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General Laws

Section 15. (a) Except as provided for in subsection (e) of section 20, if an owner of a vehicle for which a certificate of title has been issued under this chapter transfers the owner’s interest therein, other than by the creation of a security interest, the owner shall, at the time of the delivery of the vehicle, execute an assignment including the actual odometer reading and warranty of title to the transferee in the space provided therefor on the certificate, or such other form as the registrar shall prescribe, and cause the certificate and assignment to be mailed or delivered to the transferee or to the registrar.

(b) Except as provided in section sixteen, the transferee shall, promptly after delivery to him of the vehicle, execute the application for a new certificate of title in the space provided therefor on the certificate or on such other form as the registrar shall prescribe, and cause the certificate and application to be mailed or delivered to the registrar.

(c) Upon request of the owner or transferee, a lienholder in possession of the certificate of title shall, unless the transfer was a breach of his security agreement, either deliver the certificate to the transferee for delivery to the registrar or, upon receipt from the transferee of the owner’s assignment, the transferee’s application for a new certificate and the required fee, mail or deliver them to the registrar. The delivery of the certificate shall not affect the rights of the lienholder under his security agreement.

(d) If a security interest is reserved or created at the time of the transfer, the certificate of title shall be retained by or delivered to the person who becomes the lienholder, and the parties shall comply with the provisions of section twenty-one.

(e) Except as provided in section sixteen and as between the parties, a transfer by an owner is not effective until the provisions of this section and section eighteen have been complied with; however, an owner who has delivered possession of the vehicle to the transferee and who has complied with the provisions of this section requiring action by him shall not be held liable in any manner whatsoever after delivery of possession of the vehicle for any damages resulting from operation of the vehicle, nor for any automobile law violation which may occur in such operation, even though no new certificate of title has been issued to the transferee.

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