06Jan2010… 2009-2437h

05/13/10 2084s





AN ACT relative to retail vehicle dealers.

SPONSORS: Rep. Jennifer Brown, Straf 5; Rep. Bergin, Hills 6; Rep. Cooney, Graf 7; Rep. Hatch, Coos 3

COMMITTEE: Commerce and Consumer Affairs


This bill eliminates the separate application for a retail vehicle dealer general distinguishing number and authorizes retail vehicle dealers to transport vehicles to their places of business under their retail vehicle dealer registrations. This bill also requires retail vehicle dealers to have an established place of business.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

06Jan2010… 2009-2437h

05/13/10 2084s




In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Ten

AN ACT relative to retail vehicle dealers.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

290:1 New Paragraph; Definitions; Established Place of Business. Amend RSA 259:29-a by inserting after paragraph II the following new paragraph:

III. As it applies to a retail vehicle dealer:

(a) A business location where the retail vehicle dealer conducts sales during normal business hours; and

(b) Such business location is a permanent physical structure that has at least 750 square feet or is primarily dedicated to the business of selling vehicles; and

(c) The business location clearly and conspicuously displays the business name of the dealer in letters no less than 10 inches in height, unless prohibited by local zoning; such business signage shall be clearly visible from a traveling vehicle on the adjacent public way, unless an obstruction exists which cannot be remedied.

290:2 Definitions; Retail Vehicle Dealer. Amend RSA 259:89-a to read as follows:

259:89-a Retail Vehicle Dealer. “Retail vehicle dealer” shall mean a person engaged in the motor vehicle business who sells motor vehicles to the general public, or demonstrates for sale vehicles on consignment to the general public. [There shall be a rebuttable presumption that] Any person who sells or who acts as an agent of a seller for 5 or more vehicles at retail to the general public in a consecutive 12-month period is a retail vehicle dealer.

290:3 Dealer License Required. RSA 261:103-a is repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

261:103-a Dealer License Required.

I. Each dealer, as defined in RSA 259:18, shall apply for and obtain from the department a dealer license before engaging in any motor vehicle business activity in the state. The department shall prescribe and provide forms to be used for applications for licenses and for the renewals thereof to be issued under the terms and provisions of this chapter and require all new applicants, as a condition precedent to the issuance of a license, to submit the following:

(a) The name and residence address of the applicant and the trade name, if applicable, under which the applicant intends to conduct business, and:

(1) If the applicant is a partnership, the name and residence address of each member thereof, whether a limited or general partner, and the name under which the partnership business is to be conducted.

(2) If the applicant is a corporation, the name of the corporation and the name and address of each of its principal officers and directors and all persons owning more than 5 percent of the outstanding shares of stock issued by the corporation.

(b) A complete description, including the city or town and the street and number of the permanent, established place of business and such other and additional place or places of business as shall be operated and maintained by the applicant in conjunction with the permanent, established place of business.

(c) The trade name or line make of the new vehicles that the applicant is or has been franchised to sell or exchange and the name and address of any manufacturer or distributor who has enfranchised the applicant.

(d) Whether the applicant proposes to sell new or used vehicles or both.

(e) A duly executed service agreement on forms provided by the department with a service or repair garage which is a licensed inspection facility within a reasonable distance from the applicant’s established place of business, if applicant does not have facilities at the applicant’s established place of business to service or repair motor vehicles.

(f) A statement that the applicant is or intends to be engaged in the motor vehicle business and that this activity constitutes or will constitute the principal business of the applicants.

(g) Certification from the appropriate officials of the municipality which contains the dealer’s established place of business that the dealer’s establishment is in compliance with all applicable local zoning ordinances.

(h) A statement that the dealer will comply with all state and federal requirements regarding the selling, titling, and financing of vehicles.

(i) Proof of a surety bond obtained through a company approved by the insurance department, or pursuant to RSA 261:101, which conforms to the criteria in RSA 261:98, or proper alternative proof of financial assurance pursuant to RSA 261:98, VI.

(j) A statement that the dealer shall notify the department upon cancellation of the surety bond.

(k) A criminal history records check for the applicant and its members, partners, officers, and directors and a statement whether the applicant has ever been subject to a civil judgment connected with a motor vehicle business.

II. All applications shall be accompanied by the payment of a license fee of $125. If any application is denied or the license applied for is not issued, 75 percent of the license fee shall be refunded to the applicant.

III. All dealer licenses shall be granted or denied after receipt of a complete application by the department. If the application is incomplete, the department shall notify the applicant in writing indicating the reasons for incompleteness.

IV. All licenses issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall expire annually in the month designated by the director.

V. Any change of address, ownership, employment, trade name, or line make of motor vehicle a dealer is franchised to handle shall be reported to the department within 30 days from the date of the change.

VI. No dealer license shall be transferable, and a separate license shall be required for each separate place of business in a separate town or city, and shall be prominently displayed in the place of business operated by the person to whom such license is issued.

VII. A retail vehicle dealer may include with its application for a dealer license or renewal a request, upon blanks furnished by the department for that purpose, for a general distinguishing number for vehicles owned by such dealer.

290:4 New Section; Unlicensed Sales Prohibited. Amend RSA 261 by inserting after section 103-a the following new section:

261:103-b Unlicensed Sales Prohibited. No person may sell 5 or more vehicles at retail to the general public in any consecutive 12-month period unless the person has an established place of business and a valid dealer license issued under RSA 261:103-a.

290:5 New Paragraph; Retail Vehicle Dealer’s Use of Dealer Registration. Amend RSA 261:111 by inserting after paragraph V the following new paragraph:

VI. A retail vehicle dealer may use the dealer registration to operate a vehicle on the ways of this state when transporting the vehicle from a place of purchase to the dealer’s place of business if the vehicle bears a valid inspection sticker from any state unless a clear violation of RSA 266:1 is apparent from visual observation.

290:6 Repeal. RSA 261:103, relative to application for retail vehicle dealer registration, is repealed.

290:7 Unlicensed Sales; Applicability. The established place of business requirement in RSA 261:103-b, as inserted by section 4 of this act, shall not apply until December 31, 2015 to any retail vehicle dealer licensed under RSA 261:103-a on the effective date of this act so long as the dealer continues to be licensed as a retail vehicle dealer and does not have a general distinguishing number.

290:8 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

Approved: July 13, 2010

Effective Date: September 11, 2010