§707. Application for certificates of title; exception; salvage title; antique vehicles; reconstructed title
A. Any purchaser of a vehicle, other than a mobile home, as defined by R.S. 9:1149.2(3), shall file an application for a new certificate of title within five days after the delivery of a previously issued certificate of title for such vehicle, or within five days of the delivery of the vehicle, if a certificate of title has not been previously issued. However, dealers need not apply for certificates of title for any vehicle acquired for stock purposes, if upon reselling such vehicle, the dealer complies with the requirements of R.S. 32:705. A purchaser of a mobile home, as defined by R.S. 9:1149.2(3), shall apply for a new certificate of title on or before the twentieth day of the month following the month of delivery of the home.
B.(1) Application for a certificate of title shall be made upon a form to be prescribed by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections and shall be filed with the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Such application shall include the full legal name and license number of the individual applicant as it appears on his official driver's license or identification card. Additionally, all applications shall be accompanied by the fee prescribed in this Chapter, except where the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections has received an authorization from the secretary of the Department of Revenue under the provisions of R.S. 47:303(B)(5). If a certificate of title has previously been issued for such vehicle in this state, such application shall be accompanied by said certificate of title duly endorsed with the sale and assignment or duly endorsed with sale and assignment and resale and reassignment, unless otherwise provided for in this Chapter.
(2) For the purposes of this Subsection, an applicant's full legal name shall be defined in compliance with the Real ID Act, if implemented. If and until such time as the Real ID Act is implemented, the applicant's full legal name shall be defined as the given name or names that appear on an official birth certificate together with the surname as it appears on the official birth certificate unless the surname is changed in accordance with R.S. 9:292. No other name shall be permitted to be used unless the applicant provides proof of name change granted by a district court in accordance with the law. Should the Real ID Act be implemented, the full legal name shall be defined as stated by the Real ID Act. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations as are necessary to implement the provisions of this Paragraph.
C. For the purposes of this Chapter, the commissioner or his aides and assistants, shall be qualified to take the acknowledgments herein required, for which no charge shall be made.
D.(1) If a certificate of title has not previously been issued for such vehicle in this state, said application, unless otherwise provided for in this Chapter, shall be accompanied by:
(a) A proper bill of sale, or sworn statement of ownership, or a duly certified copy thereof, or such other evidence of ownership as the commissioner may in his discretion require; or
(b) By a certificate of title, bill of sale or other evidence of ownership required by the law of another state from which such vehicle was brought into this state;
(2) As to vehicles of the model year 1957 or any later model year, if the vehicle is of the model year current at the time, and the application is not accompanied by a certificate of title issued under the law of another state, the application must, in addition to the foregoing, also be accompanied by a "manufacturer's certificate" as herein defined.
(3) Applications for a certificate of title for motor vehicles as defined in R.S. 32:1252(1), except a chassis cab purchased by truck equipment installers who are considered final stage manufacturers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the United States Department of Transportation, for the purpose of installing heavy duty mechanized truck mounted machinery and subsequent resale only, which are required to be accompanied by a manufacturer's certificate by this Subsection, shall also be accompanied by a final and proper bill of sale to the applicant from a motor vehicle dealer licensed by the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission to sell that brand of motor vehicle. The provisions of this Subsection shall apply only to sellers doing business and/or domiciled in this state.
E. Upon application for certificate of title of a vehicle previously titled or registered outside of this state, the application shall show on its face such fact and the time and place of the last issuance of certificate of title, or registration, of such vehicle outside this state, and the name and address of the governmental officer, agency, or authority making such registration, together with such further information relative to its previous registration as may reasonably be required by the commissioner, including the time and place of original registration, if known, and if different from such last foreign registration. The applicant shall surrender to the commissioner all unexpired seals, certificates, registration cards, or other evidence of foreign registration pertaining to the vehicles. The certificate of title issued by the commissioner for a vehicle previously registered outside the state shall give the name of the state or country in which such vehicle was last previously registered outside this state. An application for a certificate of title, other than a certificate of destruction, of a vehicle previously titled or registered outside of this state shall be denied by the secretary of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections if the vehicle is water damaged as provided in R.S. 32:702.
F. Where in the course of interstate operation of a vehicle registered in another state it is desirable to retain registration of said vehicle, in such other state, such applicant need not surrender but shall exhibit said evidences of such foreign registration and the commissioner, upon a proper showing, shall register said vehicle in this state but shall not issue a certificate of title for such vehicle.
G. The commissioner shall retain the evidence of title presented by every applicant and on which the certificate of title is issued. The commissioner shall use reasonable diligence in ascertaining whether or not the facts in said application are true by checking the application and documents accompanying same with the records of vehicles in his office, and, if satisfied that the applicant is the owner of such vehicle and that the application is in the proper form, he shall issue a certificate of title over his signature, but not otherwise.
