TITLE 21

Motor Vehicles

Miscellaneous

CHAPTER 64. ODOMETERS


The General Assembly hereby finds that purchasers when buying motor vehicles rely heavily on the odometer reading as an index of the condition and value of such vehicle; that purchasers are entitled to rely on the odometer reading as an accurate reflection of the mileage actually traveled by the vehicle; that an accurate indication of the mileage traveled by a motor vehicle assists the purchasers in determining its safety and reliability; and that motor vehicles move in the current of interstate and foreign commerce or affect such commerce. It is therefore the purpose of this chapter to prohibit tampering with odometers on motor vehicles and to establish certain safeguards for the protection of purchasers with respect to the sale of motor vehicles having altered or reset odometers.

62 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1.;

As used in this chapter:

(1) "Dealer" or "dealership" means any person, corporation, partnership or limited partnership who has sold 5 or more motor vehicles within the 12 months preceding the date of a violation of this chapter.

(2) "Lessee" means any person, or the agent for any person, who has leased for a term of at least 4 months.

(3) "Lessor" means any person, or the agent for any person, who has leased 5 or more motor vehicles in the past 12 months.

(4) "Mileage" means actual distance that a vehicle has traveled.

(5) "Odometer" means an instrument for measuring and recording the actual distance a motor vehicle travels while in operation; but shall not include any auxiliary odometer designed to be reset by the operator of the motor vehicle for the purpose of recording mileage on trips.

(6) "Repair and replacement" means to restore to a sound working condition by replacing the odometer or any part thereof by correcting what is inoperative.

(7) "Secure printing process or other secure process" means any process which deters and detects counterfeiting and/or unauthorized reproduction and allows alterations to be visible to the naked eye.

(8) "Transfer" means to change ownership of a motor vehicle by purchase, gift or any other means.

(9) "Transferee" means any person to whom ownership in a motor vehicle is transferred by purchase, gift or other means other than by creation of a security interest, and any person who, as agent, signs an odometer disclosure statement for the transferee.

(10) "Transferor" means any person who transfers ownership of a motor vehicle by sales, gift or any means other than by creation of a security interest, and any person who, as agent, signs an odometer disclosure statement for the transferor.

62 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 1.;

No person shall advertise for sale, sell, use or install or cause to be installed, any device which causes an odometer to register any mileage other than the true mileage traveled by a motor vehicle. For purposes of this section, the true mileage traveled by a motor vehicle is that mileage traveled by a motor vehicle as registered by the odometer within the manufacturer's designed tolerance.

62 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1.;

(a) Unless otherwise provided in § 6406 of this title, no person shall disconnect, reset or alter or cause to be disconnected, reset or altered, the odometer of any motor vehicle.

(b) Unless otherwise provided in § 6406 of this title, no person shall disconnect, reset or alter or cause to be disconnected, reset or altered, the odometer of any motor vehicle with intent to change the number of miles indicated thereon.

62 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1.;

No person shall, with intent to defraud, possess a motor vehicle knowing that the odometer of such vehicle is disconnected or nonfunctional.

62 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1.;

(a) Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the service, repair or replacement of an odometer, provided the mileage indicated thereon remains the same as before the service, repair or replacement. Where the odometer is incapable of registering the same mileage as before such service, repair or replacement, the odometer shall be adjusted to read "0" and a notice in writing shall be attached to the left door frame of the vehicle by the owner or the owner's agent specifying the mileage prior to repair or replacement of the odometer and the date on which it was repaired or replaced.

(b)(1) No person shall fail to adjust an odometer or affix a notice regarding such adjustment as required pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

(2) No person shall, with intent to defraud, remove or alter any notice affixed to a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.

62 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Each Delaware title, at the time it is issued to the transferee, must contain the mileage disclosed by the transferor when ownership of the vehicle was transferred and contain a space for the information required to be disclosed under subsections (c)-(f) of this section at the time of any future transfer.

(b) Any documents which are used to reassign a title shall contain a space for the information required to be disclosed under subsections (c)-(f) of this section at the time of transfer of ownership.

(c) In connection with the transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle, each transferor shall disclose the mileage to the transferee in writing on the title or on the document being used to reassign the title. This written disclosure must be signed by the transferor, including the transferor's printed name. In connection with the transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle in which more than 1 person is a transferor, only 1 transferor need sign the written disclosure. In addition to the signature and printed name of the transferor, the written disclosure must contain the following information:

(1) The odometer reading at the time of transfer (not to include tenths of miles);

(2) The date of transfer;

(3) The transferor's name and current address;

(4) The transferee's name and current address; and

(5) The identity of the vehicle, including its make, model, year and body type and its vehicle identification number.

