Friday, May 13, 2011

New quick-title law shaves red tape, saves citizen travel time

Here’s a classic win-win tale, the retelling of which will no doubt provide hours of good clean enjoyment for the whole family.

A plan first introduced last year to trim government paperwork and save travel time for Mr. and Ms. Washington has indeed captured legislative and gubernatorial hearts this year to become the law of the state. House Bill 1046 aims to help folks who want to get a quick title for their vehicles and vessels. Prime-sponsored both years by state Rep. Jim Moeller, the idea establishes the definition of a quick vehicle title as a certificate of ownership printed at the time of application in a county auditor’s office. This new law allows county auditors to collect a fee of $50 from people who want to move to the front of the line, thus offsetting the administrative cost of providing a quick title.

Moeller explained that “it can be so much more convenient for citizens to have this service locally. This means additional local dollars for counties deciding to provide the service – in addition to the added convenience for citizens who want a quick title for their vehicle or vessel.”

You see, the thing is that only seven Washington counties have been offering the quick-title service. Many citizens have been forced to travel a ton of miles to get a quick title. Quick titles take additional time to process because of the verification and review process. The fee is very reasonable compared to the $100 penalty fee charged for a late title processing. It’s a very needed citizen-service because folks leave the auditor’s office with the title in hand. And you best believe it perks up the economy in areas where the service is provided.

A title being processed by the Department of Licensing (DOL) might take several weeks to go through that mill. It’s no wonder that many people have decided to drive to a county where they can get a title processed while they wait. The quick title process takes time to set up, requires extra security for title stock, and assumes additional responsibility for the verification process since the county auditors are actually performing the vehicle-verifications that the DOL usually handles.