Driver and Vehicle Services General Information update

Feb 15, 2018 | Member News

In this edition:

  • Purchase Date vs. Processed Date
  • Submitting Power of Attorney Forms
  • Proof of Ownership
  • Real ID
  • Form MV-120, “Temporary Registration Plate or Temporary Registration Card”



 There seems to be some misunderstanding among service providers as to what the appropriate dates are for processing online dealer work. We have been informed that dealers are leaving the purchase date blank on Form MV1, “Application for Certificate of Title,” until it is processed and are using the process date, which is usually days later, as the purchase date. This practice is not the correct way to process these types of transactions. The purchase date must reflect the actual date of purchase regardless of the process date. The only time the process and purchase dates are the same is if the work was processed on the date of the actual purchase.



 All powers of attorney are required to be signed by the purchaser or seller in his/her own handwriting, but if for any physical reason the purchaser or seller is unable to sign, the seller or purchaser may make his/her mark in the presence of two witnesses who shall also sign their names to the power of attorney in the notary’s presence.

 A Secure Power of Attorney, Form MV-POA (4-96 or newer version) enables motor vehicle dealers or approved insurance companies to disclose the odometer reading on behalf of the seller and buyer (if applicable) when there is a lien. Please note that the MV-POA contains a space for the seller (in Section A) and the buyer (in Section B) to appoint the person from the motor vehicle dealership or insurance company named as the true and lawful attorney-in-fact to execute any and all applications for or assignment of the title for the vehicle described on the form.

 A General Power of Attorney (including General and Springing Durable Powers of Attorney) is often used when the seller is out of the state or ill and permits a third party to sell a vehicle for a vehicle owner and usually allows the third party to act on behalf of the other person in other personal and legal matters. The person named on a General Power of Attorney is permitted to sign the Secure Power of Attorney Form when necessary, and all other documents required to properly transfer the vehicle’s ownership.

 The Third-Party Power of Attorney is a limited power of attorney that can be used when the seller or purchaser appoints a third party to complete motor vehicle forms in connection with the transfer of title. This limited power of attorney can be used to sign the back of certificates of title in Section A when the certificate of title is available at the time of the transfer of ownership. In addition, the limited power of attorney can be used to complete a Secure Power of Attorney for the mileage disclosure when the certificate of title is being held by a lienholder. Limited powers of attorney are valid for no more than 90 days. The power of attorney must be notarized as required, by Section 1119(a)(1) of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code or in lieu of the notarization, a verification of a person’s signature by an issuing agent who is licensed as a vehicle dealer by the State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salespersons, or its employee is acceptable.



 As a reminder, the proof of ownership document is required at the time of transfer of ownership of the vehicle. The proof of ownership document, showing the transfer of ownership, must be attached to the purchaser’s application for a certificate of title. If the seller’s certificate of title is held by a lienholder, either electronically or in a paper format, the certificate of title must be obtained prior to the transfer of ownership of the vehicle.

 Authorized Pennsylvania agents must ensure the proof of ownership is completed in full prior to completing the application for a Pennsylvania Certificate of Title and prior to processing the transaction online or submitting the application to PennDOT for processing. In addition, the application for Pennsylvania Certificate of Title must be submitted to PennDOT within 20 days of the application. If the dealer is also an authorized messenger service, the application must be submitted to PennDOT within 5 days.


 The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Pennsylvania a REAL ID enforcement extension through October 10, 2018. This extension means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities or boarding commercial aircraft through that date. More information about REAL  ID, including frequently asked questions, can be found at

 Form MV-120, “Temporary Registration Plate or Temporary Registration Card”

 Form MV-120, “Temporary Registration Plate or Temporary Registration Card,” has been revised. The new revision date is 1-18. The updated versions of the form will be available upon depletion of the current stock.

 The following changes were made:

 1. Updated “plate” to “registration plate” for consistent language across our forms.

2. Financial Responsibility (Insurance) portion of the form was broken out into its own section for increased visibility.

3. The instructions on the reverse side were updated to increase clarity and understanding.

Please ensure that all staff is informed of this change and using the new revision of Form MV-120, “Temporary Registration Plate or Temporary Registration Card.”


Courtesy of PennDOT