Some Dealers Consider Off-Site Sales
During the COVID -19 pandemic many dealers are exploring different options ...
During the COVID -19 pandemic many dealers are exploring different options that might allow them to remain open and sell vehicles exclusively through the Internet. We reached out to TxDMV Enforcement Director, Corrie Thompson for some guidance, “We know it is a confusing time for everyone with the various shelter-in-place orders that are being issued by local governments. It is important to note that these orders cannot amend or suspend the relevant dealer statutory requirements set forth in the Texas Transportation and Occupations Codes. Because these statutory requirements are still in place, I would respectfully request that your members continue complying with the requirements for off-site sales as outlined in Occupations Code §2301.362.”
A close look at this section of the Texas Occupation Code leads us to (b) which states a dealer may sell or offer to sell a motor vehicle online through an advertisement on the Internet to a buyer who never personally appears at the dealer's established and permanent place of business.
This does not change the dealer premises requirements in any way.
So, what does that mean? Just what it says—the consumer cannot ever appear at your licensed dealership. Once the sale over the Internet is complete, the dealer will arrange to have the vehicle delivered to the consumer. Documents can be signed when the vehicle is delivered and some documents, like the title, must have a wet signature.
But there is more! If you are considering electronic signatures with your internet sales, know they are generally allowable under Texas and federal law. However, there are some rules and guidance related to that too. OCCC recently issued a bulletin that addresses electronic signatures. Make sure you are providing the appropriate disclosures and receiving the appropriate consent prior to asking your customer to use an electronic signature.