2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 40 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC
CHAPTER 3 - CERTIFICATES OF TITLE, SECURITY INTERESTS, AND LIENS
ARTICLE 2 - CERTIFICATES OF TITLE
§ 40-3-36 - Cancellation of certificate of title for scrap, dismantled, or demolished vehicles; salvage certificate of title; administrative enforcement; removal of license plates
. Cancellation of certificate of title for scrap, dismantled, or demolished vehicles; salvage certificate of title; administrative enforcement; removal of license plates
(a) (1) Any registered owner or authorized agent of a registered owner who in any manner sells or disposes of any vehicle as scrap metal or parts only or who scraps, dismantles, or demolishes a vehicle shall within 72 hours mail or deliver the certificate of title to the commissioner for cancellation.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article to the contrary, if the owner or authorized agent of the owner has not obtained a title in his or her name for the vehicle to be transferred, or has lost the title for the vehicle to be transferred, he or she may sign a statement swearing that, in addition to the foregoing conditions, the vehicle is worth $750.00 or less and is at least 12 model years old. The statement described in this paragraph may be used only to transfer such a vehicle to a licensed used motor vehicle parts dealer under Code Section 43-47-7
or scrap metal processor under Code Section 43-43-1
. The department shall promulgate a form for the statement which shall include, but not be limited to:
(A) A statement that the vehicle shall never be titled again; it must be dismantled or scrapped;
(B) A description of the vehicle including the year, make, model, vehicle identification number, and color;
(C) The name, address, and driver's license number of the owner;
(D) A certification that the owner:
(i) Never obtained a title to the vehicle in his or her name; or
(ii) Was issued a title for the vehicle, but the title was lost or stolen;
(E) A certification that the vehicle:
(i) Is worth $750.00 or less;
(ii) Is at least 12 model years old; and
(iii) Is not subject to any secured interest or lien.
(F) An acknowledgment that the owner realizes this form will be filed with the department and that it is a felony, punishable by imprisonment for not fewer than one nor more than three years or a fine of not less than $1,000.00 nor more than $5,000.00, or both, to knowingly falsify any information on this statement;
(G) The owner's signature and the date of the transaction;
(H) The name and address of the business acquiring the vehicle;
(I) A certification by the business that $750.00 or less was paid to acquire the vehicle; and
(J) The business agent's signature and date along with a printed name and title if the agent is signing on behalf of a corporation.
(3) The used motor vehicle parts dealer or scrap metal processor shall mail or otherwise deliver the statement required under paragraph (2) of this subsection to the department within 72 hours of the completion of the transaction, requesting that the department cancel the Georgia certificate of title and registration.
(4) (A) The registered owner of any motor vehicle which is damaged to the extent that its restoration to an operable condition would require the replacement of the front clip assembly, which includes the fenders, hood, and bumper; the rear clip assembly, which includes the quarter panels, the floor panel assembly, and the roof assembly, excluding a soft top; the frame; and a complete side, which includes the fenders, door, and quarter panel shall mail or deliver the certificate of title to the commissioner for cancellation.
(B) A motor vehicle owner who retains possession of a damaged vehicle which is a salvage motor vehicle as defined in paragraph (11) of Code Section 40-3-2
shall surrender the license plates and registration for such vehicle, shall not operate such vehicle upon the roads of this state, and shall not sell, trade, or otherwise dispose of such vehicle prior to obtaining a salvage certificate of title for such vehicle.
(C) Any insurance company which acquires a damaged motor vehicle by virtue of having paid a total loss claim shall mail or deliver the certificate of title to the commissioner for cancellation. In every case in which a total loss claim is paid and the insurance company does not acquire such damaged motor vehicle, the insurance company paying such total loss claim, the vehicle owner, and the lienholder or security interest holder, as applicable, shall take the following steps to secure a salvage certificate of title for such motor vehicle:
(i) If the vehicle owner is in possession of the certificate of title, the owner shall deliver the certificate of title to the insurance company prior to any payment of the claim, and the insurance company shall mail or deliver the certificate of title, an application for a salvage certificate of title, and the form provided by the commissioner for issuance of a salvage certificate of title;
(ii) If the certificate of title has been lost, destroyed, or misplaced, the vehicle owner shall, prior to payment of the claim on such vehicle, complete an application for a replacement title on the form provided by the commissioner and deliver such application and form to the insurance company and the insurance company shall mail or deliver such application and form to the commissioner for issuance of a replacement original title marked salvage;
(iii) If the lienholder or security interest holder has possession of the certificate of title, the vehicle owner shall complete an application for a replacement title on a form provided by the commissioner and shall deliver the completed form to the insurance company prior to the payment of the claim; the insurance company shall thereafter mail or deliver the application to the commissioner with notice of the payment of the total loss claim and the name and address of the lienholder or security interest holder in possession of the title. The commissioner shall mail notice to the lienholder or security interest holder that a total loss claim has been paid on the vehicle and that the title to such vehicle has been canceled, and the commissioner shall provide to the lienholder or security interest holder a salvage certificate of title for such vehicle, provided that the validity of the security interest shall not be affected by issuance of a salvage certificate of title. The lienholder or security interest holder shall, within ten days after receipt of such notice of total loss claim and cancellation of the original certificate of title, mail or deliver the canceled original certificate of title to the commissioner; or
(iv) For the sole purpose of payment of a total loss claim, for any vehicle ten years of age or older for which neither the vehicle owner nor the lienholder or security interest holder, if any, possesses a certificate of title, the vehicle owner shall deliver the vehicle license plate and certificate of registration for such vehicle to the insurance company prior to payment of any claim and the insurance company shall mail or deliver the license plate and certificate of registration to the commissioner with a completed form provided by the commissioner; provided, however, that the vehicle owner shall not operate such vehicle and the owner shall obtain a certificate of title for such vehicle as provided by law, which certificate of title shall then be subject to cancellation as provided in this paragraph.
