Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Alert: Nebraska Will Stop Printing Titles With Liens on Oct 4

We've received an update from the Nebraska DMV on their timetable for implementing their Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program. The single-lender pilot is scheduled to begin October 4, 2010 and will run for two weeks. Other participants will be able to go live at the conclusion of that pilot. DDI customers can expect to begin receiving electronic titles from Nebraska beginning October 18, 2010.

One point of clarification that was not obvious until now is that once the pilot program begins, the state will cease printing paper titles with liens for all lenders. We expect that requests for printed titles with liens that meet the state criteria will be allowed, but the normal process of mailing titles to lienholders at the recordation of their lien will cease.

The Nebraska DMV will stop printing titles with liens as of October 4, 2010.

These dates are subject to change pending the progress toward the initial pilot and resolution required to address any issues that arise during the pilot program.

Just to be clear: After following the DMV process to note a lien, including filing an Application for Certificate of Title, supporting documents, and fee with a Nebraska county Motor Vehicle Office, the Nebraska DMV will *not* send a paper title to the lender. There is no provision for exceptions based on the type of vehicle (in other words mobile homes are not excepted) or the type of lienholder (bank, finance company, individual, bail-bondsman). Currently, the date for that change in process is October 4, 2010.

Other helpful posts about the Nebraska Electronic Lien and Title program:

Image from DTCC's No More Paper Campaign.

Monday, August 16, 2010

On Being an ELT Service Provider

Fairly regularly we get folks asking about how to become an ELT service provider. This happens especially when a state begins requiring participation in their ELT program. States are not generally interested in certifying every lienholder, so they require lenders and other lienholders to work with a third party that does get certified by each state's DMV. That is what we do: allow lienholders to participate in ELT.

Becoming an ELT service provider is not magic, it's just a lot of work. When we hear of individual lenders wanting to become their own provider, we wish them all the best. In reality, there is no way for even a large company to recover on-going maintenance costs to work with each state, much less the initial development (and material costs and state fees) to become certified.

And that gets us to why we like being an ELT Service Provider. We feel that we can offer a winning solution for everyone.

  • We work with each state's ELT program, maintaining compliance.
  • And on top of that, we keep a relationship with the staff at the DMV enabling us to get answers to questions.
  • We save our customers frustration by providing specific answers or advice.
  • We provide tools that help to reduce fraud.
  • We make the most of the benefits offered by each state's ELT program to make title processing easier.
  • And we add our own innovations to further improve tracking titles, preparing paperwork, resolving issues, and generally making titles as collateral work the way our customers need them to.
  • Owners benefit too both in the reduction of fraud and the simplification of paperwork.
  • Plus, ELT is a very green initiative!
We love helping our customers, and we think we offer a great product and great service at an unbeatable price. It is very gratifying to be in a business where everyone benefits.

The image is from a podcast series by Business Week. The sentiment "Making Innovation Work" really sums up our efforts with ELT.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Are you ready for ELT in Nebraska?

In our press release yesterday, DDI's president Glenn Thames is quoted saying

Nebraska lenders have chosen DDI’s Premier eTitleLien™ because it provides the most cost-effective solution for streamlining their titling processes.
We are pleased that a number of Nebraska lenders have already signed up to participate in Nebraska's ELT program. Some of our Nebraska customers are already receiving electronic titles through their participation in other states like Arizona.

The Nebraska program begins this fall and becomes almost-mandatory in January when the NE DMV stops printing title certificates with liens. Almost-mandatory?

With Nebraska’s ELT program beginning January 1, 2011, vehicle paper titles with liens will no longer be printed and the ELT program provides the sole method for lienholders to obtain electronic titles.

Reference: Nebraska: Is New Electronic Liens and Titles Mandatory?

Photo is of the Eagle Fruit Store and Capital Hotel, Lincoln, Nebraska, c 1942.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Heading to Iowa: Helping a New ELT State

The Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Division has invited us to discuss their upcoming ELT program scheduled to be implemented in 2011. From Iowa Senate File 2273:

It is the intent of the general assembly to establish a uniform statewide system to allow electronic transactions for the initial registration and titling of motor vehicles, including electronic applications, electronic issuance of titles, electronic registration, electronic transfer of funds, electronic perfection of liens, and issuance of secure and individually identifiable temporary registration cards, by January 1, 2012.

As we did with Nebraska, on Monday, August 16th DDI's CIO Ann Gunning will make a presentation to the MVD about what we offer as an ELT service provider and our ELT solution, Premier eTitleLien&trade. We want to encourage the MVD to consider the input of Iowa lenders and dealers. We'll also share some of the best things about the way ELT has been implemented in other states.

Our expectation is that Iowa will complete their study of the electronic title and registration features by the end of 2010, including a plan for implementation in 2011.

Reference: Senate File 2273 at the Iowa Legislature site and our mirror.

Photo above is of an Iowa Interstate (IAIS) engine by Tom McNair.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Changes to the South Carolina Title Application

In Premier eTitleLien™ we support the generation of title application forms for our ELT states and keep them up to date with changes implemented by the state. South Carolina recently changed their Title Application form (SC Form 400) as follows:

  1. Section numbers have been replaced with section letters so as not to confuse requirements listing with the numbers at the top of the form.
  2. Applicants may indicate whether the transaction should be expedited at the top of the form.
  3. Expedited applications can be requested if the transaction needs to be completed within three (3) business days. This is not required for expedited electronic Release or Request Paper Title transactions.
  4. The Primary Owner’s address was added before RESIDENCE STREET ADDRESS.
  5. In the lien holder’s address section, indicate if the lien holder is a ELT lien holder by checking the appropriate checkbox beside the lien information. This is automatically checked for Form 400s printed through Premier eTitleLien™.
  6. If there is no lien on the vehicle, enter None in the lien section.
  7. The lien release has been eliminated from the back of the form. Financial institutions must submit the lien release on company letterhead with the vehicle’s description, or use Form 450, Satisfaction of Lien.
  8. Owners must certify by signature for the Sales Tax Exemption in Section G;
  9. Owners must certify the sales prices by initialing Section I; and
  10. The Federal Motor Carrier Services acknowledgement statement has been added to the signature line statement (Section L).

Image is a Lexus SC430 from "Ever Seen a Carolina Herrera SC430? Wow!!!"

Friday, August 6, 2010

Common Questions about the Nebraska ELT Program

Are all lenders required to participate?

No. But you probably want to since lienholders who participate will receive an electronic title through their ELT Service Provider. See this post for more information.

What will change beginning January 1?

