Several Important Md. Dealer Laws Take Effect Thursday

A Maryland MVA Bulletin issued earlier this month covers several new laws that will take effect in the state beginning on Thursday.

 

Among those notable to dealers are new provisions that allow for electronic sale and delivery of vehicles by dealers, and a law that empowers the MVA to suspend a business license on an emergency basis if it deems that the business violated certain safety inspection requirements. As of tomorrow, dealership owners or partners must also provide vehicle OEMs with written notice when they are attempting to sell or transfer franchise rights.

Joint bill SB 134 and HB 139 codify into law a requirement that, except “under certain circumstances,” only an authorized auto dealer may sell and deliver a vehicle through electronic means. It also requires that, for a sale to be executed, the dealer provides a consumer with a “reasonable opportunity” to review and electronically sign the sale documents.

Under these co-filed bills, a vehicle must be delivered either to the dealership or into the buyer’s possession no more than seven days after the contract is signed, unless an alternate delivery time is mutually agreed upon. The bills were filed by Del. Brian Crosby (D-St. Mary’s) and Sen. Brian Feldman (D-Montgomery).

HB 157, which was filed by request of the state Department of Transportation, authorizes the MVA to suspend a business license prior to holding an administrative hearing, if the MVA rules that the licensee is “is in violation of certain used vehicle safety inspection requirements and that there is a danger of immediate, substantial, and continuing harm to the public if the license is continued pending a hearing.” The bill requires the MVA to grant a hearing on the license suspension within seven days.

Joint bill HB 1064, filed by Del. Kris Valderamma (D-Prince George’s) and SB 813, filed by Sen. Jeff Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery), require “an owner, partner, or stockholder of a vehicle dealership seeking to sell, assign, or otherwise transfer a franchise, or any rights under said franchise, to provide a written notice to the vehicle manufacturer of the proposed transfer.”

The bill also requires OEMs to provide any necessary forms to a franchise owner or partner to help facilitate a transfer, while providing an OEM with up to 75 days to give consent to the transfer, or to provide written refusal “within the existing requirements,” as outlined by the text of the bill.

Please review the full MVA Bulletin for more information about the other vehicle-related laws that are taking effect this week. You may also contact Joe Koch, WANADA’s Vice President of Operations, at jk@wanada.org if you have any questions.

Download Bulletin PDF