TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A controversial motor vehicles bill highlighted in Better Call Behnken reports has not yet moved ahead in the legislative process, as the bill’s sponsors are still hashing out changes.

The bill, as written, would take away the state’s 30-day requirement to transfer car titles, taking away the word “must” transfer your title and replace it with “should.” The bill would also take away the penalty for failing to transfer the title.

After our report and comments from angry consumers, Representative Andrew Learned, the only local co-sponsor, came forward to say he wouldn’t even vote for his own bill – without major changes.

“This bill, as it’s written right now, is not great,” he said.

Learned said he wants to amend the bill to give dealers only 45 days to transfer title and only until the governor’s executive order on COVID-19 expires.

Those changes aren’t sitting well with some car dealers.

Ted Smith, president of the Florida Automobile Dealers Association, says his group wants to extend the deadline to 60 days – and permanently, not just until the governor’s COVID order expires.

“Most of the issues involved with this, Shannon, are really centered on the fact that when somebody trades in a car to a dealership, that dealership then – as part of the deal – pays off the existing lien holder,” he said. “That could be a bank in the state of Florida or that could easily be a bank in one of the other 50 states. so that’s where the problem is occurring – those lenders, with out of state banks especially, are not responding, enabling the dealer to be able to respond and do their work.”

Investigator Shannon Behnken asked: What do you say to consumers who want to know why are you selling me a car before you have the title in hand?

“Well, many times if you ask the consumer they’ll say because they’re really putting a lot of pressure on the sales people,” he said. “Every consumer that comes through the door, what do they want? They want the car, and they want it right then. They don’t want to wait for the processes that are required to do it.”

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