Chapter 46.70 RCW

DEALERS AND MANUFACTURERS

Sections

46.70.005Declaration of purpose.
46.70.011Definitions.
46.70.021License required for dealers or manufacturersPenalties.
46.70.023Place of business.
46.70.025Established place of businessWaiver of requirements.
46.70.027Accountability of dealer for employeesActions for damages on violation of chapter.
46.70.028Consignment.
46.70.029Listing dealers, transaction of business.
46.70.031Application for licenseForm.
46.70.041Application for licenseContents.
46.70.042Application for licenseRetention by departmentConfidentiality.
46.70.045Denial of license.
46.70.051Issuance of licensePrivate party dissemination of vehicle database.
46.70.055Wholesale vehicle dealer licenses.
46.70.061FeesDisposition.
46.70.070DealersBond required, exceptionsActionsCancellation of license.
46.70.075ManufacturersBond requiredActionsCancellation of license.
46.70.079Education requirements.
46.70.083Expiration of licenseRenewalCertification of established place of business.
46.70.085LicensesStaggered renewal.
46.70.090License platesUse.
46.70.101Denial, suspension, or revocation of licensesGrounds.
46.70.102Denial, suspension, or revocation of licensesNotice, hearing, procedure.
46.70.111Investigations or proceedingsPowers of director or designeesPenalty.
46.70.115Cease and desist ordersPenalty, "curbstoning" defined.
46.70.120Record of transactions.
46.70.122Duty when purchaser or transferee is a dealer.
46.70.124Evidence of ownership for dealers' used vehiclesConsignments.
46.70.125Used vehiclesAsking price, posting or disclosure.
46.70.130Details of charges must be furnished buyer or mortgagor.
46.70.132Manufactured home saleImplied warranty.
46.70.134Manufactured home installationWarranty, state installation code.
46.70.135Mobile homesWarranties and inspectionsDeliveryOccupancyAdvertising of dimensions.
46.70.140Handling "hot" vehiclesUnreported motor "switches"Unauthorized use of dealer platesPenalty.
46.70.160Rules and regulations.
46.70.170Penalty for violations.
46.70.180Unlawful acts and practices.
46.70.183Notice of bankruptcy proceedings.
46.70.190Civil actions for violationsInjunctionsClaims under Federal Automobile Dealer Franchise ActTime limitation.
46.70.220Duties of attorney general and prosecuting attorneys to act on violationsLimitation of civil actions.
46.70.230Duties of attorney general and prosecuting attorneys to act on violationsAssurance of complianceFiling.
46.70.240PenaltiesJurisdiction.
46.70.250Personal service of process outside state.
46.70.260Application of chapter to existing and future franchises and contracts.
46.70.270Provisions of chapter cumulativeViolation of RCW 46.70.180 deemed civil.
46.70.290Mobile homes and persons engaged in distribution and sale.
46.70.300Chapter exclusiveLocal business and occupation tax not prevented.
46.70.310Consumer Protection Act.
46.70.320Buyer's agents.
46.70.330Wholesale motor vehicle auction dealers.
46.70.340Issuance of temporary subagency licenses for recreational vehicle shows.
46.70.900Liberal construction.

NOTES:

Automotive repair: Chapter 46.71 RCW.
False or deceptive advertising: Chapter 9.04 RCW.
Lemon LawMotor vehicle express warranties: Chapter 19.118 RCW.
Manufactured home safety and construction standards, inspections: RCW 43.22.431 through 43.22.434.
Retail installment sales of goods: Chapter 63.14 RCW.
Unfair business practicesConsumer protection: Chapter 19.86 RCW.
Violations relating to mobile/manufactured homes: RCW 18.27.117.


Declaration of purpose.

The legislature finds and declares that the distribution, sale, and lease of vehicles in the state of Washington vitally affects the general economy of the state and the public interest and the public welfare, and that in order to promote the public interest and the public welfare, and in the exercise of its police power, it is necessary to regulate and license vehicle manufacturers, distributors, or wholesalers and factory or distributor representatives, and to regulate and license dealers of vehicles doing business in Washington, in order to prevent frauds, impositions, and other abuses upon its citizens and to protect and preserve the investments and properties of the citizens of this state.

NOTES:

Reviser's note: Throughout chapter 46.70 RCW the phrases "this act" and "this amendatory act" have been changed to "this chapter." This 1967 act or amendatory act [1967 ex.s. c 74] consisted of RCW 46.70.005 through 46.70.042, 46.70.051, 46.70.061, 46.70.081 through 46.70.083, 46.70.101 through 46.70.111, and 46.70.180 through 46.70.910, the 1967 amendments to RCW 46.70.060 and 46.70.070, and the repeal of RCW 46.70.010 through 46.70.050, 46.70.080, 46.70.100, and 46.70.110.
EmergencyEffective date1967 ex.s. c 74: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and sections 1 through 3 and sections 16 through 25 shall take effect immediately. Sections 4 through 15 and sections 26 through 30 inclusive shall take effect on July 1, 1967." [ 1967 ex.s. c 74 § 31.]



Definitions.

As used in this chapter:
(1) "Auction" means a transaction conducted by means of exchanges between an auctioneer and the members of the audience, constituting a series of oral invitations for offers for the purchase of vehicles made by the auctioneer, offers to purchase by members of the audience, and the acceptance of the highest or most favorable offer to purchase.
(2) "Auction company" means a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or other legal or commercial entity licensed under chapter 18.11 RCW that only sells or offers to sell vehicles at auction or only arranges or sponsors auctions.
(3) "Buyer's agent" means any person, firm, partnership, association, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, or corporation retained or employed by a consumer to arrange for or to negotiate, or both, the purchase or lease of a new motor vehicle on behalf of the consumer, and who is paid a fee or receives other compensation from the consumer for its services.
(4) "Department" means the department of licensing, which shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
(5) "Director" means the director of licensing.
(6) "Established place of business" means a location meeting the requirements of RCW 46.70.023(1) at which a vehicle dealer conducts business in this state.
(7) "Listing dealer" means a used mobile home dealer who makes contracts with sellers who will compensate the dealer for obtaining a willing purchaser for the seller's mobile home.
(8) "Manufacturer" means any person, firm, association, corporation, or trust, resident or nonresident, who manufactures or assembles new and unused vehicles or remanufactures vehicles in whole or in part and further includes the terms:
(a) "Distributor," which means any person, firm, association, corporation, or trust, resident or nonresident, who in whole or in part offers for sale, sells, or distributes any new and unused vehicle to vehicle dealers or who maintains factory representatives.
(b) "Factory branch," which means a branch office maintained by a manufacturer for the purpose of selling or offering for sale, vehicles to a distributor, wholesaler, or vehicle dealer, or for directing or supervising in whole or in part factory or distributor representatives, and further includes any sales promotion organization, whether a person, firm, or corporation, which is engaged in promoting the sale of new and unused vehicles in this state of a particular brand or make to vehicle dealers.
(c) "Factory representative," which means a representative employed by a manufacturer, distributor, or factory branch for the purpose of making or promoting for the sale of their vehicles or for supervising or contracting with their dealers or prospective dealers.
(9) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle which is self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails, and which is required to be registered and titled under this title.
(10) "New motor vehicle" means any motor vehicle that is self-propelled and is required to be registered and titled under this title, has not been previously titled to a retail purchaser or lessee, and is not a "used vehicle" as defined under RCW 46.04.660.
(11) "Principal place of business" means that dealer firm's business location in the state, which place the dealer designates as their principal place of business.
(12) "Recreational vehicle" means a travel trailer, motor home, truck camper, or camping trailer that is primarily designed and used as temporary living quarters, is either self-propelled or mounted on or drawn by another vehicle, is transient, is not occupied as a primary residence, and is not immobilized or permanently affixed to a mobile home lot.
(13) "Retail vehicle dealer" means a vehicle dealer who may buy and sell at both wholesale and retail.
(14) "Subagency" means any place of business of a vehicle dealer within the state, which place is physically and geographically separated from the principal place of business of the firm or any place of business of a vehicle dealer within the state, at which place the firm does business using a name other than the principal name of the firm, or both.
(15) "Temporary subagency" means a location other than the principal place of business or subagency within the state where a licensed vehicle dealer may secure a license to conduct the business and is licensed for a period of time not to exceed ten days for a specific purpose such as auto shows, shopping center promotions, tent sales, exhibitions, or similar merchandising ventures. No more than six temporary subagency licenses may be issued to a licensee in any twelve-month period.
(16) "Vehicle" means and includes every device capable of being moved upon a public highway and in, upon, or by which any persons or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway, excepting devices moved by human or animal power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks.
(17) "Vehicle dealer" means any person, firm, association, corporation, or trust, not excluded by subsection (18) of this section, engaged in the business of buying, selling, listing, exchanging, offering, brokering, leasing with an option to purchase, auctioning, soliciting, or advertising the sale of new or used vehicles, or arranging or offering or attempting to solicit or negotiate on behalf of others, a sale, purchase, or exchange of an interest in new or used motor vehicles, irrespective of whether the motor vehicles are owned by that person. Vehicle dealers shall be classified as follows:
(a) A "motor vehicle dealer" is a vehicle dealer that deals in new or used motor vehicles, or both;
(b) A "mobile home and travel trailer dealer" is a vehicle dealer that deals in mobile homes, park trailers, or travel trailers, or more than one type of these vehicles;
(c) A "miscellaneous vehicle dealer" is a vehicle dealer that deals in motorcycles or vehicles other than motor vehicles or mobile homes and travel trailers or any combination of such vehicles;
(d) A "recreational vehicle dealer" is a vehicle dealer that deals in travel trailers, motor homes, truck campers, or camping trailers that are primarily designed and used as temporary living quarters, are either self-propelled or mounted on or drawn by another vehicle, are transient, are not occupied as a primary residence, and are not immobilized or permanently affixed to a mobile home lot.
(18) "Vehicle dealer" does not include, nor do the licensing requirements of RCW 46.70.021 apply to, the following persons, firms, associations, or corporations:
(a) Receivers, trustees, administrators, executors, guardians, or other persons appointed by, or acting under a judgment or order of, any court; or
(b) Public officers while performing their official duties; or
(c) Employees of vehicle dealers who are engaged in the specific performance of their duties as such employees; or
(d) Any person engaged in an isolated sale of a vehicle in which that person is the registered or legal owner, or both, thereof; or
(e) Any person, firm, association, corporation, or trust, engaged in the selling of equipment other than vehicles, subject to registration, used for agricultural or industrial purposes; or
(f) A real estate broker licensed under chapter 18.85 RCW, or an affiliated licensee, who, on behalf of another negotiates the purchase, sale, lease, or exchange of a manufactured or mobile home in conjunction with the purchase, sale, exchange, rental, or lease of the land upon which the manufactured or mobile home is, or will be, located; or
(g) Owners who are also operators of special highway construction equipment, as defined in RCW 46.04.551, or of the highway construction equipment for which a vehicle license and display vehicle license number plate is required; or
(h) Any bank, trust company, savings bank, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, credit union, and any parent, subsidiary, or affiliate thereof, authorized to do business in this state under state or federal law with respect to the sale or other disposition of a motor vehicle owned and used in their business; or with respect to the acquisition and sale or other disposition of a motor vehicle in which the entity has acquired an interest as a lessor, lessee, or secured party; or
(i) Any person who is regularly engaged in the business of acquiring leases or installment contracts by assignment, with respect to the acquisition and sale or other disposition of a motor vehicle in which the person has acquired an interest as a result of the business.
(19) "Vehicle salesperson" means any person who for any form of compensation sells, auctions, leases with an option to purchase, or offers to sell or to so lease vehicles on behalf of a vehicle dealer.
(20) "Wholesale vehicle dealer" means a vehicle dealer who buys vehicles from or sells vehicles to other Washington licensed vehicle dealers.