H. The purchaser of a used vehicle from a private individual, for a period of sixty days, shall be protected from citations for failure to have a current license tag during the interval between the date of purchase and the receipt of title, provided proof of application can be shown.
I.(1)(a) When, as the result of an insurance settlement, a motor vehicle is declared to be a "total loss", as defined in R.S. 32:702, the insurance company, its authorized agent, or the vehicle owner shall, within thirty days from the settlement of the property damages claim, send the certificate of title, properly endorsed, to the office of motor vehicles along with an application for a salvage title in the name of the insurance company, or its authorized agent, or the vehicle owner.
(b) If an insurance company or its authorized agent is unable to obtain the certificate of title from the owner or lienholder within thirty days from the settlement of the property damages claim, the insurance company or its authorized agent may submit an application for a salvage title and signed under penalty of perjury, which application shall be accompanied by all of the following:
(i) Evidence acceptable to the office of motor vehicles that the insurance company has made at least two written attempts to the titled owner or lienholder of the motor vehicle by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by use of a delivery service with a tracking system, to obtain the endorsed certificate of title.
(ii) Evidence acceptable to the office of motor vehicles that the insurance company has made payment of a claim involving the motor vehicle.
(iii) The fee applicable to the issuance of a salvage title.
(iv) A release of lien executed by each current holder of a security interest in the motor vehicle.
(c) Upon receipt of an application for a salvage title pursuant to Subparagraph (I)(1)(a) or (b) of this Section, the office of motor vehicles shall issue a salvage title for the vehicle.
(d) The office of motor vehicles may promulgate rules and regulations for the administration of this Subsection pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.
(e) The insurance company or agent shall notify the office of motor vehicles within thirty days of settlement of the property damage claim and the owner retained salvage value, when the owner of the vehicle is allowed to retain the salvage after the vehicle has been declared a total loss.
(f) Upon receipt of the salvage title, the insurance company, its authorized agent, or the vehicle owner may proceed to dismantle the vehicle, sell it, or rebuild and restore it to operation. A rebuilder of a salvaged title motor vehicle may upon completion of rebuilding the vehicle demonstrate the rebuilt motor vehicle to a prospective purchaser without applying for a reconstructed vehicle title. Except for the purposes of this demonstration, no rebuilt and restored vehicle shall be operated upon any public street, roadway, or highway until it is registered with the office of motor vehicles, and a reconstructed vehicle title is issued. No such vehicle issued a reconstructed title shall be operated as a motor carrier of passengers pursuant to R.S. 45:164(A) or as a public carrier vehicle as defined in R.S. 45:200.2(2).
(2) After receiving a vehicle for dismantling, the dismantler shall notify the department within ten days upon the form provided by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles. The dismantler shall surrender the salvage title to the office of motor vehicles and retain a copy of the salvage title for five years following dismantling. The vehicle may be sold, assigned, or donated by endorsing the permit to dismantle and delivering it along with the vehicle to the new owner; however, dealers, salvage pools, and dismantlers shall keep a register of such transfers.
J.(1) Any owner who reconstructs or restores a vehicle without salvage title to operating condition prior to being issued a reconstructed title under this Chapter or the laws of another state or who recovers a stolen motor vehicle shall make application to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, for a certificate of title and an inspection of the vehicle prior to the registration or sale of the vehicle. Each application for title and inspection shall be accompanied by the following:
(a) The outstanding salvage title previously issued for the salvage vehicle.
(b) Bills of sale evidencing acquisition of all major component parts used to restore the vehicle, listing the manufacturer's vehicle identification number of the vehicle from which the parts were removed, if such part contained or should contain the manufacturer's vehicle identification number.
(c) A sworn statement in the form prescribed by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, which states that:
(i) The identification numbers of the restored vehicle and its parts have not been removed, destroyed, falsified, altered, or defaced.
(ii) The salvage title document attached to the application has not been forged, falsified, altered, or counterfeited.
(iii) All information contained on the application and its attachments is true and correct to the knowledge of the owner.
(2) The vehicle identification number of every vehicle for which an application is submitted shall be inspected by an inspector at a location designated by the department.
(3) In addition, some or all of the vehicles presented for the inspection may be selected for inspection of the vehicle's major component parts which have been repaired or replaced as part of the rebuilding process to determine that the vehicle information contained in the application and supporting documents is true and correct.
(4) The selection of vehicles to undergo the major component part inspection shall be on a random basis, in accordance with criteria and procedures established by the Department of Public Safety and Corrections by regulations, which may be changed from time to time as that department deems necessary.
