HB 1002 Modifies provisions related to motor vehicles

Current Bill Summary

- Prepared by Senate Research -

SCS/HCS/HB 1002 - This act modifies provisions relating to motor vehicles.

JUNKING CERTIFICATES (Sections 301.010 and 301.227) - This act modifies the definition of junk vehicle to include a vehicle that has been designated junk or a substantially equivalent designation by this state or any other state. This act further modifies provisions relating to motor vehicles classified as junk vehicles including specifying allowable transactions with a junking certificate and revising the language restricting issuance of a salvage or original certificate of title after a junking certificate has been issued.

PERMANENT TRAILER REGISTRATION (Section 301.067) - This act also removes the requirement that a trailer or semitrailer must be coupled to a towing vehicle in a particular manner in order to be eligible for permanent registration and changes the supervising department for such registration from the Motor Carrier and Railroad Safety Division of the Department of Economic Development to the Highways and Transportation Commission of the Department of Transportation.

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE FOR TITLE TRANSFER (Sections 301.196 and 301.644) - This act changes the requirements for notice of transfer of interest in a motor vehicle to the Department of Revenue to allow for the electronic signature of the transferor and allows such notice to be effective even in the case of including minor errors that are not materially misleading. This act also allows the use of an electronic signature for a motor vehicle owner to assign ownership of motor vehicle or trailer to an insurance company where the insurance company has paid or is paying a total loss claim on such motor vehicle or trailer.

LICENSE PLATE MOUNTING (Section 301.130) - This act allows trailer and motorcycle license plates to be mounted horizontally or vertically on the left rear of the motor vehicle.

TRANSFERRED LICENSE PLATES (Section 301.140.1) - Currently, the operation of a motor vehicle with transferred license plates is lawful for 30 days. Under this act, it is lawful for 90 days if the dealer is selling the vehicle without yet having obtained a certificate of ownership.

TEMPORARY PERMITS (Section 301.140.4) - Currently, the Director of the Department of Revenue or a motor vehicle dealer may issue a temporary permit authorizing the operation of a motor vehicle or trailer by a buyer for not more than 30 days. Under this act, the temporary permit authorizes operation for not more than 90 days if the dealer is selling the vehicle without yet having obtained a certificate of ownership.

DISABLED PLACARDS AND LICENSE PLATES (Section 301.142) - This act adds physical therapists to the list of authorized health care practitioners who may issue a prescription for his or her patient to receive a disabled placard or license plate

CERTIFICATE OF OWNERSHIP (Section 301.190) - Currently, a person acquiring a motor vehicle is required to apply for a certificate of ownership within 30 days of acquiring the vehicle. Under this act, the person is not required to apply for a certificate of ownership within 30 days if they have acquired the vehicle from a motor vehicle dealer prior to the dealer having a certificate of ownership, under which they have 30 days after receiving title from the dealer to apply for a certificate of ownership.

MOTOR VEHICLE DEALER TITLE REQUIREMENTS FOR USED MOTOR VEHICLES (Section 301.213) - Currently, motor vehicle dealers are authorized to purchase or accept in trade any motor vehicle for which there has been issued a certificate of title. This act modifies this to any vehicle for which there has been issued a certificate of ownership. Once the vehicle has been delivered to the dealer, the prior owners' insurable interest in such vehicle ceases. This act specifies that such dealers provide to the Department of Revenue a surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit in an amount not less than $100,000 in lieu of the $25,000 bond otherwise required for licensure as a motor vehicle dealer.

If a dealer receives certain items, they may sell such vehicle prior to receiving and assigning to the purchaser a certificate of ownership. In order to do so, they have to have prepared and delivered to the purchaser an application for title for the vehicle in the purchaser's name, and have entered into a written agreement for the subsequent assignment and delivery of the certificate of ownership within 60 days after delivery of the motor vehicle to the purchaser. The agreement shall require the purchaser to provide to the dealer proof of financial responsibility and proof of insurance. The dealer shall maintain a copy of the agreement, and shall deliver a form to the Department of Revenue showing that the purchaser has purchased the vehicle without contemporaneous delivery of the title. If these requirements are met, among others, they shall constitute evidence of an ownership interest in the vehicle.

Currently, following a sale in which a certificate of ownership has not been assigned from the owner to the dealer, the dealer shall apply for a duplicate or replacement certificate of ownership within 5 business days. This act modifies this requirement to 10 business days.

If the dealer fails or is unable to deliver a certificate of ownership to the purchaser, and the purchaser of the vehicle is damaged, the dealer is liable for actual damages, plus court costs and attorney fees. If a seller misrepresents to a dealer that they are the owner of the vehicle, and certain parties are damaged as a result, the seller shall be liable to the party for both actual and punitive damages, plus court costs and attorney fees. When a lienholder is damaged as a result of a licensed dealer's acts, errors, omissions, or violation of this act, the dealer shall also be liable for actual damages, plus court costs and attorney fees. The Department of Revenue may use a dealer's repeated or intentional violation of this act as a cause to refuse to issue or renew any license. The hearing process shall be the same as currently established for suspended or revoked licenses.


This act expands the sections under which licenses are granted that are subject to the terms of this section and provides an alternative agreement process for the Department of Revenue to ensure compliance of a motor vehicle dealer license holder with specific sections.

This act contains provisions similar to HCS/SCS/SB 456 (2015), HB 651(2015), and HCS/HB 2139 (2014).


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