NOTES:

Effective date2016 sp.s. c 26: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [March 29, 2016]." [ 2016 sp.s. c 26 § 3.]
Effective dateIntentLegislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.



License required for dealers or manufacturersPenalties.

(1) It is unlawful for any person, firm, or association to act as a vehicle dealer or vehicle manufacturer, to engage in business as such, serve in the capacity of such, advertise himself, herself, or themselves as such, solicit sales as such, or distribute or transfer vehicles for resale in this state, without first obtaining and holding a current license as provided in this chapter, unless the title of the vehicle is in the name of the seller.
(2) It is unlawful for any person other than a licensed vehicle dealer to display a vehicle for sale unless the registered owner or legal owner is the displayer or holds a notarized power of attorney.
(3)(a) Except as provided in (b) of this subsection, a person or firm engaged in buying and offering for sale, or buying and selling five or more vehicles in a twelve-month period, or in any other way engaged in dealer activity without holding a vehicle dealer license, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor, and upon conviction subject to a fine of up to five thousand dollars for each violation and up to three hundred sixty-four days in jail.
(b) A second offense is a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(4) A violation of this section is also a per se violation of chapter 19.86 RCW and is considered a deceptive practice.
(5) The department of licensing, the Washington state patrol, the attorney general's office, and the department of revenue shall cooperate in the enforcement of this section.
(6) A distributor, factory branch, or factory representative shall not be required to have a vehicle manufacturer license so long as the vehicle manufacturer so represented is properly licensed pursuant to this chapter.
(7) Nothing in this chapter prohibits financial institutions from cooperating with vehicle dealers licensed under this chapter in dealer sales or leases. However, financial institutions shall not broker vehicles and cooperation is limited to organizing, promoting, and financing of such dealer sales or leases.

NOTES:

FindingsIntent2011 c 96: See note following RCW 9A.20.021.
IntentEffective date2003 c 53: See notes following RCW 2.48.180.



Place of business.

(1) An "established place of business" requires a permanent, enclosed commercial building located within the state of Washington easily accessible at all reasonable times. The business of a vehicle dealer must be lawfully carried on at an established place of business in accordance with the terms of all applicable building code, zoning, and other land-use regulatory ordinances. A vehicle dealer may display a vehicle for sale only at its established place of business, licensed subagency, or temporary subagency site, except at auction. The dealer shall keep the building open to the public so that the public may contact the vehicle dealer or the dealer's salespersons at all reasonable times. The books, records, and files necessary to conduct the business shall be kept and maintained at that place. The established place of business shall display an exterior sign with the business name and nature of the business, such as auto sales, permanently affixed to the land or building, with letters clearly visible to the major avenue of traffic. A room or rooms in a hotel, rooming house, or apartment house building or part of a single or multiple-unit dwelling house may not be considered an "established place of business" unless the ground floor of such a dwelling is devoted principally to and occupied for commercial purposes and the dealer offices are located on the ground floor. A mobile office or mobile home may be used as an office if it is connected to utilities and is set up in accordance with state law. A statewide trade association representing manufactured housing dealers shall be permitted to use a manufactured home as an office if the office complies with all other applicable building code, zoning, and other land-use regulatory ordinances. This subsection does not apply to auction companies that do not own vehicle inventory or sell vehicles from an auction yard.
(2) An auction company shall have office facilities within the state. The books, records, and files necessary to conduct the business shall be maintained at the office facilities. All storage facilities for inventory shall be listed with the department, and shall meet local zoning and land use ordinances. An auction company shall maintain a telecommunications system.
(3) Auction companies shall post their vehicle dealer license at each auction where vehicles are offered, and shall provide the department with the address of the auction at least three days before the auction.
(4) If a dealer maintains a place of business at more than one location or under more than one name in this state, he or she shall designate one location as the principal place of business of the firm, one name as the principal name of the firm, and all other locations or names as subagencies. A subagency license is required for each and every subagency: PROVIDED, That the department may grant an exception to the subagency requirement in the specific instance where a licensed dealer is unable to locate their used vehicle sales facilities adjacent to or at the established place of business. This exception shall be granted and defined under the promulgation of rules consistent with the administrative procedure act.
(5) All vehicle dealers shall maintain ownership or leasehold throughout the license year of the real property from which they do business. The dealer shall provide the department with evidence of ownership or leasehold whenever the ownership changes or the lease is terminated.
(6) A subagency shall comply with all requirements of an established place of business, except that subagency records may be kept at the principal place of business designated by the dealer. Auction companies shall comply with the requirements in subsection (2) of this section.
(7) A temporary subagency shall meet all local zoning and building codes for the type of merchandising being conducted. The dealer license certificate shall be posted at the location. No other requirements of an established place of business apply to a temporary subagency. Auction companies are not required to obtain a temporary subagency license.
(8) A wholesale vehicle dealer shall have office facilities in a commercial building within this state, with no more than two other wholesale or retail vehicle dealers in the same building, and all storage facilities for inventory shall be listed with the department, and shall meet local zoning and land use ordinances. A wholesale vehicle dealer shall maintain a telecommunications system. An exterior sign visible from the nearest street shall identify the business name and the nature of business. When two or more vehicle dealer businesses share a location, all records, office facilities, and inventory, if any, must be physically segregated and clearly identified.
(9) A retail vehicle dealer shall be open during normal business hours, maintain office and display facilities in a commercially zoned location or in a location complying with all applicable building and land use ordinances, and maintain a business telephone listing in the local directory. When two or more vehicle dealer businesses share a location, all records, office facilities, and inventory shall be physically segregated and clearly identified.
(10) A subagency license is not required for a mobile home dealer to display an on-site display model, a consigned mobile home not relocated from its site, or a repossessed mobile home if sales are handled from a principal place of business or subagency. A mobile home dealer shall identify on-site display models, repossessed mobile homes, and those consigned at their sites with a sign that includes the dealer's name and telephone number.
(11) Every vehicle dealer shall advise the department of the location of each and every place of business of the firm and the name or names under which the firm is doing business at such location or locations. If any name or location is changed, the dealer shall notify the department of such change within ten days. The license issued by the department shall reflect the name and location of the firm and shall be posted in a conspicuous place at that location by the dealer.
(12) A vehicle dealer's license shall upon the death or incapacity of an individual vehicle dealer authorize the personal representative of such dealer, subject to payment of license fees, to continue the business for a period of six months from the date of the death or incapacity.

NOTES:

Effective date2016 sp.s. c 26: See note following RCW 46.70.011.



Established place of businessWaiver of requirements.

The director may by rule waive any requirements pertaining to a vehicle dealer's established place of business if such waiver both serves the purposes of this chapter and is necessary due to unique circumstances such as a location divided by a public street or a highly specialized type of business.



Accountability of dealer for employeesActions for damages on violation of chapter.

A vehicle dealer is accountable for the dealer's employees, sales personnel, and managerial personnel while in the performance of their official duties. Any violations of this chapter or applicable provisions of chapter 46.12 or 46.16A RCW committed by any of these employees subjects the dealer to license penalties prescribed under RCW 46.70.101. A retail purchaser, consignor who is not a motor vehicle dealer, or a motor vehicle dealer who has purchased from a wholesale dealer, who has suffered a loss or damage by reason of any act by a dealer, salesperson, managerial person, or other employee of a dealership, that constitutes a violation of this chapter or applicable provisions of chapter 46.12 or 46.16A RCW may institute an action for recovery against the dealer and the surety bond as set forth in RCW 46.70.070. However, under this section, motor vehicle dealers who have purchased from wholesale dealers may only institute actions against wholesale dealers and their surety bonds.
[ 2011 c 171 § 90; (2017 c 15 § 5 repealed by 2018 c 273 § 2); 1989 c 337 § 12; 1986 c 241 § 5.]

NOTES:

IntentEffective date2011 c 171: See notes following RCW 4.24.210.



Consignment.

Dealers who transact dealer business by consignment shall obtain a consignment contract for sale and shall comply with applicable provisions of chapter 46.70 RCW. The dealer shall place all funds received from the sale of the consigned vehicle in a trust account until the sale is completed, except that the dealer shall pay any outstanding liens against the vehicle from these funds. Where title has been delivered to the purchaser, the dealer shall pay the amount due a consignor within ten days after the sale. However, in the case of a consignment from a licensed vehicle dealer from any state, the wholesale auto auction shall pay the consignor within twenty days.

NOTES:

Severability2000 c 131: See note following RCW 46.70.115.



Listing dealers, transaction of business.

Listing dealers shall transact dealer business by obtaining a listing agreement for sale, and the buyer's purchase of the mobile home shall be handled as dealer inventory. All funds from the purchaser shall be placed in a trust account until the sale is completed, except that the dealer shall pay any outstanding liens against the mobile home from these funds. Where title has been delivered to the purchaser, the listing dealer shall pay the amount due a seller within ten days after the sale of a listed mobile home. A complete account of all funds received and disbursed shall be given to the seller or consignor after the sale is completed. The sale of listed mobile homes imposes the same duty under RCW 46.70.122 on the listing dealer as any other sale.



Application for licenseForm.

A vehicle dealer or vehicle manufacturer may apply for a license by filing with the department an application in such form as the department may prescribe.



Application for licenseContents.

