Proposal could bolster W.Va. road fund

Proposal could bolster W.Va. road fund
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:25 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - West Virginia’s place as the nation’s leader in digital vehicle titles could soon pay huge dividends, if a proposal before legislators becomes law.

“I don’t pinch myself on this one at all,” said Del. Daniel Linville, R-Cabell. “This is a big benefit and we are finally leveraging technology.”

The proposal, House Bill 2506, would allow out-of-state businesses to title vehicles in West Virginia.

The legislation is a possibility due to West Virginia having recently becoming the first state in the nation to take vehicle titles all digital. That means the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles can now process a car’s title much quicker -- just four days instead of 40.

“In West Virginia, we are now the fastest jurisdiction in the country to be able to obtain that title and therefore be able to sell that vehicle,” Linville said.

Lawmakers believe that will be very attractive to business as auto dealers, insurance companies and car rental outlets look for the quickest option transfer a car’s title.

Linville, the bill’s sponsor, says that would allow a business located elsewhere to transfer title of a wrecked vehicle to the insurance company in as little as four days. He estimates that would save the business hundreds of dollars in storage costs.

“We are going to be bringing in dollars from out-of-state insurance companies, anyone who needs to transfer a title anywhere in this country and ultimately be able to save them money, but also bring in $15 each and every time, at least, for the state of West Virginia and that adds up over time,” Linville said.

Money from every vehicle title is deposited in the state’s road fund.

Senate President Craig Blair, R-Berkeley, said the out-of-state titling proposal exemplifies how government should work -- finding opportunities to keep taxes down, while providing the necessary infrastructure.

“The road fund funds everything for our roads and infrastructure, and we’ve been transferring from the general revenue fund, but this is an opportunity to create a revenue source that doesn’t affect West Virginians,” he said.

Linville says estimates point to an influx of 8 to 9 million in additional titles, which could mean an additional $100 million to fix and build roads.

“We’ve clearly seen that the investments in our roads are beginning to pay dividends from equipment and all the way up to our people, so we feel very confident that every dollar that we’re able to bring into the state road fund is going to mean a more pleasant experience on the roads,” he said.

The House already passed the proposal with no opposition.

It could hit the Senate floor this week.

In addition to vehicle titles, the proposal before lawmakers would also give corporations the option to register an entire fleet in West Virginia. That could provide even more money to the road fund.