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Summary: HB 1233 amends portions of the Finance Code dealing with documentary fees for certain land and water vehicles. It simplifies law to say that a retailer can charge a documentary fee for processing documents “related to the sale of a motorcycle, motor-drive cycle, all-terrain vehicle, boat, boat motor, boat trailer, or towable recreation vehicle.” HB 1233 strikes law that requires the documentary fee to be $50, and allows a retail seller and retail buyer to agree to a reasonable fee for documentary services, but caps the maximum fee at $50, and it would now require this fee to be disclosed on the buyer’s order contract. It also changes language that must appear in a contract between a retail buyer and retail seller to read “A documentary fee is not required by law, but may be charged to buyers for handling documents relating to the sale. A Documentary fee may not exceed a reasonable amount agree to by the parties.”
Analysis: HB 1233 legal language relating to documentary fees for the sale of land and water vehicles and gives retail buyers and retail sellers freedom to agree upon an appropriate documentary fee, as long as this fee is below $50. Ideally, such businesses would be able to charge whatever fee is appropriate, but HB 1233 still promotes the individual liberty of both parties by allowing them to come to an agreement on a fee where they were not able to before. In doing so, HB 1233 also loosens a regulation and clarifies law, providing a small limit on government and a step toward a more free, less regulated marketplace. We support HB. 1233.