Summary: H.R.1839 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (11/04/1997)

National Salvage Motor Vehicle Consumer Protection Act of 1997 - Amends Federal transportation law with respect to States that directly or indirectly receive Federal assistance for participation in the National Automobile Title Information System with respect to licensing a passenger motor vehicle whose ownership has been transferred. Requires such States to disclose on the certificate of title whenever records indicate that such vehicle was previously issued a title that contained a word or symbol signifying that it was "salvage," "unrebuildable," "parts only," "scrap," "junk," "nonrepairable," "reconstructed," "rebuilt," or that it has been damaged by flood.

(Sec. 2) Directs the Secretary of Transportation to issue regulations requiring each State in licensing such vehicles to apply uniform standards, procedures, and methods for the issuance and control of motor vehicle titles and for information to be contained on such titles.

Sets forth requirements for the transfer of salvage title and rebuilt salvage title vehicles and nonrepairable vehicle certificate vehicles.

Requires noncompliant States to print conspicuously on all titles or ownership certificates issued for passenger motor vehicles that such State does not conform to the uniform Federal requirements of this Act.

Requires persons transferring ownership of a rebuilt salvage vehicle to give notice to the transferee that the vehicle is a rebuilt salvage vehicle.

Directs the Secretary to prescribe requirements that a label containing certain information be affixed to the windshield or window of a rebuilt salvage vehicle before its first sale. Prohibits a person from willfully removing, altering, or rendering illegible such label before the vehicle is delivered to the first retail purchaser.

Makes it unlawful for any person knowingly and willfully to: (1) make false statements or disclosures on an application for a motor vehicle title; (2) fail to apply for a salvage title when such application is required; (3) alter, forge, or counterfeit a certificate of title, a nonrepairable vehicle certificate, a certificate verifying an anti-theft inspection or an anti-theft and safety inspection, a required decal affixed to a passenger motor vehicle, or a required disclosure; (4) falsify the results of an inspection; (5) offer to sell any salvage vehicle or nonrepairable vehicle as a rebuilt salvage vehicle; (6) fail to make any required disclosure; (7) violate any regulation prescribed under this Act; or (8) conspire to commit any of the above acts. Sets forth civil and criminal penalties for violations of this Act.

Authorizes States and other State officials to bring civil or criminal action in the appropriate court to enforce the requirements of this Act.

Requires each State receiving grant funds to: (1) make titling information maintained by that State available for use in operating the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System; and (2) establish a practice of performing an instant title verification check before issuing a certificate of title to any individual or entity claiming to have purchased an automobile in another State. Directs the Attorney General to make grants to participating States for use in making titling information available to operators.