Hello members, welcome to MVTA Member news – July 2023!
The MVTA is excited to announce that we are heading to the Eastern Shore!
This is the first time the MVTA has worked to cover the entire state of Maryland and meet up with new potential members. Our Maryland membership roadshow, led by the MVTA board, volunteers, and industry partners, has been extremely successful. These events and meetups have allowed us to gain more members, giving us a stronger voice in the state of Maryland and providing support to more title agencies.
If you’re a current member and would like to see us in action, please join us in beautiful Cambridge, Maryland, on August 15th for the 10 AM to 12 PM training session, the 1 PM to 3 PM session, or both! We hope to see you there! If you haven’t received the invite yet, please check out our Eventbrite invitation here for a day of fun in Cambridge, Maryland: First Session or Second Session.
Chesapeake Bay Trust Bay Tag Competition:
Every year, the Chesapeake Bay Trust provides an opportunity for title agents and dealers to compete in sales of the Chesapeake Bay tags in their offices. This is a chance for those who haven’t worked with their team to promote the tags to clients and ensure it’s part of your customer contact. If you have the opportunity to win this competition, your team will be rewarded with a special party and thanks from the Chesapeake Bay Trust. Through the sales of these Bay plates, we are helping to clean up the bay, plant native trees in our communities, and educate K-12 students on environmental protection. Remember, the Bay Trust even helps to advertise and market our agents. If you’re not part of the Tag Agents for the Bay program, please reach out to our friend Rebecca at Email Rebecca Now to sign up now!
MVA Meeting Updates:
The MVTA has state staff changes to announce: It is with mixed emotions that I share the news that Madison Lumpkin, the Deputy Administrator for the MVA Central Operations, will be moving on to work with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Madison has been instrumental in supporting title agents in the state of Maryland during his time working alongside the MVTA. He has been by our side through difficult system upgrades, policy changes, and branch challenges. It will be hard for me not to miss him and his contributions during our monthly MVA calls. However, just like everything Madison touches, he is making sure to pass the torch on to others within the MVA to continue our great work. We want to give our MVTA members the opportunity to participate in a thank you letter to Madison for his invaluable support throughout the COVID pandemic, keeping our offices open and operational, and even answering late-night text messages to help out our members. Please click on this link to access Madison’s thank you letter so that we can collectively share our appreciation: THANK YOU CARD
Additionally, in the past 30 days, Sarah Moore, the Manager of Business Licensing for many many years, has retired as of June 30, 2023. Her replacement, Kristen Orlando, has already been in meetings with the MVTA and is working to have an introduction meeting to closely understand the changes needed in the business licensing division to better support title agents in Maryland. We look forward to working with Kristen and the incoming Deputy Director in the coming months.
We understand that staff changes occur frequently in government positions, and we are grateful for the dedication and many years of support both Madison and Sarah have provided to the title agents of Maryland.
MVA Bulletin Corrections in process:
This past week, the MVTA Board and Committee Members have been actively involved in providing input on the most recent MVA Bulletins; Title Corrections on June 30, 2023, and Surviving Spouse Transactions on July 7, 2023. Unfortunately, both of these bulletins contained contradicting information, leading to confusion among our members. In light of this issue, the MVTA requested a special meeting with the MVA to address the situation and discuss the creation of an additional MVTA Best Practice guideline. Furthermore, there will be a published correction for each bulletin to rectify the confusion. We are excited to announce a special MVTA news announcement once these corrections are released. Stay tuned for further updates!
If any members come across non-functioning phone numbers for MVA departments during normal operational hours, please report them by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This will allow us to address the issue and ensure that the correct phone numbers are listed on the MVA contact sheet, which can be found in the Resources section of the MVTA Member Portal. Your assistance in keeping the contact information up to date is greatly appreciated.
