Texas Department of Transportation:
An Inventory of Motor Vehicle Board Minutes and Agenda at the Texas State Archives, 1971-2005
The Motor Vehicle Board of the Texas Department of Transportation is charged with the licensing and regulation of motor vehicle dealers, manufacturers, converters, lessors, and lease facilitators; with the enforcement of the law regulating motor vehicle dealer sales practices (regarding manufacturers' warranties and fraud, unfair practices, discrimination, impositions, and other abuses); and with the investigation of consumer complaints under the "lemon law" of 1983, protecting consumers purchasing new motor vehicles with defects that cannot be properly repaired.
The Texas Motor Vehicle Commission was created in 1971 (Senate Bill 140, 62nd Texas Legislature, Regular Session), to establish the qualifications of manufacturers and dealers of new and used motor vehicles, and to insure that their distribution and sale was conducted in compliance with the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission Code and subsequent regulations. Originally the commission was composed of six members, four of whom were motor vehicle dealers, with the other two representing the public. The number of commissioners was increased to nine in 1979 (House Bill 225, 66th Texas Legislature, Regular Session), of whom five were to be dealers and four represented the public. In 1987 (House Bill 1531, 70th Texas Legislature, Regular Session), the commission was decreased again to six members, all of whom were to be public members with no interests in businesses that manufacture, distribute, convert, or sell motor vehicles. All members have been (and still are) appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for overlapping six-year terms.
The Texas Department of Transportation was created in 1991 (House Bill 9, 72nd Texas Legislature, 1st Called Session), merging the following agencies: the Texas State Department of Highways and Public Transportation; the Texas Department of Aviation; and (effective September 1, 1992) the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission. The Motor Vehicle Division of the Texas Department of Transportation took over the functions of the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission, and is governed by the Motor Vehicle Board of the Texas Department of Transportation, which operates independently of the Transportation Commission; as the enabling legislation explains, "in carrying out its policy-making and regulatory powers and duties under this chapter, the board is an independent entity within the department and is not an advisory body to the department." In addition to rulemaking powers, the board is given, but is not limited to, the powers to: initiate and conduct proceedings, investigations, or hearings; receive evidence and pleadings; issue subpoenas; issue, suspend, or revoke licenses; issue cease and desist orders in the nature of temporary or permanent injunctions; impose civil penalties; etc.
The six-member Motor Vehicle Board of the Texas Department of Transportation was increased to nine in 1997 (House Bill 1595, 75th Texas Legislature, Regular Session), composed of two dealers licensed under the Texas Occupations Code, Chapter 2301 (Sale or Lease of Motor Vehicles), at least one of whom is a franchised dealer; one representative of a manufacturer or distributor licensed under this chapter; and six public members.
(Note: the functions of the Motor Vehicle Board of the Texas Department of Transportation should not be confused with the functions of the Motor Carrier Division of the Texas Department of Transportation, which registers motor carriers (including tow trucks and household goods carriers), issues oversize/overweight load permits and temporary registrations, and is also responsible for motor carrier insurance filings, vehicle storage facilities licensing and interstate movement authority. Part of these functions were carried out by the Railroad Commission of Texas until 1995. Nor should this division be confused with the Vehicle Titles and Registration Division of the Texas Department of Transportation, which handles motor vehicle registration and transfers of titles in Texas.)
(Sources include: the Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); the article "Texas Motor Vehicle Commission" by Richard Allen Burns in the Handbook of Texas Online; the enabling legislation (1971, 1979, 1987, 1991, 1997, 2005); the Texas Occupations Code, § 2301.051; and the Motor Vehicle Division portion of the Texas Department of Transportation web site (http://www.dot.state.tx.us/mvd/), accessed February 2006.)
These records document the actions of the Motor Vehicle Board of the Texas Department of Transportation (and its predecessor, the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission) involving the licensing and regulation of motor vehicle dealers, manufacturers, converters, lessors, and lease facilitators; the enforcement of the law regulating motor vehicle dealer sales practices (regarding manufacturers' warranties and fraud, unfair practices, discrimination, impositions, and other abuses); and the investigation of consumer complaints under the "lemon law" of 1983.
These records consist of copies of minutes (and, rarely, agenda) of meetings held by the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission, dating 1971-1992, and by the Motor Vehicle Board of the Texas Transportation Commission, dating 1992-2005 (thus covering an overall date span of 1971-2005). These minutes summarize the discussion and subsequent actions of the Commission/Board, mainly concerning items on the docket relating to licensing and enforcement and to consumer complaints. The terminology varies somewhat over time, but the actions include the following: applications for licenses to establish dealerships, hearing reports, recommendations of the hearing examiner, orders of the hearing examiner, proposals for decision, final orders, agreed orders and assessment of civil penalties, orders of license revocation of dealers, settlement orders in lemon law proceedings, orders of dismissal (where complaints or protests are withdrawn or matters are settled by agreement of the parties), motions to stay final order, motions to reopen, motions for rehearing, proposed rules, appropriation requests, reports of budget and financial condition, etc. The supporting documentation is sometimes included with the minutes. Minutes are created to document in a thorough but summary fashion the official actions of the board in its meetings.
To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
(Identify the item), Motor Vehicle Board minutes and agenda, Texas Department of Transportation. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession numbers: 1998/013, 1999/027, 2000/083, 2001/011, 2002/071, 2003/172, 2004/060, 2005/126, 2006/128
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Motor Vehicle Division of the Texas Department of Transportation on September 26, 1997; September 30, 1998; December 22, 1999; September 28, 2000; November 7, 2001; June 19, 2003; November 14, 2003; and February 8, 2005; and by the Texas Legislative Reference Library on January 9, 2006.
Tony Black, September 1997, January 2006
The Texas Department of Transportation regularly transfers copies of minutes to the Texas State Archives.
The record copies of minutes and agenda are maintained by the Motor Vehicle Division of the Texas Department of Transportation.
Detailed Description of the Records