The Nebraska DMV will no longer print titles with liens. From the Nebraska Electronic Lender Guide:

Upon implementation, Nebraska certificates of title that contain lien information will be stored electronically. No printed copy will be produced for mailing to the lender unless specifically requested.
Upon issuance of the certificate of title with the lien noted, the certificate of title is stored electronically on VTR. No printed copy will be produced for mailing to the lender.

The Electronic Lender Guide says "No printed copy will be produced for mailing to the lender unless specifically requested." Can I just specifically request to have all my titles printed?

No. The guide states:

An electronic certificate of title may be printed, at the request of a lender, if the owner is relocating to another state or for other purposes as approved by the DMV.
The DMV also states in their Provider Questions and Answers:
Question: Are the following purposes approved by the DMV for a paper title request:
a. State Change (owner moving to another state)
b. Name Change (as in the case of marriage)
c. Request for a Correction of Information on the Title
d. Legal Reasons
Are there any other approved purposes?

Answer: Items a, b and d are the only approved purposes at this time.

Can I apply for a lien electronically?

No. The application process will remain the same, with all parts of the application (form, fee, supporting documentation) required. From the Nebraska Electronic Lender Guide:

Certificate of title and lien applications will continue to be filed at title issuing offices [local county treasurer office or the DMV, Division of Motor Carrier Services (MCS) for any common, contract or private carrier of property by motor vehicles in interstate commerce].

Is the Nebraska Application for Certificate of Title still required?

Yes, the NE Title Application is still required for lenders applying for a lien. See "Can I apply for a lien electronically?" above.

Image entitled "Everywhere Questions"

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nebraska: Is New Electronic Liens and Titles Mandatory?

Are lenders required to sign up for ELT in Nebraska?

No. But you probably want to.

From the Nebraska Electronic Lender Guide:

Lender participation in this program is, at present, optional. However, upon implementation, Nebraska certificates of title that contain lien information will be stored electronically. No printed copy will be produced for mailing to the lender unless specifically requested.

Certificate of title and lien applications will continue to be filed at title issuing offices [local county treasurer office or the DMV, Division of Motor Carrier Services (MCS) for any common, contract or private carrier of property by motor vehicles in interstate commerce]. Upon the notation of a lien, the certificate of title record will be stored electronically on the DMV Vehicle Title and Registration (VTR) database and a participating lender will be electronically notified of the title issuance/lien notation.

At the time of lien satisfaction, a participating lender will electronically notify the DMV of the lien release and the DMV will print and mail the certificate of title to the owner (or other entity as directed by the lender).
To be clear: Lienholders will no longer receive a paper title or any other notification from the DMV when their lien has been recorded. The state "notifies" through the Electronic Lien and Title program.

What changes if a lender does not sign up?

  • The lender will not receive a paper title with their lien.
  • Lien releases will be handled through a new form (the Non-Participating Lender Lien Release application) that must be submitted to a title issuing office.

What about non-lender situations, such as bail bond companies or a mechanic's lien?

We inquired with the Nebraska DMV about non-traditional lienholders. At this time there are no exceptions for printing titles with liens.

What incentives are there for participating?

  • Primo: Lienholders will receive notification that your lien has been recorded. This notification contains the information that normally appears on a title, allowing you to verify that the lien was recorded correctly. (Premier eTitleLien™ makes this very easy.)
  • The DMV will assume responsibility for printing a clear title and mailing it to the owner at lien release. That eliminates situations where owners who have lost a title must come to you to request a duplicate.
  • Lienholders who participate in the ELT program will release liens electronically. The state will not accept a paper lien release which helps protect the lienholder against fraud.

Book cover from "No Code Required: Giving Users Tools to Transform the Web" - an interesting book that parallels our goal for lenders: No More Paper Titles: Giving Users Tools to Transform Liens and Titles

Monday, August 2, 2010

Nebraska: ELT Progress Update

Nebraska DMV published updates to the ELT program scheduled for full implementation by January 1, 2011. The updates include some minor changes to the Nebraska Electronic Lender Guide and the ELT Lender Application as well as some updates to the provider questions that are mostly technical in nature.

The DMV also provided us an updated timetable. They are scheduled to begin testing with a single pilot lender on October 4th and expect that testing period to run for four weeks, at which point any other providers and lenders may begin exchanging electronic title information with the DMV.

DDI is currently accepting applications to participate in the Nebraska ELT program. Our goal is to have any lenders concerned about the changes to titles with liens to be ready by the January 1 implementation when Nebraska DMV begins issuing all titles with liens electronically. As of 1/1/2011, the NE DMV will no longer print titles with liens. There is no cost to join the state ELT program and a large number of benefits for lenders.

Image from WeddingCars.sg

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Record Growth

Our latest press release (highlighting and links mine):

Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) Reports Record Growth in the Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) Marketplace

In the first six months of 2010, Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) experienced record growth in the Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) market with its Premier eTitleLien™ product and services offering in the state of Arizona. DDI successfully added more client accounts in Arizona than any other ELT vendor. DDI's president and CEO, Glenn Thames, said "DDI's success is attributed to having the most cost-effective solution in the market, along with a dedicated staff committed to customer service excellence. Through this attention to customer service, DDI has grown to over 800 client accounts in just a few short years, having never lost a customer to a competitive ELT vendor."

Companies that place liens on vehicle titles in Arizona were required to participate in the state's ELT program beginning May 31, 2010. With DDI's Premier eTitleLien™ product and services, lienholders are able to participate in the ELT program and remain in complete control of their title portfolio. Premier eTitleLien™ is a web-based application that allows lienholders to manage their vehicle titles electronically and provides an electronic ownership record in lieu of a paper title. Premier eTitleLien™ interfaces with a state's motor vehicle titling agency's computer systems to receive electronic titles and transmit lien releases for the lienholder. With Premier eTitleLien™, companies have access to their electronic titles and the tools needed to streamline the titling process.

An electronic titling program benefits motor vehicle agencies, lienholders and vehicle owners. Motor vehicle agencies benefit by providing more timely data exchange, improving data accuracy, and reducing and controlling the use of secure forms. Electronic titling benefits lienholders by reducing mailing costs, reducing physical storage requirements, and deterring the inherent fraud associated with duplicate titles and paper title releases. Vehicle owners benefit by receiving clear titles upon the release of the lien on the electronic title.

