[Vtr-tac] Passing of Robert W. Townsley

Electronic Distribution of VTR Information to Texas Counties vtr-tac at extlists.dmv.state.tx.us
Fri Sep 10 10:54:03 CDT 2010

Please review and distribute as appropriate.
We regret to inform you that Robert W. Townsley, former division
director (1960-1986) of what was then the Motor Vehicle Division (now
the Vehicle Titles and Registration Division), passed away Tuesday,
September 7th, 2010.
Much of the VTR we know today was created on Mr. Townsley’s watch.  The
regional offices, our positive working relationship with our partners
and stakeholders, developing an automated vehicle record database to
allow rapid response to law enforcement inquiries (which later was used
as the platform on which the Registration and Title System was
developed), staggering of vehicle registration expiration dates
throughout the year (all expired in March before this), and using
multi-year plates rather than issuing new plates each year are just a
few examples of his visionary leadership.
Well known within the American Association of Motor Vehicle
Administrators (AAMVA) community, he was very adept at developing
creative solutions to complex problems impacting all member
jurisdictions.  One of these was the problem of commercial vehicles
having to register separately with each state in which they traveled. 
Mr. Townsley was instrumental in drafting the International Registration
Plan that allowed a trucker to register for jurisdictions through their
base jurisdiction. 
As past AAMVA board president, as well as recipient of the
Distinguished Service Award for Safety, Mr. Townsley served the nation
and the citizens of Texas with fervor and dedication.
As a number of TxDMV employees who worked with him have fondly
remembered, he was highly respected by all of his peers and was a legend
within the AAMVA community. Also, similar to being made fun of by the
comedian Don Rickles, you couldn’t say you had fully “arrived” in VTR
until Mr. Townsley had “fired” you at least once.
Visitation will be Friday, September 10th, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin, Texas
with services Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home.  Interment
will follow at Austin Memorial Park.

Mike Craig
Deputy Director
Vehicle Titles and Registration Division, TxDMV
Email: mike.craig1 at txdmv.gov 
Helping Texans Go.  Helping Texas Grow.
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