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001-09 New Rules Approved for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV)

Registration and Title Bulletin - #001-09

Date: January 12, 2009

To: All County Tax Assessor-Collectors

Subject: New Rules Approved for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV)

These documents contain text of correspondence sent by TxDMV 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

In December 2008 the Texas Transportation Commission adopted administrative rules to address the titling, registration, and operating restrictions for neighborhood electric vehicles. The rules became effective January 7, 2009.

DETAILS

Definition of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles:

A "neighborhood electric vehicle" is a motor vehicle that:

  • is originally manufactured to meet, and meets, the equipment requirements and safety standards established for "low speed vehicles" in Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 C.F.R. 571.500),
  • has four wheels,
  • does not have to be powered by electricity (other power sources, such as gasoline, are acceptable),
  • is a slow-moving vehicle, being able to attain a speed of more than 20 miles per hour but not more than 25 miles per hour, and
  • is not a golf cart (designed by the manufacturer primarily for transporting persons on a golf course).

Title Requirements for Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

The title requirements of a neighborhood electric vehicle are the same requirements prescribed for any motor vehicle.

NEVs are required to be titled.

The manufacturer's certificate of origin (MCO) must contain a statement that the vehicle meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 CFR571.500) for low-speed vehicles in addition to the information required on all MCOs.

The body style for a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle is shown as NV NHOOD ELEC in the drop-down selection list while processing the title in RTS.

Evidence of Ownership of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles:

Acceptable documents for evidence of ownership for neighborhood electric vehicles include Certificates of Title indicating a body style of neighborhood electric vehicle (NV in Texas) or a manufacturers certificate of origin with a statement that the vehicle meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 C.F.R. 571.500).

Some neighborhood electric vehicles in Texas were previously titled with the body style of golf cart (GC) and out-of-state titles may show other body styles. In order to title and register these vehicles as neighborhood electric vehicles (NV) you must verify that the vehicle has a conforming 17 digit Vehicle Identification Number. If a vehicle does not meet this criteria it cannot be titled or registered as a neighborhood electric vehicle.

Registration of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles:

A neighborhood electric vehicle is required to be titled in order to be registered for operation on public roads.

The registration classification of a neighborhood electric vehicle will be determined by whether it is designed as a 4-wheeled truck (issue truck plate) or a 4-wheeled passenger vehicle (issue passenger car plate).

Operation and restrictions on Neighborhood Electric Vehicles:

A neighborhood electric vehicle:

  • may be operated only on a street or highway for which the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less and is subject to all traffic and other laws applicable to motor vehicles and
  • may cross a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.

A neighborhood electric vehicle may not be operated on a street or highway if:

  • the governing body of a county or municipality determines that prohibiting such operation is necessary in the interest of safety or
  • TxDOT determines that prohibiting such operation is necessary in the interest of safety.

A neighborhood electric vehicle must properly display a slow-moving-vehicle emblem since it is defined as a slow-moving vehicle.

Financial Responsibility

  • A neighborhood electric vehicle requires the same financial responsibility or insurance as a passenger car.

COUNTY ACTION

Please make sure that a vehicle being titled or registered as a neighborhood electric vehicle meets all of the requirements stated above, specifically that the MCO includes a statement that the vehicle meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 C.F.R. 571.500) for low-speed vehicles. Neighborhood electric vehicles must be titled with a body style of NV NHOOD ELEC and registered as either a truck or a passenger car.

Please note that any forms associated with titling and registering neighborhood electric vehicles are being revised and will be sent out at a later date.

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