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DOC fee wording amended to permit electronic registration, titling charges

November 18, 2010
Purchase contacts must be changed

In 1990, more than 300 Chicago area dealers entered a settlement with the office of then-Illinois Attorney General Neil Hartigan which permitted the dealers to charge a document service fee beginning at $40 and adjusted annually. The 2006 DOC fee is $57.33.


The 1990 agreement stipulated that, besides the DOC fee, any charges beyond the negotiated cash sale price would be limited to dealer-added options, warranty and service contracts, insurance, taxes and license and title fees.


In 2004, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office equipped dealers to provide title and registration and renewal services to their customers electronically, at their dealerships. The program permits dealers to charge up to $25 for title and registration ($17.75 net profit for dealer).

But for the dealers who signed the 1990 consent decree—137 of the more than 300 remain in business—charging any fee for the electronic service violated their agreement. Until now.


Dennis O’Keefe, the CATA counsel, negotiated amended consent decrees on behalf of the remaining dealers, thus permitting them to charge an electronic registration and titling fee. However, the dealers’ notices to their customers must be changed to account for the allowance.


Two copies of the amended "To Our Customers" poster are included with the print edition of this newsletter for dealers to post. Purchase contracts also must reflect the new language as soon as is reasonably possible, which the Cook County court indicated would be upon re-order. Refer to the posters included with this newsletter for the proper wording.


The text on buyer’s orders must be at least 8-point type.