(d) In addition to the information provided under subsection (c) of this section, the statement shall refer to the federal law and shall state that failing to complete or providing false information may result in a fine and/or imprisonment. Reference may also be made to applicable state law.

(e) In addition to the information provided under subsections (c) and (d) of this section:

(1) The transferor shall certify that to the best of the transferor's knowledge the odometer reading reflects the actual mileage;

(2) If the transferor knows that the odometer reading reflects a total mileage in excess of the designed mechanical odometer limit, the transferor shall include a statement to that effect; or

(3) If the transferor knows that the odometer reading otherwise differs from the actual mileage and that the difference is greater than that caused by odometer calibration error, the transferor shall include a statement that the odometer reading does not reflect the actual mileage, and should not be relied upon. This statement shall also include a warning notice to alert the transferee that a discrepancy exists between the odometer reading and actual mileage.

(f) The transferee shall sign the disclosure statement, print the transferor's name, and return a copy to the transferor.

(g) If the vehicle has not been titled or if the title does not contain a space for the information required, the written disclosure shall be executed as a separate document.

(h) No person shall sign an odometer disclosure statement as both the transferor and the transferee in the same transaction, unless permitted by §§ 6410 and 6411 of this title.

62 Del. Laws, c. 255, § 1; 69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

Notwithstanding the requirements of § 6407 of this title:

(1) A transferor or lessee of any of the following motor vehicles need not disclose the vehicle's odometer mileage:

a. A vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 16,000 pounds;

b. A vehicle that is not self-propelled;

c. A vehicle that is 10 years old or older; or

d. A vehicle sold directly by the manufacturer to any agency of the United States in conformity with contractual specifications.

(2) A transferor of a new vehicle prior to its first transfer for purposes other than resale need not disclose the vehicle's odometer mileage.

(3) A lessor of any of the vehicles listed in paragraph (1) of this section need not notify the lessee of these vehicles of the disclosure requirements of § 6409 of this title.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4.;

(a) Before executing any transfer of ownership document, each lessor of a leased motor vehicle shall notify the lessee in writing that the lessee is required to provide a written disclosure to the lessor regarding the mileage. This notice shall contain a reference to the federal law and shall state that failing to complete or providing false information may result in a fine and/or imprisonment. Reference may also be made to applicable state law.

(b) In connection with the transfer of ownership of a leased motor vehicle, the lessee shall furnish to the lessor a written statement regarding the mileage of the vehicle. This statement must be signed by the lessee and, in addition to the information required by subsection (a) of this section, shall contain the following information:

(1) The printed name of the person making the disclosure;

(2) The current odometer reading (not to include tenths of miles);

(3) The date of the statement;

(4) The lessee's name and current address;

(5) The lessor's name and current address;

(6) The identity of the vehicle, including its make, model, year, body type and its vehicle identification number;

(7) The date that the lessor notified the lessee of the disclosure requirements;

(8) The date that the completed disclosure statement was received by the lessor; and

(9) The signature of the lessor.

(c) In addition to the information provided under subsections (a) and (b) of this section:

(1) The lessee shall certify that to the best of the lessee's knowledge the odometer reading reflects the actual mileage;

(2) If the lessee knows that the odometer reading reflects a total mileage in excess of the designed mechanical odometer limit, the lessee shall include a statement to that effect; or

(3) If the lessee knows that the odometer reading otherwise differs from the actual mileage and that the difference is greater than that caused by odometer calibration error, the lessee shall include a statement that the odometer reading is not the actual mileage and should not be relied upon.

(d) If the lessor transfers the leased vehicle without obtaining possession of it, the lessor may indicate on the title the mileage disclosed by the lessee does not reflect the actual mileage of the vehicle.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) If the transferor's title is physically held by a lienholder, or if the transferor to whom the title was issued by the State has lost the title and the transferee obtains a duplicate title on behalf of the transferor, and if otherwise permitted by State law, the transferor may give a power of attorney to the transferee for the purpose of mileage disclosure. The power of attorney shall be on a form issued by the State to the transferee that is set forth by means of a secure printing process or other secure process, and shall contain in part A, a space for the information required to be disclosed under subsections (b)-(e) of this section. If a state permits the use of a power of attorney in the situation described in § 6411(a) of this title, the form must also contain, in part B, a space for the information required to be disclosed under § 6411 of this title, and, in part C, a space for the certification required to be made under § 6412 of this title.

