Used Car Legislation

The California State Legislature passed a bill authored by Assembly member Bob Blumenfield (D-San Fernando Valley) enacting comprehensive reforms that provide first in the nation protections for used car buyers, streamline the registration process for all cars, and save the state millions of dollars.

Used Car Legislation
Used Car Legislation

“This bill unleashes the power of technology to provide first in the nation consumer protections, cut red tape, and help save the state millions,” said Blumenfield. “Buying a car, especially a used one, requires some detective work to determine its safety and value. By requiring junk cars and death traps to be flagged with a warning sticker, consumers can see these vehicles for what they really are when shopping for a car.”

Supported by a rare coalition of law enforcement, consumer and car industry advocates, Assembly Bill (AB) 1215 modernizes how cars are bought and registered in California. The bill: – Implements a first in the nation requirement that car dealers post a red sticker on the used cars they sell that are flagged in a federally mandated database – the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System – as a “junk,” “salvage,” or “flood” branded vehicles (details at http://www.; – Requires new car dealers to use electronic vehicle registration for new and used car sales starting next July; and – Reduces from 6 months to 90 days the time that consumers may legally drive without permanent license plates.

“Buying a car ranks second only to the financial commitment of home ownership,” added Blumenfield. “With working families striving to stretch their dollars further in this tough economy, there couldn’t be a better time to help ensure that family cars are a good and safe investment.”

Numerous benefits await California if this bill is signed into law: – Californians will have a first in the nation safeguard against unknowingly buying an unsafe, stolen or junk car; – Californians will get their new license plates in about a week compared to 2-6 months which, when installed, will help law enforcement better enforce our rules of the road; – The state will save over $9 million a year by reducing administrative costs at the Department of Motor Vehicles – nearly enough to restore budget cuts causing 70 state parks to close next year; and – California will have the nation’s second lowest document processing charge, which dealers can negotiate with consumers for the volume of documents processed required in a vehicle sale.

California is the nation’s largest car market. Last year, over 800,000 used cars were sold through dealerships. AB 1215 passed the State Assembly with a 67-4 vote, following a Tuesday Senate vote of 30-4. It now moves to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature or veto. He will have until October 9 to act on the bill. Additional information is available at

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