"With the Premier eTitleLien™ product and associated services, DDI provides the most cost- effective solution in the market with no start-up costs, no monthly minimums, no per-user charges, and no installation or training charges. In addition, DDI's license agreements are lender-friendly, allowing for an opt-out without penalties. DDI is dedicated to continuing to provide the ELT solution of choice for lenders. We are continuing to expand our client base among the existing ELT states and look forward to providing services in the newest ELT state, Nebraska, later this fall," said Thames. DDI is a software technology company that provides electronic titling services for lienholders in the United States.

For more information on electronic titling, visit www.etitlelien.com.

For this Press Release in printable form and other news, please visit http://etitlelien.com/News.aspx.

Image from Wikipedia: "Cutaway of a nautilus shell showing the chambers arranged in an approximately logarithmic spiral"

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nebraska Application to ELT Available

Nebraska automobile dealers and financial institutions can now sign up for Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) services with Decision Dynamics, Inc. The application form (Application for Enrollment / Change in Electronic Lien and Title System) is available on our website with instructions on how to complete it.

As of January 1, 2011, the NE DMV will no longer print paper titles with liens due to recent legislation directing the DMV to implement ELT. Lienholders need to enroll in the ELT program in order to receive electronic titles.

DDI will be working with the the Nebraska DMV as they implement the program. We'll begin receiving electronic titles for our customers in October, depending on how the pilot program proceeds. DMV expects the program to be out of testing in November.

Image from Visit Nebraska

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Filing for a Lien in Georgia from Out of State

We recently had a question from one of our customers wishing to file a lien in Georgia.

We had our rep try and walk the MV1 form and title through the local DMV but they required a copy of the customer’s driver’s license, a note from us on company letterhead & notarized, the power of attorney in his name, and another form - it was a mess. So we decided to just mail it in. The local DMV said that we need to mail a copy of the customer’s driver’s license along with the MV1 Form, Title and $18 fee. I was surprised that we need to mail a copy of the customer’s driver’s license - we hadn’t heard of that until today. Just checking.

Our answer:

  1. A copy of the owner’s DL is not required when you mail in an MV-1 unless the owner is not a GA resident and does not have a valid GA issued ID or DL.
  2. They will accept out-of-state checks when you mail in your MV-1.
  3. When the owner has to get a duplicate, the only required field on the MV-1 is the VIN. They must present a valid ID when requesting the duplicate.

As part of being the *definitive* ELT provider [definitive: authoritative and complete :-) ], we build good relationships with each state DMV to be able to get clarifications to questions like these. (More information about the ELT program in Georgia)

Image from Georgia Animal Rescue and Defense, where they also take applications from "Out of State"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

DDI Receives Approval to Sign Up Lenders in Washington State

We received official approval to begin signing up lenders in Washington State! We're looking forward to offering ELT services for our customers in Washington and other states. We're looking forward to helping other local lenders in Washington in addition to providing a single portal for title management for lenders across the nation.

For more information on the Washington ELT program, contact DDI at info@etitlelien.com. (Washington does not provide online information about their program.)

To sign up for the ELT program, visit our site at http://www.etitlelien.com/eltWa.aspx.

Image entitled "The Washington State Seal" from the Washington State Coloring Book

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Mandatory ELT: The New Trend

Here at Decision Dynamics' headquarters, we've been noticing a trend in electronic lien and title (ELT) programs. Not only are more states developing or revamping their programs, but the number of states requiring participation is on the rise.
  • Pennsylvania: July 2008
  • Louisiana: January 2010 (grace period ended June 30, 2010)
  • Arizona: May 31 2010
  • Nebraska: January 2011 (participation not mandatory, but no titles with liens will be printed)
  • California: January 2012
In addition, both South Carolina and Massachusetts had mandatory-ELT legislation introduced in 2009-2010 that has not yet passed.

In April, Automotive news published a story by Jim Henry on this issue headlined "E-titles and e-liens slowly e-liminating paper docs". I'm quoted:
Not only is it more convenient, but also in past, electronic made everybody nervous. "If I've got it on paper it's real." But the way we store data now there's an electronic trail and it's more reliable than paper titles.

The mandatory participation requirement for ELT is also forcing lenders from across the nation to participate. With more states poised to require participation, this trend will continue to gain momentum. And that's good.

Image entitled "Never Easy Going Up" by Lachlan McDonald

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Changes to the Repossession Process in Florida

To: Florida ELT Participants

Please read about these important changes to the repossession process in Florida. To assist ELT participants in complying, the FL DHSMV has asked us to solicit feedback concerning the possibility of enhancing the ELT system to process repossession applications and fees. Let me know if you are interested in being able to process repossession applications electronically. DDI is committed to providing all the electronic features the states make available to streamline all aspects of your title processing and is eager to provide these services in Premier eTitleLien™.

Ann Gunning
Chief Information Officer
Decision Dynamics, Inc.



HB 971 passed during the 2010 session and is effective July 1, 2010. It amends the Florida Statutes by providing that any lienholder who has repossessed a motor vehicle in Florida in compliance with the provisions of section 319.28, Florida Statutes must apply to a Tax Collector’s office in Florida or to the department for a certificate of repossession or for a certificate of title pursuant to section 319.323, Florida Statutes. Any person found guilty of violating any requirements of the law shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in section 775.082, section 775.083 or section 775.084, Florida Statutes. The department requests your assistance by notifying the lienholders under contract with you of this law change and its ramifications. Please send them the attached Memo from Director Ford and HB 971.

Pursuant to section four of the Electronic Lien and Title Program Memorandum of Understanding between Third Party Providers, Business Partners and the Department, these agreements are subject to any restrictions, limitations or conditions enacted by the Florida Legislature. If you have any questions, please contact the Bureau of Titles and Registrations at 850-617-3001.

Gary Elmore
Motorist Services, Strategic Support Services
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Director Ford Memo
HB 971

Friday, July 2, 2010

Nebraska Electronic Liens and Titles Q&A Updated

The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles updated their Electronic Lien and Title Questions/Answers document last week. Most significantly, they reaffirmed the timetable for implementing the ELT program:
  • Pilot with 1 service provider - September (4 to 6 weeks);
  • Participation open to all service providers - Mid-October;
  • Full Implementation of all Service Providers - November;
  • Mandated Date for ELT availability - January 1st.

Decision Dynamics is of course ready to go whenever the state is. (We've been pretty impressed by the state's program - more on the specifics later.)

