dealership name, and contact information