Senate Bill No. 388

(By Senator Ross)


[Introduced January 29, 2003; referred to the Committee on Transportation.]


A BILL to repeal section one, article three-a, chapter seventeen-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to amend and reenact sections two and three of said article, all relating to imported vehicles; compliance with federal safety and emission standards; and changing the requirements which must be met to obtain a title and registration.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section one, article three-a, chapter seventeen-a of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be repealed; and that sections two and three of said article be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

§17A-3A-2. Consumer disclosure.

Before a motor vehicle not originally manufactured in accordance with the laws and regulations of the United States Clean Air Act and the United States Motor Vehicle Safety Act federal safety and emissions standards can be sold to a consumer in this state, the seller must provide the purchaser with full written disclosure of all modifications performed to the vehicle. This disclosure consists of a description phrased in terms reasonably understandable to a consumer with no specialized technical training, accompanied by a copy of the technical submissions made to the environmental protection agency and department of transportation in order to obtain certification of compliance. Failure to make this disclosure renders the sale voidable.
§17A-3A-3. Certificates of title.

(a) Before any imported vehicle which has not previously been titled or registered in the United States in section two of this article may be titled in this state, the applicant must submit: (1) A manufacturer's certificate of origin issued by the actual vehicle manufacturer together with a notarized translation thereof; or (2) the documents constituting valid proof of ownership in the country in which the vehicle was originally purchased, together with a notarized translation of any such document; or (3) with regard to vehicles imported from countries which cancel the vehicle registration and title for export, the documents assigned to such vehicle after the registration and title have been canceled, together with a notarized translation thereof; and (4) proof satisfactory to the division that the vehicle complies with all applicable federal safety and emissions standards.
(b) In the event that the documents submitted as required by subsection (a) of this section do not name as owner the current applicant for a certificate of title, the applicant must also submit reliable proof of a chain of title.
The commissioner shall have the authority to issue a temporary title for vehicles subject to the provisions of this section. Application for a temporary title shall include an affidavit from a U.S. Department of Transportation approved modification facility, stating that the standards required by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been met; and further an affidavit from the vehicle owner stating that all necessary paperwork has been forwarded to the applicable federal agencies for consideration of a bond release letter. Temporary titles shall not be transferable and shall be valid for a period of time not to exceed ten months.
The fee for the temporary title shall be twenty-five dollars. Applicable privilege taxes, as provided for in this or other sections of the code, shall be collected from the owner upon application for the temporary title, and additional privilege taxes shall not be required upon application for permanent titles issued following the issuance of said temporary titles. Receipt of a federal bond release letter shall be required to be filed with the commissioner prior to issuance of a permanent title.