To read the Q&A for yourself: Electronic Lien and Title Questions/Answers on the Nebraska site
and our mirror.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Arizona Mandatory ELT Program Impacting Lenders In All States

When the Arizona program went mandatory this past May 31, 2010, two things happened:
  1. The Arizona DOT Motor Vehicle Division stopped printing titles with liens
  2. MVD and 3rd party offices began requiring lienholders to be active participants in the ELT program before they would accept a Title and Registration Application listing that lender as the lienholder.
The only exceptions to this program are for mobile home liens and for individuals desiring to be lienholder.

We did expect the broad impact this has had, from traditional lenders (banks and credit unions) to dealers providing financing and even non-lenders like bail bond companies. Arizona has been very consistent in enforcing participation in the ELT program.

In addition to the large number of Arizona lenders, we have been getting calls from around the country. I spoke with callers just today from Illinois, New York, and Maine. Any lender with a customer in or moving to Arizona is being required to sign up with an ELT service provider like DDI.

Reactions to the news that they have to find a provider and register as a lienholder varies. Some lenders are so unhappy with having to comply with something new they refuse to offer loans on vehicles titled in Arizona. (Bad news if you're transferred there and your lender won't let you title your car.) Others seem unfazed.

ELT is increasing in popularity, not decreasing, as more states implement new programs and require participation.

Image: Cactus4 by Fishing Cactus

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Dealer Title Fraud, This Time in Utah

The Herald Journal has an excellent write up* of another case of auto dealers accused of failing to pay off loans and properly recording vehicles. They include a good summary of the consequences for car owners:
The suspects are also accused of not paying off existing loans on trade-in vehicles. Roberts said the Campbells were falsely representing that they were paying off loans from trade-in vehicles.

“The finance companies were paying the money but it was not going to pay off the loans,” he said. “So the person who did a trade-in would have not one problem but two problems. The first problem is that their bank or finance company still wants money for the (traded) car, the second problem is they have a vehicle that they do not have title to so if they wanted to sell it, they could not.”
This is similar to other title fraud situations we've reported on previously here and here and one of the reasons we encourage lenders to use ELT.

The state of Utah does offer an Electronic Lien Transfer program. Because the program is currently administered solely by the state, DDI is currently unable to link Premier eTitleLien™ to Utah. Stay tuned...

* 1/29/2010: Former auto salesmen charged

Image: Sad Car :( by FĂ©lix Adorno

Changes Caused by Electronic Liens and Titles

Participating in a Electronic Liens and Titles (ELT) program (offered by several states) changes the way titles are managed, but not in the way most people expect. The biggest example of this is the title application (application + old title + fee + whatever other forms required by the state). Most people on hearing that an electronic title program is in place assume that the electronic title can be applied for electronically, since logically a "going digital" program means eliminating paper. Sadly, this is not the case with *any* ELT programs so far (mostly*). Title applications must still be submitted with physical owner signatures or limited power of attorney forms.

What ELT Does Not Change
  • Liens are still recorded as part of vehicle collateral for loans.
  • The lien is still recorded by the DMV.
  • Applications for liens are still required (as mentioned above) since physical signatures are required to meet Federal odometer disclosure laws.
  • Forms and processes for related actions (owner address change, vehicle reposession, mobile home de-titling, etc.) remain the same.

What ELT Changes
  • Lienholders do not receive a paper title.
  • Liens must be released electronically (in many ELT states).
  • Titles are mailed to owners by the DMV.

Non-Obvious Improvements
I can hear you thinking now: "What good is that? That doesn't help nearly enough!" We've heard that before. This subtle change to a paperless title makes a big difference in business processes, greatly helping lenders, states, and vehicle owners. Titles cannot be misfiled. Owners who misplaced lien-released-on-the-face titles can request duplicates from the DMV. No title mail to open, no titles to mail out.

Premier eTitleLien™ Extras
Our solution allowing lenders to work with state ELT programs helps make the most of these benefits and more. Title applications are tracked until lien is perfected. Information on new electronic titles (owner name, odometer) is checked against the application for accuracy. State title inquiry services are used along with NADA or Blackbook values to verify vehicle status prior to issuing a loan. There's more at http://www.etitlelien.com.

* Ohio does allow lenders to electronically notate a lien for an existing title when no transfer of ownership occurs. Yay Ohio!

Image from Dalit Freedom Network

Monday, February 1, 2010

What to Ask Your DMV to Include in the ELT Program

DDI's Premier eTitleLien™ now works with the Electronic Liens and Titles (ELT) programs in eight states: Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. (We're putting the finishing touches on our participation in Arizona, California, and Washington.)

We are dependent on the "features" provided by each state DMV in order to include that feature in Premier eTitleLien™ and make it available to our customers. For example, only about half the states with an ELT program support converting existing paper titles to electronic titles. If they don't offer a feature, we can't offer it either.

And if they don't offer an *important* feature, everybody loses out. Lenders can't (or won't) participate because the program either doesn't work or makes titling harder. Lack of participation means the state sees no cost savings. And vehicle owners miss out on benefits to them.

When we hear that a state is actively investigating ELT (like Nebraska), we want to give them as much information as we can, in the hope that they include all the features lenders, especially in-state lenders, need. We've put together a website (AllAboutTitles.com - a work in progress) that gives some information about ELT, including white papers on We also have some technical details about messages and communications, plus relevant legislation affecting ELT programs in each state.

Lenders: Want an easier time managing titles with liens? Want to know what you're missing? Check out our suggestions for what should be included in an electronic liens and titles program. If you're our customer, let us (or our user group) know what you'd like to see implemented. If not and you're in an ELT state, contact your DMV or local lender association (like a banker's association) with your suggestion. Feel free to send them our ideas.

Image: Help is on the way, elevator, Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL by gruntzooki

Friday, January 29, 2010

North Carolina Dealer Lien Fraud Has Unhappy Consequences

I just read an excellent editorial by the Times-News of Henderson, NC about an unfortunate fraud situation. The links to the editorial and the original article are below. Here's what happened. Facts are from the Times-News, inferences (infer) are mine.

November or December 2008: (infer) Cars America acquires a 2004 Honda Accord (probably a trade in). This car has a lien held by American General Finance Services.

December 2008: Richie Ritter purchases a 2004 Honda Accord from Cars America. He finances the vehicle with a $14,000 loan provided by the State Employees Credit Union (SECU).

December 2008: Dealers are normally responsible to complete the application for title (and note a lien) for the owner and especially the lender (SECU). This would include sending a check for the remaining balance of the loan to American General. American General would then release their lien and send the title to the dealer to accompany the application for a new title. This does not happen - American General does not receive a check for the balance of the loan.

December 2008: (infer) Somehow Mr. Ritter receives a plate and registration for the vehicle. This is problematic since instructions for registration require "Complete the title application (MVR-1), declaring all liens, signed in the presence of a notary" and should have been accompanied by the title received from American General.

December 2008 - January 2010: (infer) SECU never receives the title with their lien noted. American General at some point stops receiving payment on the loan and begins repossession process.

December 2008 - January 2010: Mr. Ritter makes loan payments to SECU totaling about $4000.

January 2010: (infer) American General eventually tracks down SECU and lets them know they are asserting their right as lienholder to repossess Mr. Ritter's Accord.

January 25, 2010: SECU informs Mr. Ritter that the vehicle is going to be repossessed by American General.

It looks like Cars America will end up defrauding American General, SECU, and Mr. Ritter, as none of them will likely fully recover what was lost. We're especially sorry for Mr. Ritter's loss since he is the ultimate victim here. This is one reason why state programs like ELT are so valuable. One of our customers told us of a similar situation in South Carolina, but because they combined vigilance with tools (ELT and Title Check) they were eventually able to fully recover the loss from the dealer.

We are hopeful that North Carolina will provide similar services. We'd love to assist lenders and vehicle owners to avoid similar fraud situations.

January 27, 2010 story in Times-News
January 29, 2010 Editorial in Times-News

Image: Cars America Logo

Recommendations when Applying for a Lien in South Carolina

Based on feedback from customers plus our own experience and interaction with the SC DMV, we've put together some suggestions for lenders when applying for a lien on a title in South Carolina.

1. Instead of having the customer directly sign the Form 400 (SC's title application), obtain a limited Power of Attorney. This will help in case resubmissions (lost mail?) are required.

2. Carry your paperwork to a DMV office. You will get either immediate (if you wait on the paperwork) or generally next-day response to your application. Problems with the application are reported to you immediately. There is no faster way to get a lien recorded.

For absolute best results, take your title application(s) to one of the five dealer central SC DMV locations. These are the ideal places to turn in paperwork and generally provide better service for ELT transactions. Transactions can be provided in a batch with a cover sheet listing the individual vehicle numbers (VINs). From the list of office locations (http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/offloclist.aspx) choose Dealer Central from the Services dropdown.

Several of our customers use a courier service to deliver title applications to a DMV office.

3. Mail your paperwork to Blythewood using a tracking number. Any kind of minimal delivery confirmation will allow you to be certain your application was received by the DMV. Consider recording the tracking number as part of the lien history in Premier eTitleLien™.

4. If you don't (or can't) take a title application to a DMV office and don't (or can't) use some delivery confirmation, keep track of the mailing date and delivery method (including who posted it). Consider recording these details as part of the lien history in Premier eTitleLien™.

At our last quarterly meeting with the DMV, they told us they would begin providing receipts for items that had been received at the Blythewood office. This would bring the feedback provided there in line with the feedback you get at a field office. DDI will continue to work with them to improve document tracking.

Image: The Palmetto State Glove Box Guide to Bar-B-Que

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nebraska: Electronic Liens and Titles Coming by 2011

Nebraska is getting an ELT program! This is great news for both Nebraska lenders and vehicle owners.

Last year, the Nebraska legislature passed a bill requiring the DMV to implement an Electronic Liens and Titles (ELT) program by January 1, 2011 which they are on track to do. Current plans include having a public inquiry service (which we usually refer to as a title inquiry), a very valuable feature.

The Nebraska DMV invited us to come meet with them and several lender and dealer representatives to discuss how an ELT solution provider like DDI works with lenders and a state electronic lien and title (ELT) program. Our company president, Glenn Thames, encouraged lenders to stay involved in the shaping of the program and to request that the state provide features (like a title inquiry) that are beneficial to lienholders in managing their titles.

We're looking forward to working with Nebraska lenders as the ELT program in Nebraska kicks off.

Image: Toy Car from the Nebraska State Historical Society

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

NMVTIS Saves the Day

NMVTIS (National Motor Vehicle Title Information System - pronounced En-Em-Vee-Tis) is a data system that stores information about titles issued by each of the 50 states plus DC. States are required to both submit data about their titles to NMVTIS and check NMVTIS to verify titles being transferred from other states. The US Department of Justice has ruled that all states must participate by January 1, 2010. (That ruling provides background about the laws requiring the system be developed and requiring participation.)

Some businesses are also required to provide data about vehicles, including insurance carriers and junk/salvage companies. The website at NMVTIS.gov provides more information about compliance.

For lenders, this has a few implications:
Public inquiry of the NMVTIS records are available.
DDI has chosen to use Auto Data Direct as a provider of NMVTIS inquiries and will be integrating those titling records with Premier eTitleLien™.

There are two main benefits to lenders. First, the NMVTIS records should show the most recent title issued as well as a history of other titles (and states who issued them) for the VIN. Second, NMVTIS contains a record of all the brands (salvage, flood damage, etc) that have been applied to the vehicle and which state applied them. NMVTIS does *not* include lien information.

State processes may change slightly.
At DDI we have observe two significant impacts to lenders as states are complying with NMVTIS. First, NMVTIS has its own data requirements that may not match each state. For instance, different states have different kinds of vehicle brands, and there is not a national standard for brands. More significantly, the NMVTIS standard for VINs has resulted in some states changing the VINs on their titles. (Mobile Homes have VINs that do not match modern automobile VINs - they frequently are recorded as 12345678A&B which is invalid.) This can cause problems for lenders releasing liens or trying to find information about a title.

Second, implementing NMVTIS into the business process for the state may delay issuing a perfected lien by up to five days. Any title received from out of state should be checked against the NMVTIS record to check for issues. A state may choose to slow down the process to be sure NMVTIS was updated. This should help reduce fraud and errors when transferring titles between states.

For more information about how each state participates in the NMVTIS program, see the official NMVTIS website. For more information on how Premier eTitleLien™ helps lenders cut costs and reduce fraud, see our official website. ;)

Image: Give the Gift that Saves the Day

Monday, January 25, 2010

Premier eTitleLien Users Group Georgia Meeting

On January 21st we held the first meeting of what we are hoping develops into our Georgia Users Group for Premier eTitleLien™. (Our primary Users Group will have its fifth meeting on February 10th in Columbia, SC.) The Users Group President, Dara Biswell of Heritage Trust FCU, and Vice-President, Lisa Vandys of Carolina Foothills FCU, both attended along with several of our Georgia customers.

Prior to the Users Group, we held an information session for prospective customers about our ELT services with an emphasis on how the program works in Georgia. We reviewed a lot of the basics (cost savings, fraud reduction, fewer missed titles) and gave a brief demo of Premier eTitleLien™. We noted our experience working with lenders in the newly mandatory states of Pennsylvania and Louisiana and highlighted the ease of use of working with state ELT programs. Our attempt to demo the Georgia Title Check service didn't work. Live demonstrations are such wonderful things. :(

As part of this information session, and since we had several of our customers there, we offered a chance for them to share how they are using ELT and for anyone else to ask any questions. I was pleasantly surprised (as usually happens) by their praise. Two of our Georgia customers (Citizens Trust Bank and Augusta VAH FCU) also added their reflections about the program. I wish we had recorded it.

Lisa opened the Users Group meeting and Dara spoke about the mission, goals, and structure of the group. Ann Gunning (CIO here at Decision Dynamics, Inc.) gave an update on each state's ELT program, noting progress and goals for each of the states. I briefly (since I had given a full demo earlier) highlighted some changes users can expect in our next release. We also demonstrated the new GA Title Check (working this time!) confirming (with current Georgia titles) both an inactive lien and a lien correctly placed.

We then opened a discussion of support issues, problems, and suggestions.
  • A suggestion came up that Premier eTitleLien™ could do a better job of highlighting which state issued the electronic title that was just received.
  • I asked if anyone had any trouble with providing proof of lien to other companies. The only problems really seem to come from local entities, like local insurance agents, especially those not in ELT states.
  • A desire for an ELT program in Alabama and North Carolina was mentioned.
  • A question came up about Texas seeking approval to allow electronic signatures for title applications. We explained what we knew about the Federal regulation and Virginia's experience doing the same thing.
  • We also briefly discussed the problem of customers claiming to have a duplicate title or of attempting to forge release documents, and the recent success in those areas due to the states' (SC and GA in this case) policies regarding ELT.
  • We also mentioned that the new requirement that each state check incoming out-of-state titles against the NMVTIS database was slowing down the lien recordation process for those titles.

We'd love to have your feedback on any changes you'd like to see with ELT in your state or the Premier eTitleLien™ program.

Image: Oriental Poppies by Georgia O'Keefe

Friday, January 22, 2010

California: DMV Offices Experience Network Outage

As reported by the AP, all the DMV office branches in California were unable to connect to the central computer system, preventing them from processing paperwork. A report by CNET clarified that computers were down for about two hours due to a router glitch.

The CA DMV did the sensible thing and continued to process work from customers by hand until access to the system could be restored.

California's budget struggles have resulted in reduced hours at all DMV offices and the closure of several others. The DMV is encouraging use of their online services and providing the option to schedule appointments up the 45 days ahead of time. Penalties are currently being waived until the next business day for due dates that fall on an "offices closed" Friday.

Other state DMVs are also feeling budget-related strain. Wisconsin has reduced hours at most DMV locations and has scheduled office closings for employee furlough. Louisiana is also considering ways to implement mandatory budget cuts without reducing office locations or hours.

Image: from Portola Redwoods State Park

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Georgia ELT's best features

We're heading to Georgia today to host another "Open Forum" and participate with our users at the GA Users Group meeting (both are January 21, 2010 - missed them? Join us for our SC Users Group meeting on February 10, 2010). You can always find our upcoming events at http://etitlelien.com/events.aspx.

Our customers have been participating in the ELT program in Georgia since July 2008. Any state ELT program has significant benefits to lenders, but each state has it's own "specialties". We're working with each state to take their best ideas and get other states to incorporate those as well.

Georgia ELT's best features include:

  • Requiring electronic release for electronic titles. This is not unique to Georgia (Florida and Louisiana also require electronic release) but is not a common restriction. This requirement is a significant fraud prevention measure.

  • Conversion of Paper Titles to Electronic Titles. Georgia is the simplest program to work with by far, integrating this feature into their standard ELT process.

  • *New* The GA DOR has made a title inquiry service available for lenders to inquiry on the status of their liens. This is an excellent research tool for lenders, helping to prevent fraud and reduce inquiries with the Motor Vehicle Division.

As with all other states, signing up to participate with Georgia is free of charge and an excellent way to making managing titles easier.

Image: Thronateeska Heritage Center, GA by Brown's Guides

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is Premier eTitleLien Secure?

One question asked by most customers is about security related to our application. Premier eTitleLien™ is a web-based application developed by lenders for lenders to give them tools to manage their titles by working with each states ELT program. As a web-based application, it is very easy to use and to get started without needing to install software on lender's computers.

Data Security

All data sent using Premier eTitleLien™ is encrypted using SSL. Unencrypted access to our servers is denied. Each lender's data is "stamped" with a DDI assigned code preventing other lenders from accessing their data. Data from each state is retrieved securely and the lender's database is updated with their records.

Access Security

Access to each lender's data is controlled by that lender. Usernames and passwords are assigned, giving (or denying) users rights to see (or makes changes to) data appropriate to them.

Protection From Equipment Failure or Disaster

DDI implements an internal disaster recovery plan that is reviewed each quarter. Our servers are hosted in a secure environment with multiple redundancy.

Reliability of Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI)

At the request of our customers, we undergo an annual SAS 70 audit that we are willing to provide to companies that require it. We stay compliant with the Sarbanes Oxley Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act as well as HIPAA regulations (to meet the requirements for other products not related to ELT).

One bottom line to consider: while DDI fully intends to be absolutely reliable and provide an excellent product and customer support, the ELT program is about having liens on file with the DMV. Your ultimate recourse (for any ELT provider) is to work with the state DMV office to file or release liens.

Image: Map of Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. (why? hint: pun)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

More Questions about ELT in Louisiana

Some additional questions have come up in our discussions with Lousiana lenders (see the previous list).

What's the minimum I need to do to be in compliance with the new law?

The law requires that you register with a Louisiana public tag agent. DDI can be your ELT provider (though we are not an LA PTA) because we work with Auto Title Express (our tag agent in Louisiana). You can find all the forms we require at http://www.etitlelien.com.

1. Verify that electronic liens sent to you are your liens.
2. Release liens once loan is satisfied or request a paper copy of the title for totaled vehicles, repossession, or owner moving to another state.

This "minimum" approach misses most of the benefits of participating in an ELT program, but keeps you in compliance with the law.

What is a PTA?

A public tag agent (PTA) is an agent of the Office of Motor Vehicles that is authorized to do certain transactions as if they were an actual OMV office. In this context, the PTA provides access to the LA OMV ELT program.

What if my customer doesn't receive a title?

