Have you ever wondered why you are charged a Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Fee on your Auto Policy? Previously the fee was $2.00 however starting September 1, 2019 the fee has been increased to $4.00.
Texas Legislature Raises Auto Theft Fee to $4
The 86th Texas Legislature passed and Governor Abbott signed into law House Bill 2048 that raises the Auto Theft fee from $2 to $4 per motor vehicle covered by any form of motor vehicle insurance. The bill’s effective date is September 1, 2019. The fee is collected by the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority (MVCPA) using the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ Webfile and website. The fee will now be used to support both auto theft prevention programs and emergency rooms and trauma centers. Also, effective September 1, 2019, the name of MVCPA changes to the Motor Vehicle Crime Prevention Authority (MVCPA).
Any insurance company writing any form of motor vehicle insurance in Texas, including an interinsurance or reciprocal exchange, mutual company, mutual association, or Lloyd's plan shall pay to the MVCPA a fee equal to $4 multiplied by the total number of motor vehicle years of insurance for insurance policies delivered, issued for delivery, or renewed by the insurer. This includes policies that cover any motor vehicle. The statute defines a motor vehicle as a self-propelled vehicle or a vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer designed for use with a self-propelled vehicle. The term does not include a vehicle that runs exclusively on fixed rails or tracks or a piece of equipment operated solely on private property.
The Comptroller of Public Accounts will continue to work with the MVCPA to collect the fee and is updating their website, instructions and filing documents. To transition to the new fee, there will be one unique fee collection period, July 2019 through December 2019 (due March 1, 2020). This unique fee collection period requires insurers to use a one-time, special on-line and/or paper form (CPA Form 25-110). This is because insurers must pay $2 for all covered motor vehicles covered under policies issued during the July 1, 2019 through August 31, 2019 timeframe. Insurers must then pay the $4 fee for all covered motor vehicles covered under policies issued during the September 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019 timeframe. This one-time use form will have two lines for this reporting and payment cycle. This form will be available as soon as possible but well before the due date.
Currently, the MVCPA collects over $50 million per year from the fee. Only $12.8 million was appropriated to the MVCPA to combat motor vehicle theft in FY18. The fee was instituted in 1993 to fund the MVCPA to prevent and reduce losses to the public from motor vehicle theft. At that time, there were more than 160,000 motor vehicle thefts per year. The number of motor vehicle thefts have fallen to less than 70,000 per year, but losses from the motor vehicle burglary and theft are over a billion dollars per year. The funds appropriated to MVCPA support special law enforcement taskforces that specialize in motor vehicle burglary and theft. They also work closely with the National Insurance Crime Bureau and insurers investigative units. These MVCPA funded taskforces recovered over 11,000 vehicles in 2018. When funds are available, MVCPA works with insurance organizations to inform the public on how to prevent motor vehicle burglary and theft. The recent If You Like it -Lock It! campaign launched by ICT and NICB was from FY18 unexpended balance funds provided by the Governor and Legislature into FY19. According to the law revised by HB2048, starting September 1, 2019, 60% of the $4 fee will go to the trauma facility and emergency medical services account while 20% will be provided to MVCPA. The remaining 20% will continue to be deposited into the General Fund.
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