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Proposed legislation requires shops to verify vehicle registration before repairs

Failure to verify that the motor vehicle registration is current can result in a fine of up to $300 per violation

Jefferson City, Mo.—A new Missouri bill requires that prior to repairing or performing maintenance on a motor vehicle, the person or business performing the repairs or maintenance must verify that the vehicle’s registration is current.

According to HB 1507, sponsored by Missouri House of Representatives’ Gretchen Bangert, if the motor vehicle registration is not current, the repairs or maintenance work cannot be performed. Failure to verify that the motor vehicle registration is current can result in a fine of up to $300 per violation.

Rep. Gretchen Bangert

The registration verification requirement and fine will not apply if the motor vehicle is being repaired to comply with the motor vehicle safety inspection requirements under Chapter 307.

In an email to Aftermarket Matters Weekly, the Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA) stated it is opposed to the bill.

“Rep. Bangert knows we oppose this bill and is very open to continuing discussions. We aren’t in the enforcement business, we are in the repair business … they need to enforce the expired tags on the street with tougher penalties,” wrote Ron Reiling, AAM MWACA Lobbyist / St. Louis Liaison. “The reason for the introduction of the bill was based on three shops (non MWACA members) that thought they would have liability if they repaired vehicles with expired tags. They have the right as a business owner to decline any customer that does not meet their company policies. [It’s a] very costly and unenforceable legislation.”

While the problem is expired temporary tags and plates, he noted that there is legislation in place, but does not go into effect until 2026, that will require sales tax and registration be paid at the dealer and can be included in the loan.

“I have spoken with [Bangert] and she was led to believe this is a big problem at repair shops. She told me that the shops that approached her for the bill (Florissant) were afraid of legal liability if the vehicle was used in a crime and they repaired it. I informed her that has no validity because registered vehicles are used in crimes every day. I also informed her that they have the right as a business to deny service to anyone that does not meet their company policies. I shared with that her that we know there are a lot of these vehicles on the roads and it is worse in certain geographical areas than others.”

In an email to MWACA members, Reiling also stated: “Requiring verification of a vehicle’s registration before performing repairs or maintenance is impractical and unnecessary. It would add additional steps and delays to the repair process, inconveniencing consumers and hindering the efficient operation of our businesses. Additionally, this legislation could lead to consumers who have safety issues with their vehicle, and whose vehicle is not property licensed, [to] continue to operate their unsafe vehicle on the roads and put fellow citizens at risk. Furthermore, the proposed penalty provision of up to three hundred dollars per violation is excessive and disproportionate. It would disproportionately impact small independent shops, potentially leading to financial strain and hardship.”

Take Action

Reiling requests that shops contact him by Friday, March 29, and respond to the following questions: How often do you repair a vehicle with expired tags? Once a week? Once a month? Once a quarter? Occasionally? Once a year? Never?

The bill has been sent to committee but does not have a hearing scheduled at this time.

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