As of January 1, 2017, automotive glass repair and replacement companies in Rhode Island will need to be licensed. The state’s General Assembly approved legislation this week (2015-H 5607A and 2015-S 0334A) called “The Motor Vehicle Glass Consumer Protection Act.” The bill is on its way to the governor’s desk for her signature.
“Glass is an integral part of every motor vehicle and it must be safe and in compliance with all state and national standards,” says State Senator Louis DiPalma (D), a bill sponsor. “This legislation makes sure that when a consumer drives their vehicle off the repair shop lot they will be safe driving and have been treated fairly and properly by the repair business.”
The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation “may establish minimum requirements for the certification of motor vehicle glass repair technicians consistent with current vehicle glass standards establishes by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) related to the repair of laminated automotive glass and auto glass replacement and other recognized national or corporate training programs,” according to the legislation.
Based on the bill, a person applying for a license or renewal as a licensed motor vehicle glass repair shop must:
—Maintain a physical place of business within the state at which it has indoor facilities suitable to perform motor vehicle glass repair services and from which it may lawfully dispatch mobile service vans with the intention of performing glass repair services on a mobile basis; or
—If providing motor vehicle glass repair services on a mobile-only basis, have access to indoor facilities licensed or subject to regulation … at which services must be performed indoors during inclement weather, in accordance with the resin and adhesive manufacturer instructions, as well as ANSI standards;
—If using a mobile service van, register and insure such van as a commercial vehicle;
—If providing motor vehicle glass repair services, possess and maintain in working order the equipment necessary to provide motor vehicle windshield glass stone chip repair;
—If providing motor vehicle glass repair services, possess and maintain the equipment necessary to perform motor vehicle glass replacement services;
—Obtain all required local, state and federal licenses and permits, including a state sales tax identification number and a federal tax identification number; and
—Not subcontract or sublet motor vehicle glass repair services to any other person or entity not in the employ of the licensed motor vehicle glass repair shop unless such person or entity is also a duly licensed motor vehicle glass repair shop.
The license fee is $300 annually. If an AGRR company does business in more than one location, a separate fee of $300 must be paid for each location.
Licensed AGRR shops must maintain records for each vehicle the company worked on. These records must include, “usage of all glass parts, major accessory parts, including mouldings and major hardware component parts, and the adhesive system used in the motor vehicle glass repair.”
“The record shall also include the brand, product number or name and lot and batch numbers for the adhesive product used. The record shall be maintained for 36 months, or for so long as a warranty on the motor vehicle glass repair service performed is in effect, whichever is longer,” according to the legislation.
Licenses can be suspended or revoked only after a Department of Business Regulation hearing finds probable cause, including deceptive business practices, failure to maintain standards set by ANSI, failure to complete proper reporting standards to the department and failure to pay licensing fees and taxes.
“The bill also call for itemized bills for customers, listing every cost associated with the repair or replacement of auto glass and the consumer’s free choice in selecting repair or replacement shop when going through their insurance companies,” according to a statement from Andrew Caruolo, Rhode Island House publicist.
To view a copy of the legislation, click here.