SB 355 Allows motor vehicle dealers, boat dealers, and powersport dealers to charge administrative fees associated with the sale or lease of certain vehicles and vessels under certain conditions
Sponsor: Dempsey
LR Number: 1861S.03T Fiscal Note: 1861-03
Committee: Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government
Last Action: 7/9/2009 - Signed by Governor Journal Page:
Title: SCS SB 355 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2009
House Handler: Wasson

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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 355 - Under this act, a motor vehicle dealer, boat dealer, or powersport dealer may fill in the blanks on standardized forms in connection with the sale or lease of a new or used motor vehicle, vessel or vessel trailer if the dealer does not charge for the services of filling in the blanks or otherwise charge for preparing documents. The act allows such dealers to charge administrative fees for the storage of documents or any other administrative or clerical services and a portion of the administrative fee may result in profit to the dealer.

Under the act, no dealers that sell or lease motor vehicles, vessels, or vessel trailer and impose administrative fees of less than $200 in the connection with the sale or lease of such vehicles shall be deemed to be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

If an administrative fee is charged, the administrative fee shall be charged to all retail customers, and disclosed on the retail buyer's order form as a separate itemized charge. The act requires certain paperwork provided to the purchaser to include the amount of the administrative fee and a statutory notice informing the purchaser that the administrative fee is not required by law and that no portion of the fee is for the drafting, preparation or completion of documents.

The act provides that if a court determines that the charging of an administrative fee constitutes the unauthorized practice of law, then no person who paid that administrative fee may recover the fee or treble damages and the dealer who charged that fee shall not be guilty of a misdemeanor, as provided by Missouri’s unauthorized practice of law statute.

The provisions of this act are similar to those contained in HB 630 (2009).