CHAPTER 363

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 576

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 3

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 44, TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE PROCEDURE FOR PROCESSING AND SELLING MOTOR VEHICLES WHICH ARE REMOVED FROM PUBLIC HIGHWAYS BY ORDER OF POLICE AND ARE EIGHT YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Chapter 44, Title 21 of the Delaware Code by adding a new Section 4415 thereto which shall read as follows:

§4415. Disposal of Vehicles Eight Years of Age or Older by Wrecker Owners.

(a) This Section applies to motor vehicles whose model year age is eight years of age or older on the date of towing,

(b) Any wrecker owner is vested with a lien as defined in Title 25, Section 3901 of the Delaware Code upon taking possession of any motor vehicle described in Subsection (a).

(c) The wrecker owner in possession of a motor vehicle shall contact the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles to determine the owner(s) of any vehicle with undetermined ownership within five calendar days of towing the vehicle.

(d) The owner and all secured parties shall be notified by the wrecker owner within ten days of the wrecker owner's receipt of information from the Division of Motor Vehicles. This notification must be by registered mail or certified mall.

(e) The owner and all secured parties shall either satisfy the lien or respond to the notification within five calendar days from receipt of said notification. This response shall Include either a signed release of interest in the vehicle pursuant to Title 25, Section 3904 of the Delaware Code or a signed letter contesting the disposal.

(1) If the owner and/or any secured party contests the Hen or the disposal, he may contest the lien or the disposal to the closest Justice of the Peace Court to the address of the wrecker owner

(2) If the owner and/or secured party does not reply within five days from the receipt of said notification, the wrecker owner may proceed to sell according to Title 25. Section 3903 of the Delaware Code.

(f) The wrecker owner shall have the vehicle Inspected by the Delaware State Police Auto Theft Unit between the date the ve:11 •le is towed and the thirtieth day following that date.

(g) If the unit is released by the registered owner and all secured parties, the wrecker owner may proceed to transfer the vehicle without having to comply with Title 25, Chapter 39 of the Delaware Code. This transfer shall be made to a salvage yard without a certificate of title, but shall be made on forms furnished by the Department of Public Safety.

(h) If the model year of the unit cannot be determined, then it will not be subject to this Section.

(I) If the name and address of the owner or secured party is not recorded with the Division of Motor Vehicles, the wrecker owner assumes unencumbered title after the vehicle has been in his possession for 30 days. Any transfer shall be made to a salvage yard without a certificate of title but shall be made on forma furnished by the Department of Public Safety."

Approved June 30, 1986.