Monday, October 19, 2009

Simply Reducing Fraud

As part of their ELT program, both the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Administration and the Georgia Department of Revenue (Motor Vehicle Division) have implemented a very simple measure to prevent one kind of fraud. It didn't require a lot of retraining of staff or a new form to be developed. It's actually easier for lenders to use. There were no new fees associated with it.

Ask any lender if they have ever dealt with a case where their lien was removed from a title without their knowledge or consent - they only found out after the fact. But this is no longer possible in Georgia and Florida. Why not?

A lien on an "electronic title" can only be released electronically.

The lender who placed the lien must send an electronic record to the state motor vehicle office to have that lien released. This does not slow down the process for a vehicle owner - the state immediately releases the lien (once the electronic request is received) making the title available to the owner. In Georgia, a title will automatically be mailed. In Florida, an owner can request a title to be printed as needed.

We mentioned earlier about the benefit of reduced paperwork on releases. This policy goes a step further and prevents paperwork. DDI hopes all states will adopt similar policies.