(1) Every application for a vehicle dealer license shall contain the following information to the extent it applies to the applicant:
(a) Proof as the department may require concerning the applicant's identity, including but not limited to his or her fingerprints, the honesty, truthfulness, and good reputation of the applicant for the license, or of the officers of a corporation making the application;
(b) The applicant's form and place of organization including if the applicant is a corporation, proof that the corporation is licensed to do business in this state;
(c) The qualification and business history of the applicant and any partner, officer, or director;
(d) The applicant's financial condition or history including a bank reference and whether the applicant or any partner, officer, or director has ever been adjudged bankrupt or has any unsatisfied judgment in any federal or state court;
(e) Whether the applicant has been adjudged guilty of a crime which directly relates to the business for which the license is sought and the time elapsed since the conviction is less than ten years, or has suffered any judgment within the preceding five years in any civil action involving fraud, misrepresentation, or conversion and in the case of a corporation or partnership, all directors, officers, or partners;
(f) A business telephone with a listing in the local directory;
(g) The name or names of new vehicles the vehicle dealer wishes to sell;
(h) The names and addresses of each manufacturer from whom the applicant has received a franchise;
(i) A certificate by a representative of the department, that the applicant's principal place of business and each subagency business location in the state of Washington meets the location requirements as required by this chapter. The certificate shall include proof of the applicant's ownership or lease of the real property where the applicant's principal place of business is established;
(j) A copy of a current service agreement with a manufacturer, or distributor for a foreign manufacturer, requiring the applicant, upon demand of any customer receiving a new vehicle warranty to perform or arrange for, within a reasonable distance of his or her established place of business, the service repair and replacement work required of the manufacturer or distributor by such vehicle warranty. This requirement applies only to applicants seeking to sell, to exchange, to offer, to auction, to solicit, to advertise, or to broker new or current-model vehicles with factory or distributor warranties;
(k) The class of vehicles the vehicle dealer will be buying, selling, listing, exchanging, offering, brokering, leasing, auctioning, soliciting, or advertising, and which classification or classifications the dealer wishes to be designated as;
(l) Effective July 1, 2002, a certificate from the provider of each education program or test showing that the applicant has completed the education programs and passed the test required under RCW 46.70.079 if the applicant is a dealer subject to the education and test requirements;
(m) Any other information the department may reasonably require.
(2) If the applicant is a manufacturer the application shall contain the following information to the extent it is applicable to the applicant:
(a) The name and address of the principal place of business of the applicant and, if different, the name and address of the Washington state representative of the applicant;
(b) The name or names under which the applicant will do business in the state of Washington;
(c) Evidence that the applicant is authorized to do business in the state of Washington;
(d) The name or names of the vehicles that the licensee manufactures;
(e) The name or names and address or addresses of each and every distributor, factory branch, and factory representative;
(f) The name or names and address or addresses of resident employees or agents to provide service or repairs to vehicles located in the state of Washington only under the terms of any warranty attached to new or unused vehicles manufactured, unless such manufacturer requires warranty service to be performed by all of its dealers pursuant to a current service agreement on file with the department;
(g) Any other information the department may reasonably require.

NOTES:

Requirements of "established place of business": RCW 46.70.023.



Application for licenseRetention by departmentConfidentiality.

Every application for license shall be retained by the department for a period of three years and shall be confidential information for the use of the department, the attorney general or the prosecuting attorney only: PROVIDED, That upon a showing of good cause therefor any court in which an action is pending by or against the applicant or licensee, may order the director to produce and permit the inspection and copying or photographing the application and any accompanying statements.



Denial of license.

The director may deny a license under this chapter when the application is a subterfuge that conceals the real person in interest whose license has been denied, suspended, or revoked for cause under this chapter and the terms have not been fulfilled or a civil penalty has not been paid, the director finds that the application was not filed in good faith, or the issuance of a new license or subagency would cause a manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or factory representative, or an agent, officer, parent company, wholly or partially owned subsidiary, affiliated entity, or other person controlled by or under common control with a manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or factory representative, to be in violation of chapter 46.96 RCW. This section does not preclude the department from taking an action against a current licensee.

NOTES:

Application2014 c 214: "This act applies to all franchises and contracts between manufacturers and new motor vehicle dealers amended, renewed, or entered into after June 12, 2014. For purposes of chapter 46.96 RCW, an agreement between a manufacturer and new motor vehicle dealer entered into after June 12, 2014, addressing any issues governed by chapter 46.96 RCW, is considered an amendment to an existing franchise." [ 2014 c 214 § 9.]



Issuance of licensePrivate party dissemination of vehicle database.

(1) After the application has been filed, the fee paid, and bond posted, if required, the department shall, if no denial order is in effect and no proceeding is pending under RCW 46.70.101, issue the appropriate license, which license, in the case of a vehicle dealer, shall designate the classification of the dealer. Nothing prohibits a vehicle dealer from obtaining licenses for more than one classification, and nothing prevents any vehicle dealer from dealing in other classes of vehicles on an isolated basis.
(2) An auction company licensed under chapter 18.11 RCW may sell at auction all classifications of vehicles under a motor vehicle dealer's license issued under this chapter including motor vehicles, miscellaneous type vehicles, and mobile homes and travel trailers.
(3) At the time the department issues a vehicle dealer license, the department shall provide to the dealer a current, up-to-date vehicle dealer manual that may be provided electronically setting forth the various statutes and rules applicable to vehicle dealers. In addition, at the time any such license is renewed under RCW 46.70.083, the department shall provide the dealer with any updates or current revisions to the vehicle dealer manual. These updates or current revisions may be provided electronically.
(4) The department may contract with responsible private parties to provide them elements of the vehicle database on a regular basis. The private parties may only disseminate this information to licensed vehicle dealers.
(a) Subject to the disclosure agreement provisions of RCW 46.12.635 and the requirements of Executive Order 97-01, the department may provide to the contracted private parties the following information:
(i) All vehicle and title data necessary to accurately disclose known title defects, brands, or flags and odometer discrepancies;
(ii) All registered and legal owner information necessary to determine true ownership of the vehicle and the existence of any recorded liens, including but not limited to liens of the department of social and health services or its successor; and
(iii) Any data in the department's possession necessary to calculate the motor vehicle excise tax, license, and registration fees including information necessary to determine the applicability of regional transit authority excise and use tax surcharges.
(b) The department may provide this information in any form the contracted private party and the department agree upon, but if the data is to be transmitted over the Internet or similar public network from the department to the contracted private party, it must be encrypted.
(c) The department shall give these contracted private parties advance written notice of any change in the information referred to in (a)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this subsection, including information pertaining to the calculation of motor vehicle excise taxes.
(d) The department shall revoke a contract made under this subsection (4) with a private party who disseminates information from the vehicle database to anyone other than a licensed vehicle dealer. A private party who obtains information from the vehicle database under a contract with the department and disseminates any of that information to anyone other than a licensed vehicle dealer is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(e) Nothing in this subsection (4) authorizes a vehicle dealer or any other organization or entity not otherwise appointed as a vehicle licensing subagent under RCW 46.01.140 to perform any of the functions of a vehicle licensing subagent so appointed.

NOTES:

Effective dateIntentLegislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.



Wholesale vehicle dealer licenses.

(1)(a) Effective July 1, 2017, the department of licensing may not issue any new wholesale vehicle dealer licenses.
(b) Effective July 1, 2018, the department of licensing may not renew any wholesale vehicle dealer licenses, except as provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(2) The department of licensing shall renew a wholesale vehicle dealer license of a wholesale vehicle dealer who has held the license continuously for at least the previous six years from July 1, 2018, and who otherwise meets the requirements of this chapter.

NOTES:

Effective date2018 c 273: "This act takes effect July 1, 2018." [ 2018 c 273 § 4.]
Effective date2017 c 15 § 1: "Section 1 of this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect June 30, 2017." [ 2017 c 15 § 7.]



FeesDisposition.

(1) The annual fees for original licenses issued for twelve consecutive months from the date of issuance under this chapter shall be:
(a) Vehicle dealers, principal place of business for each and every license classification: Nine hundred seventy-five dollars;
(b) Vehicle dealers, each subagency, and temporary subagency: One hundred dollars;
(c) Vehicle manufacturers: Five hundred dollars.
(2) The annual fee for renewal of any license issued pursuant to this chapter shall be:
(a) Vehicle dealers, principal place of business for each and every license classification: Three hundred twenty-five dollars;
(b) Vehicle dealer, each and every subagency: Twenty-five dollars;
(c) Vehicle manufacturers: Two hundred fifty dollars.
If any licensee fails or neglects to apply for such renewal within thirty days after the expiration of the license, or assigned renewal date under a staggered licensing system, the license shall be declared canceled by the director, in which case the licensee will be required to apply for an original license and pay the fee required for the original license.
(3) The fee for the transfer to another location of any license classification issued pursuant to this chapter shall be twenty-five dollars.
(4) The fee for vehicle dealer license plates and manufacturer license plates shall be the amount required by law for vehicle license plates exclusive of excise tax and gross weight and tonnage fees.
(5) All fees collected under this chapter shall be deposited in the state treasury and credited to the motor vehicle fund.
(6) The fees prescribed in this section are in addition to any excise taxes imposed by chapter 82.44 RCW.

NOTES:

Effective date2012 c 74 §§ 1-12: See note following RCW 46.17.100.
Effective dates2002 c 352: See note following RCW 46.09.410.
Effective dates1986 c 241: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety, the support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately, except section 9 of this act shall take effect July 1, 1986, and section 10 of this act shall take effect July 1, 1987." [ 1986 c 241 § 28.]



DealersBond required, exceptionsActionsCancellation of license.

(1) Before issuing a vehicle dealer's license, the department shall require the applicant to file with the department a surety bond in the amount of:
(a) Thirty thousand dollars for motor vehicle dealers;
(b) Thirty thousand dollars for mobile home, park trailer, and travel trailer dealers;
(c) Five thousand dollars for miscellaneous dealers,
running to the state, and executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the state. Such bond shall be approved by the attorney general as to form and conditioned that the dealer shall conduct his or her business in conformity with the provisions of this chapter.
Any retail purchaser, consignor who is not a motor vehicle dealer, or a motor vehicle dealer who has purchased from, sold to, or otherwise transacted business with a wholesale dealer, who has suffered any loss or damage by reason of any act by a dealer which constitutes a violation of this chapter shall have the right to institute an action for recovery against such dealer and the surety upon such bond. However, under this section, motor vehicle dealers who have purchased from, sold to, or otherwise transacted business with wholesale dealers may only institute actions against wholesale dealers and their surety bonds. Successive recoveries against said bond shall be permitted, but the aggregate liability of the surety to all persons shall in no event exceed the amount of the bond. Upon exhaustion of the penalty of said bond or cancellation of the bond by the surety the vehicle dealer license shall automatically be deemed canceled.
(2) The bond for any vehicle dealer licensed or to be licensed under more than one classification shall be the highest bond required for any such classification.
(3) Vehicle dealers shall maintain a bond for each business location in this state and bond coverage for all temporary subagencies.



ManufacturersBond requiredActionsCancellation of license.

Before issuing a manufacturer license to a manufacturer of mobile homes or travel trailers, the department shall require the applicant to file with the department a surety bond in the amount of forty thousand dollars in the case of a mobile home manufacturer and twenty thousand dollars in the case of a travel trailer manufacturer, running to the state and executed by a surety company authorized to do business in the state. Such bond shall be approved by the attorney general as to form and conditioned that the manufacturer shall conduct his or her business in conformity with the provisions of this chapter and with all standards set by the state of Washington or the federal government pertaining to the construction or safety of such vehicles. Any retail purchaser or vehicle dealer who has suffered any loss or damage by reason of breach of warranty or by any act by a manufacturer which constitutes a violation of this chapter or a violation of any standards set by the state of Washington or the federal government pertaining to construction or safety of such vehicles has the right to institute an action for recovery against such manufacturer and the surety upon such bond. Successive recoveries against the bond shall be permitted, but the aggregate liability of the surety to all persons shall in no event exceed the amount of the bond. Upon exhaustion of the penalty of the bond or cancellation of the bond by the surety the manufacturer license is automatically deemed canceled.



