AUGUSTA – Secretary of State Shenna Bellows testified in favor of a bill to advance an electronic lien and title system at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles during a public hearing in the Legislature’s Transportation Committee on Thursday.
The bill, L.D. 1843, https://legislature.maine.gov/LawMakerWeb/summary.asp?ID=280082219 “An Act To Allow the Secretary of State To Use an Electronic Lien Titling Program for the Purposes of the Maine Motor Vehicle Certificate of Title and Antitheft Act” was introduced by Rep. Mike Perkins, R-Oakland.
“When I started as Secretary of State, we had a titles backlog of 78,000. This meant people were waiting weeks for titles, and it was reportedly having a negative impact on dealer sales,” said Secretary Bellows. “We made a number of changes at BMV to cut down on these wait times, and now the backlog is less than 6,000. The next step to prevent a backlog from recurring is to modernize our practices, including moving to electronic titles.”
The titles process is a largely paper-based system. Moving to an electronic system will reduce typographical errors, cut down on wait times due to mail delays, and improve data security.
“Government should act to make things easier and more efficient for businesses and consumers, “said Rep. Perkins. “This bill allows the Secretary of State to establish an electronic process for maintaining and exchanging title and lien information. All of us are aware of the titles backlog, and that has been a real problem during this pandemic. This is a step toward improving the system.”
12 states have already implemented an electronic liens and titling process.
The public hearing can be viewed on the Transportation Committees YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DTXf9aPtz8 . A work session, when committee members can vote on the bill, will be scheduled in the coming weeks.