HBA-EVB H.B. 3521 76(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3521 By: Noriega Transportation 4/6/1999 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Currently, motor vehicle title services are unregulated, post no bonds, and are not required to maintain records. Such third-party title services have been linked to vehicle insurance fraud and car theft. H.B. 3521 regulates motor vehicle title services in counties with a population of more than 1.6 million. The bill also requires that motor vehicle title services in such counties be registered and licensed, and required to maintain records that are available for inspection. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Chapter 520, Transportation Code, by adding Subchapter E, as follows: SUBCHAPTER E. MOTOR VEHICLE TITLE SERVICES Sec 520.051 DEFINITIONS. Defines "motor vehicle," "motor vehicle title service," "title documents," "title service clerk," "title service license holder," " title service record," and "title service runner." Sec. 520.052. APPLICABILITY. Applies this subchapter to any motor vehicle title service operating in a county that has a population of more than 1.6 million. Sec. 520.053. LICENSE REQUIRED. (a) Prohibits a person from acting as a motor vehicle title service or as an agent for that business unless that person holds a license issued under this subchapter. (b) Prohibits a person from acting as a title service clerk or a title service runner unless the person holds a license issued under this subchapter. Sec. 520.054. GENERAL LICENSE APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS. (a) Provides that an applicant for a motor vehicle title service license must apply on a form prescribed by the county tax assessor-collector. Provides that the application form must be signed by the applicant and be accompanied by the application fee. (b) Provides that the application must include certain enumerated information. Sec. 520.055. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: CORPORATION. Requires an applicant for a motor vehicle title service license that intends to engage in business as a corporation to submit, in addition to the information required in Section 520.054, an enumerated list of information. Sec. 520.056. APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS: PARTNERSHIP. Requires an applicant for a motor vehicle title service license that intends to engage in business as a partnership to submit, in addition to the information required in Section 520.054, an application that includes an enumerated list of information. Sec. 520.057. CLASSIFICATION OF LICENSE ENDORSEMENTS. (a) Requires the county tax assessor-collector to classify motor vehicle title service employees according to the type of activity performed by the license holder. Prohibits a motor vehicle title service employee from engaging in activities for a particular classification under this subchapter unless the employee holds a license under that classification. (b) Authorizes an applicant to apply for a motor vehicle title service license with an endorsement for an employee as a title service clerk or a title service runner. (c) Requires the county tax assessor-collector to prescribe the procedures and qualifications for obtaining a title service clerk's or a title service runner's license. Sec. 520.058. RECORDS. (a) Requires a holder of a motor vehicle title service license to maintain records as required by this section on a form prescribed and made available by the county tax assessor-collector for each transaction in which the licensee receives compensation. Requires the records to include enumerated information. (b) Requires the motor vehicle title service to keep two copies of all records required under this section for at least two years after the date of the transaction. Sec. 520.059. INSPECTION OF RECORDS. Requires a motor vehicle title service license holder or any of its employees to allow an inspection of records required under Section 520.058, by a peace officer on the premises of the motor vehicle title service at any reasonable time to verify, check, or audit the records. Sec. 520.060. AGENT. Authorizes the holder of a title service clerk's license to authorize not more than five individuals to operate as a title service runner under the holder's license. Provides that a person authorized to operate as a title service runner under a title service clerk's license is not required to hold a license under Section 520.053(b) or 520.057(a). Sec. 520.061. DENIAL, SUSPENSION, OR REVOCATION OF LICENSE. (a) Authorizes the county tax assessor-collector to deny, suspend, revoke, or reinstate a license issued under this subchapter. (b) Requires the county tax assessor-collector to adopt rules that establish grounds for the denial, suspension, revocation, or reinstatement of a license and rules that establish procedures for disciplinary action. Provides that any procedures issued under this subchapter are subject to Chapter 2001, Government Code. (c) Prohibits a person whose license is revoked from applying for a new license before the first anniversary of the date of the revocation. (d) Prohibits a license from being issued under a fictitious name that is similar to or may be confused with the name of a governmental entity or that is deceptive or misleading to the public. Sec. 520.062. CRIMINAL PENALTY. Provides that a person commits an offense if the person violates a provision of this subchapter or a rule adopted by the commission under this subchapter. Provides that an offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor. Sec. 520.063. INJUNCTION. (a) Authorizes a district attorney of the county in which the motor vehicle title service is located to bring an action to enjoin the operation of a motor vehicle title service if the motor vehicle title service license holder, or a title service clerk or runner of the motor vehicle title service, while in the scope of the clerk's or runner's employment, is convicted of more than one offense under this subchapter. (b) Authorizes the court, if the court grants relief under Subsection (a), to enjoin the person from maintaining or participating in the business of a motor vehicle title service for a period of time as determined by the court; or declare the place where the person's business is located to be closed for any use relating to the business of the motor vehicle title service for as long as the person is enjoined from participating in that business. SECTION 2. Effective date: September 1, 1999. SECTION 3. Emergency clause.