Important Information Regarding Title Disputes

As we head into June, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) wants to remind you it is instituting changes to the handling of title disputes to better align with current statutory requirements and protect the rights of titleholders in Texas.  The department should not be named as a party to lawsuits to establish ownership between private parties because it is not a proper or necessary party to such a suit.

The Texas Legislature has established exclusive options for a party who disagrees with a department action or cannot obtain a title because of lack of evidence. A court order directing the department to issue a title or cancel a title is not within those options and cannot be used to circumvent statutory requirements or remedies.  The exclusive remedies provided by the legislature are described below:

TAC Hearing:

Texas Transportation Code §501.052 allows an interested person aggrieved by the department’s refusal, rescission, cancellation, suspension, or revocation of a title to request a hearing with the County Tax Assessor Collector in the county in which the person resides.   An applicant aggrieved by the Tax Assessor Collector (TAC) decision is authorized to appeal that decision in the county or district court. 

 

Bonded Title:

Texas Transportation Code §501.053 allows persons to obtain a title by filing a bond with the department if the vehicle is in the possession of the applicant and there is no security interest on the vehicle; any lien on the vehicle is at least 10 years old; or the person provides a release of all liens with a bond. Bonded titles provide applicants a means of obtaining a title when they are lacking documentation or evidence that is otherwise required by the Transportation Code and department rule, because the required bond provides a safety net for anyone damaged by the issuance of a title by allowing them to recover damages through an action against the bond.

 

The Motor Vehicle Title Manual and Salvage Nonrepairable Manual were updated and released on April 30, 2020. These manuals can be found on TxDMV’s website at https://www.txdmv.gov/publications-tac/doc_download/3080-motor-vehicle-title-manual and https://www.txdmv.gov/publications-tac/doc_download/3448-salvage-nonrepairable-manual.

As of June 1, 2020, the TxDMV will actively oppose any cases that attempt to direct state action or do not conform to the law.  Any lawsuit brought against the department, other than an appeal of a TAC hearing under Texas Transportation Code §501.052(e), may be subject to dismissal on grounds on sovereign immunity. TxDMV recognizes there will be times when a lawsuit between private parties and court order are needed to provide evidence of ownership when a title is missing.

TxDMV maintains a telephone information center to provide title and registration service support. The Call Center’s telephone number is (512) 465-3000 or toll-free 1-888-368-4689. Send written correspondence to TxDMV – VTR, 4000 Jackson Ave, Austin, Texas 78731 or by internet at www.txdmv.gov/. In addition, there are TxDMV Regional Service Centers located in various counties throughout the state to provide support and assistance

 

 

 

 

Source: Dealers and Manufacturers
Important Information Regarding Title Disputes

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