As used in this Chapter:
(1) "Antique vehicle" shall mean a vehicle twenty-five years old or older.
(2) "Authorized officer" means any officer of a federally insured financial institution
operating in Louisiana who is designated to witness the endorsement of a seller, on behalf
of a federally insured financial institution, for the purpose of executing the transfer of a titled
motor vehicle or titled vehicle in accordance with the requirements of this Chapter. A
federally insured financial institution may designate one or more officers to serve as
(3) "Auto hulk" means any material which is or may have been a motor vehicle, with
or without all component parts, which is not self-propelled nor capable of carrying persons
or property upon a public highway and which material is in such condition that its highest
or primary value is its sale or transfer as parts or scrap metal.
(4) "Auto title company" means any person, firm, association, or corporation which
is engaged primarily in the transfer and recordation of sales, leases, or mortgages of vehicles
including but not limited to mobile homes, trailers, and motor vehicles. The term "auto title
company" also means any person, firm, association, or corporation which has been licensed
in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 32:735 et seq. An auto title company shall not
mean an insurance company transferring titles to wrecked vehicles, or a licensed motor
vehicle dealer, lending institution, financial institution regulated by state or federal
authorities, notary, attorney, or individual applicant unless it or he is doing business as an
auto title company.
(5) "Certificate of destruction" means a type of certificate of title issued by the office
of motor vehicles for a "water-damaged vehicle" other than an antique vehicle or a vehicle
in excess of twenty thousand pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), whose power
train, computer, or electrical system has been damaged by flooding as the result of a
gubernatorially declared disaster or emergency and that is a "total loss" as defined in this
Section. The certificate of destruction shall be reassignable a maximum of two times prior
to dismantling or destruction of the vehicle.
(6)(a) "Commissioner" shall mean the director of public safety as provided for in
R.S. 40:1301, who, in addition to all other powers granted and duties imposed by law, shall
have all powers granted and perform such duties as are imposed on the commissioner by this
(b) Any duly authorized representative of the commissioner when acting under his
authority and direction, shall have the same power as is conferred on the commissioner by
(7)(a) "Dealer" shall mean any person engaged in the business of buying, selling or
exchanging motor vehicles which are subject to license under Chapter 4 of the Subtitle II of
Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.
(b) The term dealer shall also mean any person engaged in the business of buying,
selling or exchanging used parts or used accessories of motor vehicles.
(c) Any person who buys, sells, or deals in ten or more motor vehicles in any twelve
month period shall be prima facie presumed to be engaged in such business.
(d) The term "Dealer" does not include: public officers while performing their
official duties; receivers, trustees, administrators, executors, guardians or other persons
appointed by or acting under the judgment or order of any court; banks, finance companies
or other loan agencies that acquire motor vehicles as an incident to their regular business;
motor vehicle rental and leasing companies that sell motor vehicles to motor vehicle dealers
licensed under this Section; and bona fide fleet purchasers of motor vehicles.
(8) "Floor plan loan" shall mean any loan made to a licensed vehicle dealer and
secured by a chattel mortgage entered into prior to the effective date1 of Chapter 9 of the
Louisiana Commercial Laws (R.S. 10:9-101 et seq.) which constitute a part of the dealer's
stock in trade, and which may change in specifics, held for sale in the ordinary course of
(9) "Manufacturer" means any person regularly engaged in the business of
manufacturing or assembling new motor vehicles, either within or without this state.
(10) "Manufacturer's certificate" means a certificate on a form to be prescribed by
the commissioner, and furnished by the manufacturer, showing the original transfer of a new
vehicle from the manufacturer to the original purchaser, and each subsequent transfer
between distributor and dealer, dealer and dealer, and dealer to owner, through and including
the transfer to the title applicant.
(11) "Person" shall mean any individual, firm, corporation, partnership or
(12) "Salesman" shall mean any person who for a compensation or valuable
consideration is employed or engaged either directly or indirectly by a "dealer" to sell or offer
to sell, buy or offer to buy, exchange or offer to exchange, or negotiate the purchase or sale
or exchange, or assist in negotiating the purchase or sale or exchange, either as a whole or
partial vocation, of motor vehicles which are subject to license under Chapter 4 of Subtitle
II of Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950.
(13) "Salvage title" shall mean a certificate used to evidence the declaration in an
insurance settlement that a motor vehicle is a "total loss" motor vehicle as provided in this
Chapter, to be prescribed and distributed by the office of motor vehicles, to an insurance
company, its authorized agent, or the owner of a "total loss" motor vehicle.
(14) "Total loss" means a motor vehicle which has sustained damages equivalent to
seventy-five percent or more of the market value as determined by the most current National
Automobile Dealers Association Handbook. However, a motor vehicle that sustains
cosmetic damages caused by hail equivalent to seventy-five percent or more of its market
value as a result of costs for repairs to items such as windshields, windows, and rear glass,
exterior paint and paint materials, and body damage such as dents shall not be deemed a
"total loss" and salvaged; however, such vehicles shall be issued a branded title indicating
the vehicle has sustained hail damage.
(15) "User" shall mean any person who acquires a vehicle for purposes other than
resale and is required to register same under the provisions of the Louisiana Vehicle
Registration License Tax Law, Chapter 4 of Subtitle II of Title 47 of the Louisiana Revised
Statutes of 1950.
(16) "Vehicle" shall include those devices sometimes referred to as mobile homes
as defined in R.S. 9:1149.2(3), whether or not they may be required to be registered or
licensed under other laws, and except as otherwise expressly provided herein, the provisions
of this Chapter shall apply to the sale and mortgaging thereof. Neither the inclusion or
exclusion of any property in or from the definition of vehicle for purposes of this Chapter,
nor any other provision in this Chapter, is intended to affect in any way the status, as
determined under other laws, of such property for purposes of ad valorem property taxation,
or for any other taxes presently levied, or for the purposes of insurance classification.
(17) "Water-damaged vehicle" means any vehicle whose power train, computer, or
electrical system has been damaged by flooding and that is a "total loss" as defined in this
Acts 1950, No. 342, §2 to 5. Amended by Acts 1952, No. 121, §1; Acts 1956, No.
585, §1; Acts 1968, No. 107, §1; Acts 1972, No. 96, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 1973; Acts 1972, No.
771, §1; Acts 1975, No. 409, §1; Acts 1978, No. 631, §1; Acts 1984, No. 707, §1; Acts 1985,
No. 594, §1, eff. July 13, 1985; Acts 1985, No. 964, §1; Acts 1988, No. 561, §1; Acts 1989,
No. 137, §11, eff. Sept. 1, 1989; Acts 1989, No. 262, §2; Acts 1989, No. 674, §1; HCR No.
84, 1989 R.S., eff. June 19, 1989; Acts 1990, No. 964, §1; Acts 1993, No. 737, §1; Acts
1993, No. 1005, §1; Acts 1999, No. 645, §1; Acts 2001, No. 1007, §1; Acts 2005, 1st Ex.
Sess., No. 42, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005; Acts 2008, No. 586, §1; Acts 2009, No. 435, §1, eff. July
1, 2010; Acts 2017, No. 305, §1.
1January 1, 1990.