49 U.S. Code § 14301. Security interests in certain motor vehicles
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(a) Definitions.—In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) Motor vehicle.—
The term “motor vehicle” means a truck of rated capacity (gross vehicle weight) of at least 10,000 pounds, a highway tractor of rated capacity (gross combination weight) of at least 10,000 pounds, a property-carrying trailer or semitrailer with at least one load-carrying axle of at least 10,000 pounds, or a motor bus with a seating capacity of at least 10 individuals.
(2) Lien creditor.—
The term “lien creditor” means a creditor having a lien on a motor vehicle and includes an assignee for benefit of creditors from the date of assignment, a trustee in a case under title 11 from the date of filing of the petition in that case, and a receiver in equity from the date of appointment of the receiver.
(3) Security interest.—
The term “perfection”, as related to a security interest, means taking action (including public filing, recording, notation on a certificate of title, and possession of collateral by the secured party), or the existence of facts, required under law to make a security interest enforceable against general creditors and subsequent lien creditors of a debtor, but does not include compliance with requirements related only to the establishment of a valid security interest between the debtor and the secured party.
(b) Requirements for Perfection of Security Interest.—A security interest in a motor vehicle owned by, or in the possession and use of, a carrier registered under section 13902 of this title and owing payment or performance of an obligation secured by that security interest is perfected in all jurisdictions against all general, and subsequent lien, creditors of, and all persons taking a motor vehicle by sale (or taking or retaining a security interest in a motor vehicle) from, that carrier when—
a certificate of title has not been issued and the security interest cannot be perfected under paragraph (2) of this subsection, if the security interest has been perfected under the law (including the conflict of laws rules) of the State where the principal place of business of that carrier is located.