(b) In connection with the transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle, each transferor to whom a title was issued by the State whose title is physically held by a lienholder or whose title has been lost, and who elects to give the transferee a power of attorney for the purpose of mileage disclosure, must appoint the transferee as the transferor's attorney-in-fact for the purpose of mileage disclosure and disclose the mileage on the power of attorney form issued by the State. This written disclosure must be signed by the transferor, including the printed name, and contain the following information:

(1) The odometer reading at the time of transfer (not to include tenths of miles);

(2) The date of transfer;

(3) The transferor's name and current address;

(4) The transferee's name and current address; and

(5) The identity of the vehicle, including its make, model, year, body type and vehicle identification number.

(c) In addition to the information provided under subsection (b) of this section, the power of attorney form shall refer to the federal odometer law and state that providing false information or the failure of the person granted the power of attorney to submit the form to the State may result in a fine and/or imprisonment. Reference may also be made to applicable state law.

(d) In addition to the information provided under subsections (b) and (c) of this section:

(1) The transferor shall certify that to the best of the transferor's knowledge the odometer reading reflects the actual mileage;

(2) If the transferor knows that the odometer reading reflects mileage in excess of the designed mechanical odometer limit, the transferor shall include a statement to the effect; or

(3) If the transferor knows that the odometer reading differs from the mileage and the difference is greater than that caused by a calibration error, the transferor shall include a statement the odometer reading does not reflect the actual mileage and should not be relied upon. This statement shall also include a warning notice to alert the transferee that a discrepancy exists between the odometer reading and the actual mileage.

(e) The transferee shall sign the power of attorney form, print the transferee's name, and return a copy of the power of attorney form to the transferor.

(f) Upon receipt of the transferor's title, the transferee shall complete the space for mileage disclosure on the title exactly as the mileage was disclosed by the transferor on the power of attorney form to the state that issued it, with the application for new title and the transferor's title. If the vehicle is sold out-of-state or reassigned to another dealer, a copy of the front and back of the title must be made after the dealership completes the disclosure. This copy of the title and § 1 of the odometer power of attorney must be returned to the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles. If the mileage disclosed on the power of attorney form is lower than the mileage appearing on the title, the power of attorney is void and the dealer shall not complete the mileage disclosure on the title.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) In circumstances where part A of a secure power of attorney form has been used pursuant to § 6410 of this title, and if otherwise permitted by State law, a transferee may give a power of attorney to the transferor to review the title and any reassignment documents for mileage discrepancies, and if no discrepancies are found, to acknowledge disclosure on the title. The power of attorney shall be on part B of the form referred to in § 6410(a) of this title, which shall contain a space for the information required to be disclosed under subsections (b)-(e) of this section and, in part C, a space for the certification required to be made under § 6412 of this title.

(b) The power of attorney must include a mileage disclosure from the transferor to the transferee and must be signed by the transferor, including the printed name, and contain the following information:

(1) The odometer reading at the time of transfer (not to include tenths of miles);

(2) The date of transfer;

(3) The transferor's name and current address;

(4) The transferee's name and current address; and

(5) The identity of the vehicle, including its make, model year, body type and vehicle identification number.

(c) In addition to the information provided under subsection (b) of this section, the power of attorney form shall refer to the federal odometer law and state that providing false information or the failure of the person granted the power of attorney to submit the form to the State may result in a fine and/or imprisonment. Reference may also be made to applicable State law.

(d) In addition to the information provided under subsections (b) and (c) of this section:

(1) The transferor shall certify that to the best of the transferor's knowledge the odometer reading reflects the actual mileage;

(2) If the transferor knows that the odometer reading reflects mileage in excess of the designed mechanical odometer limit, the transferor shall include a statement to that effect; or

(3) If the transferor knows that the odometer reading differs from the mileage and the difference is greater than that caused by a calibration error, the transferor shall include a statement that the odometer reading does not reflect the actual mileage and should not be relied upon. This statement shall also include a warning notice to alert the transferee that a discrepancy exists between the odometer reading and the actual mileage.

(e) The transferee shall sign the power of attorney form, and print the transferee's name.

(f) The transferor shall give a copy of the power of attorney form to the transferee.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) A person who exercises a power of attorney under both §§ 6410 and 6411 of this title must complete a certification that the person has disclosed on the title document the mileage as it was provided to the person on the power of attorney form, and that upon examination of the title and any reassignment documents, the mileage disclosure made on the title pursuant to the power of attorney is greater than that previously stated on the title and reassignment documents. This certification shall be under part C of the same form as the powers of attorney executed under §§ 6410 and 6411 of this title and shall include:

(1) The signature and printed name of the person exercising the power of attorney;

(2) The address of the person exercising the power of attorney; and

(3) The date of the certification.