Education requirements.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the following education requirements apply to an applicant for a vehicle dealer license under RCW 46.70.021:
(a) An applicant for a vehicle dealer license under RCW 46.70.021 must complete a minimum of eight hours of approved education programs described in subsection (3) of this section and pass a test prior to submitting an application for the license; and
(b) An applicant for a renewal of a vehicle dealer license under RCW 46.70.083 must complete a minimum of five hours per year in a licensing period of approved continuing education programs described in subsection (3) of this section prior to submitting an application for the renewal of the vehicle dealer license.
(2) The education and test requirements in subsection (1) of this section do not apply to an applicant for a vehicle dealer license under RCW 46.70.021 if the applicant is:
(a) A franchised dealer of new recreational vehicles;
(b) A nationally franchised or corporate-owned motor vehicle rental company;
(c) A dealer of manufactured dwellings;
(d) A national auction company that holds a vehicle dealer license and a wrecker license whose primary activity in this state is the sale or disposition of totaled vehicles; or
(e) A wholesale auto auction company that holds a vehicle dealer license.
(3) The education programs and test required in subsection (1) of this section shall be developed by motor vehicle industry organizations including, but not limited to, the state independent auto dealers association and the department of licensing.
(4) A new motor vehicle dealer, as defined under RCW 46.96.020, is deemed to have met the education and test requirements required for applicants for a vehicle dealer license under this section.

NOTES:

Effective date2001 c 272 § 12: "Section 12 of this act takes effect July 1, 2002." [ 2001 c 272 § 14.]



Expiration of licenseRenewalCertification of established place of business.

The license of a vehicle dealer or a vehicle manufacturer expires on the date that is twelve consecutive months from the date of issuance. The license may be renewed by filing with the department prior to the expiration of the license, a renewal application containing such information as the department may require to indicate the number of vehicle sales transacted during the past year, and any material change in the information contained in the original application. Failure by the dealer to comply is grounds for denial of the renewal application or dealer license plate renewal.
The dealer's established place of business shall be certified by a representative of the department at least once every thirty-six months, or more frequently as determined necessary by the department. The certification will verify compliance with the requirements of this chapter for an established place of business. Failure by the dealer to comply at any time is grounds for license suspension or revocation, denial of the renewal application, or monetary assessment.



LicensesStaggered renewal.

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the director may extend or diminish licensing periods of dealers and manufacturers for the purpose of staggering renewal periods. The extension or diminishment shall be by rule of the department adopted in accordance with chapter 34.05 RCW.



License platesUse.

(1) The department shall issue a vehicle dealer license plate which shall be attached to the rear of the vehicle only and which is capable of distinguishing the classification of the dealer, to vehicle dealers properly licensed pursuant to this chapter and shall, upon application, issue manufacturer's license plates to manufacturers properly licensed pursuant to this chapter.
(2) The department shall issue to a vehicle dealer up to three vehicle dealer license plates. After the third dealer plate is issued, the department shall limit the number of dealer plates to six percent of the vehicles sold during the preceding license period. For an original license the vehicle dealer license applicant shall estimate the first year's sales or leases. The director or director's designee may waive these dealer plate issuance restrictions for a vehicle dealer if the waiver both serves the purposes of this chapter and is essential to the continuation of the business. The director shall adopt rules to implement this waiver.
(3) Motor vehicle dealer license plates may be used:
(a) To demonstrate motor vehicles held for sale or lease when operated by an individual holding a valid operator's license, if a dated demonstration permit, valid for no more than seventy-two hours, is carried in the vehicle at all times it is operated by any such individual.
(b) On motor vehicles owned, held for sale or lease, and which are in fact available for sale or lease by the firm when operated by an officer of the corporation, partnership, or proprietorship or by their spouses, or by an employee of the firm, if a card so identifying any such individual is carried in the vehicle at all times it is operated by such individual. Any such vehicle so operated may be used to transport the dealer's own tools, parts, and equipment of a total weight not to exceed five hundred pounds.
(c) On motor vehicles being tested for repair.
(d) On motor vehicles being moved to or from a motor vehicle dealer's place of business for sale.
(e) On motor vehicles being moved to or from motor vehicle service and repair facilities before sale or lease.
(f) On motor vehicles being moved to or from motor vehicle exhibitions within the state of Washington, if any such exhibition does not exceed a period of twenty days.
(4) Mobile home and travel trailer dealer license plates may be used:
(a) On units hauled to or from the place of business of the manufacturer and the place of business of the dealer or to and from places of business of the dealer.
(b) On mobile homes hauled to a customer's location for set-up after sale.
(c) On travel trailers held for sale to demonstrate the towing capability of the vehicle if a dated demonstration permit, valid for not more than seventy-two hours, is carried with the vehicle at all times.
(d) On mobile homes being hauled from a customer's location if the requirements of RCW 46.44.170 and 46.44.175 are met.
(e) On any motor vehicle owned by the dealer which is used only to move vehicles legally bearing mobile home and travel trailer dealer license plates of the dealer so owning any such motor vehicle.
(f) On vehicles being moved to or from vehicle exhibitions within the state of Washington, if any such exhibition does not exceed a period of twenty days.
(5) Miscellaneous vehicle dealer license plates may be used:
(a) To demonstrate any miscellaneous vehicle: PROVIDED, That:
(i) No such vehicle may be demonstrated on a public highway unless the customer has an appropriate endorsement on his or her driver's license, if such endorsement is required to operate such vehicle; and
(ii) A dated demonstration permit, valid for no more than seventy-two hours, is carried with the vehicle at all times it is operated by any such individual.
(b) On vehicles owned, held for sale, and which are in fact available for sale, by the firm when operated by an officer of the corporation, partnership, or proprietorship or by a bona fide full-time employee of the firm, if a card so identifying such individual is carried in the vehicle at all times it is operated by him or her.
(c) On vehicles being tested for repair.
(d) On vehicles being transported to or from the place of business of the manufacturer and the place of business of the dealer or to and from places of business of the dealer.
(e) On vehicles on which any other item sold or to be sold by the dealer is transported from the place of business of the manufacturer to the place of business of the dealer or to and from places of business of the dealer if such vehicle and such item are purchased or sold as one package.
(6) Manufacturers properly licensed pursuant to this chapter may apply for and obtain manufacturer license plates and may be used:
(a) On vehicles being moved to or from the place of business of a manufacturer to a vehicle dealer within this state who is properly licensed pursuant to this chapter.
(b) To test vehicles for repair.
(7) Vehicle dealer license plates and manufacturer license plates shall not be used for any purpose other than set forth in this section and specifically shall not be:
(a) Used on any vehicle not within the class for which the vehicle dealer or manufacturer license plates are issued unless specifically provided for in this section.
(b) Loaned to any person for any reason not specifically provided for in this section.
(c) Used on any vehicles for the transportation of any person, produce, freight, or commodities unless specifically provided for in this section, except there shall be permitted the use of such vehicle dealer license plates on a vehicle transporting commodities in the course of a demonstration over a period not to exceed seventy-two consecutive hours from the commencement of such demonstration, if a representative of the dealer is present and accompanies such vehicle during the course of the demonstration.
(d) Used on any vehicle sold to a resident of another state to transport such vehicle to that other state in lieu of a trip permit or in lieu of vehicle license plates obtained from that other state.
(e) Used on any new vehicle unless the vehicle dealer has provided the department a current service agreement with the manufacturer or distributor of that vehicle as provided in RCW 46.70.041(1)(k).
(8) In addition to or in lieu of any sanction imposed by the director pursuant to RCW 46.70.101 for unauthorized use of vehicle dealer license plates or manufacturer license plates, the director may order that any or all vehicle dealer license plates or manufacturer license plates issued pursuant to this chapter be confiscated for such period as the director deems appropriate.



Denial, suspension, or revocation of licensesGrounds.

