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053-07 House Bill 310: "Plate to Owner"

Registration and Title Bulletin - #053-07

Date: December 28, 2007

To: All County Tax Assessor-Collectors

Subject: House Bill 310: "Plate to Owner"

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These documents contain text of correspondence sent by TxDOT to the county tax assessor-collectors, statutory agents who provide vehicle registration and titling services for citizens in Texas. This information is provided to apprise the general public of issues affecting the state's vehicle titling and registration process.

PURPOSE

To provide information regarding HB 310 (80th Regular Session) that allows the transfer of license plates between certain vehicles with the same owner ("plate to owner").

DETAILS

Implementation of the provisions of this law begins January 1, 2008. The following are the key provisions of HB 310:

  • Licensed dealers must remove the general issue license plates and windshield validation sticker from a passenger car or light truck sold, traded or transferred to the dealer, and inform the customer they have three options:
  1. Transfer their plates to a vehicle to be purchased, if the classification is the same (car-to-car or truck-to-truck)
  2. Keep plates for future transfer to another vehicle (sticker is not transferred)
  3. Dispose of plates and registration sticker to prevent fraudulent use
  • Vehicle owners may remove their license plates and registration sticker, in private sales between individuals. The same three options for plate disposition apply.
  • A $5 Plate Transfer Fee will be charged when an owner transfers license plates to another vehicle

As described in RTB #046-07, RTS will allow for the collection of the $5 Plate Transfer Fee when an owner wants to transfer existing license plates.

TRANSFER ELIGIBILITY

Eligibility for the license plates transfer must be determined before processing in RTS. License plate transfers are allowed on passenger cars less than 6,000 lbs. and light trucks less than or equal to one ton with the same classification type (e.g., car-to-car or truck-to-truck). A quick reference sheet is attached for a basic overview of processing (see Attachment 1 - Plate to Owner Processing).

Prior to transferring license plates in RTS, a no-fee inquiry on the plate should be run in RTS to determine the Name and Plate Age on record. This RTS inquiry will determine if the plates may be transferred.

If a plate owner wants to transfer license plates to the same classification of vehicle, the transfer should be allowed unless:

  • The name on record does not match the name of the plate owner (if the record has already been changed, you may still allow transfer if the customer can provide a past registration receipt in their name), or
  • Plate Age in RTS is 7 years or more
  • If the Plate Age cannot be determined through RTS because the vehicle has already been transferred, and the customer cannot provide an estimate of the plate's age, you may enter an age of 3 years

When the plate age is 6 years, we recommend informing the customer of the "needs program" that requires license plate replacement every 7 years due to loss of reflectivity. Allow customers to decide if they still want to transfer their plates or have a new set of plates issued at no charge.

REGISTRATION/FEES

  • Registration remains with the vehicle and is not associated with the license plates, registration sticker, or the vehicle owner
  • The new $5 Plate Transfer Fee will be collected only when the customer supplies license plates.
  • All existing fees will continue to be collected.
  • Replacement fee will not be charged upon issuance of new plates and registration sticker.
  • Indicate in the upper right-hand margin the collection of the $5 Plate Transfer Fee on the Form 130-U, Application for Texas Certificate of Title (see Attachment 2). The form will be revised in the near future.

We have included two additional attachments for your review. Attachment 3, County Plate to Owner Scenarios, lists some scenarios you may encounter. Attachment 4 is a memo distributed to both the Texas Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) and the Texas Independent Automobile Dealers Association (TIADA) members that outlines the requirements of the law and dealer processing steps. This information should help coordinate with the dealers in your area to facilitate the new procedures.

CONTACT

If you need additional information, please contact your local Vehicle Titles and Registration Division Regional Office.

In some cases the Registration and Title Bulletins (ins ((RTB) contain attachments. If you require a copy of the original signed RTB and the attachments, please e-mail us and include the RTB number. Repeat requests are subject to charges in accordance with Open Record

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