(D) The department shall give priority to the title submissions provided for in subparagraph (C) of this paragraph and shall issue a salvage certificate of title for such vehicles within seven days of receipt of such submissions by an insurance company.
(a.1) In the case of a motor vehicle which is subject to more than one perfected security interest or lien which motor vehicle is a total loss, if the insurer is to acquire title to the damaged motor vehicle, the holder of the senior security interest or lien, upon receipt of the settlement proceeds of the insurance policy in accordance with Code Section 33-34-9
, shall apply for a new certificate of title for a transferee other than by voluntary transfer in accordance with subsection (b) of Code Section 40-3-35
, naming the insurer only as transferee.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this Code section, any person, firm, or corporation which purchases or otherwise acquires a salvage motor vehicle shall apply to the commissioner for a salvage certificate of title for such motor vehicle within 30 days of the purchase or acquisition of the motor vehicle or within 30 days of the payment of a total loss claim as provided in paragraph (4) of subsection (a) of this Code section to the registered owner of the salvage motor vehicle, if the person, firm, or corporation intends to operate or to sell, convey, or transfer the motor vehicle; and no such person, firm, or corporation shall sell, transfer, or convey a salvage motor vehicle until such person, firm, or corporation has applied for and obtained a salvage certificate of title.
(c) The application for a salvage certificate of title shall be made in a manner to be prescribed by the commissioner.
(d) Any certificate of title which is issued to a salvage motor vehicle, as provided for in this Code section, shall contain the word "salvage" on the face of the certificate in such a manner as the commissioner may prescribe, so as to indicate clearly that the motor vehicle described is a salvage motor vehicle. The legend "rebuilt" in no larger than 12 point font shall be placed on a certificate of title to a vehicle which was declared a salvage vehicle and subsequently repaired with less than two major component parts to restore the vehicle to an operable condition.
(e) Notwithstanding this subsection and subsections (c) and (d) of Code Section 40-3-37
, the legend "rebuilt" shall only be required to be placed on the certificate of title to a vehicle which was declared a salvage vehicle on or after July 1, 2004, and which was subsequently rebuilt.
(f) As an alternative to criminal or other civil enforcement, the commissioner, in order to enforce this Code section or any orders, rules, and regulations promulgated pursuant to this Code section, may issue an administrative fine not to exceed $1,000.00 for each violation, whenever the commissioner, after a hearing, determines that any person has violated any provisions of this Code section or any regulations or orders promulgated under this Code section. The hearing and any administrative review thereof shall be conducted in accordance with the procedure for contested cases under Chapter 13 of Title 50, the "Georgia Administrative Procedure Act." Any person who has exhausted all administrative remedies available and who is aggrieved or adversely affected by a final order or action of the commissioner shall have the right of judicial review thereof in accordance with Chapter 13 of Title 50. All fines recovered under this subsection shall be paid into the state treasury. The commissioner may file, in the superior court (1) wherein the person under order resides; (2) if such person is a corporation, in the county wherein the corporation maintains its principal place of business; or (3) in the county wherein the violation occurred, a certified copy of a final order of the commissioner, whether unappealed from or affirmed upon appeal, whereupon the court shall render judgment in accordance therewith and notify the parties. Such judgment shall have the same effect and proceedings in relation thereto shall thereafter be the same as though the judgment had been rendered in an action duly heard and determined by the court. The penalty prescribed in this Code section shall be concurrent, alternative, and cumulative with any and all other civil, criminal, or alternative rights, remedies, forfeitures, or penalties provided, allowed, or available to the commissioner with respect to any violation of this Code section or any order, rules, or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.
(g) The Commissioner of Insurance is authorized to enforce the provisions of this Code section to the extent such provisions are applicable to insurers which are under the jurisdiction of the Insurance Department. The Commissioner of Insurance is also authorized to cooperate with the commissioner in enforcing this Code section and to provide the commissioner with any information acquired by the Commissioner of Insurance during any investigation or proceeding involving this Code section. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to limit the powers and duties of the commissioner to enforce the provisions of this Code section as such provisions apply to insurers.
(h) It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to violate the provisions of subsection (a), (b), or (c) of this Code section; and any person, firm, or corporation convicted of violating such provisions shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any owner of a salvage motor vehicle who transfers or attempts to transfer such vehicle without obtaining a salvage certificate of title for such vehicle shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00. Any lienholder or security interest holder who, after notice by the commissioner of payment of a total loss claim and cancellation of the title of a vehicle, fails or refuses to return the title to the commissioner or who surrenders the title to anyone other than the commissioner shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, punishable by a fine not to exceed $5,000.00.
(i) The registered owner who retains possession of a salvage motor vehicle to whom a total loss claim has been paid shall promptly remove the license plate from such vehicle and return such plate to the commissioner for cancellation. An insurer which pays a total loss claim shall, on a form prescribed by the commissioner, notify the owner of the duty to remove and return such license plate for cancellation and of all inspection requirements for rebuilding or restoring such vehicle.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer