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Mich. dealers now need special ‘mobility license’

Mich. dealers now need special ‘mobility license’

OKEMOS, Mich. — The Michigan Department of State, Office of Investigative Services announced a new licensing requirement for dealers who sell vehicles modified for use by people with mobility issues, the Michigan Association of RVs and Campgrounds reported.

Public Act 425 of 2016 amends the Michigan Vehicle Code to implement new business licensing requirements, create a mobility dealer license endorsement, and expand the department’s ability to better protect consumers when the act became effective yesterday, the bulletin explained.

The act creates a new dealer classification of “mobility dealer.” A mobility dealer is a used or secondhand Class B vehicle dealer that holds a mobility dealer endorsement issued by the department. This endorsement authorizes a mobility dealer to display, hold in inventory, demonstrate, and sell mobility vehicles regardless of the chassis make of the vehicle. Mobility vehicles are those modified by the addition of permanently affixed ambulatory assistance devices.

The act authorizes the Michigan Secretary of State to issue a temporary “cease and desist order” to vehicle dealers, if necessary, to protect consumer or public interest. Temporary cease and desist orders require the secretary of state’s office to hold, upon request, a hearing within 30 days to determine whether the order will become permanent.

The act also requires a surety bond to indemnify or reimburse a monetary loss if a licensee committed fraud or misrepresentation after the secretary of state’s final order. This also requires a surety bond to indemnify or reimburse the state for a sales tax deficiency after a final order has been issued.

15-day temporary registration fee increase

Currently BFS-4 dealer 15-day temporary registrations are available to dealers for $1 each, sold in groups of 5. The $1 fee has not changed since at least 1974. The act provides the fee may be increased to cover the actual cost to the state. Dealers will be notified when any changes are made.

An original vehicle dealer license issued on or after April 4 expires one year after the date the license is issued. All vehicle dealer licenses issued before April 4 will continue to expire December 31. All vehicle dealers will continue to submit renewal applications to the secretary of state at least 30 days before their current license expires.

If a vehicle dealer has not renewed its dealer license on or before the expiration date, the secretary of state will notify the dealership it has not received their renewal application. The notice will include the late renewal fee equal to 150 percent of the normal renewal fee if the dealer had renewed on time.

14-day in-transit permits changing to 30 days

The act changes in-transit registrations from 14 days to 30 days. Vehicle dealers will be informed by bulletin and e-mail broadcasts before this change becomes effective if they have provided the department with a valid e-mail address.

The $10 fee for the in-transit permit does not increase.

The act requires an applicant for a vehicle dealer license, including renewals, to certify the applicant or any other individual responsible for the daily operations of the dealership understands the requirements of the act. The certification also applies to the dealer manual published by the secretary of state and any other applicable material provided by the department.

The dealer manual, department website information, and vehicle dealer compliance training will be updated with the new requirements implemented by this act. Licensed vehicle dealers will receive updates by bulletin and e-mail broadcasts if they have provided the department with a valid e-mail address.

New regulations pertaining to service and repair of vehicles

In addition to the new requirement for a mobility license, Michigan RV dealers must also contend with new rules that went into effect yesterday pertaining to repair facilities and repair services.

Public Act 430 of 2016 codifies Michigan Department of State, Bureau of Automotive Regulation general rules into Michigan compiled laws. It rescinds the current rules that implement the Act [R 257.101 to 257.173] of the Michigan Administrative Code. Many of the definitions and provisions in those rules were imported into statute when the act became effective April 4.

One of the provisions is that the consumer information sign must now be changed to include a notice that changes from $20 to $50 the minimum repair amount that triggers a requirement for a motor vehicle repair facility to give a customer a written estimate before beginning repairs.

The text content and formatting of the consumer information sign has changed. Requirements regarding the consumer information sign and an example can be located by accessing Appendix A in the Repair Facility Manual by clicking on the following link:

The minimum sign size (28 X 24 inches) is acceptable, providing the sign contains the required and updated information.

Major component parts

Airbags and seatbelts were added as structural components and are now considered major component parts. This means airbag and seatbelt information must be maintained on the major component parts log.

The record for late model major component parts must contain the date of purchase or acquisition of the part, a description of the part, the identification number assigned to the part, and the name and address of the person to or from which the part was purchased, acquired, or sold.

The requirement for recording the major component part of the front and rear bumpers will be updated to include front and rear bumper bars. The recording of soft front and rear bumper covers will no longer be required, but bumper assemblies, bumper reinforcements and bumpers bars will still be required to be recorded in the major component log.

Written estimate requirements

The minimum amount a motor vehicle repair facility may charge above the written estimate given to the customer who did not sign a special waiver changes changes from $10 or 10 percent, whichever is less, to $50 or 10 percent, whichever is less, before the facility must obtain consent for an excess charge.

The minimum amount that triggers a requirement for a motor vehicle repair facility to give a customer a written estimate before beginning repairs changes from $20 to $50.

Parts estimates invoices and written statements

When an estimate is written or a repaired vehicle is returned to a customer the written estimate, invoice and written statement will require detailed identification of all parts that were replaced. The identification must indicate which parts are new OEM, new, used, rebuilt, OEM surplus, or reconditioned. Previous requirements for written estimates, invoices and written statements will continue to apply.

The act reduces the retention of records requirement from five to three years. The repair facility owner must retain copies of each instrument, form, contract, or other document used in connection with a repair transaction for at least three years after completion of the repair transaction.

U.S. armed forces veterans

The act contains a reduced mechanic certification/trainee permit fee structure for U.S. armed forces veterans separated from the service with an honorable discharge or under generally favorable conditions. Reduced fees apply to applications for renewal certification, replacement certificates and mechanic trainee permits.

For more information, dealers may call the Michigan Department of State Information Center at 888.767.6424 between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

SOURCE: Michigan Association of RVs and Campgrounds bulletin

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report.

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