(b) If the mileage reflected by the transferor on the power of attorney is less than that previously stated on the title and any reassignment documents, the power of attorney shall be void.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) In circumstances in which a power of attorney has been used pursuant to § 6410 of this title, if a subsequent transferee elects to return to the transferee's transferor to sign the disclosure on the title when the transferor obtains the title and does not give the transferor a power of attorney to review the title and reassignment documents, upon the transferee's request, the transferor shall show to the transferee a copy of the power of attorney received from the previous transferor.

(b) Upon request of a purchaser, a transferor who was granted a power of attorney by the previous transferor and who holds the title to the vehicle in the transferor's own name, must show to the purchaser the copy of the previous owner's title and the power of attorney form.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Dealers and distributors of motor vehicles who are required by this chapter to execute an odometer disclosure statement shall retain for 5 years a photostat, carbon or other facsimile copy of each odometer mileage statement which they issue and receive. All odometer disclosure statements shall be retained at their primary place of business in an order that is appropriate to business requirements and that permits systematic retrieval.

(b) Lessors shall retain each odometer disclosure statement which they receive from a lessee for a period of 5 years following the date they transfer ownership of the leased vehicle. All odometer disclosure statements shall be retained at their primary place of business in an order that is appropriate to business requirements and that permits systematic retrieval.

(c) Dealers and distributors of motor vehicles who are granted a power of attorney by their transferor pursuant to § 6410 of this title, or by their transferee pursuant to § 6411 of this title shall retain for 5 years a photostat, carbon or other facsimile copy of each power of attorney that they receive. They shall retain all powers of attorney at their primary place of business in an order that is appropriate to business requirements and that permits systematic retrieval.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4.;

Each auction company shall establish and retain at its primary place of business in an order that is appropriate to business requirements and that permits systematic retrieval, for 5 years following the date of sale of each motor vehicle, the following records:

(1) The name of the most recent owner (other than the auction company);

(2) The name of the buyer;

(3) The vehicle identification number; and

(4) The odometer reading on the date which the auction company took possession of the motor vehicle.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4.;

Each title shall be set forth by means of a secure printing process or other secure process. In addition, any other documents which are used to reassign the title shall be set forth by a secure process.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4.;

(a) All disclosure statements and motor vehicles in the possession of a dealer shall be made available for review upon demand by the Division of Motor Vehicles or by its authorized agents.

(b) The Secretary shall have the authority to promulgate regulations for administering this chapter.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4.;

(a) No motor vehicle dealer, licensed in accordance with this title and Title 30 shall purchase or accept any motor vehicle unless the seller has indicated the mileage on a disclosure statement pursuant to this chapter.

(b) No licensed motor vehicle dealer shall have in possession as inventory for sale any used motor vehicle for which the dealer does not have in possession the disclosure statement required under this chapter.

(c) A licensed motor vehicle dealer reassigning or transferring a certificate of ownership shall not be guilty of a violation of this section if such dealer has in possession the disclosure statement as required by this chapter and if the dealer has no knowledge that the statement is false and that the odometer does not reflect the vehicle's actual mileage.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1.;

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, any Delaware certificate of title issued which includes the odometer disclosure information, as prescribed by this chapter, shall satisfy all the requirements for issuance of odometer disclosure statements by dealers licensed in the State.

(b) Nothing in this section shall exempt a dealer and/or dealership from complying with the provisions of § 6418 of this title.

(c) Any manufacturer's statement of origin accompanying an "original application for a Delaware certificate of title" shall satisfy the requirements of the odometer disclosure statement as provided in this chapter.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4.;

(a) Any person who violates any of the provisions of § 6404(a) of this title, shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100.

(b) Any person who violates any provisions in this chapter except § 6404(a) of this title shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $5,000 for each such violation. Any person who is guilty of a second or subsequent violation of this chapter except § 6404(a) of this title shall be fined not less than $2,000 nor more than $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

(c) In the case of a first offense by a dealer or dealership, such dealer or dealership may be placed on probation as a licensed Delaware motor vehicle dealer by the Division of Motor Vehicles for a period of 1 year. Any violation of this chapter by a dealer or dealership during any year of probation may result in the suspension of the license of the dealer or dealership for a period not exceeding 1 year.

(d) In the case of a second or subsequent violation of this chapter by a dealer or dealership, the Division of Motor Vehicles may suspend the license and/or privileges of the dealer or dealership for a period not to exceed 1 year.

(e) Common Pleas Court shall have jurisdiction violations of this chapter.

69 Del. Laws, c. 113, § 4.;