person having the right of possession, and to furnish persons dealing with one in possession of an automobile a means of determining whether such possession was prima facie lawful. Braham & Company v. Steinard-Hannon Motor Co., 97 Pa.Super. 19, 23.'
The Braham case, in speaking of an earlier similar statute, said:
'It is clear that the primary purpose of the Act * * * was to protect the public against the theft of automobiles and their resale by the thief, and to facilitate the recovery of stolen automobiles. It was a police measure. * * *'
It appears from these holdings that in Pennsylvania a certificate of title does not constitute more than some evidence of ownership. Witmer's failure to take the affidavit to the assignment of the certificate did not operate to prevent actual transfer of ownership of the car. The car was a chattel, and the buyer and seller took all the steps necessary under § 2-401(2) of the Uniform Commercial Code, 12A P.S. § 2-401(2), to transfer ownership of the car to the buyer, Semple. This section provides:
'(2) Unless otherwise explicitly agreed title passes to the buyer at the time and place at which the seller completes his performance with reference to the physical delivery of the goods * * *.'
In this case the car ('the goods') was left at Semple's place of employment at a time when Semple was at that place, and at that time Witmer turned the keys over to him. This constituted physical delivery of the goods, and under § 2-401(2) title then passed to Semple. Even though the delivery of the keys might be considered a symbolic delivery, as in livery of seisen, they placed in Semple the power to operate the car.
At the time of the accident, therefore, the car was Semple's and not Witmer's. When Witmer transferred ownership to the car he also gave permission to Semple to drive it, but by parting with ownership Witmer divested himself of the power to determine who had permission to drive it. His power to give such permission was then no more than the power of any stranger to give permission. For this reason the 'permission' provision of the policy could not come into operation to constitute Semple an 'insured' under the policy.
Nor is Semple otherwise covered by the policy, for three reasons. First, transfer of ownership of the property insured does not in and of itself transfer the insurance on the property to the transferee, Olyphant Lumber Co. v. Peoples' Mutual Live Stock Insurance Co., 4 Pa.Super. 100 (1897). Second, the insurance company did not give its consent to transfer of the policy, as required by Paragraph 6 of the Policy Conditions, Witkofski v. Daniels,
329 Pa. 452, 459, 198 A. 19 (1938). Third, Witmer did not assign the policy to Semple or made any attempt to.
Defendant is not liable on this policy to Semple or to Brown, the person injured. In the light of this determination, it is not necessary to consider whether, while the verdict against him remains unpaid, plaintiff is entitled to bring a direct action against the insurance company.
The facts and law stated in this opinion constitute the court's findings of fact and conclusions of law.
AND NOW, March 18, 1963, judgment is entered in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff and the intervening plaintiff. The motion of plaintiff to open the record for the taking of additional testimony is denied.