Harmsworth’s bill protecting vehicle owners signed into law
A bill protecting individuals from the incorrect buyer's name being listed on a report of sale for an abandoned vehicle was signed into law this week by Gov. Jay Inslee. The new law is the result of Rep. Mark Harmsworth, R-Mill Creek, working with KIRO-7 investigative news reporter Jesse Jones. A report had recently described a Washington state resident who had been assessed $1400 in fines and towing fees for a vehicle incorrectly listed in his name.
Harmsworth's legislation addresses a current loop-hole in Washington state vehicle transfer law that allows individuals to be unknowingly listed on a report of sale or transfer of a subsequently abandoned vehicle.
“I'm glad to see this bill become law. This will help ensure vehicle reports of sale are being filed correctly,” said Harmsworth. “Protecting the purchaser or any individual from being listed as the owner of a vehicle by a nefarious seller that is just trying to get rid of a car.”
Currently if a vehicle is abandoned and removed by law enforcement the last registered owner on record is guilty of a traffic infraction of $550 and any associated towing fees. A properly filed sale or transfer of a vehicle relieves the last registered owner of liability.
House Bill 2274 passed the House with a 96-0 vote and the Senate 43-3 before being signed into law by the governor. It will go into effect next year.
###Washington State House Republican Communications