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 another by certifying in writing in a sworn statement to the Division that all prior perfected liens on the vehicle 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. The Division is authorized to develop a form for this purpose. The filing of a false sworn certification with the Division pursuant to this subsection shall constitute a Class H felony. The dealer shall hold harmless the consumer-purchaser from any damages arising from the use of the procedure authorized by this subsection. (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.)