When you release a lien, the OMV assumes the responsibility to mail the title to the owner. If they do not receive it, they can request a duplicate copy of the title from the OMV at any time since there is no longer a lien recorded on the title. Furthermore, the OMV will waive the duplicate printing fee for titles more than 30 days overdue but less than 60.

Are boats included in the ELT program?

No. The ELT program applies to anything titled by the OMV. Boats are currently handled by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Do I need a separate code for other states (like Texas)?

Yes. Each state issues their own ELT codes. (Louisiana calls this the "ELT code". It is known by other terms in other states including Customer Number and FIN Number.) Premier eTitleLien™ keeps track of these codes to print on the state title application.

Should I have more than one ELT code?

Usually no. Work can be divided up among employees without needing separate codes. (Two separate codes from the same state really mean two separate installations with their own users, branches, and configurations.) The system is easier to manage with only a single code.

"Our customers are used to getting titles when they pay off a loan" or "I have a customer coming in who wants to meet the vehicle buyer so they can get a title. What do I do?"

First (and I'm not trying to be unkind), your customers must realize that the situation with titles is changing in Louisiana by legislative order. You are required to participate in ELT and that means you no longer store titles at the bank.

Second, when you process a release electronically (which is required), your lien is released. Customers will get a clean title from the OMV and do not need to contact you even if they later lose the title.

Third, if your customer informs you ahead of time that they are coming in to get a title, you can request a paper copy of the title with your lien still on it and have it ready for the customer. That requires advance notice from your customer as it will take a couple days for the postal service to mail the title to you.

Other questions answered on this blog:

How do we handle the costs to participate?
I heard the deadline was June...
Are there any exceptions to who has to participate?

Image: "Oak Alley"

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Louisiana: Who is required to participate in ELT?

As we continue meeting with lenders in Louisiana explaining the "new" (not really) now mandatory (really really) electronic liens and titles program, we usually get the same questions (which is why we're explaining). :)

One question I haven't heard that I wanted clarification on was "Who is required to participate in ELT?" or more precisely, "Is anyone allowed to not participate?"

Most of La. R.S. 32:707.2 uses the phrase "bank, finance company, lending institution, or other lender" as in
Each bank, finance company, lending institution, or other lender shall designate a public tag agent with which such bank, finance company, lending institution, or other lender shall interface its computer system for the purpose of receiving electronic confirmation from the department...

The only deviation from this language is
The department is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, to provide for certain limited exceptions to the electronic recordation requirements set forth by this Section, for individuals and lienholders that are not normally engaged in the business or practice of financing vehicles. [emphasis mine]

There does not seem to be an exception for certain kinds of lenders, volume of vehicle loans, or for out-of-state lenders. The only exception is for lienholders (individuals or businesses) who are not lenders.

Image from who-is-awesome.com

Louisiana ELT Deadline: January or June?

As we continue our visit to Louisiana and meet with lenders (of all types: credit unions, banks, finance companies, buy-here-pay-here dealers and others) questions about the mandatory participation deadline are common.

When are we actually required to sign up? I spoke with the OMV and they said June...

The legislation requires participation by January 1, 2010. The LA Attorney General provided an opinion (09-0250) the last paragraph of which states
Accordingly, it is the opinion of this office that La. R.S. 32:707.2 makes implementation of the electronic media system for lien recordation and title information mandatory for the Department of Motor Vehicles and use of the system mandatory for all lenders.

The OMV's website refers to this opinion and states
DPS does not have the authority to delay the implementation of ELT. Act No. 689 became effective August 15, 2008, and DPS has been working on adjustments to the system to better accommodate industry since that time. However, DPS does realize the burdens to the industry associated with fully implementing ELT. While DPS cannot delay implementing the ELT program, DPS does intend to not hamper lien recordation and titling of motor vehicles in this state. It is the intention of DPS to accommodate such issues through continuing to issue paper titles until June 30, 2010 in situations where lenders are working to become compliant with the mandatory ELT program.

In short, any lender not currently under contract for ELT with a Louisiana Public Tag Agent is out of compliance with the law. Once the grace period ends on June 30, 2010, the OMV will presumably begin rejecting applications for liens from lienholders not participating in ELT.

Why didn't we hear about it before now?

This is a hard question to answer. Some contributing factors:

  • The OMV considered the law to mandate that they provide an ELT program, rather than that everyone must participate. Clarification from the AG only arrived recently.

  • The OMV began re-evaluating the program once the new legislation was passed in 2008 to identify potential problems and improve the program. This process takes time and is ongoing.

  • The ELT program has existed with the OMV since around 2001. The program always required prospective participants to partner with a Public Tag Agent (PTA) who would provide an interface to the OMV. There were no PTAs providing ELT services until late 2009.

Despite being mandated, the Louisiana Electronic Liens and Titles program is an excellent program providing many benefits to lenders. We hope that you are able to significantly benefit from ELT in Louisiana.

Image: January sky panorama

Monday, January 11, 2010

Louisiana: Who's paying for this?

Now that the ELT program is mandatory in Louisiana (as of January 1, 2010) all lenders are required to participate. There are fees related to participating, so how does a lender deal with this increased cost of filing liens?

Option 1: Increase the application fee

This is probably the least attractive option to most lenders. Lenders are often reluctant to increase their fees or are unable to do so for a variety of reasons. For lenders who work with dealers to process their paperwork, they may not receive a fee from their customer at all.

Option 2: Pass the fee to the customer

It may be possible in Louisiana to collect the fee for electronic liens and title processing from the customer. Normally, "convenience" fees cannot be collected directly from the customer, but because the ELT program is mandatory in LA, ELT fees could be considered as separate from the "convenience" fee designation. Contact your legal counsel and reference LA RS 6:969.18.

Option 3: Absorb the cost

Several of our current customers see the ELT fee as a part of their cost in managing and tracking titles. Our cost benefit calculator considers all costs related to managing titles and calculates based on the differences between a paper-title program and an ELT program. (Differences such as looking up title/owner and matching to current open loan applications, scanning and filing paper titles, and having to request duplicates for owners who lost the title you provided.)

Bottom line: Keep the cost of ELT low

The best bet for you and your customer is to keep your ELT costs to a minimum. Premier eTitleLien™ has no monthly minimums, no support costs, no start-up fees, and no support fees. We charge a single fee on a transaction-by-transaction basis. Contact us for more information.

Image: Jennefer Asperheim's Dice: "Who Pays"

Louisiana Lenders: Emphasis on "Mandatory"

This week I am joining Casey & Casey (Auto Title Express) in meeting with Louisiana lenders at several information forums. We're discussing the Electronic Liens and Titles (ELT) program that became mandatory for the state this month.