(5) The inspector may examine the identification number of each part that has been repaired or replaced as part of the rebuilding process in addition to the vehicle identification number, and may compare those numbers to the vehicle identification numbers and identification numbers of parts entered into any state, regional, or national computer network that records the identification numbers of stolen motor vehicles and the identification numbers of stolen parts.
(6) Nothing in this Section shall establish a presumption that a part has been removed, falsified, altered, defaced, destroyed, or tampered with by a person submitting a vehicle inspection, if the part fails to contain a required identification label. The major component inspection shall not be for the purpose of checking road worthiness or the safety condition of the vehicle. No liability shall be imposed on the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, the state of Louisiana, or its agents or employees with respect to any act or omission related to said inspection.
(7) Upon satisfactory inspection and a receipt of all required documents and applicable fees, the commissioner shall issue a new certificate of title in the name of the owner which shall contain the notation "RECONSTRUCTED" on the face of the certificate of title.
K. The office of motor vehicles, may assess civil penalties of up to one thousand dollars per violation in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act to anyone who has sold or dismantled a total loss vehicle in violation of this Section.
L. The office of motor vehicles shall issue a certificate of title for antique, classic, or vintage vehicles as defined in this Chapter when there is no current record of ownership to base the issuance of a new title on, provided:
(1) The applicant has provided to the office of motor vehicles a statement from the state police auto theft division obtained by a local law enforcement agency confirming that based upon a check by photo or rub of a vehicle body identification plate the vehicle is not listed as stolen.
(2) The sales tax based upon purchase price is paid.
(3) The applicant has provided a statement attesting to his membership in an organized automobile club.
M.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the office of motor vehicles shall issue to a person in good faith possession of a vehicle a certificate of title for the vehicle even if there is no bill of sale and no current record of ownership upon which to base the issuance of a new title, provided:
(a) The vehicle is twenty-five years old or older.
(b) The vehicle has not had its registration renewed in this state or any other state for a period of three years immediately prior to the application for the title.
(c) The applicant has submitted the sworn affidavit or affidavits of two people who shall attest on their own personal knowledge that the vehicle has been abandoned for three or more years.
(d) The applicant has provided to the office of motor vehicles a statement from the state police auto theft division obtained by a local law enforcement agency confirming that, based upon a check by photo or rub of a vehicle body identification plate, the vehicle is not listed as stolen.
(e) The person is not otherwise subject to the provisions of Chapter 4-A of this Title.
(2) The applicant for the title shall apply to the office of motor vehicles for registration. No title shall be issued for one year, during which time the applicant may have the vehicle in his possession, but shall not have official title to the vehicle. If, at the end of one year, no one has proven ownership of the vehicle, the applicant shall be issued a certificate of title.
N. No vehicle with a reconstructed title shall be issued a license plate to operate as a motor carrier of passengers pursuant to R.S. 45:164(A) or as a public carrier vehicle as defined in R.S. 45:200.2(2).
O. A vehicle whose power train, computer, or electrical system has sustained water damage, but does not meet the criteria for a salvaged vehicle or a certificate of destruction, shall be issued a branded title indicating the vehicle has sustained water damage. The department shall promulgate rules as are necessary to implement and enforce this Subsection.
Acts 1950, No. 342, §10. Amended by Acts 1952, No. 121, §1; Acts 1956, No. 585, §3; Acts 1979, No. 138, §1; Acts 1981, No. 201, §1, eff. July 11, 1981; Acts 1984, No. 707, §1; Acts 1984, No. 823, §1; Acts 1985, No. 594, §1, eff. July 13, 1985; Acts 1988, No. 561, §1; Acts 1989, No. 417, §1; Acts 1989, No. 674, §1; Acts 1989, No. 480, §1; Acts 1990, No. 823, §1; Acts 1990, No. 1079, §5, eff. Sept. 1, 1990; Acts 1992, No. 273, §1; Acts 1993, No. 20, §1, eff. May 18, 1993; Acts 1997, No. 272, §1, eff. July 1, 1997; Acts 1997, No. 658, §2; Acts 1997, No. 872, §1, eff. July 10, 1997; Acts 1999, No. 645, §1; Acts 2005, 1st Ex. Sess., No. 42, §1, eff. Dec. 6, 2005; Acts 2008, No. 594, §1, eff. June 1, 2009; Acts 2009, No. 224, §3, eff. June 1, 2009; Acts 2009, No. 435, §1, eff. July 1, 2010; Acts 2010, No. 151, §1, eff. June 8, 2010; Acts 2011, No. 288, §1; Acts 2012, No. 566, §1, eff. Oct. 15, 2012; Acts 2014, No. 464, §1.