The director may by order deny, suspend, or revoke the license of any vehicle dealer or vehicle manufacturer or, in lieu thereof or in addition thereto, may by order assess monetary penalties of a civil nature not to exceed one thousand dollars per violation, if the director finds that the order is in the public interest and that the applicant or licensee:
(1) In the case of a vehicle dealer:
(a) The applicant or licensee, or any partner, officer, director, owner of ten percent or more of the assets of the firm, or managing employee:
(i) Was the holder of a license issued pursuant to this chapter, which was revoked for cause and never reissued by the department, or which license was suspended for cause and the terms of the suspension have not been fulfilled or which license was assessed a civil penalty and the assessed amount has not been paid;
(ii) Has been adjudged guilty of a crime which directly relates to the business of a vehicle dealer and the time elapsed since the adjudication is less than ten years, or suffering any judgment within the preceding five years in any civil action involving fraud, misrepresentation, or conversion. For the purposes of this section, "adjudged guilty" means in addition to a final conviction in either a state or municipal court, an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure a defendant's appearance in court, the payment of a fine, a plea of guilty, or a finding of guilt regardless of whether the sentence is deferred or the penalty is suspended;
(iii) Has knowingly or with reason to know made a false statement of a material fact in his or her application for license or any data attached thereto, or in any matter under investigation by the department;
(iv) Has knowingly, or with reason to know, provided the department with false information relating to the number of vehicle sales transacted during the past one year in order to obtain a vehicle dealer license plate;
(v) Does not have an established place of business as required in this chapter;
(vi) Refuses to allow representatives or agents of the department to inspect during normal business hours all books, records, and files maintained within this state;
(vii) Sells, exchanges, offers, brokers, auctions, solicits, or advertises a new or current model vehicle to which a factory new vehicle warranty attaches and fails to have a valid, written service agreement as required by this chapter, or having such agreement refuses to honor the terms of such agreement within a reasonable time or repudiates the same, except for sales by wholesale motor vehicle auction dealers to franchise motor vehicle dealers of the same make licensed under this title or franchise motor vehicle dealers of the same make licensed by any other state;
(viii) Is insolvent, either in the sense that their liabilities exceed their assets, or in the sense that they cannot meet their obligations as they mature;
(ix) Fails to pay any civil monetary penalty assessed by the director pursuant to this section within ten days after such assessment becomes final;
(x) Fails to notify the department of bankruptcy proceedings in the manner required by RCW 46.70.183;
(xi) Knowingly, or with reason to know, allows a salesperson employed by the dealer, or acting as their agent, to commit any of the prohibited practices set forth in subsection (1)(a) of this section and RCW 46.70.180;
(xii) Fails to have a current certificate or registration with the department of revenue.
(b) The applicant or licensee, or any partner, officer, director, owner of ten percent of the assets of the firm, or any employee or agent:
(i) Has failed to comply with the applicable provisions of chapter 46.12 or 46.16A RCW or this chapter or any rules and regulations adopted thereunder;
(ii) Has defrauded or attempted to defraud the state, or a political subdivision thereof of any taxes or fees in connection with the sale, lease, or transfer of a vehicle;
(iii) Has forged the signature of the registered or legal owner on a certificate of title;
(iv) Has purchased, sold, disposed of, or has in his or her possession any vehicle which he or she knows or has reason to know has been stolen or appropriated without the consent of the owner;
(v) Has willfully failed to deliver to a purchaser or owner a certificate of title to a vehicle which he or she has sold or leased;
(vi) Has committed any act in violation of RCW 46.70.090 relating to vehicle dealer license plates or manufacturer license plates;
(vii) Has committed any act in violation of RCW 46.70.180 relating to unlawful acts and practices;
(viii) Has engaged in practices inimical to the health or safety of the citizens of the state of Washington including but not limited to failure to comply with standards set by the state of Washington or the federal government pertaining to the construction or safety of vehicles, except for sales by wholesale motor vehicle auction dealers to motor vehicle dealers and vehicle wreckers licensed under this title or motor vehicle dealers licensed by any other state;
(ix) Has aided or assisted an unlicensed dealer or salesperson in unlawful activity through active or passive participation in sales, allowing use of facilities, dealer license number, or by any other means;
(x) Converts or appropriates, whether temporarily or permanently, property or funds belonging to a customer, dealer, or manufacturer, without the consent of the owner of the property or funds; or
(xi) Has sold any vehicle with actual knowledge that:
(A) It has any of the following brands on the title: "SALVAGE/REBUILT," "JUNK," or "DESTROYED"; or
(B) It has been declared totaled out by an insurance carrier and then rebuilt; or
(C) The vehicle title contains the specific comment that the vehicle is "rebuilt";
without clearly disclosing that brand or comment in writing.
(c) The licensee or any partner, officer, director, or owner of ten percent or more of the assets of the firm holds or has held any such position in any other vehicle dealership licensed pursuant to this chapter which is subject to final proceedings under this section.
(2) In the case of a manufacturer, or any partner, officer, director, or majority shareholder:
(a) Was or is the holder of a license issued pursuant to this chapter which was revoked for cause and never reissued by the department, or which license was suspended for cause and the terms of the suspension have not been fulfilled, or which license was assessed a civil penalty and the assessed amount has not been paid;
(b) Has knowingly or with reason to know, made a false statement of a material fact in his or her application for license, or any data attached thereto, or in any matter under investigation by the department;
(c) Has failed to comply with the applicable provisions of chapter 46.12 or 46.16A RCW or this chapter or any rules and regulations adopted thereunder;
(d) Has defrauded or attempted to defraud the state or a political subdivision thereof, of any taxes or fees in connection with the sale, lease, or transfer of a vehicle;
(e) Has purchased, sold, leased, disposed of, or has in his or her possession, any vehicle which he or she knows or has reason to know has been stolen or appropriated without the consent of the owner;
(f) Has committed any act in violation of RCW 46.70.090 relating to vehicle dealer license plates and manufacturer license plates;
(g) Has committed any act in violation of RCW 46.70.180 relating to unlawful acts and practices;
(h) Sells or distributes in this state or transfers into this state for resale or for lease, any new or unused vehicle to which a warranty attaches or has attached and refuses to honor the terms of such warranty within a reasonable time or repudiates the same;
(i) Fails to maintain one or more resident employees or agents to provide service or repairs to vehicles located within the state of Washington only under the terms of any warranty attached to new or unused vehicles manufactured and which are or have been sold or distributed in this state or transferred into this state for resale or for lease unless such manufacturer requires warranty service to be performed by all of its dealers pursuant to a current service agreement on file with the department;
(j) Fails to reimburse within a reasonable time any vehicle dealer within the state of Washington who in good faith incurs reasonable obligations in giving effect to warranties that attach or have attached to any new or unused vehicle sold, leased, or distributed in this state or transferred into this state for resale or for lease by any such manufacturer;
(k) Engaged in practices inimical to the health and safety of the citizens of the state of Washington including, but not limited to, failure to comply with standards set by the state of Washington or the federal government pertaining to the construction and safety of vehicles;
(l) Is insolvent either in the sense that his or her liabilities exceed his or her assets or in the sense that he or she cannot meet his or her obligations as they mature;
(m) Fails to notify the department of bankruptcy proceedings in the manner required by RCW 46.70.183.

NOTES:

IntentEffective date2011 c 171: See notes following RCW 4.24.210.
Effective dateIntentLegislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.



Denial, suspension, or revocation of licensesNotice, hearing, procedure.

Upon the entry of the order under RCW 46.70.101 the director shall promptly notify the applicant or licensee that the order has been entered and of the reasons therefor and that if requested by the applicant or licensee within fifteen days after the receipt of the director's notification, the matter will be promptly set down for hearing pursuant to chapter 34.05 RCW. If no hearing is requested and none is ordered by the director, the order will remain in effect until it is modified or vacated by the director. If a hearing is requested or ordered, the director, or his or her personal representative, after notice of and opportunity for hearing, may modify or vacate the order, or extend it until final determination. No final order may be entered under RCW 46.70.101 denying or revoking a license without appropriate prior notice to the applicant or licensee, opportunity for hearing, and written findings of fact and conclusions of law.



Investigations or proceedingsPowers of director or designeesPenalty.

For the purpose of any investigation or proceeding under this chapter, the director or any officer designated by him or her may administer oaths and affirmations, subpoena witnesses, compel their attendance, take evidence, and require the production of any books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, or other documents or records which the director deems relevant or material to the inquiry.
(1) In case of contumacy by, or refusal to obey a subpoena issued to, any person, any court of competent jurisdiction, upon application by the director, may issue to that person an order requiring him or her to appear before the director, or the officer designated by him or her, to produce documentary or other evidence touching the matter under investigation or in question. The failure to obey an order of the court may be punishable by contempt.



Cease and desist ordersPenalty, "curbstoning" defined.

(1) If it appears to the director that a person has engaged or is about to engage in an act or practice constituting a violation of this chapter, or a rule adopted or an order issued under this chapter, the director may issue an order directing the person to cease and desist from continuing the act or practice. Reasonable notice of and opportunity for a hearing shall be given. The director may issue a temporary order pending a hearing. The temporary order shall remain in effect until ten days after the hearing is held and shall become final if the person to whom the notice is addressed does not request a hearing within fifteen days after receipt of the notice.
(2) The director may levy and collect a civil penalty, in an amount not to exceed one thousand dollars for each violation, against a person found by the director to be curbstoning, as that term is defined in subsection (3) of this section. A person against whom a civil penalty has been imposed must receive reasonable notice and an opportunity for a hearing on the issue. The civil penalty is due ten days after issuance of a final order.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (2) of this section,"curbstoning" means a person or firm engaged in buying and offering for sale, or buying and selling, five or more vehicles that are each less than thirty years old in a twelve-month period without holding a vehicle dealer license. For the purpose of subsections (1) and (2) of this section, "curbstoning" does not include the sale of equipment or vehicles used in farming as defined in RCW 46.04.183 and sold by a farmer as defined in RCW 46.04.182.

NOTES:

Severability2000 c 131: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 2000 c 131 § 3.]



Record of transactions.

A dealer shall complete and maintain for a period of at least five years a record of the purchase and sale or lease of all vehicles purchased, sold, or leased by him or her. The records shall consist of:
(1) The license and title numbers of the state in which the last license was issued;
(2) A description of the vehicle;
(3) The name and address of the person from whom purchased;
(4) The name of the legal owner, if any;
(5) The name and address of the purchaser or lessee;
(6) If purchased from a dealer, the name, business address, dealer license number, and resale tax number of the dealer;
(7) The price paid for the vehicle and the method of payment;
(8) The vehicle odometer disclosure statement given by the seller to the dealer, and the vehicle odometer disclosure statement given by the dealer to the purchaser or lessee;
(9) The written agreement to allow a dealer to sell between the dealer and the consignor, or the listing dealer and the seller;
(10) Trust account records of receipts, deposits, and withdrawals;
(11) All sale documents, which shall show the full name of dealer employees involved in the sale or lease; and
(12) Any additional information the department may require. However, the department may not require a dealer to collect or retain the hardback copy of a temporary license permit after the permanent license plates for a vehicle have been provided to the purchaser or lessee, if the dealer maintains some other copy of the temporary license permit together with a log of the permits issued.
Such records shall be maintained separate from all other business records of the dealer. Paper records older than two years may be kept at a location other than the dealer's place of business if those records are made available in hard copy for inspection within three calendar days, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, after a request by the director or the director's authorized agent. Records kept at the vehicle dealer's place of business must be available for inspection by the director or the director's authorized agent during normal business hours. Records shall be kept in paper form for one year and, after such time, may be kept solely as electronic records and not as hard copies as long as such electronic records can be accessed by computer at the dealer's place of business during normal business hours for the remainder of the five-year retention period. Records that originate as electronic records may be retained as electronic records with no paper form and must be accessible by computer at the dealer's place of business for at least five years. The director may adopt rules necessary to implement electronic records retention.
Dealers may maintain their recordkeeping and filing systems in accordance with their own particular business needs and practices. Nothing in this chapter requires dealers to maintain their records in any particular order or manner, as long as the records identified in this section are maintained in the dealership's recordkeeping system.

NOTES:

Effective date, implementation1990 c 238: See note following RCW 46.12.530.
Odometer disclosure statement: RCW 46.12.665.



Duty when purchaser or transferee is a dealer.

(1) If the purchaser or transferee is a dealer he or she shall, on selling, leasing, or otherwise disposing of the vehicle, promptly execute the assignment and warranty of title, in such form as the director shall prescribe.
(2) The assignment and warranty shall show any secured party holding a security interest created or reserved at the time of resale or lease, to which shall be attached the assigned certificate of title and registration certificate received by the dealer. The dealer shall mail or deliver them to the department with the transferee's application for the issuance of new certificate of title and registration certificate. The certificate of title issued for a vehicle possessed by a dealer and subject to a security interest shall be delivered to the secured party who upon request of the dealer's transferee shall, unless the transfer was a breach of the security agreement, either deliver the certificate to the transferee for transmission to the department, or upon receipt from the transferee of the owner's bill of sale or sale document, the transferee's application for a new certificate and the required fee, mail or deliver to the department. Failure of a dealer to deliver the certificate of title to the secured party does not affect perfection of the security interest.
[ 2010 c 161 § 1133; 2001 c 272 § 8; 1990 c 238 § 5; 1975 c 25 § 11; 1972 ex.s. c 99 § 3; 1967 c 140 § 2; 1961 c 12 § 46.12.120. Prior: 1959 c 166 § 10; prior: 1947 c 164 § 4(c); 1937 c 188 § 6(c); Rem. Supp. 1947 § 6312-6(c). Formerly RCW 46.12.120.]

NOTES:

Effective dateIntentLegislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.
Effective date, implementation1990 c 238: See note following RCW 46.12.530.
Effective date1967 c 140: See note following RCW 46.12.520.



Evidence of ownership for dealers' used vehiclesConsignments.

A vehicle dealer shall possess a separate certificate of title or other evidence of ownership approved by the department for each used vehicle kept in the dealer's possession. Evidence of ownership shall be either in the name of the dealer or in the name of the dealer's immediate vendor properly assigned. In the case of consigned vehicles, the vehicle dealer may possess a completed consignment contract that includes a guaranteed title from the seller in lieu of the required certificate of title.
[ 2010 c 161 § 1134; 1994 c 262 § 11; 1990 c 250 § 29; 1961 c 12 § 46.12.140. Prior: 1959 c 166 § 12; prior: 1947 c 164 § 4(e); 1937 c 188 § 6(e); Rem. Supp. 1947 § 6312-6(e). Formerly RCW 46.12.140.]

