The Massachusetts State Senate yesterday passed Senate Bill 2261, An Act relative to the licensure of motor vehicle inspection stations. S.2261 addresses an issue of growing concern for Massachusetts auto dealers who under current law are prevented from performing motor vehicle inspections at newly constructed dealerships.
“Auto inspections are a fact of life for Massachusetts auto dealers and their customers,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “This legislation allows Massachusetts auto dealers to perform inspections quickly and to better serve their clients.”
The bill creates a statutory requirement for the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) to grant an inspection facility license to any franchised new car dealer that meets the rules and regulations established by the Registrar and invests at least $2.5 million in a new facility or the rehabilitation of an existing facility.
“Massachusetts’ new car and truck dealers represent a significant portion of the retail economic activity in the Commonwealth,” said Senator Vinny deMacedo (R-Plymouth) the primary sponsor of the bill. “These business owners are making significant investments in our communities by constructing or rehabilitating facilities and it is only fair that we respect that investment by facilitating this important aspect of their customer service model.”
Under the current law, the RMV has instituted a waiting list for public light-duty and public mobile inspection stations. This has resulted in many franchised automobile dealers learning that their newly constructed facilities will not be receiving inspection licenses only after they have made the significant monetary investment required for new construction. These dealers are thus forced to take newly purchased cars off-site in order to perform the initial motor vehicle inspection. This adds time and complexity to the final step in the vehicle purchase process which can damage the relationship between the dealer and their customer.
As the retail economy places an ever higher value on providing a stellar face-to-face customer service experience, it is imperative that Massachusetts auto dealers be allowed to meet the expectations of their customers and provide timely and convenient motor vehicle inspections. By including a$2.5 million investment threshold for eligibility S.2261 protects small business owners who rely on their inspection business for a large percentage of their monthly revenue and maintains the RMV’s efforts to prevent a glut of inspection licenses in Massachusetts. This ensures that dealers that have made significant investments in jobs and facilities in the Commonwealth are able to provide appropriate customer service without harming the small businesses on which our economy depends.
The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.