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  H.B. No. 1247
 
 
 
 
AN ACT
  relating to notice provided to vehicle owners and lienholders by
  operators of vehicle storage facilities.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 2303.151, Occupations Code, is amended
  by adding Subsections (b-1) and (b-2) to read as follows:
         (b-1)  The operator of a vehicle storage facility shall send
  a written notice required under Subsection (b) to an address
  obtained, by mail or electronically, either:
               (1)  directly from the governmental entity responsible
  for maintaining the motor vehicle title and registration database
  for the state in which the vehicle is registered; or
               (2)  from a private entity authorized by that
  governmental entity to obtain title, registration, and lienholder
  information using a single vehicle identification number inquiry
  submitted through a secure access portal to the governmental
  entity's motor vehicle records.
         (b-2)  An address obtained electronically from a
  governmental entity under Subsection (b-1)(1) must be obtained
  through the governmental entity's secure access portal.
         SECTION 2.  Section 2303.152, Occupations Code, is amended
  by amending Subsections (a) and (b) and adding Subsection (b-1) to
  read as follows:
         (a)  Notice to the registered owner and the primary
  lienholder of a vehicle towed to a vehicle storage facility may be
  provided by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in
  the county in which the vehicle is stored if:
               (1)  the vehicle is registered in another state;
               (2)  the operator of the storage facility submits to
  the governmental entity responsible for maintaining the motor
  vehicle title and registration database for the state in which the
  vehicle is registered [with which the vehicle is registered] a
  [written] request for information relating to the identity of the
  registered owner and any lienholder of record that is either:
                     (A)  written; or
                     (B)  electronic, through the governmental
  entity's secure access portal;
               (3)  the identity of the registered owner cannot be
  determined;
               (4)  the registration does not contain an address for
  the registered owner; or
               (5)  the operator of the storage facility cannot
  reasonably determine the identity and address of each lienholder.
         (b)  A [The] written request under Subsection (a)(2)(A)
  must:
               (1)  be correctly addressed;
               (2)  carry sufficient postage; and
               (3)  be sent by certified mail, return receipt
  requested, or electronic certified mail.
         (b-1)  An electronic request under Subsection (a)(2)(B) must
  be submitted either:
               (1)  directly to the governmental entity through the
  governmental entity's secure access portal; or
               (2)  to a private entity authorized by the governmental
  entity to obtain title, registration, and lienholder information
  using a single vehicle identification number inquiry submitted
  through a secure access portal to the governmental entity's motor
  vehicle records.
         SECTION 3.  Subchapter D, Chapter 2303, Occupations Code, is
  amended by adding Section 2303.1521 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2303.1521.  CERTAIN VEHICLES WITH STATE OF REGISTRATION
  UNKNOWN. (a) An operator of a vehicle storage facility who
  receives a motor vehicle as defined by Section 501.002(17)(A),
  Transportation Code, and does not know the state in which the
  vehicle is registered may give notice by publication under Section
  2303.152 only if the operator:
               (1)  obtains, using the motor vehicle's vehicle
  identification number, by mail or electronically, a report from the
  National Motor Vehicle Title Information System operated by the
  United States Department of Justice, or a successor system, showing
  the state in which the motor vehicle is titled; and
               (2)  either:
                     (A)  is unable to determine from the report the
  governmental entity that is responsible for maintaining the
  registration information for the motor vehicle; or
                     (B)  attempts to and is unable to obtain, from the
  governmental entity indicated in the report, the identity and
  address of any registered owner and any lienholder.
         (b)  An operator who attempts to obtain owner and lienholder
  information under Subsection (a)(2) must attempt to obtain the
  information, by mail or electronically, either:
               (1)  directly from the governmental entity; or
               (2)  from a private entity authorized by the
  governmental entity to obtain title, registration, and lienholder
  information using a single vehicle identification number inquiry
  submitted through a secure access portal to the governmental
  entity's motor vehicle records.
         (c)  An address obtained electronically from a governmental
  entity under Subsection (b)(1) must be obtained through the
  governmental entity's secure access portal.
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2017.
 
 
  ______________________________ ______________________________
     President of the Senate Speaker of the House     
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1247 was passed by the House on April
  20, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 143, Nays 1, 2 present, not
  voting.
 
  ______________________________
  Chief Clerk of the House   
 
 
         I certify that H.B. No. 1247 was passed by the Senate on May
  24, 2017, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.
 
  ______________________________
  Secretary of the Senate    
  APPROVED:  _____________________
                     Date          
   
            _____________________
                   Governor