NOTES:

Effective dateIntentLegislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.



Used vehiclesAsking price, posting or disclosure.

A vehicle dealer who sells used vehicles shall either display on the vehicle, or disclose upon request, the written asking price of a specific vehicle offered for sale by the dealer as of that time.
A violation of this section is an unfair business practice under chapter 19.86 RCW, the Consumer Protection Act, and the provisions of chapter 46.70 RCW.



Details of charges must be furnished buyer or mortgagor.

(1) Before the execution of a contract or chattel mortgage or the consummation of the sale or lease of any vehicle, the seller must furnish the buyer or lessee an itemization in writing signed by the seller separately disclosing to the buyer or lessee the finance charge, insurance costs, taxes, and other charges which are paid or to be paid by the buyer or lessee.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, an itemization of the various license and title fees paid or to be paid by the buyer or lessee, which itemization must be the same as that disclosed on the registration/application for title document issued by the department, may be required only on the title application at the time the application is submitted for title transfer. A vehicle dealer may not be required to separately or individually itemize the license and title fees on any other document, including but not limited to the purchase order and lease agreement. No fee itemization may be required on the temporary permit.



Manufactured home saleImplied warranty.

(1) In addition to the requirements contained in RCW 46.70.135, each sale of a new manufactured home in this state is made with an implied warranty that the manufactured home conforms in all material aspects to applicable federal and state laws and regulations establishing standards of safety or quality, and with implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose as permanent housing in the climate of the state.
(2) The implied warranties contained in this section may not be waived, limited, or modified. Any provision that attempts to waive, limit, or modify the implied warranties contained in this section is void and unenforceable.

NOTES:

Effective date1994 c 284: See RCW 43.22A.901.



Manufactured home installationWarranty, state installation code.

Any dealer, manufacturer, or contractor who installs a manufactured home warrants that the manufactured home is installed in accordance with the state installation code, chapter 296-150B WAC. The warranty contained in this section may not be waived, limited, or modified. Any provision attempting to waive, limit, or modify the warranty contained in this section is void and unenforceable. This section does not apply when the manufactured home is installed by the purchaser of the home.

NOTES:

Effective date1994 c 284: See RCW 43.22A.901.



Mobile homesWarranties and inspectionsDeliveryOccupancyAdvertising of dimensions.

Mobile home manufacturers and mobile home dealers who sell mobile homes to be assembled on-site and used as residences in this state shall conform to the following requirements:
(1) No new manufactured home may be sold unless the purchaser is provided with a manufacturer's written warranty for construction of the home in compliance with the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act (88 Stat. 2183; 15 U.S.C. Sec. 47 et seq.; 15 U.S.C. Sec. 2301 et seq.).
(2) No new manufactured home may be sold unless the purchaser is provided with a dealer's written warranty for all installation services performed by the dealer.
(3) The warranties required by subsections (1) and (2) of this section shall be valid for a minimum of one year measured from the date of delivery and shall not be invalidated by resale by the original purchaser to a subsequent purchaser or by the certificate of title being eliminated or not issued as described in chapter 65.20 RCW. Copies of the warranties shall be given to the purchaser upon signing a purchase agreement and shall include an explanation of remedies available to the purchaser under state and federal law for breach of warranty, the name and address of the federal department of housing and urban development and the state departments of licensing and labor and industries, and a brief description of the duties of these agencies concerning mobile homes.
(4) Warranty service shall be completed within forty-five days after the owner gives written notice of the defect unless there is a bona fide dispute between the parties. Warranty service for a defect affecting health or safety shall be completed within seventy-two hours of receipt of written notice. Warranty service shall be performed on-site and a written work order describing labor performed and parts used shall be completed and signed by the service agent and the owner. If the owner's signature cannot be obtained, the reasons shall be described on the work order. Work orders shall be retained by the dealer or manufacturer for a period of three years.
(5) Before delivery of possession of the home to the purchaser, an inspection shall be performed by the dealer or his or her agent and by the purchaser or his or her agent which shall include a test of all systems of the home to insure proper operation, unless such systems test is delayed pursuant to this subsection. At the time of the inspection, the purchaser shall be given copies of all documents required by state or federal agencies to be supplied by the manufacturer with the home which have not previously been provided as required under subsection (3) of this section, and the dealer shall complete any required purchaser information card and forward the card to the manufacturer. A purchaser is deemed to have taken delivery of the manufactured home when all three of the following events have occurred: (a) The contractual obligations between the purchaser and the seller have been met; (b) the inspection of the home is completed; and (c) the systems test of the home has been completed subsequent to the installation of the home, or fifteen days has elapsed since the transport of the home to the site where it will be installed, whichever is earlier. Occupancy of the manufactured home shall only occur after the systems test has occurred and all required utility connections have been approved after inspection.
(6) Manufacturer and dealer advertising which states the dimensions of a home shall not include the length of the draw bar assembly in a listed dimension, and shall state the square footage of the actual floor area.

NOTES:

Effective dateIntentLegislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.
Effective date1994 c 284: See RCW 43.22A.901.
Effective date1989 c 343: See RCW 65.20.950.
Severability1981 c 304: See note following RCW 26.16.030.
Manufactured home installation and warranty service: RCW 43.22.440, 43.22.442.
Manufactured home safety and construction standards, inspections, etc.: RCW 43.22.431 through 43.22.434.



Handling "hot" vehiclesUnreported motor "switches"Unauthorized use of dealer platesPenalty.

Any vehicle dealer who knowingly or with reason to know, buys or receives, sells or disposes of, conceals or has in the dealer's possession, any vehicle from which the motor or serial number has been removed, defaced, covered, altered, or destroyed, or any dealer, who removes from or installs in any motor vehicle registered with the department by motor block number, a new or used motor block without immediately notifying the department of such fact upon a form provided by the department, or any vehicle dealer who loans or permits the use of vehicle dealer license plates by any person not entitled to the use thereof, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.



Rules and regulations.

The director may make any reasonable rules and regulations not inconsistent with the provisions of chapter 46.70 RCW relating to the enforcement and proper operation thereof.



Penalty for violations.

It is a misdemeanor for any person to violate any of the provisions of this chapter, except where expressly provided otherwise, and the rules adopted as provided under this chapter.

NOTES:

Rules of court: Bail in criminal traffic offense casesMandatory appearanceCrRLJ 3.2.



Unlawful acts and practices.

