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New law raises Illinois DOC fee limit to $150 beginning in ’08

November 17, 2010

Illinois dealers can charge up to $150 for document preparation fees beginning Jan. 1, under legislation signed Aug. 17 by Gov. Rod Blagojevich. This year’s maximum fee is $58.48.

 

"We’re very pleased the governor agreed that dealers need more compensation to process a growing list of paperwork necessary with vehicle sales," said Mark Scarpelli, chairman of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association.  

"For low-gross businesses, like ours, this makes a huge difference," he said.

 

"We also thank our friends at the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association for their help in gathering support for House Bill 1657." 

The new maximum DOC fee, like the existing fee, is indexed for inflation and will be adjusted each Jan. 1.

 

The DOC fee covers expenses related to compliance with federal and state laws which provide for safety, consumer protection, antitheft measures, vehicle history checks, notification, certifications and official filings. 

Since 2004, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office allows dealers to charge up to $25 to provide title and registration renewal services to their customers electronically, at their dealerships. That cost is separate from the DOC fee.

 

The base DOC was $40 when it was established in 1992. Annual adjustments tied to the Consumer Price Index have increased to $58.48 the maximum fee that can be charged this year. 

The array of federal and state regulations with which dealers must comply when selling vehicles is mounting, and dealers in at least 30 states reportedly are permitted to charge $400 to $900 in  DOC fees.

 

Indiana dealers are not limited to a maximum fee but must not charge more than what they actually incur in expenses to prepare necessary documents. Auditors monitor the charges.  

Since 2001, for instance, new federal regulations dealers must adhere to include the Privacy Act and the related Safeguards Rule, the Patriot Act, and the Federal Communication Commission’s National Do-Not-Call or –Fax Registries.

 

To comply with those and other laws, dealers must pay monthly or annual licensing fees for software or engage third-party vendors, and pay to train their employees about compliance.

 

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