News & Resources

Virginia approves auto title lending to out-of-state drivers

Feb 22, 2011 Brian Bradley

In a vote that was met with plenty of hand-wringing on both sides of the aisle, the Virginia House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday that would reinstate auto title lending in the commonwealth by a 51-47 vote, the Washington Post reports. Its passage not only overturns a bill from October that banned the practice, but makes Virginia the only state in the region that allows such borrowing. "The bill's supporters argued consumers are protected by regulations adopted by the General Assembly last year. Car-title lenders must alert borrowers in writing that the loans carry high interest and that it is in a borrower's best interest to pay such a loan off quickly," wrote Rosalind S. Helderman for the Post. If and when the bill is signed by the governor, Virginia will allow out-of-state residents to obtain loans by putting up their cars as collateral. The practice has been essentially stopped in Maryland and Washington, D.C., according to the Post. Those who voted for the bill received support from the State Corporation Commission, which acknowledged the right for out-of-state drivers to receive the same loans available to Virginia residents. Meanwhile, the bill's supporters also gave credence to consumers, stating that they understand the terms of such loans before signing off on one.