Each of the following acts or practices is unlawful:
(1) To cause or permit to be advertised, printed, displayed, published, distributed, broadcasted, televised, or disseminated in any manner whatsoever, any statement or representation with regard to the sale, lease, or financing of a vehicle which is false, deceptive, or misleading, including but not limited to the following:
(a) That no down payment is required in connection with the sale of a vehicle when a down payment is in fact required, or that a vehicle may be purchased for a smaller down payment than is actually required;
(b) That a certain percentage of the sale price of a vehicle may be financed when such financing is not offered in a single document evidencing the entire security transaction;
(c) That a certain percentage is the amount of the service charge to be charged for financing, without stating whether this percentage charge is a monthly amount or an amount to be charged per year;
(d) That a new vehicle will be sold for a certain amount above or below cost without computing cost as the exact amount of the factory invoice on the specific vehicle to be sold;
(e) That a vehicle will be sold upon a monthly payment of a certain amount, without including in the statement the number of payments of that same amount which are required to liquidate the unpaid purchase price.
(2)(a)(i) To incorporate within the terms of any purchase and sale or lease agreement any statement or representation with regard to the sale, lease, or financing of a vehicle which is false, deceptive, or misleading, including but not limited to terms that include as an added cost to the selling price or capitalized cost of a vehicle an amount for licensing or transfer of title of that vehicle which is not actually due to the state, unless such amount has in fact been paid by the dealer prior to such sale.
(ii) However, an amount not to exceed one hundred fifty dollars per vehicle sale or lease may be charged by a dealer to recover administrative costs for collecting motor vehicle excise taxes, licensing and registration fees and other agency fees, verifying and clearing titles, transferring titles, perfecting, releasing, or satisfying liens or other security interests, and other administrative and documentary services rendered by a dealer in connection with the sale or lease of a vehicle and in carrying out the requirements of this chapter or any other provisions of state law.
(b) A dealer may charge the documentary service fee in (a) of this subsection under the following conditions:
(i) The documentary service fee is disclosed in writing to a prospective purchaser or lessee before the execution of a purchase and sale or lease agreement;
(ii) The dealer discloses to the purchaser or lessee in writing that the documentary service fee is a negotiable fee. The disclosure must be written in a typeface that is at least as large as the typeface used in the standard text of the document that contains the disclosure and that is bold faced, capitalized, underlined, or otherwise set out from the surrounding material so as to be conspicuous. The dealer shall not represent to the purchaser or lessee that the fee or charge is required by the state to be paid by either the dealer or prospective purchaser or lessee;
(iii) The documentary service fee is separately designated from the selling price or capitalized cost of the vehicle and from any other taxes, fees, or charges; and
(iv) Dealers disclose in any advertisement that a documentary service fee in an amount up to one hundred fifty dollars may be added to the sale price or the capitalized cost.
For the purposes of this subsection (2), the term "documentary service fee" means the optional amount charged by a dealer to provide the services specified in (a) of this subsection.
(3) To set up, promote, or aid in the promotion of a plan by which vehicles are to be sold or leased to a person for a consideration and upon further consideration that the purchaser or lessee agrees to secure one or more persons to participate in the plan by respectively making a similar purchase and in turn agreeing to secure one or more persons likewise to join in said plan, each purchaser or lessee being given the right to secure money, credits, goods, or something of value, depending upon the number of persons joining the plan.
(4) To commit, allow, or ratify any act of "bushing" which is defined as follows: Entering into a written contract, written purchase order or agreement, retail installment sales agreement, note and security agreement, or written lease agreement, hereinafter collectively referred to as contract or lease, signed by the prospective buyer or lessee of a vehicle, which:
(a) Is subject to any conditions or the dealer's or his or her authorized representative's future acceptance, and the dealer fails or refuses within the "bushing" period, which is four calendar days, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, and prior to any further negotiations with said buyer or lessee to inform the buyer or lessee either: (i) That the dealer unconditionally accepts the contract or lease, having satisfied, removed, or waived all conditions to acceptance or performance, including, but not limited to, financing, assignment, or lease approval; or (ii) that the dealer rejects the contract or lease, thereby automatically voiding the contract or lease, as long as such voiding does not negate commercially reasonable contract or lease provisions pertaining to the return of the subject vehicle and any physical damage, excessive mileage after the demand for return of the vehicle, and attorneys' fees authorized by law, and tenders the refund of any initial payment or security made or given by the buyer or lessee, including, but not limited to, any down payment, and tenders return of the trade-in vehicle, key, other trade-in, or certificate of title to a trade-in. Tender may be conditioned on return of the subject vehicle if previously delivered to the buyer or lessee.
The provisions of this subsection (4)(a) do not impair, prejudice, or abrogate the rights of a dealer to assert a claim against the buyer or lessee for misrepresentation or breach of contract and to exercise all remedies available at law or in equity, including those under chapter 62A.9A RCW, if the dealer, bank, or other lender or leasing company discovers that approval of the contract or financing or approval of the lease was based upon material misrepresentations made by the buyer or lessee, including, but not limited to, misrepresentations regarding income, employment, or debt of the buyer or lessee, as long as the dealer, or his or her staff, has not, with knowledge of the material misrepresentation, aided, assisted, encouraged, or participated, directly or indirectly, in the misrepresentation. A dealer shall not be in violation of this subsection (4)(a) if the buyer or lessee made a material misrepresentation to the dealer, as long as the dealer, or his or her staff, has not, with knowledge of the material misrepresentation, aided, assisted, encouraged, or participated, directly or indirectly, in the misrepresentation.
A dealer may inform a buyer or lessee under this subsection (4)(a) regarding the unconditional acceptance or rejection of the contract, lease, or financing by sending an email message to the buyer's or lessee's supplied email address, by phone call, by leaving a voice message or sending a text message to a phone number provided by the buyer or lessee, by in-person oral communication, by mailing a letter by first-class mail if the buyer or lessee expresses a preference for a letter or declines to provide an email address and a phone number capable of receiving a free text message, or by another means agreed to by the buyer or lessee or approved by the department, effective upon the execution, mailing, or sending of the communication and before expiration of the "bushing" period;
(b) Permits the dealer to renegotiate a dollar amount specified as trade-in allowance on a vehicle delivered or to be delivered by the buyer or lessee as part of the purchase price or lease, for any reason except:
(i) Failure to disclose that the vehicle's certificate of title has been branded for any reason, including, but not limited to, status as a rebuilt vehicle as provided in RCW 46.12.540 and 46.12.560; or
(ii) Substantial physical damage or latent mechanical defect occurring before the dealer took possession of the vehicle and which could not have been reasonably discoverable at the time of the taking of the order, offer, or contract; or
(iii) Excessive additional miles or a discrepancy in the mileage. "Excessive additional miles" means the addition of five hundred miles or more, as reflected on the vehicle's odometer, between the time the vehicle was first valued by the dealer for purposes of determining its trade-in value and the time of actual delivery of the vehicle to the dealer. "A discrepancy in the mileage" means (A) a discrepancy between the mileage reflected on the vehicle's odometer and the stated mileage on the signed odometer statement; or (B) a discrepancy between the mileage stated on the signed odometer statement and the actual mileage on the vehicle; or
(c) Fails to comply with the obligation of any written warranty or guarantee given by the dealer requiring the furnishing of services or repairs within a reasonable time.
(5) To commit any offense relating to odometers, as such offenses are defined in RCW 46.37.540, 46.37.550, 46.37.560, and 46.37.570. A violation of this subsection is a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
(6) For any vehicle dealer or vehicle salesperson to refuse to furnish, upon request of a prospective purchaser or lessee, for vehicles previously registered to a business or governmental entity, the name and address of the business or governmental entity.
(7) To commit any other offense under RCW 46.37.423, 46.37.424, or 46.37.425.
(8) To commit any offense relating to a dealer's temporary license permit, including but not limited to failure to properly complete each such permit, or the issuance of more than one such permit on any one vehicle. However, a dealer may issue a second temporary permit on a vehicle if the following conditions are met:
(a) The lienholder fails to deliver the vehicle title to the dealer within the required time period;
(b) The dealer has satisfied the lien; and
(c) The dealer has proof that payment of the lien was made within two calendar days, exclusive of Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, after the sales contract has been executed by all parties and all conditions and contingencies in the sales contract have been met or otherwise satisfied.
(9) For a dealer, salesperson, or mobile home manufacturer, having taken an instrument or cash "on deposit" from a purchaser or lessee prior to the delivery of the bargained-for vehicle, to commingle the "on deposit" funds with assets of the dealer, salesperson, or mobile home manufacturer instead of holding the "on deposit" funds as trustee in a separate trust account until the purchaser or lessee has taken delivery of the bargained-for vehicle. Delivery of a manufactured home shall be deemed to occur in accordance with RCW 46.70.135(5). Failure, immediately upon receipt, to endorse "on deposit" instruments to such a trust account, or to set aside "on deposit" cash for deposit in such trust account, and failure to deposit such instruments or cash in such trust account by the close of banking hours on the day following receipt thereof, shall be evidence of intent to commit this unlawful practice: PROVIDED, HOWEVER, That a motor vehicle dealer may keep a separate trust account which equals his or her customary total customer deposits for vehicles for future delivery. For purposes of this section, "on deposit" funds received from a purchaser of a manufactured home means those funds that a seller requires a purchaser to advance before ordering the manufactured home, but does not include any loan proceeds or moneys that might have been paid on an installment contract.
(10) For a dealer or manufacturer to fail to comply with the obligations of any written warranty or guarantee given by the dealer or manufacturer requiring the furnishing of goods and services or repairs within a reasonable period of time, or to fail to furnish to a purchaser or lessee, all parts which attach to the manufactured unit including but not limited to the undercarriage, and all items specified in the terms of a sales or lease agreement signed by the seller and buyer or lessee.
(11) For a vehicle dealer to pay to or receive from any person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation acting, either directly or through a subsidiary, as a buyer's agent for consumers, any compensation, fee, purchase moneys or funds that have been deposited into or withdrawn out of any account controlled or used by any buyer's agent, gratuity, or reward in connection with the purchase, sale, or lease of a new motor vehicle.
(12) For a buyer's agent, acting directly or through a subsidiary, to pay to or to receive from any motor vehicle dealer any compensation, fee, gratuity, or reward in connection with the purchase, sale, or lease of a new motor vehicle. In addition, it is unlawful for any buyer's agent to engage in any of the following acts on behalf of or in the name of the consumer:
(a) Receiving or paying any purchase moneys or funds into or out of any account controlled or used by any buyer's agent;
(b) Signing any vehicle purchase orders, sales contracts, leases, odometer statements, or title documents, or having the name of the buyer's agent appear on the vehicle purchase order, sales contract, lease, or title; or
(c) Signing any other documentation relating to the purchase, sale, lease, or transfer of any new motor vehicle.
It is unlawful for a buyer's agent to use a power of attorney obtained from the consumer to accomplish or effect the purchase, sale, lease, or transfer of ownership documents of any new motor vehicle by any means which would otherwise be prohibited under (a) through (c) of this subsection. However, the buyer's agent may use a power of attorney for physical delivery of motor vehicle license plates to the consumer.
Further, it is unlawful for a buyer's agent to engage in any false, deceptive, or misleading advertising, disseminated in any manner whatsoever, including but not limited to making any claim or statement that the buyer's agent offers, obtains, or guarantees the lowest price on any motor vehicle or words to similar effect.
(13) For a buyer's agent to arrange for or to negotiate the purchase, or both, of a new motor vehicle through an out-of-state dealer without disclosing in writing to the customer that the new vehicle would not be subject to chapter 19.118 RCW. This subsection also applies to leased vehicles. In addition, it is unlawful for any buyer's agent to fail to have a written agreement with the customer that: (a) Sets forth the terms of the parties' agreement; (b) discloses to the customer the total amount of any fees or other compensation being paid by the customer to the buyer's agent for the agent's services; and (c) further discloses whether the fee or any portion of the fee is refundable.
(14) Being a manufacturer, other than a motorcycle manufacturer governed by chapter 46.93 RCW, to:
(a) Coerce or attempt to coerce any vehicle dealer to order or accept delivery of any vehicle or vehicles, parts or accessories, or any other commodities which have not been voluntarily ordered by the vehicle dealer: PROVIDED, That recommendation, endorsement, exposition, persuasion, urging, or argument are not deemed to constitute coercion;
(b) Cancel or fail to renew the franchise or selling agreement of any vehicle dealer doing business in this state without fairly compensating the dealer at a fair going business value for his or her capital investment which shall include but not be limited to tools, equipment, and parts inventory possessed by the dealer on the day he or she is notified of such cancellation or termination and which are still within the dealer's possession on the day the cancellation or termination is effective, if: (i) The capital investment has been entered into with reasonable and prudent business judgment for the purpose of fulfilling the franchise; and (ii) the cancellation or nonrenewal was not done in good faith. Good faith is defined as the duty of each party to any franchise to act in a fair and equitable manner towards each other, so as to guarantee one party freedom from coercion, intimidation, or threats of coercion or intimidation from the other party: PROVIDED, That recommendation, endorsement, exposition, persuasion, urging, or argument are not deemed to constitute a lack of good faith;
(c) Encourage, aid, abet, or teach a vehicle dealer to sell or lease vehicles through any false, deceptive, or misleading sales or financing practices including but not limited to those practices declared unlawful in this section;
(d) Coerce or attempt to coerce a vehicle dealer to engage in any practice forbidden in this section by either threats of actual cancellation or failure to renew the dealer's franchise agreement;
(e) Refuse to deliver any vehicle publicly advertised for immediate delivery to any duly licensed vehicle dealer having a franchise or contractual agreement for the retail sale or lease of new and unused vehicles sold or distributed by such manufacturer within sixty days after such dealer's order has been received in writing unless caused by inability to deliver because of shortage or curtailment of material, labor, transportation, or utility services, or by any labor or production difficulty, or by any cause beyond the reasonable control of the manufacturer;
(f) To provide under the terms of any warranty that a purchaser or lessee of any new or unused vehicle that has been sold or leased, distributed for sale or lease, or transferred into this state for resale or lease by the vehicle manufacturer may only make any warranty claim on any item included as an integral part of the vehicle against the manufacturer of that item.
Nothing in this section may be construed to impair the obligations of a contract or to prevent a manufacturer, distributor, representative, or any other person, whether or not licensed under this chapter, from requiring performance of a written contract entered into with any licensee hereunder, nor does the requirement of such performance constitute a violation of any of the provisions of this section if any such contract or the terms thereof requiring performance, have been freely entered into and executed between the contracting parties. This paragraph and subsection (14)(b) of this section do not apply to new motor vehicle manufacturers governed by chapter 46.96 RCW.
(15) Unlawful transfer of an ownership interest in a motor vehicle as defined in RCW 19.116.050.
(16) To knowingly and intentionally engage in collusion with a registered owner of a vehicle to repossess and return or resell the vehicle to the registered owner in an attempt to avoid a suspended license impound under chapter 46.55 RCW. However, compliance with chapter 62A.9A RCW in repossessing, selling, leasing, or otherwise disposing of the vehicle, including providing redemption rights to the debtor, is not a violation of this section.
(17)(a) For a dealer to enter into a new motor vehicle sales contract without disclosing in writing to a buyer of the new motor vehicle, or to a dealer in the case of an unregistered motor vehicle, any known damage and repair to the new motor vehicle if the damage exceeds five percent of the manufacturer's suggested retail price as calculated at the dealer's authorized warranty rate for labor and parts, or one thousand dollars, whichever amount is greater. A manufacturer or new motor vehicle dealer is not required to disclose to a dealer or buyer that glass, tires, bumpers, or cosmetic parts of a new motor vehicle were damaged at any time if the damaged item has been replaced with original or comparable equipment. A replaced part is not part of the cumulative damage required to be disclosed under this subsection.
(b) A manufacturer is required to provide the same disclosure to a dealer of any known damage or repair as required in (a) of this subsection.
(c) If disclosure of any known damage or repair is not required under this section, a buyer may not revoke or rescind a sales contract due to the fact that the new motor vehicle was damaged and repaired before completion of the sale.
(d) As used in this section:
(i) "Cosmetic parts" means parts that are attached by and can be replaced in total through the use of screws, bolts, or other fasteners without the use of welding or thermal cutting, and includes windshields, bumpers, hoods, or trim panels.
(ii) "Manufacturer's suggested retail price" means the retail price of the new motor vehicle suggested by the manufacturer, and includes the retail delivered price suggested by the manufacturer for each accessory or item of optional equipment physically attached to the new motor vehicle at the time of delivery to the new motor vehicle dealer that is not included within the retail price suggested by the manufacturer for the new motor vehicle.

