|(a) Who must apply for Motor Vehicle Title Service License.
(1) All companies and individuals wishing to conduct title
service business in Harris County, as defined in Chapter 520 of the Transportation
Code under subchapter E must be licensed by the County Tax Assessor-Collector.
(2) Any organization that falls into the category of "motor
vehicle title service" company must be registered and licensed by the County
Tax Assessor-Collector. "Motor vehicle title service" means any person who,
for compensation, directly or indirectly assists other persons in obtaining
title documents by submitting, transmitting or sending applications for the
title documents to the appropriate government agencies.
(3) There are two categories of licenses that are required
to do business: the Motor Vehicle Title Service License and the Title Service
(A) The operator of a motor vehicle title service company must
complete a form provided by the County Tax Assessor-Collector. The operator
of the title service company will provide the company name, as well as the
name of all individuals who have an ownership interest in the applying motor
vehicle title service company. The motor vehicle title service company shall
assume the responsibility for the accuracy and validity of all documents presented
to the County Tax Assessor-Collector under its name.
(B) A "motor vehicle title service runner" is a registered
agent of a registered motor vehicle title service company. The motor vehicle
title service runner has the authority to present motor vehicle title documents
to the County Tax Assessor-Collector's office for processing. Runners must
be authorized by a motor vehicle title service company. Runners may represent
more than one motor vehicle title service company.
(b) Application Process. Individuals and companies wishing
to complete an application to register as a motor vehicle title service company,
or as a runner, must apply at the Harris County Administration at 1001 Preston,
Room 100, Houston, Texas. All applicants must present their current Texas
driver's license or a Texas Department of Public Safety identification card
at the time they apply. Lack of a current Texas driver's license or a Texas
Department of Public Safety identification card disqualifies an applicant
from being licensed. The minimum age at which a person may apply for a license
(1) Vehicle Title Service License Requirements
(A) Service Company License, shall, in addition to fulfilling
the requirements set forth in Chapter 520 of the Transportation Code, Subchapter
E, provide a "doing business as" (DBA) certificate, or articles of incorporation;
plus banking information. Applicants must provide a physical address. No license
will be issued to a company or individual whose address is a Post Office Box.
(B) Vehicle title service companies must identify all individuals
who have an ownership in the business. All persons with an ownership interest
in a vehicle title service company are subject to the requirements of this
Act, and must be licensed under its terms and conditions.
(C) Runners must be identified and sponsored by the motor vehicle
title service company in order to conduct business on its behalf. Only individuals
and entities that have been awarded a motor vehicle title service license
can authorize a runner. The required documents for any runner who is authorized
as an agent of a title company must be on file with each service company for
which the runner is an authorized agent.
(D) Upon completion of their application, applicants will be
contacted within ten (10) working days, by mail and by phone. They will be
instructed to report to the office of the County Tax Assessor-Collector to
pick up a letter or authorization, or a letter of rejection.
(E) Licensed must be renewed annually. Applicants must meet
all original requirements.
(2) Requirements for Title Service Runner License
(A) A licensed motor vehicle title service company must authorize
all individuals who will process paperwork on its behalf. Individuals whose
names are not on file as agents of a title company will not be allowed to
conduct business on behalf of that title service company.
(B) All individuals shall fill out the application for a Title
Service Runner License. All applicants will be notified within ten (10) working
days, by mail and by phone, to report to the office of the County Tax Assessor-Collector
to pick up a letter of authorization or a letter of rejection.
(C) Any unlicensed individual observed conducting frequent
motor vehicle title transactions on behalf of others, and who claims not to
be receiving any compensation for such activities, shall be required to complete
an affidavit stating that he or she is not receiving compensation for conducting
motor vehicle title transactions. The affidavit shall be notarized and forwarded
to the appropriate law-enforcement agencies by a deputy of the County Tax
(c) Causes for rejection of application for license. The following
shall disqualify an individual from being licensed under this Act:
(1) Submitting false information on the application form or
any supporting documents.
(2) Having been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral
turpitude for which the completion date of the applicant's sentence is less
than five years from the date of applying for a license under this Act.
(3) Having been found in violation of administrative procedures
by the Texas Department of Transportation.
(d) Fees. Non-refundable annual fees for licenses shall be
(1) The fee for a Vehicle Title Service Company License shall
be $200.00 for the first year and $100 per year each year thereafter.
(2) The annual fee for a Title Service Runner License
shall be $50.00.
(e) Policies for conducting transactions.