In many ways it is unfortunate that participation in the LA ELT program is required. I am sure that many lenders will be paying attention to "you must participate" and miss the fact that ELT is a great program and can really help lenders resolve and prevent titling issues.

In demonstrating our ELT product, I'm pointing out the ease of use even for those customers who really don't want to change their current process. We've worked hard to make accepting electronic titles and releasing ELT liens extremely simple, making compliance with mandatory participation as painless as possible.

Presenting Premier eTitleLien™ in this way is a bit unfortunate, since it fails to present the many ways that an ELT program provides improvements over handling paper titles. Louisiana (through Casey & Casey as the registered tag agent) provides several features not yet provided by all existing ELT states:

These features along with the core ELT program features make the Louisiana program pretty nice. My hope is that all lenders can see the benefits of the program and not just another regulation to comply with.

Image: Clever Book Title: "Adventures in Missing the Point"

Friday, January 8, 2010

Finding a partner for ELT in Louisiana

Decision Dynamics, Inc. (DDI) does provide ELT services in Louisiana, but you won't know that from checking with the LA OMV. They only list in-state tag agents as providing ELT services.

By Louisiana statute (Section IV 35.03):

Information concerning the perfection and release of security interests will be electronically transmitted to and from the participating lien holder via public tag agents.

The LA OMV is authorized to contract only with in-state tag agents. In order for DDI to integrate our ELT solution with the LA OMV, we need to work with a Louisiana tag agent.

We inquired with the OMV in 2007 about participating in their program and ran into this restriction. At the time, we did not know of any tag agents working with the ELT program (nor did the OMV). Fortunately for us, we were contacted by Dan Casey of Casey & Casey at an AAMVA (American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators) conference and we began discussing the possibility of working together. Once legislation passed in 2008 mandating participation, our efforts to provide title services in Louisiana increased.

All that to say that we are very pleased to be working with Casey & Casey as our tag agent in Louisiana (they do business as Auto Title Express). It has been a pleasure working with them to develop the specifications for ELT and giving them feedback about what data elements are most important to lenders.

Image: "Handshake2"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Questions about ELT in Louisiana

DDI participated in a informational conference call with Auto Title Express (our tag agent in Louisiana). Around 80 individual members of the Louisiana Banker's Association "attended" the call and asked a number of questions.

How will ELT change what we do today?
The primary change is that you will no longer receive a paper title. (There is a long list of reasons why this is good.) The forms you use today and the documentation required for the forms do not change. Applying for a lien is the same process (title application with owner signature, supporting documents, and fee).

How do I release an ELT lien?
PTAs cannot release an ELT lien based on a paper request by a lender (or email, fax, etc.). Liens must be released electronically by the lender.

How long will it take the OMV to print a title when a "release" is issued?
Typically, titles will be printed and mailed the next day. Delays may occur during DMV audits and other situations.

Is there any way to get a printed title faster?
No. The OMV does not allow PTAs to print single titles and they do not have an alternate method of making titles immediately available. We believe that fast print is essential to the whole process and will be working with the Louisiana Banker's Association, Automobile Dealer's Association, and Senator Duplessis to propose and pass legislation enabling a fast print solution.

What is required (technology-wise) for a lender to participate?
The PTA (such as Auto Title Express) or Service Provider (such as DDI) will provide all necessary software. (DDI's solution is Premier eTitleLien™, a web-based application that does not require any special installation.) The software should handle secure message exchange and allow for releasing liens and requesting paper copies of titles with liens in place.

What do I do for situations that require paper titles, like floorplan financing, audits, or repossessions?
DDI's experience in other states is that auditors, finance companies, and insurance companies are pleased with the ELT program and accept printed reports authenticating the validity of the lien on the electronic title. In cases where this is not acceptable, a printed copy of the title can be requested.

Image: "Magnolia" (Louisiana State Flower) by Emily Brodnax

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Arizona: Mandatory ELT by May 31

This coming June Arizona will join Pennsylvania and Louisiana as states that require participation in the Electronic Liens and Titles program. Arizona sent a letter that we received a copy of yesterday:

All lenders conducting business will be required to transmit lien information through an appproved Service Provider. [Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division] advises all lenders to contract with an approved Service Provider prior to May 31st.

And we are listed as a "near future" service provider. (We've been working with AZ DOT for over a year now, but due to internal changes related to going mandatory they have delayed our participation.) This was a nice gesture on their part. We expect to be live in Arizona very soon.

As with Louisiana (see yesterday's post) Arizona has had an ELT program for a number of years. The state legislature passed the change ("REQUIRE") in July 2009. As well as making life easier for lenders, full participation will be a help for lenders and Arizona residents in the reduction of fraud.

Here is the full letter from the Arizona MVD.

UPDATE: Arizona reissued the letter with corrected vendor contact information. Ours has been correct all along. ;)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Louisiana: ELT now required

The Governor of Louisiana signed Senate Bill 373 into law on July 2, 2008 requiring the Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) to require participation in the Electronic Liens and Titles program for all lenders by January 1, 2010. The OMV is now requiring this, but allowing a grace period through June 30, 2010.

From their site:

Louisiana Attorney General’s Opinion No. 09-0250 advised that as of January 1, 2010, it is mandatory for financial institutions, lending institutions, etc., to participate in ELT.

DPS does not have the authority to delay the implementation of ELT. Act No. 689 became effective August 15, 2008, and DPS has been working on adjustments to the system to better accommodate industry since that time. However, DPS does realize the burdens to the industry associated with fully implementing ELT. While DPS cannot delay implementing the ELT program, DPS does intend to not hamper lien recordation and titling of motor vehicles in this state. It is the intention of DPS to accommodate such issues through continuing to issue paper titles until June 30, 2010 in situations where lenders are working to become compliant with the mandatory ELT program.

DDI is excited to be working with a Tag Agent in Louisiana (which is required; see here for a list of tag agents working with ELT) allowing us to offer Premier eTitleLien™ to Louisiana lenders as well as integrating LA electronic titles for our current customers.

Although the OMV has had an ELT program for a while (legislation allowing it's development was passed in 1999), it has always required participation via registered tag agents, and has never caught on with the agents or lenders. Now that the program is fully available, Louisiana banks, credit unions, dealers, and other lenders can benefit from ELT.

Signing up with DDI is simple: our website has application instructions for Louisiana and the other states where we offer ELT.

Image: Buying a New Car in Louisiana