New Law Regarding Certified Copies of Title (CCOs) Becomes Effective January 1, 2019

New Law Regarding Certified Copies of Title (CCOs) Becomes Effective January 1, 2019

Vehicle Transfer Notifications Become More Important December 31, 2018


Texas dealers, take note to protect yourselves from title fraud: On January 1, 2019, a new law related to Certified Copies of Title (CCOs) will take effect.  Senate Bill 2076 passed by the 85th Legislature amended Transportation Code, Section 501.134(d), to provide that a lawfully obtained CCO supersedes and invalidates any previously issued title or certified copy.

This change will become effective in the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles system at the start of business on December 31, 2018.

The goal of this new provision is to ensure that once a CCO is issued, it becomes the only valid proof of ownership. Prior to the passage of this law, Texas was the only state to allow the original title and any CCOs to all be valid evidence of ownership simultaneously, which often led to confusion for motorists and lending institutions, and was an opportunity for fraud.

Texas dealers who take vehicles in on trade should be particularly aware of this change.  Dealers should always submit a Vehicle Transfer Notification (VTN) right away to protect themselves from someone fraudulently obtaining a CCO after trade-in.  This will become even more important beginning on December 31, 2018.  

Completing and submitting a VTN is quick and easy.  You can electronically submit a VTN via eTAG.  From the eTAG Home Page, click on the “Tags” tab and select “Vehicle Transfer Notification” from the drop-down menu.

One of the pillars of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles mission is to “protect…the citizens and industries in the state with quality motor vehicle related services.” The department is confident that this new approach to CCOs will help us meet that mission, but we can’t do it without you. We encourage all dealers to adopt a habit of promptly submitting VTNs and, as always, we appreciate your partnership.