20-52.1. Manufacturer's certificate of transfer of new motor vehicle.

(a) Any manufacturer transferring a new motor vehicle to another shall, at the time of the transfer, supply the transferee with a manufacturer's certificate of origin assigned to the transferee.

(b) Any dealer transferring a new vehicle to another dealer shall, at the time of transfer, give such transferee the proper manufacturer's certificate assigned to the transferee.

(c) Upon sale of a new vehicle by a dealer to a consumer-purchaser, the dealer shall execute in the presence of a person authorized to administer oaths an assignment of the manufacturer's certificate of origin for the vehicle, including in such assignment the name and address of the transferee and no title to a new motor vehicle acquired by a dealer under the provisions of subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall pass or vest until such assignment is executed and the motor vehicle delivered to the transferee.

Any dealer transferring title to, or an interest in, a new vehicle shall deliver the manufacturer's certificate of origin duly assigned in accordance with the foregoing provision to the transferee at the time of delivering the vehicle, except that where a security interest is obtained in the motor vehicle from the transferee in payment of the purchase price or otherwise, the transferor shall deliver the manufacturer's certificate of origin to the lienholder and the lienholder shall forthwith forward the manufacturer's certificate of origin together with the transferee's application for certificate of title and necessary fees to the Division. Any person who delivers or accepts a manufacturer's certificate of origin assigned in blank shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor, unless done in accordance with subsection (d) of this section.

(d) When a manufacturer's statement of origin or an existing certificate of title on a motor vehicle is unavailable, a motor vehicle dealer licensed under Article 12 of this Chapter may also transfer title to a vehicle currently titled in this State to another by certifying in writing in a sworn statement to the Division signed by the dealer principal, general manager, general sales manager, controller, or owner of the dealership that, to the best of the signatory's knowledge and information as of the date of sworn certification, all prior perfected liens on the vehicle that are known or reasonably ascertainable by the signatory have been paid and that the motor vehicle dealer, despite having used reasonable diligence, is unable to obtain the vehicle's statement of origin or certificate of title. For purposes of this subsection, a dealer may certify that the dealer is unable to obtain the vehicle's statement of origin or certificate of title because the statement of origin or certificate of title was either (i) not delivered to the dealer or (ii) lost or misplaced. The Division is authorized to require any information it deems necessary for the transfer of the vehicle and shall develop a form for this purpose. The knowing and intentional filing of a false sworn certification with the Division pursuant to this subsection shall constitute a Class H felony. A dealer principal, owner, or manager who is not a signatory of the sworn certification under this subsection may only be charged for a criminal violation for filing a false certification under this subsection by another dealership employee if the dealer principal, owner, or manager had actual knowledge of the falsity of the sworn certification at the time the sworn certification was submitted to the Division. The dealer shall hold harmless and indemnify the consumer-purchaser from any damages arising from the use of the procedure authorized by this subsection. No person shall have a cause of action against the Division or Division contractors arising from the transfer of a vehicle by a sworn certification pursuant to this section. (1961, c. 835, s. 4; 1967, c. 863; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 1993, c. 539, s. 331; 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 24, s. 14(c); 2000-182, s. 1; 2018-42, s. 2(a).)