NOTES:

Effective date2012 c 74 §§ 1-12: See note following RCW 46.17.100.
Effective dateIntentLegislation to reconcile chapter 161, Laws of 2010 and other amendments made during the 2010 legislative session2010 c 161: See notes following RCW 46.04.013.
Effective date2007 c 155: See note following RCW 46.16A.300.
Prospective application2006 c 289: "This act applies prospectively only and not retroactively. It applies only to causes of action that arise (if change is substantive) or that are commenced (if change is procedural) on or after June 7, 2006." [ 2006 c 289 § 2.]
Effective date1994 c 284: See RCW 43.22A.901.
Certificate of titleFailure to transfer within specified time: RCW 46.12.650.
GlassLimited windowsVehicle sale requirements: RCW 46.37.430.
OdometersDisconnecting, resetting, turning back, replacing without notifying purchaser: RCW 46.37.540 through 46.37.570.
TiresVehicle sale requirements: RCW 46.37.425.



Notice of bankruptcy proceedings.

Any vehicle dealer or manufacturer, by or against whom a petition in bankruptcy has been filed, shall, within ten days of the filing, notify the department of the proceedings in bankruptcy, including the identity and location of the court in which the proceedings are pending.



Civil actions for violationsInjunctionsClaims under Federal Automobile Dealer Franchise ActTime limitation.

Any person who is injured in his or her business or property by a violation of this chapter, or any person so injured because he or she refuses to accede to a proposal for an arrangement which, if consummated, would be in violation of this chapter, may bring a civil action in the superior court to enjoin further violations, to recover the actual damages sustained by him or her together with the costs of the suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee.
If a new motor vehicle dealer recovers a judgment or has a claim dismissed with prejudice against a manufacturer under RCW 46.96.040 or 46.96.050(3) or this section, the new motor vehicle dealer is precluded from pursuing that same claim or recovering judgment for that same claim against the same manufacturer under the federal Automobile Dealer Franchise Act, 15 U.S.C. Sections 1221 through 1225, but only to the extent that the damages recovered by or denied to the new motor vehicle dealer are the same as the damages being sought under the federal Automobile Dealer Franchise Act. Likewise, if a new motor vehicle dealer recovers a judgment or has a claim dismissed with prejudice against a manufacturer under the federal Automobile Dealer Franchise Act, the dealer is precluded from pursuing that same claim or recovering judgment for that same claim against the same manufacturer under this chapter, but only to the extent that the damages recovered by or denied to the dealer are the same as the damages being sought under this chapter.
A civil action brought in the superior court pursuant to the provisions of this section must be filed no later than one year following the alleged violation of this chapter.



Duties of attorney general and prosecuting attorneys to act on violationsLimitation of civil actions.

The director may refer such evidence as may be available concerning violations of this chapter or of any rule or order hereunder to the attorney general or the proper prosecuting attorney, who may in his or her discretion, with or without such a reference, in addition to any other action they might commence, bring an action in the name of the state against any person to restrain and prevent the doing of any act or practice herein prohibited or declared unlawful: PROVIDED, That this chapter shall be considered in conjunction with chapters 9.04, 19.86, and 63.14 RCW and the powers and duties of the attorney general and the prosecuting attorney as they may appear in the aforementioned chapters, shall apply against all persons subject to this chapter: PROVIDED FURTHER, That any action to enforce a claim for civil damages under chapter 19.86 RCW shall be forever barred unless commenced within six years after the cause of action accrues.



Duties of attorney general and prosecuting attorneys to act on violationsAssurance of complianceFiling.

In the enforcement of this chapter, the attorney general and/or any said prosecuting attorney may accept an assurance of compliance with the provisions of this chapter from any person deemed in violation hereof. Any such assurance shall be in writing and be filed with and subject to the approval of the superior court of the county in which the alleged violator resides or has his or her principal place of business, or in Thurston county.



PenaltiesJurisdiction.

Any person who violates the terms of any court order, or temporary or permanent injunction issued pursuant to this chapter, shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars. For the purpose of this section the superior court issuing any injunction shall retain jurisdiction, and the cause shall be continued, and in such cases the attorney general and/or the prosecuting attorney acting in the name of the state, or any person who pursuant to RCW 46.70.190 has secured the injunction violated, may petition for the recovery of civil penalties.



Personal service of process outside state.

Personal service of any process in an action under this chapter may be made upon any person outside the state if such person has engaged in conduct in violation of this chapter which has had the impact in this state which this chapter reprehends. Such person shall be deemed to have thereby submitted himself or herself to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state within the meaning of RCW 4.28.180 and 4.28.185.



Application of chapter to existing and future franchises and contracts.

The provisions of this chapter shall be applicable to all franchises and contracts existing between vehicle dealers and manufacturers or factory branches and to all future franchises and contracts.



Provisions of chapter cumulativeViolation of RCW 46.70.180 deemed civil.

The provisions of this chapter shall be cumulative to existing laws: PROVIDED, That the violation of RCW 46.70.180 shall be construed as exclusively civil and not penal in nature.



Mobile homes and persons engaged in distribution and sale.

The provisions of chapter 46.70 RCW shall apply to the distribution and sale of mobile homes and to mobile home dealers, distributors, manufacturers, factory representatives, or other persons engaged in such distribution and sale to the same extent as for motor vehicles.

NOTES:

Effective date1971 ex.s. c 231: See note following RCW 46.01.130.



Chapter exclusiveLocal business and occupation tax not prevented.

(1) The provisions of this chapter relating to the licensing and regulation of vehicle dealers and manufacturers shall be exclusive, and no county, city, or other political subdivision of this state shall enact any laws, rules, or regulations licensing or regulating vehicle dealers or manufacturers.
(2) This section shall not be construed to prevent a political subdivision of this state from levying a business and occupation tax upon vehicle dealers or manufacturers maintaining an office within that political subdivision if a business and occupation tax is levied by such a political subdivision upon other types of businesses within its boundaries.



Consumer Protection Act.

Any violation of this chapter is deemed to affect the public interest and constitutes a violation of chapter 19.86 RCW.



Buyer's agents.

The regulation of buyers' agents is a matter affecting the public interest for the purpose of applying chapter 19.86 RCW. Activities of buyers' agents prohibited under RCW 46.70.180 (11), (12), or (13) are not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business. A violation of RCW 46.70.180 (11), (12), or (13) constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice in trade or commerce for the purpose of applying chapter 19.86 RCW.



Wholesale motor vehicle auction dealers.

(1) A wholesale motor vehicle auction dealer may:
(a) Sell any classification of motor vehicle;
(b) Sell only to motor vehicle dealers and vehicle wreckers licensed under Title 46 RCW by the state of Washington or licensed by any other state; or
(c) Sell a motor vehicle belonging to the United States government, the state of Washington, or a political subdivision to nonlicensed persons as may be required by the contracting public agency. However, a publicly owned "wrecked vehicle" as defined in RCW 46.80.010 may be sold to motor vehicle dealers and vehicle wreckers licensed under Title 46 RCW by the state of Washington or licensed by any other state.
(2) If the wholesale motor vehicle auction dealer knows that a vehicle is a "wrecked vehicle" as defined by RCW 46.80.010, the dealer must disclose this fact on the bill of sale.



Issuance of temporary subagency licenses for recreational vehicle shows.

(1)(a) Before the department may issue a temporary subagency license to a recreational vehicle dealer engaged in offering new or new and used recreational vehicles for sale at a recreational vehicle show, a recreational vehicle dealer of new or new and used recreational vehicles shall submit to the department a manufacturer's written authorization for the sale and specifying the dates of the show, the location of the show, and the identity of the manufacturer's brand or model names of the new or used recreational vehicles.
(b) The department may issue a temporary subagency license if the location of the show is within fifty miles of the recreational vehicle dealer's established place of business or permanent location. The department may issue a temporary subagency license for a show outside fifty miles of the recreational vehicle dealer's established place of business or permanent location only if the product represented is new and is within the factory designated sales territory for each brand of new recreational vehicles to be offered for sale, and only those specific brands of new recreational vehicles may be offered for sale under the terms of the temporary subagency license.
(2) Whenever three or fewer recreational vehicle dealers participate in a show under a temporary subagency license issued under this section, each recreational vehicle dealer shall conspicuously include all of the following information in all advertising and promotional materials designed to attract the public to attend the show:
(a) Each recreational vehicle dealer's business name and the location of the recreational vehicle dealer's established place of business must be printed in a size equivalent to the second largest type used in the advertisement and must be placed at the top of the advertisement; and
(b) The manufacturer's brand or model names of those new recreational vehicles being offered for sale; and
(c) If the recreational vehicles being offered for sale are used, the word "used" must immediately precede the identification of the brand name of the model or be immediately adjacent to the depiction of used vehicles.
(3) Notwithstanding other provisions of this chapter, no more than two temporary subagency licenses may be issued to a recreational vehicle dealer engaged in offering new or new and used recreational vehicles for sale for events with three or fewer recreational vehicle dealers participating, and no more than six temporary subagency licenses may be issued to a recreational vehicle dealer in any twelve-month period for events including four or more recreational vehicle dealers.
(4) The legislature finds that the practices covered by this section are matters vitally affecting the public interest for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW. Violations of this section are not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business. A violation of this section is an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of competition for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW.



Liberal construction.

All provisions of this chapter shall be liberally construed to the end that deceptive practices or commission of fraud or misrepresentation in the sale, lease, barter, or disposition of vehicles in this state may be prohibited and prevented, and irresponsible, unreliable, or dishonest persons may be prevented from engaging in the business of selling, leasing, bartering, or otherwise dealing in vehicles in this state and reliable persons may be encouraged to engage in the business of selling, leasing, bartering and otherwise dealing in vehicles in this state: PROVIDED, That this chapter shall not apply to printers, publishers, or broadcasters who in good faith print, publish or broadcast material without knowledge of its deceptive character.