20-62.1. Purchase of vehicles for purposes of scrap or parts only.

(a) Records for Scrap or Parts. - A secondary metals recycler, as defined in G.S. 66-420(8), and a salvage yard, as defined in G.S. 20-137.7(6), purchasing motor vehicles solely for the purposes of dismantling or wrecking such motor vehicles for the recovery of scrap metal or for the sale of parts only, shall comply with the provisions of G.S. 20-61 and subsection (a1) of this section, provided, however, that a secondary metals recycler or salvage yard may purchase a motor vehicle without a certificate of title, if the motor vehicle is 10 model years old or older and the secondary metals recycler or salvage yard comply with the following requirements:

(1) Maintain a record on a form, or in a format, as approved by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of all purchase transactions of motor vehicles. The following information shall be maintained for transactions of motor vehicles:

a. The name, address, and contact information of the secondary metals recycler or salvage yard.

b. The name, initials, or other identification of the individual entering the information.

c. The date of the transaction.

d. A description of the motor vehicle, including the year, make, and model to the extent practicable.

e. The vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle.

f. The amount of consideration given for the motor vehicle.

g. A written statement signed by the seller or the seller's agent certifying that (i) the seller or the seller's agent has the lawful right to sell and dispose of the motor vehicle, (ii) the motor vehicle is at least 10 model years old, and (iii) the motor vehicle is not subject to any security interest or lien.

g1. A written statement that the motor vehicle will be scrapped or crushed for disposal or dismantled for parts only.

h. The name, address, and drivers license number of the person from whom the motor vehicle is being purchased.

i. A photocopy or electronic scan of a valid drivers license or identification card issued by the DMV of the seller of the motor vehicle, or seller's agent, to the secondary metals recycler or salvage yard, or in lieu thereof, any other identification card containing a photograph of the seller as issued by any state or federal agency of the United States: provided, that if the buyer has a copy of the seller's photo identification on file, the buyer may reference the identification that is on file, without making a separate photocopy for each transaction. If seller has no identification as described in this sub-subdivision, the secondary metals recycler or salvage yard shall not complete the transaction.

(1a) Verify with the DMV whether or not the motor vehicle has been reported stolen. The DMV shall develop a method to allow a person subject to this section to verify, at the time of the transaction, through the use of the Internet, that the vehicle has not been reported stolen, and that also allows for the DMV's response to be printed and retained by the person making the request. One of the following shall apply following the DMV response:

a. If the Division of Motor Vehicles confirms that the motor vehicle has been reported stolen, the secondary metals recycler or salvage yard shall not complete the transaction and shall notify the DMV of the current location of the vehicle and the identifying information of the person attempting to transfer the vehicle.

b. If the Division of Motor Vehicles confirms that the motor vehicle has not been stolen, the secondary metals recycler or salvage yard may proceed with the transaction and shall not be held criminally or civilly liable if the motor vehicle later turns out to be a stolen vehicle, unless the secondary metals recycler had knowledge that the motor vehicle was a stolen vehicle.

c. If the Division of Motor Vehicles has not received information from a federal, State, or local department or independent source that a vehicle has been stolen and reports pursuant to this section that a vehicle is not stolen, any person damaged does not have a cause of action against the Division.

(2) Maintain the information required under subdivision (1) of this subsection, and the record confirming that the vehicle was not stolen, required under subdivision (1a) of this subsection, for not less than two years from the date of the purchase of the motor vehicle.

(a1) Reporting Requirement. - Within 72 hours of each day's close of business, a secondary metals recycler or salvage yard purchasing a motor vehicle under this section shall submit to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) such information contained in subdivision (1) of subsection (a) of this section, along with any other information or statement pertaining to the intended disposition of the motor vehicle, as may be required. The information shall be in a format that will satisfy the requirement for reporting information in accordance with rules adopted by the United States Department of Justice in 28 C.F.R. 25.56. A secondary metals recycler or salvage yard may comply with this subsection by reporting the information required by this subsection to a third-party consolidator as long as the third-party consolidator reports the information to the NMVTIS in compliance with the provisions of this subsection.

(b) Inspection of Motor Vehicles and Records. - At any time it appears a secondary metals recycler, salvage yard, or any other person involved in secondary metals operations is open for business, a law enforcement officer shall have the right to inspect the following:

(1) Any and all motor vehicles in the possession of the secondary metals recycler, the salvage yard, or any other person involved in secondary metals operations.

(2) Any records required to be maintained under subsection (a) of this section.

(b1) Availability of Information. - The information obtained by the Division of Motor Vehicles pursuant to this section shall be made available to law enforcement agencies only. The information submitted pursuant to this section is confidential and shall not be considered a public record as that term is defined in G.S. 132-1.

(c) Violations. - Any person who knowingly and willfully violates any of the provisions of this section, or any person who falsifies the statement required under subsection (a)(1)g. of this section, shall be guilty of a Class I felony and shall pay a minimum fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000). The court may order a defendant seller under this subsection to make restitution to the secondary metals recycler or salvage yard or lien holder for any damage or loss caused by the defendant seller arising out of an offense committed by the defendant seller.

(d) Confiscation of Vehicle or Tools Used in Illegal Sale. - Any motor vehicle used to transport another motor vehicle illegally sold under this section may be seized by law enforcement and is subject to forfeiture by the court, provided, however, that no vehicle used by any person in the transaction of a sale of regulated metals is subject to forfeiture unless it appears that the owner or other person in charge of the motor vehicle is a consenting party or privy to the commission of a crime, and a forfeiture of the vehicle encumbered by a bona fide security interest is subject to the interest of the secured party who had no knowledge of or consented to the act.

Whenever property is forfeited under this subsection by order of the court, the law enforcement agency having custody of the property shall sell any forfeited property which is not required to be destroyed by law and which is not harmful to the public, provided that the proceeds are remitted to the Civil Fines and Forfeitures Fund established pursuant to G.S. 115C-457.1.

(e) Exemptions. - As used in this section, the term "motor vehicle" shall not include motor vehicles which have been mechanically flattened, crushed, baled, or logged and sold for purposes of scrap metal only.

(f) Preemption. - No local government shall enact any local law or ordinance with regards to the regulation of the sale of motor vehicles to secondary metals recyclers or salvage yards. (2007-505, s. 1; 2012-46, s. 30; 2013-323, s. 2; 2013-410, s. 28(a).)