Bill Summaries: S379 (2021)

  • Summary date: Mar 29 2021 - View summary

    Enacts GS 20-52.2, directing the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to create and issue an unregisterable certificate of title for which an owner of an eligible vehicle, as provided in new GS 20-109.1A, may apply for by submitting an application to the DMV. Allows the DMV to determine the form of the title, but requires the color to be distinct from other title types and contain a notice that the vehicle is no longer able to be registered for highway use and is solely intended for proof of ownership and use in transferring vehicle for parts only, destruction, or recycling. Allows the DMV to rescind the issuance of an unregisterable certificate of title if it determines the title was issued in error.

    Enacts GS 20-109.1A, permitting an insurance company or its agent or contractor to apply to the DMV for an unregisterable certificate of title in the name of the insurance company if: (1) the vehicle has been declared a total loss; (2) the occurrence that damaged the vehicle was within State boundaries; (3) the vehicle continuously remained in the State since the occurrence of the loss; (4) the owner has accepted a settlement officer for total loss from the insurance company; (5) the insurance company or its agent or contractor has made a written request, delivered by certified mail or similar service, for the title from the vehicle owner and any recorded lienholders at the address of registration; and (6) the owner and lienholder have failed to deliver the title for more than 30 days from receipt of the written request, or the request was returned undeliverable. Allows for the DMV to require a notarized affidavit attesting to satisfaction of the required conditions. Requires submission of supporting documentation, and requires applicants to maintain a record of any supporting documentation for three years. Sets the title fee at $21.50.

    Additionally, provides for an insurance company to have a towing and storage lien on out-of-state registered vehicle that has been damaged in the State for which the company has taken possession with the owner's permission. Makes the lien superior to any other liens on the vehicle. Allows the insurance company or its agent or contractor to make a written demand for the owner or lienholder to retake possession upon payment of any towing and storage fees if the insurance company subsequently denies coverage or otherwise fails to reach a settlement with the owner, whereby failure to take possession and satisfy the lien within 14 days of the written demand authorizes the agent or contractor to apply for an unregisterable certificate of title in the name of the agent or contractor for purposes of selling the vehicle to recoup any towing or storage fees accrued. Requires such an application to be on a notarized form with evidence of delivery of notice to the owner. Requires delivery of notice by a service providing proof of delivery. 

    Allows for any vehicle issued an unregisterable certificate of title under new GS 20-109.1A to be sold only for parts, scrap, or recycling. Grants civil immunity to the DMV regarding unregisterable certificate of title issuance pursuant to the statute and sales following issuance. 

    Effective October 1, 2021.