SENATE BILL 68
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
Siah Correa Hemphill
RELATING TO MOTOR VEHICLES; PROVIDING FOR CERTIFICATES OF TITLE AND RELATED DOCUMENTS FOR TOTAL LOSS SETTLEMENTS TO BE SIGNED ELECTRONICALLY AND WITHOUT NOTARIZATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 66-3-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1978, Chapter 35, Section 24, as amended) is amended to read:
"66-3-4. APPLICATION FOR REGISTRATION AND CERTIFICATE OF TITLE--NONREPAIRABLE VEHICLE CERTIFICATE.--
A. Except for a vehicle owned by a carrier that is from a jurisdiction that is not a participant in the International Fuel Tax Agreement, that is authorized by the United States government or an agency of the United States government to conduct cross-border operations beyond the commercial border zone pursuant to the provisions of the [North American Free Trade] United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement and that identifies New Mexico as the carrier's base jurisdiction, every owner of a vehicle of a type required to be registered in this state shall make application to the division for the registration and issuance of a certificate of title for the vehicle. Applications shall be upon the appropriate forms furnished by the division and shall bear the signature of the owner; provided that the signature may either be made using an electronic signature in conformance with the Electronic Authentication of Documents Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act or written with pen and ink. All applications presented to the division shall contain:
(1) for a vehicle other than a recreational vehicle, the name, bona fide New Mexico residence address and mail address of the owner or, if the owner is a firm, association or corporation, the name, bona fide New Mexico business address and mail address of the firm, association or corporation and for a recreational vehicle, the name, bona fide residence address and mail address of the owner and proof of delivery in New Mexico;
(2) a description of the vehicle including, to the extent that the following specified data may exist with respect to a given vehicle, the make, model, type of body, number of cylinders, type of fuel used, serial number of the vehicle, odometer reading, engine or other identification number provided by the manufacturer of the vehicle, whether new or used and, if a vehicle not previously registered, date of sale by the manufacturer or dealer to the person intending to operate the vehicle. In the event a vehicle is designed, constructed, converted or rebuilt for the transportation of property, the application shall include a statement of its rated capacity as established by the manufacturer of the chassis or the complete vehicle;
(3) a statement of the applicant's title and of all liens or encumbrances upon the vehicle and the names and addresses of all persons having an interest in the vehicle, the nature of each interest and the name and address of the person to whom the certificate of title shall be delivered by the division;
(4) if the vehicle required to be registered is a house trailer, as defined in the Motor Vehicle Code, a certificate from the treasurer or assessor of the county in which the house trailer is located showing that either:
(a) all property taxes due or to become due on the house trailer for the current tax year or any past tax years have been paid; or
(b) no liability for property taxes on the house trailer exists for the current year or any past tax years; and
(5) further information as may reasonably be required by the division to enable it to determine whether the vehicle is lawfully entitled to registration and the owner entitled to a certificate of title.
B. The owner of a vehicle subject to registration that has never been registered in this state and that has been registered in another state, except manufactured homes, shall have the vehicle examined and inspected for its identification number or engine number by the division or an officer or a designated agent of the division incident to securing registration, reregistration or a certificate of title from the division.
C. When an application refers to a vehicle not previously registered and the vehicle is purchased from a dealer licensed in this state or a dealer licensed or recognized as such in any other state, territory or possession of the United States, the application shall be accompanied by a manufacturer's certificate of origin duly assigned by the dealer to the purchaser. In the event that a vehicle not previously registered is sold by the manufacturer to a dealer in a state not requiring a manufacturer's certificate of origin and in the event that the vehicle is subsequently purchased by a dealer or any person in this state, the application for title shall be accompanied by the evidence of title accepted by the state in which the vehicle was sold by the manufacturer to a dealer in that state together with evidence of subsequent transfers.
D. Prior to the sale or disposal of a nonrepairable vehicle, the owner, owner's agent or salvage pool shall obtain a properly endorsed nonrepairable vehicle certificate from the department and deliver it to the purchaser within twenty days after payment in full for the nonrepairable vehicle and shall also comply with Section 66-3-10.1 NMSA 1978. The department shall accept the endorsed nonrepairable vehicle certificate in lieu of the certificate of ownership or other evidence of ownership when accompanied by an application and other documents and fees as may be required by the department. A vehicle for which a nonrepairable vehicle certificate has been issued shall not be titled or registered for use on the highways of this state.
E. If an insurance company makes a total loss settlement on a nonrepairable vehicle and takes possession of that vehicle, either itself or through an agent or salvage pool, the insurance company or an authorized agent of the insurance company shall:
(1) stamp the face of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin with the word "NONREPAIRABLE", in letters no less than one-half inch high, at an angle of approximately forty-five degrees to the text of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin; and
(2) within twenty days after receipt of title by the insurer, free and clear of all liens, submit a copy of the branded title or manufacturer's certificate of title to the department together with documents explaining the reason for branding, and shall forward a properly endorsed certificate of title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership acceptable to the department together with the proper fee to the department. The department, upon receipt of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership, shall issue a nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle.
F. Notwithstanding any other statute, supporting documents, including certificates of title, used for conveyance of ownership of a motor vehicle to an insurance company as a result of a total loss insurance settlement shall not require a notarized signature and may be signed electronically.
[F.] G. If an owner of a nonrepairable vehicle elects to retain possession of the vehicle, the insurance company shall notify the department of the retention on a form prescribed by the department. The insurance company shall also notify the insured or owner of the insured's or owner's responsibility to comply with this section. The owner shall, within twenty days from the date of settlement of the loss, forward a properly endorsed certificate of title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership acceptable to the department together with the proper fee to the department. The department, upon receipt of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership, shall issue a nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle.
[G.] H. If a nonrepairable vehicle is not the subject of an insurance settlement, the owner shall, within twenty days from the date of the loss, forward a properly endorsed certificate of title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership acceptable to the department together with the proper fee to the department. The department, upon receipt of the title or manufacturer's certificate of origin or other evidence of ownership, shall issue a nonrepairable vehicle certificate for the vehicle.
[H.] I. The department shall not issue a new registration card and certificate of ownership pursuant to Subsection A, B or C of this section on a vehicle that has been issued a nonrepairable vehicle certificate pursuant to Subsections E, [F] G and [G] H of this section."
- 7 -