Updated ABR laws

Additional consumer protection laws in the Automotive Business Regulation (ABR) came into effect Oct. 31, 2018.

How to be compliant with the updated legislation

As part of the legislative changes under Bill 31: A Better Deal for Consumers and Businesses Act, changes to the Automotive Business Regulation took effect Oct. 31, 2018. Additional laws involving detailed bills of sale, extensive vehicle history disclosure and repair authorizations mean consumers have more clarity in vehicle transactions.

AMVIC became a regulatory agency subject to the Alberta Public Agencies Governance Act (APAGA). Consumer protection through education and industry regulation will remain AMVIC’s mandate.

AMVIC has updated the Salesperson Registration Course to include the updated legislation.

Ensure your business and salespeople understand and comply with the ABR, including detailed vehicle disclosure, advertising changes, bill of sale and repair estimate requirements. AMVIC highly recommends all automotive businesses and salespeople review all of the new requirements and make any operational or system changes necessary in order to be compliant as of Oct. 31, 2018. Updated Automotive Business Regulation (ABR)

AMVIC has developed materials and information including:

If you have questions after reviewing the updated legislation and FAQ below, please contact us at 1-877-979-8100.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)*

*The below FAQ is not a substitute for legal advice and is not designed as a substitute for advice from a qualified independent legal counsel.

Q: “When did the legislation come into effect?”

A: Oct. 31, 2018.

Q: “When did AMVIC start enforcing the new legislation?”

A: The legislation came into effect Oct. 31, 2018. AMVIC registrants and licensees are expected to comply with the legislation. There is no grace period.

Q: “Why did the laws change?”

A: The Government of Alberta makes changes to laws and regulations to enhance protections for consumers and to ensure businesses that play by the rules do not have to compete against those that do not. AMVIC is the regulator that is responsible for enforcement, investigations of non-compliance as well as industry and consumer education. AMVIC does not have the power to create or change the laws.

Q: “Did the voluntary Service and Repair Course change?”

A: The voluntary Service and Repair Course has been updated to include some of the updated legislation.

Q: “Will salespeople have to retake the updated Salesperson Registration Course?”

A: Salespeople who are currently licensed will not be required to re-take the Salesperson Registration Course. AMVIC notified industry of the updated course on Dec. 3, 2018. New applicants will continue to be required to take the latest version of the course as part of the requirements to become a registered salesperson.

Q: “Do we need to attach an entire credit agreement to the bill of sale?”

A:  The legislation does not require a credit agreement to be attached to the bill of sale.  The disclosure statement required under Part 9 of the Act must be included with the bill of sale.  A credit agreement could be attached to the bill of sale as a best practice, but it is not required. ABR Section 31.2(1)(q) states to follow the regulations set out in the Consumer Protection Act Part 9(1) and (2) having to do with disclosure.  If the business enters into a credit agreement with the consumer, a disclosure statement regarding the credit agreement must be included in or attached to the bill of sale. The requirement is not new, the act of including it in or attaching it to the bill of sale is new.

Q: “On a bill of sale the trade-in allowance must be incorporated into the cost of the purchase. What does this mean?”

A: The price of the trade-in vehicle must be clearly stated on the bill of sale.

Q: “How can I include everything on the bill of sale?”

A: As per the ABR Section 31.2(1) and (2), certain information must be included on the bill of sale. Please review your bill of sale to ensure you have included everything listed in the legislation. A good tool to help review your bill of sale is the bill of sale checklist AMVIC has created, available at amvic.org. The design or style of the bill of sale is up to the business, however we are aware that the MDA has created a bill of sale form.

Q: “How do I find out if a vehicle was bought back by a manufacturer?”

A: You can check on CAMVAP’s website using the VIN to know if a specific vehicle was bought back by the manufacturer.

Q: “How are dealers supposed to fit all of the disclosure info online and on the sales tag?”

A: Information regarding the vehicle history has to be included in an online ad or sales tag only if it is applicable to that vehicle. For instance, if the vehicle has not been damaged by fire, the ad does not have to state that the vehicle was not damaged by fire. Legislation regarding the legibility of the information in a font no smaller than 8pt is still applicable (ABR Section 11(2)(e)).

Q: “Will a vehicle history report be enough for history disclosure?”

A: As per ABR Section 31.1(1) there are specific vehicle history requirements that must be disclosed to a consumer on the basis of information the business knew or ought to have known. This could include a number of checks and a vehicle history report could be one of them. A business could choose to use the vehicle history checklist available at amvic.org as a guide to ensure they are addressing all points as required by legislation.

Q: “Where is the deposit agreement that AMVIC created?”

A: ABR Section 31.4 gives AMVIC the authority to set the form and content of a deposit agreement. AMVIC has not set the form and content of a deposit agreement at this time. However there is a recommended deposit agreement available at amvic.org that could be used as a best practice.

Q: “What happens if during the process of repair more labour or parts are required? How would this be approved?”

A: As per ABR Section 31.7(1) a business must obtain authorization from a consumer before any repair or service work is done. If additional work is required that has not been authorized, the business should then obtain an authorization for additional work to be completed.

Q: “Does the vehicle damage disclosure of more than $3,000 apply every time the vehicle is in an incident or collision?”

A: As per ABR Section 31.1(1)(h), the business must disclose if the vehicle was in need of repairs due to an incident or collision that cost more than $3,000 including parts and labour. If the vehicle was in multiple incidents or collisions and the damage was more than $3,000 on every occasion, each damage incident must be disclosed.