§286-42 County finance director's duties. (a) The county director of finance shall examine and to the best of the director's ability determine the genuineness and regularity of every registration and transfer of registration of a vehicle pursuant to this part to ensure that every certificate issued for a vehicle contains true statements of the ownership of the vehicle and to prevent the registration of a vehicle by any person not entitled to the vehicle. The director of finance may require any applicant to furnish information, in addition to that contained in the application, that is necessary to satisfy the director of finance of the truth and regularity of the application. The director of finance may accept any county certificate of title issued for a vehicle as prima facie evidence of ownership for registration and transfer of registration. The director may issue vehicle identification numbers for reconstructed vehicles, special interest vehicles, or motorcycles that do not have vehicle identification numbers if the director determines that the requirements of this section have been met.
The county director of finance may register a motorcycle with an aftermarket motorcycle frame, using the number of the frame as issued by the manufacturer of the frame, the vehicle identification number on the certification label, or a vehicle identification number assigned by the director of finance. A bill of sale and Manufacturer's Statement of Origin for the frame, engine, and transmission must be presented and retained as a part of the permanent county registration records. If a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin is not available for the engine and transmission due to the use of a used or reconstructed engine, transmission, or both, then a bill of sale or other proof of ownership, satisfactory to the director of finance must be presented. Except for motorcycles that are built on an aftermarket motorcycle frame, special interest vehicles, and reconstructed vehicles, any motor vehicle or device that is not certified by the manufacturer to be in compliance with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards as of the date of [manufacture] shall not be registered.
(b) For the purpose of registering standard makes and body types of new passenger motor vehicles the director of finance may accept the certificate of any licensed motor vehicle dealer certifying to the weight and identification of such vehicle. The director of finance of any county may accept the certificate of the director of finance of any other county as to weight and identification of any such vehicle.
(c) The director of finance may enter into a contract with car dealerships and motor vehicle rental companies for the registration of new and used motor vehicles consistent with any statute, ordinance, or provision of any applicable collective bargaining agreement. The director of finance may adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 as may be necessary for the application, bonding, and procedural requirements of the contractor.
(d) In the event the director of finance is not satisfied as to the ownership of any vehicle sought to be registered, unless the applicant presents satisfactory evidence to the director of finance of the applicant's ownership of the vehicle and as to any liens thereon, the director of finance may accept from the applicant a bond in such form as may be determined by the director of finance in an amount equal to the retail value of the vehicle. The bond and the deposit thereof shall be conditioned to protect the director of finance and any subsequent purchaser of the vehicle or person acquiring any lien thereon or the successor in interest of any such person against any loss or damage on account of any defect in or undisclosed encumbrance upon the right, title, and interest of the applicant in and to the vehicle. Any such interested person shall have a right of action to recover on any such bond for any breach of the conditions for which the same was deposited. The aggregate liability of the surety to all such persons shall in no event exceed the amount of the bond and interest thereon, plus a reasonable attorney's fee to be allowed by the court incurred to procure the recovery under the bond. The bond shall (unless suit has been instituted thereon) be returned and surrendered at the end of three years.
(e) The county finance director, upon being notified by the designated county department that a vehicle is a special interest vehicle or that a vehicle has been inspected and approved as a reconstructed vehicle, shall cause that fact to be shown upon the registration and title certificates for that vehicle. [L 1929, c 197, §2; RL 1935, §2666; RL 1945, §7337; am L 1949, c 162, §1; am L 1953, c 69, §2; RL 1955, §160-3; am L Sp 1959 2d, c 1, §16; HRS §286-42; am L 1977, c 77, §3; am L 1984, c 276, §6; gen ch 1985; am L 1992, c 135, §1; am L 1995, c 164, §2; am L 1996, c 108, §1; am L 1997, c 246, §6; am L 2002, c 255, §3; am L 2011, c 64, §2; am L 2015, c 47, §3]