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RULE §217.5Evidence of Motor Vehicle Ownership

(a) Evidence of motor vehicle ownership properly assigned to the applicant must accompany the title application. Evidence must include, but is not limited to, the following documents.

  (1) New motor vehicles. A manufacturer's certificate of origin assigned by the manufacturer or the manufacturer's representative or distributor to the original purchaser is required for a new motor vehicle that is sold or offered for sale.

    (A) The manufacturer's certificate of origin must be in the form prescribed by the department and must contain, at a minimum, the following information:

      (i) motor vehicle description including, but not limited to, the motor vehicle year, make, identification number, and body style;

      (ii) the empty or shipping weight;

      (iii) the gross vehicle weight when the manufacturer's certificate of origin is invoiced to a licensed Texas motor vehicle dealer and is issued for commercial motor vehicles as that term is defined in Transportation Code, Chapter 502;

      (iv) a statement identifying a motor vehicle designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use only; and

      (v) if the vehicle is a "neighborhood electric vehicle," a statement that the vehicle meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 500 (49 C.F.R. §571.500) for low-speed vehicles.

    (B) When a motor vehicle manufactured in another country is sold directly to a person other than a manufacturer's representative or distributor, the manufacturer's certificate of origin must be assigned to the purchaser by the seller.

  (2) Used motor vehicles. A title issued by the department, a title issued by another state if the motor vehicle was last registered and titled in another state, or other evidence of ownership must be relinquished in support of the title application for any used motor vehicle. A registration receipt is required from a vehicle owner coming from a state that no longer titles vehicles after a certain period of time.

  (3) Evidence of Ownership for Purpose of Identification Number Assignment or Reassignment. An applicant for assignment or reassignment of an identification number under Transportation Code §501.033 who is unable to produce evidence of ownership under this section, may file a bond with the department in accordance with Transportation Code §501.053 and §217.9 of this title (relating to Bonded Titles). The bond will serve as evidence of ownership for purposes of §501.033(b).

  (4) Motor vehicles brought into the United States. An application for title for a motor vehicle last registered or titled in a foreign country must be supported by documents including, but not limited to, the following:

    (A) the motor vehicle registration certificate or other verification issued by a foreign country reflecting the name of the applicant as the motor vehicle owner, or reflecting that legal evidence of ownership has been legally assigned to the applicant;

    (B) the identification number inspection required under Transportation Code §501.032(a)(2), except as provided in §501.032(b); and

    (C) for motor vehicles that are less than 25 years old, proof of compliance with United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) regulations including, but not limited to, the following documents:

      (i) the original bond release letter with all attachments advising that the motor vehicle meets federal motor vehicle safety requirements or a letter issued by the USDOT, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, verifying the issuance of the original bond release letter;

      (ii) a legible copy of the motor vehicle importation form validated with an original United States Customs stamp, date, and signature as filed with the USDOT confirming the exemption from the bond release letter required in clause (i) of this subparagraph, or a copy thereof certified by United States Customs;

      (iii) a verification of motor vehicle inspection by United States Customs certified on its letterhead and signed by its agent verifying that the motor vehicle complies with USDOT regulations;

      (iv) a written confirmation that a physical inspection of the safety certification label has been made by the department and that the motor vehicle meets United States motor vehicle safety standards;

      (v) the original bond release letter, verification thereof, or written confirmation from the previous state verifying that a bond release letter issued by the USDOT was relinquished to that jurisdiction, if the non United States standard motor vehicle was last titled or registered in another state for one year or less; or

      (vi) verification from the vehicle manufacturer on its letterhead stationery.

(b) Alterations to documentation. An alteration to a registration receipt, title, manufacturer's certificate, or other evidence of ownership constitutes a valid reason for the rejection of any transaction to which altered evidence is attached.

  (1) Altered lien information on any surrendered evidence of ownership requires a release from the original lienholder or a statement from the proper authority of the state in which the lien originated. The statement must verify the correct lien information.

  (2) A strikeover that leaves any doubt about the legibility of any digit in any document will not be accepted.

  (3) A corrected manufacturer's certificate of origin will be required if the manufacturer's certificate of origin contains an:

    (A) incomplete or altered vehicle identification number;

    (B) alteration or strikeover of the vehicle's model year;

    (C) alteration or strikeover to the body style, or omitted body style on the manufacturer's certificate of origin; or

    (D) alteration or strikeover to the weight.

  (4) A Statement of Fact may be requested to explain errors, corrections, or conditions from which doubt does or could arise concerning the legality of any instrument. A Statement of Fact will be required in all cases:

    (A) in which the date of sale on an assignment has been erased or altered in any manner; or

    (B) of alteration or erasure on a Dealer's Reassignment of Title.

(c) Rights of survivorship. A signed "rights of survivorship" agreement may be executed by a natural person acting in an individual capacity in accordance with Transportation Code, §501.031.

(d) Identification required.

  (1) An application for title is not acceptable unless the applicant presents a current photo identification of the owner containing a unique identification number and expiration date. The identification document must be a:

    (A) driver's license or state identification certificate issued by a state or territory of the United States;

    (B) United States or foreign passport;

    (C) United States military identification card;

    (D) North Atlantic Treaty Organization identification or identification issued under a Status of Forces Agreement;

    (E) United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or United States Department of State identification document; or

    (F) concealed handgun license or license to carry a handgun issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety under Government Code, Chapter 411, Subchapter H.

  (2) If the motor vehicle is titled in:

    (A) more than one name, then the identification of one owner must be presented;

    (B) the name of a leasing company, then:

      (i) proof of the Federal Employer Identification Number/Employee Identification Number (FEIN/EIN) of the leasing company must be submitted, written on the application, and can be entered into the department's titling system. The number must correspond to the name of the leasing company in which the vehicle is being titled; and

      (ii) the leasing company may submit:

        (I) a government issued photo identification, required under paragraph (1) of this subsection, of the lessee listed as the registrant; or

        (II) a government issued photo identification, required under paragraph (1) of this subsection, of the employee or authorized agent who signed the application for the leasing company, and the employee's or authorized agent's employee identification, letter of authorization written on the lessor's letterhead, or a printed business card. The printed business card, employee identification, or letter of authorization written on the lessor's letterhead must contain the name of the lessor, and the employee's or authorized agent's name must match the name on the government issued photo identification;

    (C) the name of a trust, then a government issued photo identification, required under paragraph (1) of this subsection, of a trustee must be presented; or


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