(1) A Tax Assessor-Collector vehicle transaction form must
accompany all motor vehicle title service transactions. The motor vehicle
title service company officer or operator shall print and sign his or her
name in the space provided, and fill in his or her company authorization number
in the space provided.
(2) The individual preparing the document will print and
sign his or her name in the space provided. That person will also fill in
his or her Texas driver's license number.
(3) All runners processing documents at the office of
the County Tax Assessor-Collector shall print and sign their names in the
spaces provided. Runners shall also fill in their County Tax Assessor-Collector
authorization number in the appropriate block.
(4) In the space labeled Description of Vehicles, all
vehicles that the title service company wants to complete a transaction on
must be listed and identified as transfer of ownership, renewal or replacement
of license plates or registration sticker. The vehicle make, model, year and
vehicle identification number must be printed legibly. Only the vehicles authorized
by a licensed motor vehicle title service company can be printed on the form.
The motor vehicle title service company is responsible for the accuracy and
validity of the information for each vehicle listed. Only vehicles authorized
and listed by the licensed motor vehicle title service company will be processed.
(5) After the final vehicle transaction on each transaction
sheet is completed, a copy of the transaction sheet will be made and given
to the runner. The original transaction sheet will remain on file at the office
of the County Tax Assessor-Collector.
(f) The Review Board. The County Tax Assessor-Collector shall
appoint a five-member Review Board to review allegations of policy and statute
violation. The Review Board shall consist of two deputies from the County
Tax Assessor-Collector's office who deal with motor vehicle registration.
Two members of the Review Board shall be selected from law enforcement; one
from the County Sheriff's office and one from a municipal jurisdiction within
the County. The fifth member of the Review Board shall be a representative
who is active in the motor vehicle title service industry. Memberships will
last one year and replacements will be selected on a staggered basis.
(g) Cancellation, Suspension or Revocation of License.
(1) It shall be the duty of the County Tax Assessor-Collector
to cancel the Motor Vehicle Title Service License or Title Service Runner's
License issued to a person, firm or corporation when such license is found
by the Review Board to have been obtained by submitting false or misleading
(2) License holders are subject to license cancellation
or suspension if more than two vehicle document packets they submit to the
County Tax Assessor-Collector's office are found by the Review Board to contain
false information and the false information is determined to have been intentionally
submitted by the motor vehicle title service company.
(3) A runner is subject to license cancellation or suspension
if the Review Board determines that the runner presented a title packet to
the County Tax Assessor-Collector's office that was not authorized by a licensed
Motor Vehicle Title Service Company. If it is determined that a runner altered
or forged the original paperwork prepared for and signed by the motor vehicle
title service company, that runner shall be subject to license suspension
or cancellation pending a decision from the Review Board.
(4) Under Section 520.059 of the Transportation Code,
the County Tax Assessor-Collector may deny, suspend, revoke or reinstate a
(5) If the Review Board renders a determination of intentional,
factual vehicle document misrepresentation, the Review Board may recommend
a 90-day suspension of license for the first offense. The Review Board may
recommend a 180-day suspension of license for the second offense. The Review
Board may recommend a license revocation for the third offense.
(6) The Review Board has the right to revoke any license
upon notification of conviction of a felony or crime of moral turpitude.
(7) The County Tax Assessor-Collector shall review any
recommendation of the Review Board and render the final decision.
(h) The Review Process.
(1) The Review Board shall meet once a month at a date determined
by the County Tax Assessor-Collector. The board will review any complaints
and make a determination as to whether the questioned vehicle documents presented
to the County Tax Assessor-Collector constitute intentional misrepresentation
(2) A quorum of three members of the Review Board must
be present to render a decision. No proxy votes will be allowed.
(3) The County Tax Assessor-Collector shall appoint a
member of the Review Board to chair meetings of the Review Board.
(4) A majority vote of members present at a meeting of
the Review Board shall determine the outcome of matters under consideration.
(5) All decisions shall be subject to a final review by
the County Tax Assessor-Collector.
(i) License Reinstatement.
(1) The Review Board will examine all license suspensions before
the end of the suspension period. The Review Board will make a recommendation
to the County Tax Assessor-Collector as to whether the individual or company
should have their license reinstated.
(2) The County Tax Assessor-Collector shall review the
Board's recommendation and render a final decision.
(j) The County Tax Assessor-Collector shall maintain a publicly
accessible database containing information about each licensed Motor Vehicle
Title Service Company and each licensed Title Service Runner.
(k) Amendment Process. The County Tax Assessor-Collector reserves
the right to amend these rules as deemed necessary.