SB 253 Modifies law regarding titling and registering motor vehicles and requires school districts to perform criminal background checks on school bus drivers
Sponsor: Koster
LR Number: 0894S.08C Fiscal Note: 0894-03
Committee: Transportation
Last Action: 5/13/2005 - S Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection Journal Page:
Title: SCS SB 253 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2005

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Current Bill Summary


SCS/SB 253 - This act makes several changes with respect to the titling and registration of motor vehicles as well as the licensing of drivers.

CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK BY SCHOOL DISTRICTS RATHER THAN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE - Under this act, school districts shall be responsible for conducting criminal background checks for school bus drivers. Drivers may continue to operate school busses pending the results of the background check (Section 168.133). The Department of Revenue will no longer be responsible for obtaining criminal background checks (Section 43.530.2). The act provides that each school district shall have on file a statement from a licensed medical physician which indicates that the driver is physically qualified to operate a school bus for the purpose of transporting pupils. Such statement shall be made on an annual basis. For new drivers, such statement shall be on file prior to the driver's initial operation of a school bus. This provision applies to drivers employed by the school district or under contract with the school district (Section 1). On an annual basis, each school district shall provide training in at least eight hours of duration to each school bus driver employed by the school district or under contract with the school district. Such training shall provide special instruction in school bus driving (Section 2).

SCHOOL BUS LICENSE ENDORSEMENT - This act modifies the current law regarding school bus endorsements (Section 302.272). School bus examinations for drivers 70 years of age or older must be completed annually. Out-of-state residents will be exempt from Missouri's school bus endorsement requirements if the person possesses a valid driver's license and a school bus endorsement from their state of residence.

FEE OFFICE FEES - This act provides that a fee office may charge a fee of $2.50 for instruction permits, nondriver licenses, chauffeur licenses and driver's licenses issue for 3 years or less. A $5.00 fee may be charged for licenses or instruction permits exceeding 3 years in length. The current law allows a fee office to impose a $5.00 fee regardless of the length of term (Section 136.055).

CREDIT FOR TRADE-IN - This act provides that the bill of sale that a person must submit to the Department of Revenue to claim a trade-in sales tax exemption does not have to be notarized (Section 144.025).

OBTAINING TITLE TO COSMETICALLY DAMAGED SALVAGE VEHICLE - This act provides that if an insurance company pays a claim on a salvage vehicle and the insured is retaining ownership of the vehicle, as prior salvage, and the vehicle has sustained only cosmetic damage, and reconstruction or rebuilding is not being made, the vehicle will not be subject to the examination conducted by the Highway Patrol in order for a title to be obtained (Section 301.020.4 and Section 301.190.10).

REPOSSESSED TITLE - This act modifies the process for obtaining a "Repossessed Title". Under the current law, a lienholder must submit an application describing the repossessed vehicle, an affidavit stating that the debtor defaulted and a copy of the security agreement. Under the act, the lienholder does not have to submit a copy of the security agreement, but must state in the affidavit that the lienholder has obtained written consent of all lienholders of record to repossess the vehicle or has provided all lienholders with written notice of the repossession. The lienholder must also give the owner and lienholders 10 days written notice that an application for a repossessed tile will be made. Under the current law, if the application is not accompanied by the written consent of lienholders, the department of revenue will not issue a repossessed title unless the department first gave such parties 10 days notice. Under the act, the burden is placed upon the repossessing lienholder to apprise the parties that the lienholder is seeking a repossessed title (Section 301.215).

MOTOR VEHICLE TRANSACTIONS WITHOUT CONTEMPORANEOUS EXCHANGE OF TITLE - This act allows a motor vehicle dealer to purchase, or accept as a trade in, and later sell, a motor vehicle without a title from a seller provided certain procedures are followed. Under this act, a vehicle dealer may obtain a duplicate or replacement title in the owner's name if the owner's title has been lost, stolen, mutilated, or destroyed and is not available for assignment. The licensed dealer must procure a power of attorney from the owner authorizing the dealer to obtain a duplicate or replacement title in the owner's name and sign any title assignments on the owner's behalf. The application to the department of revenue for the duplicate or replacement title shall be accompanied by the executed power of attorney, or a copy thereof, and the application shall contain the appropriate mailing address of the dealer. Under current law, only the lawful holder of the title (owner) may obtain a duplicate or replacement title (Section 301.300). Under this act, a dealer may purchase, or accept as a trade in, a vehicle without a title if the seller provides the dealer the following:

(1) A signed written contract between the licensed dealer and the owner of the vehicle; and

(2) Physical delivery of the vehicle to the licensed dealer; and

(3) A power of attorney from the owner to the licensed dealer, authorizing the licensed dealer to obtain a duplicate or replacement title in the owner's name and sign any title assignments on the owner's behalf.

If these steps are followed, the sale or trade of the vehicle to the dealer shall be consider final.

If a licensed dealer purchases the vehicle from the seller in conformance with this act, the licensed dealer may sell the vehicle prior to receiving and assigning to the purchaser the certificate of title. The sale of the vehicle to the purchaser shall be considered final if:

(1) All outstanding liens created on the vehicle have been paid in full; and

(2) The dealer has obtained proof or other evidence from the department of revenue confirming that no outstanding child support liens exist upon the vehicle at the time of sale; and

(3) The dealer has obtained proof or other evidence from the department of revenue confirming that all applicable state sales tax has been satisfied on the sale of the vehicle to the owner; and

(4) The dealer has signed and submitted an application for duplicate or replacement title for the vehicle.

A licensed dealer shall, within five business days of obtaining a vehicle without a title, apply for a duplicate or replacement title. Upon receipt of a duplicate or replacement title, the dealer shall assign and deliver said certificate of title to the purchaser of the vehicle within five business days.

If the dealer fails to comply with this act, the dealer shall be liable to the purchaser for actual damages, plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees. If a seller fraudulently misrepresents to the dealer that it is the owner of the vehicle, then the seller shall be liable to the dealer or subsequent purchaser for any damages resulting from such misrepresentation. Prior to seeking court costs or attorney fees authorized under this act, the aggrieved party must deliver an itemized written demand of its actual damages to the party from whom damages are sought and the party from whom damages are sought has not satisfied the written demand within 30 days after receipt of the written demand (Section 301.894).

DRIVER LICENSE PROVISIONS - The act reorganizes the language contained in Section 302.177 for readability regarding the issuance of 6 year and 3 year licenses, their respective fees, and that licenses will expire on the applicant's birthday unless licensed for a shorter period due to other requirements of law (Section 302.177). The act also modifies the provision of law regarding the application process for a commercial driver’s license (Section 302.272). The act clarifies that CDLs issued to 21 to 69 year old individuals shall expire on the 6th year after issuance unless the license must be issued for a shorter period due to other requirements of law or for staggering of work. For individuals under 18, or for those 70 years of age or older, the license shall expire the 3rd year after issuance unless the license must be issued for a shorter period due to other requirements of law (Section 302.375). The act provides that a CDL containing a hazardous materials endorsement issued to a person 70 years of age or older shall not be issued for a period exceeding 3 years.

This act contains an emergency clause for the school bus and commercial driver license provisions.

STEPHEN WITTE