Wis. Admin. Code Department of Transportation § Trans 128.09 - Transfer of vehicle ownership while registration suspended

(1) TRANSFER PROHIBITED. No person may transfer ownership of any vehicle that is subject to a suspending authority's registration refusal or suspension under s. 341.63(1) (c), Stats., for nonpayment of citations or towing and storage charges associated with a parking citation until the registration is reinstated under s. 341.63(2), Stats., or until the department is satisfied that the transfer is proposed in good faith and not for the purpose or with the effect of defeating the purpose of a TVRP case. Except as provided in sub. (3), the department may decline to issue a vehicle title to any person other than the debtor registrant.
(2) SHAM TRANSACTIONS INEFFECTIVE. An attempt to transfer ownership of a vehicle that is subject to a registration suspension or refusal for nonpayment of a citation under s. 341.63(1) (c), Stats., shall be considered to be an effort to defeat the purpose of that TVRP case in any of the following circumstances:
(a) Any situation in which the debtor registrant would continue to have possession, use of, or receive any benefit from the operation of the vehicle.
(b) Any situation in which the vehicle is transferred to a person residing at the same address as the debtor registrant.

Note: The prohibition on transfer of ownership is set forth in s. 341.64, Stats., and does not prohibit transfer of ownership of vehicles subject to registration refusal because of unpaid judgments or unpaid towing and storage charges associated with a parking citation.

(3) EXCEPTIONS TO REFUSING A TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP. Notwithstanding sub. (1), the department may transfer title to a vehicle and issue a title to a person other than the debtor registrant if any of the following apply:
(a) The transfer is from the debtor registrant to a person who meets the definition of motor vehicle dealer in s. 218.0101(23), Stats.
(b) The purchaser does not reside at the same address as the debtor registrant and provides the department with a signed statement that the seller of the vehicle will not have possession, use of, or receive any benefit from the operation of the vehicle after the requested transfer of title is completed by the department.
(c) The transfer constitutes an involuntary transfer of ownership under any of the following circumstances:
1. The vehicle is repossessed by a secured party and title and registration are applied for pursuant to s. 342.17(2), Stats.
2. Application for title to a vehicle owned by a decedent, ward or bankrupt is made under s. 342.17(4), Stats.
3. Transfer is required under a divorce settlement or order and the transferring party does not execute and deliver the title to the vehicle to the transferee.
4. A bankruptcy trustee seeks title to a vehicle titled in the name of a debtor or transfers ownership to a third person.

Note: See s. 342.17(4), Stats.

5. The vehicle is an abandoned vehicle that was or is being disposed of by a duly authorized municipal or county representative under s. 342.40(2), Stats.
6. The vehicle is sold under s. 779.48(2), Stats., to enforce a towing or storage lien under s. 779.415, Stats., a garage or livery lien granted by s. 779.43(3), Stats., or a mechanics lien granted by s. 779.41, Stats.
7. The vehicle is sold to enforce a landlord storage lien under s. 704.05(5), Stats.
8. Transfer of title to the vehicle is ordered by a court, or a court declares a person to be the vehicle owner.
9. Any other situation in which the interest of an owner in a vehicle passes to a different person other than by voluntary transfer.

Note: A person attempting to register a vehicle that is subject to suspension for an unpaid citation may be subject to the forfeiture in s. 341.04(2), Stats. Making a knowingly false statement on an application for title is a Class H felony. s. 342.06(2), Stats. Making a false statement on an application for a duplicate title or license or to induce any other action by the department subjects a person to a forfeiture of up to $500. s. 345.17(2), Stats.

(4) REQUESTS FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. The department may request information sufficient to make a determination as to the applicability of the exceptions specified in sub. (3) from a purchaser and may withhold issuance of title and registration pending receipt of that information.

Note: Section 342.12(2), Stats., permits withholding of title where ownership is unclear.

(5) APPLICATION DISPOSITION WHEN TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP REFUSED.
(a) When the department refuses to allow a transfer of ownership under s. 341.63(1) (c), Stats., because of unpaid citations, and a transfer of ownership is determined not to have been made in good faith or in order to defeat the purpose of the TVRP case under sub. (2), the department may do any of the following:
1. Create a new title, without charge, in the name of the seller and send it to the seller with a letter explaining why the transfer of ownership was refused.
2. Return to the purchaser all fees submitted by the purchaser with an explanation why the transfer of ownership was refused. If proof of registration was issued in error, the fees may be returned only after the purchaser complies with a department request for return of that proof of registration.
3. Notify by letter any secured party shown on the purchaser's application for transfer of ownership that transfer of ownership was refused.
(b) The decision to refuse registration under this section is reviewable. All decisions shall include the reason transfer of title was denied and include the following notice or a similar writing providing notice of the person's right to a hearing:

RIGHT TO A HEARING: s. 342.26, Stats., provides you a right to a hearing on this order to decline to issue a title before the Division of Hearings and Appeals as a Ch. 227 Contested Case. You may request a hearing by filing a written appeal within 30 days of the date of this order with the Division of Hearings and Appeals, 5005 University Avenue, Room 201, Madison, WI 53705. All appeals must include the name and address of the appellant, a description of the action that is being contested, the effective date of the action, a copy of this order if possible, a concise statement of the reasons for objecting to the action, the type of relief the appellant is seeking, the name and address of any person who may be expected to appear on behalf of the appellant, and the request for a hearing. s. HA 1.04(2).

Notes

Wis. Admin. Code Department of Transportation § Trans 128.09
CR 07-065: cr. Register December 2007 No. 624, eff. 1-1-08.

s. HA 1.04(1) imposes the 30-day time limit for appeals.

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