The Utah Automotive Recyclers Association (UARA) today strongly praised state lawmakers and Governor Gary Herbert for protecting Utahans through the passage of Senate Bill 249. The legislation, which was signed into law on April 1, institutes important regulations on the buying and selling of salvage vehicles and empowers law enforcement to track illegal activity in the auto salvage industry.
“SB 249 will keep unsafe automobiles out of the hands of unqualified individuals who could hide the vehicles’ true condition from consumers through illegal vehicle rebuilding, VIN cloning and auto theft,” said UARA Executive Director Sandy Blalock. “This legislation is a huge step forward in protecting Utah’s motorists from these illicit practices, which put everyone on our roadways in danger.”
Building upon prior reforms to Utah’s salvage vehicle laws, SB 249 establishes thresholds for the number of salvage or non-repairable vehicles that can be transacted by unlicensed in-state purchasers and sellers. In accordance with existing state regulations, the new law specifies that unlicensed sellers may not offer for sale, sell, or exchange more than two vehicles with salvage certificates in any 12-month period to a person not licensed as a salvage vehicle buyer.
The bill also prohibits any person not licensed as a salvage vehicle buyer from bidding on or purchasing more than five non-repairable or salvage vehicles within a year. Additionally, sellers are not permitted to sell or exchange a vehicle with a non-repairable certificate to any person not licensed as a salvage vehicle buyer.
In an effort to further protect Utah consumers, SB 249 also prohibits any criminals convicted of violating laws related to motor vehicle commerce or fraud from purchasing a salvage or non-repairable titled vehicle. SB 249 also mandates that a vehicle with a non-repairable certificate may not be registered in the state and establishes a private cause of action for certain owners who violate the requirement to disclose that a vehicle has a salvage title.
“These provisions offer valuable safeguards against the actions of unlicensed entities that offer dangerous vehicles for sale on the internet and engage in illegal curb stoning operations,” said Blalock.
Information from every salvage vehicle auction will now be entered into the Utah Motor Vehicle Department database, putting vastly more resources at the disposal of law enforcement officials. Operators of motor vehicle auctions are required to electronically apply for a salvage certificate of title, and to provide evidence of compliance with certain provisions.
“We applaud Utah lawmakers for supporting the critical protections contained in SB 249,” said Blalock. “UARA looks forward to continuing to work with state motor vehicle, transportation, and law enforcement officials to ensure successful implementation of this important new law.”