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RULE §3.35Safe Deposit Box Facilities

(a) Purpose. The Finance Code, §59.110, requires financial institutions to imprint keys issued to safe deposit boxes after September 1, 1992, with the financial institution's routing number. In addition, it requires a report to the Department of Public Safety if the routing number is altered or defaced so that the correct routing number is illegible. This section clarifies the requirements of this section.

(b) Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

  (1) Financial institution--A bank, savings and loan association, savings bank, or other financial institution that has been assigned a routing number unique to that institution.

  (2) Routing number--The number printed on the face of a check in fractional form or in nine-digit form that identifies a paying financial institution.

(c) Imprinting requirements. A financial institution which has been issued a routing number shall imprint that routing number on safe deposit box keys on either the head of the key or the shank of the key if there is adequate room. The typical locations to be used are indicated in the following instructions and diagram. The imprint can be made anywhere on the key that has the required space available. It can be either on the head or on the shank of the key. When positioning the die on the key, be careful to place the die on the key where it will imprint on a flat surface and not in the area of the key cuts or on any of the shank ridges or grooves. Imprinting in these areas may interfere with the proper working of the key in the lock and may cause damage. In the event these standard areas for the location of the imprint are unavailable, either because of grooves on the key shank or the fact that the head of the key already has names and other numbers imprinted on it, then the financial institution may attach to the key a tag imprinted with the routing number. The tag used must be of such a nature as to be secure. Thus, a paper or cardboard tag or a tag affixed with string will not be acceptable. However, any other medium such as plastic or metal which can retain an imprint of a number shall be acceptable. The tag may be attached in any way to assure its affixation to the key. Typically, this will mean inserting the tag or a device to affix the tag through the hole in the head of the key normally used for placing keys on key chains. The tag method shall not be used if there is adequate room on the key itself for imprinting of the numbers. There are four standard areas for the location of the imprinted routing number. These include: the head of the key, the shank of the key, and either place on the reverse side of the key. The standard imprint areas are shown below:

Attached Graphic

(d) Branch designation. A financial institution may, but is not required to, add a three-digit branch designation to its routing number. Thus, the main financial institution facility should receive the designation "001" and branch facilities should receive numbers consecutively beginning with "002" with successive numbers as needed. However, the financial institution may control the branch numbering system used provided that the financial institution must maintain a master list of branch designations used for this purpose. The master list should be maintained at the main office of the financial institution and shall include the following information: three-digit branch designation and address of facility. The financial institution then may imprint safe deposit box keys or tags with the routing number plus three-digit branch designation for full identification of the facility.

(e) Report of defaced or altered key. Within 10 days after an officer or employee of a financial institution observes that a key used to access a safe deposit box has had the routing number altered or defaced or the tag removed, a report shall be prepared of such incident. The report shall be on a form promulgated by the department in the form of the attached exhibit. The report should be submitted to the Department of Public Safety, Attention: Criminal Law Enforcement, Box 4087, Austin, Texas 78773-0001. The report should be mailed no later than 10 days after the incident. The financial institution should retain one copy of the incident report for a period of three years. Nothing in this section nor in the Finance Code, §59.110, shall require a financial institution to inspect routing numbers imprinted on a key or an attached tag to determine if the number has been altered or defaced.

Attached Graphic

(f) Applicability to Existing Keys. A financial institution must imprint all safe deposit box keys issued on or after September 1, 1992. Additionally, the imprinting requirement applies to all keys issued prior to September 1, 1992. However, keys for boxes rented prior to September 1, 1992, need not be imprinted with the routing number unless and until a customer presents a safe deposit box key at a financial institution for access to a box. Nothing in this section or the Finance Code, §59.110, shall be construed to require a financial institution to provide notice to its safe deposit box customers or to otherwise require such customers to present their keys for imprinting. However, on the first date after September 1, 1992, that a customer presents a key which has not been imprinted, the financial institution shall imprint the key with the routing number as required by the Finance Code, §59.110.

(g) Effect of change in routing number. In the event a financial institution's routing number is changed as a result of a merger, acquisition, or other change, safe deposit box keys need not be replaced with a new routing number provided that the financial institution maintain a master list of the routing numbers used to imprint keys.

Source Note: The provisions of this §3.35 adopted to be effective September 18, 1992, 17 TexReg 6097; amended to be effective May 17, 1996, 21 TexReg 3932; amended to be effective March 9, 2006, 31 TexReg 1643

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