New online services to remember registration renewal date, protect against title fraud
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, June 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) introduced two new online consumer services today to help Texans remember when their vehicle registration is due, and protect themselves from title fraud.
The TxDMV services, eReminder and Title Check, were unveiled during a press conference at the 77th annual Tax Assessor-Collectors Association Conference in the Omni Bayfront Hotel.
"These new services are part of the TxDMV's commitment to provide more online customer convenience and protection," said TxDMV Board Vice Chairwoman Cheryl Johnson, who is also the tax assessor-collector for Galveston County.
TxDMV officials announced at the press conference that Texans can now sign up for eReminder to receive an e-mail when it's time to renew their vehicle registration, and use the online Title Check feature to find out if a used vehicle they plan to buy has a clean Texas title. Both services are accessible on the agency website, www.TxDMV.gov.
Texans who sign up for eReminder will receive an e-mail three weeks before their vehicle registration sticker expires. If they fail to act, another e-mail reminder will arrive one week before their registration expires.
"The e-mail will prompt you to immediately renew online, or if you live in a county without online registration renewal, the eReminder will advise you to mail in your renewal," Johnson said.
Those who sign up for eReminder will also receive the paper registration renewal notice through regular mail. "If you moved and missed your paper notice, the eReminder e-mail provides a link that allows you to update your address online," Johnson said.
Title Check makes it possible to see if a Texas-titled vehicle has any value-limiting issues, such as flood damage or salvage. Monica Blackwell, the TxDMV's title services director, said Title Check will help prospective used car buyers avoid falling victim to fraud.
Consumers enter the Vehicle Identification Number of the car or truck they are planning to purchase. "If the system responds 'None' you will know the vehicle has a clean Texas title before you buy it," Blackwell said.
The service is supported by the Texas Independent Automobile Dealer Association, which provides education and promotes ethical standards for used car dealers.
"Everyone who buys a used car or truck wants the peace of mind of knowing they are making the right decision," said Danny Langfield, the association's deputy executive director. "We believe Title Check can help to re-assure customers they are dealing with an ethical used car dealer."
Title Check only provides information on vehicles with a Texas title. Blackwell suggested consumers consider using a commercial vehicle history company that can offer information on out-of-state titles, and having the vehicle inspected by a mechanic before they buy.
Tax assessor-collectors Gary Barber of Smith County and Ronnie Canales of Nueces County said eReminder and Title Check can benefit every Texas vehicle owner.
"Every day in county tax offices across the state we see people who simply forgot to register their vehicle on time," said Barber, president of the tax assessor-collectors association that includes the state's 254 counties.
"When you show up in our tax office with a bad title we can't fix it for you," Canales said.
Barber and Canales said Texans can now help themselves stay away from these headaches by using eReminder and Title Check.
For more information on these services, go to www.TxDMV.gov.
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) is charged with overseeing the state's motor vehicle services that provide consumer protection, assist motor vehicle-related businesses and raise revenue for the state. For every $1 it spends, the TxDMV returns $10 to build and maintain highways, roads and bridges and provide needed services to Texans. Each year the agency registers more than 21 million vehicles; regulates more than 23,000 vehicle dealers; credentials buses and big trucks for intrastate and interstate commerce; and awards grants to law enforcement agencies to reduce vehicle burglaries and thefts. Learn more at www.TxDMV.gov.