Rep. Liz Pike’s ‘quick title’ bill makes it just under the wire, receives governor’s signature
A bill sponsored by Rep. Liz Pike, thought to be dead, but continued to repeatedly spring to life, received the governor's signature Tuesday, just hours before the lawmakers left Olympia after adjourning the Legislature's third special session this year.
House Bill 1157 would allow licensing subagents to keep a portion of fees collected when a “quick title” is issued. A quick title is a certificate of ownership for a vehicle or boat that a citizen can get immediately, as opposed to a standard title, which can take several weeks to arrive from the Department of Licensing (DOL) in the mail.
“This is a measure that seemingly has nine lives. Fortunately, we only needed to use a few of them before the remaining lives ran out. I'm very pleased we could get this bill all the way through the Legislature and to the governor. And now, our licensing subagents will finally be compensated for their additional work,” said Pike, R-Camas.
“Subagents are private businesses contracted by a county auditor and appointed by DOL to perform title and licensing services. They may process quick title applications, but up until now, they have not been allowed to retain any of the quick title fees. My legislation allows them to keep a portion of that fee,” noted Pike.
Under current law, the charge for a quick title is $50, with $25 distributed to the county auditor and $25 to DOL for the state's Motor Vehicle Fund. Under the bill, the fee would remain the same. However, $12.50 would be distributed to subagents and $12.50 would go to the county auditor. The remaining $25 of the fee would continue to go to the state's Motor Vehicle Fund.
“This is not an additional cost to citizens. It's just a reallocation of the existing fees,” said Pike. “Quick titles take about 20 minutes to process. It is only fair that the subagents are compensated for their work. The legislation is supported by county auditors across the state.”
The measure passed from the House on Feb. 13 with a unanimous vote. But it died in the Senate Transportation Committee when the regular session ended April 24. It was returned back to the House Rules Committee where it stayed without action during the first special session. But then the bill was revived and passed out of the House during the second special session with a vote of 88-1. It moved through the Senate Transportation Committee again, this time with approval, and passed the full Senate on June 27 with a near unanimous vote.
“The saying in Olympia is, 'Nothing is really dead until the final gavel falls.' Three special sessions and a lot of support by many people gave this bill the opportunity to become law. It's a very good measure and will be helpful to our licensing subagents and the jobs they provide,” concluded Pike.
The bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2016.
PHOTO: Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, with Gov. Jay Inslee after he signed House Bill 1157. The measure, which she prime sponsored, would allow licensing subagents to keep a portion of quick title fees as compensation for processing the applications.
Photo courtesy Washington House of Representatives.
###Washington State House Republican Communications