How Long Am I Required To Keep These Records?

Selling cars inevitably creates a great deal of paperwork. Dealers often call to ask TIADA how long they must keep and store these documents. Various state agencies have different record retention requirements. In this record retention refresher, we outline some of these requirements, including a printable checklist, so dealers can purge their files of unnecessary paperwork and clutter. As always, members are encouraged to contact TIADA with any questions or concerns.

Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV)

Rules can be found in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 43, Part 10, Chapter 215, Subchapter E, Rule 215.144.

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles requires a dealer to keep a complete, accurate record of all vehicle purchases and sales (whether retail or wholesale) for a minimum period of 48 months. The current and previous 13 months of records must be kept at the dealer's licensed location and be available for inspection by a TxDMV representative. The remaining 35 months of records do not need to be kept at the dealer's licensed location. Records may be kept in an electronic format if they are capable of being printed out during normal business hours. If the original title is kept by the floor planner, the dealer is required to keep a copy of the front and back on the dealership premises in its files.

Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC)

Rules can be found in the Texas Administrative Code, Title 7, Part 5, Chapter 84, Subchapter G, Sec 84.707-709.

For record retention and availability, all books and records required by this subsection must be available for inspection at any time by Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner staff. They must be retained for a period of three years from the date of the last payment made on the retail installment sales transaction, four years from the date of the contract, two years from the date of the final entry made thereon, whichever is later, or a different period of time if required by federal law. Upon notification of an examination, pursuant to Texas Finance Code, §348.514(f), the licensee must be able to produce or access required books and records within a reasonable time at the licensed location or registered office specified on the license.

At-a-Glance Guide To Record Retention for Auto Dealers

Considering the amount of paperwork dealerships work with on a daily basis, keeping track of record retention requirements can be tough to manage. To help TIADA members, a printable brochure has been provided below that outlines retention periods for various types of documents, such as accounting, corporate, correspondence, operations, and taxes.

Download this helpful record retention guide, courtesy of NADA.


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