MVA System Outage from 5/31/23:
On May 31, 2023, the MVA experienced a major system outage that impacted not only the systems used by our title agents to process transactions but also the MTA and MSP MSI sites. The outage was caused by issues in the IT room at the MVA headquarters in Glen Burnie, Maryland. The power source was accidentally turned off, and the emergency button was also activated, leading to extensive outages and long wait times for the system to be reset and powered on again.
This incident was a significant concern, and it was addressed during this month’s call with the MVA. The MVTA is actively monitoring such outages, taking note of the causes and resolution times. We understand the importance of a reliable and efficient system for our members, and we will continue to work with the MVA to address and minimize any future disruptions.
In-Transit Bulletin Updates:
The MVTA has been engaged in discussions with the MVA over the past month regarding the in-transit tag. The MVTA has been advocating for the expansion of the credential to accept titles from other states or jurisdictions. As agents of the state, the MVTA believes that they should have the opportunity to process transactions involving titles from any state, especially considering the document verification process performed in their offices.
The MVTA has been actively requesting this expansion and working towards updating the bulletin language that was recently published. There have been conflicting communications shared in meetings, which necessitates further clarification on what documentation is deemed acceptable for this temporary credential. The MVTA is committed to keeping its members updated as they continue to engage with the MVA in order to resolve this issue and provide clear guidelines for the acceptance of out-of-state titles in the in-transit tag process.
Change of Address Transaction Status:
The state is currently in the process of re-certifying the ERT vendors for the upcoming additional transaction, specifically the change of address transaction. According to the most recent updates shared in the monthly meetings, this transaction is expected to be launched in August 2023.
It’s noteworthy that the change of address transaction will no longer include motor-voter, allowing it to be a standalone transaction. This change presents an opportunity for a more streamlined and focused process. As the launch date approaches and the transaction becomes available within the ERT systems, the MVTA will provide further updates to keep members informed.
MVTA Board attends AAMVA Region 1 & 2:
Attending both Region 1 and 2 conferences allowed the MVTA to engage with other jurisdictions like Virginia, West Virginia, and Texas, creating opportunities for collaboration and the exchange of innovative ideas. It’s always beneficial to learn from the best practices of other states and explore training classes to enhance the skills of title agents in Maryland.
Meeting various guests and vendors from different states have provided valuable insights into their approaches, future plans, and products that align with the needs of Maryland’s title agents. The diversity in work-smart improvements across regions is interesting, but it’s clear that online platforms and modernization are crucial aspects of DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) operations.
It’s exciting that there was a specific focus on salvage and junk vehicles, and the mention of an upcoming annual meeting dedicated to that topic suggests that members can look forward to more detailed discussions and updates in that area. This opportunity to stay tuned and delve deeper into salvage and junk vehicles will likely provide valuable knowledge and insights to MVTA members.
In conclusion, attending the AAMVA conferences in both Region 1 and 2 has been an enriching experience for the MVTA and its members. The collaboration with other jurisdictions has opened doors to innovative ideas that can empower Maryland’s title agents in this ever-evolving technological landscape. As we navigate the transition brought about by advancing technology, it is essential for title agents to stay informed about the latest trends, best practices, and training opportunities. The AAMVA conferences provided a platform to connect with industry experts, learn from their experiences, and explore cutting-edge solutions from vendors that cater to our unique needs.
In the coming months, we encourage all title agents to stay engaged with the MVTA and take advantage of the resources and networking opportunities that we offer. Together, we can continue to shine as leaders in the title industry, leveraging technology and collaboration to adapt to the changing times and deliver exceptional services to the people of Maryland.
Thank you for your ongoing support and participation. We look forward to your continued involvement in our association and the exciting times ahead. Don’t forget to RSVP now for our MVTA Member Annual Meeting in Ellicott City, Maryland: RSVP NOW 10/17/23.
The MVTA Board of Directors
Beth Caro, Chairman
Lisa Thompas, Vice Chairman
Dawn Mathis, General Member