Legislative Roundup: Maryland & Virginia

The General Assembly sessions in our region have recently wrapped up with successes for dealers on both sides of the Potomac.  Many thanks to our partners at MADA and VADA for the tremendous work in Annapolis and Richmond, respectively.  Below is an overview of this year’s accomplishments.


We had an extremely successful 2024 legislative session in Annapolis. We were successful in removing the repeal of the trade-in credit and able to defeat two significant tax increases which would have hurt sales and crippled our used car departments. Additionally, WANADA and MADA were able to secure an increase in the processing fee , which will allow dealers to be more competitive with our surrounding states. The emails and phone calls that were made in response to our Dealer Alerts were a key factor to our success. In addition, WANADA and MADA Board Members have been directly involved in the legislative process and provided supporting testimony during the legislative session. Below are the three critical accomplishments of the 2024 legislative session.

  • The repeal of the trade-in credit has been removed from the budget.
  • The increase of the vehicle excise tax to 6.5% has been removed from the budget.
  • The cap on the dealer processing fee has been increased from $500 to $800 – Effective July 1, 2024.


The cornerstone of the 2024 legislative agenda in Richmond was Dealership Buy-Sell legislation, which is now law. This bill was important because auto manufacturers have used current law to subjectively delay or object to dealership sale transactions. OEMs would find ways to reset the objection period clock or make unreasonable demands to prolong negotiations, for example. This legislation will provide clearer guidelines for dealership sales transactions, ensuring predictability and fairness in these critical business activities.

Another item on this year’s agenda was consumer protection. Proposed amendments to the Virginia Consumer Protection Act would have made it mandatory for any seller of consumer goods to include all fees in the price of all advertising. That would prohibit advertising, displaying, or offering any pricing information for goods or services without prominently displaying the total price, which includes all mandatory fees or charges other than taxes imposed. Clearly, this bill would have affected retail automotive dealers who are permitted to charge processing fees, and additional charges and taxes. Unlike most retailers, Virginia dealers are subject to a robust set of laws and regulations related to advertising, including appropriate disclosure of fees and charges. Those rules take into account standard industry practices.

This bill ultimately died in a conference committee because the House and Senate could not agree on the language of the bill.

On the environmental front, the California Air Resources Board’s zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) standards, which passed in 2021 with our backing, will remain in place for now. Republican-sponsored bills to unlink Virginia from the standards were rejected by Democratic lawmakers. While we are in favor of zero-emission vehicles, mass adoption of EVs requires state and federal policies that are technologically achievable and maintain affordability.

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