Authority- transferred to department of insurance and financial institutions
The Automobile Theft Authority was established in 1992 to deter vehicle theft and support law enforcement activities. Statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§41-3451 through 41-3453.
Effective July 1, 2020 the newly established Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions (DIFI) will assume the responsibilities of the Department of Financial Institutions and the Automobile Theft Authority. Conforming legislation to implement the provisions of Laws 2019, Chapter 252 will be prepared by the Arizona Legislative Council staff for consideration in the Fifty-fifth Legislature, First Regular Session (2021).
The ATA supports law enforcement activities and implements public awareness and community education programs to reduce the incidence of automobile theft in Arizona. The ATA consists of twelve members, representing law enforcement, counties, insurers, the general public and state agencies serve four-year terms. The ATA is authorized to hire staff, including an executive director.
The ATA is responsible for determining the scope of motor vehicle theft; analyzing methods to combat the problem; and developing a plan of operation and a financial plan. The ATA administers the Automobile Theft Authority Fund which consists of a mandatory $1 per year assessment collected as part of motor vehicle liability insurances policies issued in Arizona. Monies in the fund are allocated to public agencies to support auto theft prevention programs, prosecution efforts and public education. ATA is required to provide an annual report of its activities for the previous fiscal year to the Governor, Legislature and Secretary of State by December 31.
Laws 1992, Chapter 75 established the Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) to provide funding and assistance to law enforcement entities in their efforts to reduce the incidence of automobile theft. The measure outlined responsibilities and created the Automobile Theft Authority Fund. The ATPA consisted of nine members appointed to four-year terms.
Laws 1994, Chapter 324 increased the number of ATPA members to ten, adding a representative from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division.
Laws 1996, Chapter 263 changed the name of the Automobile Theft Prevention Authority to the Automobile Theft Authority; modified membership of the ATA, added a representative from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and reduced the number of members to nine; capped the executive director’s salary at $75,000; changed the annual report due date from September 1 to December 31 of each year; added a process to remove a member of the ATA; implemented a fee on insurers based on automobile insurance policies as a source of funding for the Automobile Theft Authority Fund; and included an appropriation. The measure also established the Automobile Theft Authority Committee, consisting of eight members (six legislators, a representative of the Governor’s office and a representative of the Arizona Department of Insurance) to review the effectiveness of the program, need for funding, and impacts on auto theft rates and insurance costs. Note: The Committee was repealed by Laws 1999, Chapter 262, effective January 1, 2004.
Laws 2000, Chapter 186 increased the number of ATA members from nine to twelve and appropriated $150,000 from the Vehicle Inspection and Title Enforcement Fund to the Automobile Theft Authority Fund to educate the public about auto theft, border enforcement and to provide funding to prosecute automobile theft.
Laws 2008, Chapter 188 provided that personal information or vehicle information submitted to ATA is confidential, and not subject to public disclosure.
Laws 2019, Chapter 252 combined the Department of Insurance, the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) and the Automobile Theft Authority (ATA) into a single agency. The new agency, the Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions (DIFI), succeeds to the authority, powers, duties and responsibilities of the DFI and the ATA. The measure establishes the Financial Institutions Division and the Automobile Theft Authority within DIFI, effective July 1, 2020. All administrative matters, contracts, judicial actions, equipment, records, furnishings, other property, data and investigative findings transfer to the DIFI. In addition, all certificates, licenses, registrations, and permits retain their validity for the duration of their terms when issued. All appropriated monies that remain unexpended and unencumbered on July 1, 2020 transfer as well. Conforming legislation will be prepared by the Arizona Legislative Council staff for consideration by the Fifty-fifth Legislature, First Regular Session (2021).
- Arizona Revised Statutes
- Session Laws
- Laws 1992, Chapter 75
- Laws 1994, Chapter 324
- Laws 1996, Chapter 263
- Laws 1999, Chapter 262
- Laws 2000, Chapter 186
- Laws 2008, Chapter 188
- Laws 2019, Chapter 252
Related collections at Arizona State Archives:
RG 166 – Arizona Auto Theft Authority Board