One of the lasting impacts of the pandemic has been the backlog of title processing at the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. In March, the League corresponded with Secretary of State Bellows regarding the industry’s concerns. Secretary Bellows responded with a letter to the League which outlined background information and contained reassurances that efforts were being made to address the issues.
Recently, it has come to the League’s attention that challenges remain ongoing and fees are being incurred due to titling delays. Many credit unions are frustrated that they are being required to pay late fees when the delays are not within their control. When asked in March, Secretary Bellows acknowledged this issue, and while she cited that Maine law does not allow for the department to waive fees, the Bureau would look into “exploring possible solutions.”
The League has re-engaged with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles on this important advocacy issue and will explore solutions with the Bureau and the Secretary of State’s Office. Your credit union can help our efforts by sharing how these unfair late title fees have affected your credit union and your members. Please email Robert Caverly at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ellen Parent at email@example.com. Communicating firsthand accounts can be very persuasive, and will assist the League as we explore how we can remedy the backlog and fees.
Additionally this week, the Secretary of State made appointments to the Electronic Titling Working Group, which was established through LD 645. The bill was sponsored by Representative Bruce White (D-Waterville) at the request of the League. The resolve authorized the League to have one member included as part of the working group. Ellen Parent has been appointed by Secretary Bellows to serve on the working group as the League’s representative. It is anticipated that this group will work over the course of the next two years, with the ultimate goal of bringing an electronic titling system to Maine’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
On the federal side, Congress has enacted a bipartisan infrastructure bill. The package aims to make major investments in the nation’s transportation and communications infrastructures. The Biden Administration’s Build Back Better Plan is still being negotiated by congressional Democrats. This proposal once contained the controversial IRS reporting requirements. Legislative negotiations have removed the IRS proposal from the plan, however, the League, our partners at CUNA, and other industry allies remain on guard as the proposal could be revived by congressional leaders at any time.