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

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"