To:  Tax Collectors and License Plate Agents

From:  Carl A. Ford, Director

Subject:  Vehicles and Vessels With "Hurricane Katrina" Stops

Advisory Date:  03/02/06                               Implementation Date: Immediately

Advisory Number:  T06-04



The department recently received an electronic list of vehicles and vessels which were affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  This list was from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) database as stated in a prior technical advisory (T05-12), dated November 30, 2005.  A "Hurricane Katrina" stop has been placed in FRVIS for each vehicle and vessel as specified on the list.


When one of these stops is for a vessel, inform the customer of the stop; remove the stop and process the transaction.  This is due to the fact that by law salvage titles are not issued/branded for vessels.  However, the disposition of all vehicles with this stop must be determined before titling.  Therefore, if an application is received for a vehicle with this stop, the customer must also submit a letterhead affidavit from the insurance company explaining the extent of the damage, such as:  total loss damaged vehicle, total loss flood vehicle, total loss flood & damaged vehicle, etc.).


                        If you know the disposition of the vehicle by the application (such as: title is going into the insurance company's name as a salvage rebuildable, etc.), you would not need a letterhead affidavit from the insurance company, as the documentation gives you the answer. 


                        If it is determined that the vehicle was only repaired and not replaced for the customer by the insurance company, the vehicle would not need to be branded.  Anytime an insurance company pays a total loss claim to the owner to replace the vehicle, it must be branded accordingly. 


                        The database is updated as NICB obtains additional information.  The database will sometimes show "(VIN number of vehicle) has not been identified as a vehicle or watercraft affected by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita or Wilma."  When these appear, the tax collector's office or license plate agency may remove the stop and process the title without a brand. 


                        The agency does NOT have to contact the Help Desk to remove these stops.  This process is to ensure that these vehicles are branded (if applicable) and processed accordingly.


If you have any questions or need further clarification, please contact your Help Desk Representative.