Frank Notte – Association Columnist
One of my favourite quotes comes from former U.S. President Ronald Reagan: “When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.”
In that spirit, the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) is re-doubling our efforts to pass legislation that would allow auto dealers to register and licence the vehicles they sell from their dealership. This would eliminate the out-dated requirement of dealers physically transporting paperwork back and forth to Service Ontario upon completion of a sale or lease.
We’re excited to announce our new advocacy website – PassBill3.ca – that makes emailing your MPP quick and easy. It will take just 15 seconds of your time.
The best part is that we’ve done all the work for you. All you need to do is type in your name, email and postal code. A message will be sent directly to your MPP’s inbox.
Bill 3, known as the Cutting Red Tape For Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2016, would modernize Ontario’s auto sector. If passed, Ontario dealers would be allowed to apply for a permit, licence plate and validation sticker online and not have to stand in line or make multiple trips to Service Ontario.
Minutes after the customer signs on the dotted line, the vehicle is ready to be delivered. Dealers get to move their inventory much more quickly and the customer isn’t waiting around to take possession of what is often the second most expensive purchase they’ll make in their life.
MPP Steve Clark, representing the eastern Ontario riding of Leeds-Grenville, introduced Bill 3 and has been championing this issue for years. Clark has also presented petitions with thousands of names in the legislature asking the government to pass Bill 3.
When conducting research for the bill, Clark discovered a Service Ontario centre in his riding could not meet the demand from local residents, including dealers, who had registrations and licensing to process. Therefore, the dealers were restricted to only completing two registrations at a time.
They would then be required to go to the back of the line, continue to wait and then process two more. This should not happen in the technological age we live in today.
During the previous session of parliament, Bill 3 (then known as Bill 152) was well received by all three parties and passed unanimously at second reading debate. It was one step away from becoming law when a new session of Parliament started in September 2016 wiping the legislative business slate clean. As such, the bill had to start from the beginning again.
We can pay our mortgage, buy stocks, purchase goods, renew our driver’s licences and do virtually everything else online now. Individuals and businesses make highly secure, digital transactions every day. Vehicle registrations should be no different.
Ontario is a laggard in this respect. Quebec has offered this service to its new car dealers since 2002 and New York State dealers have had a similar solution at their disposal since the mid-1990s.
P.E.I., Michigan and a number of other U.S states also provide this service and it’s time Ontario caught up.
In 2011, Ontario conducted a successful pilot project in two new car dealerships that allowed them to do exactly what Bill 3 proposes (known as the modernization of vehicle registration or MVR).
In 2012, the Ministry of Transportation announced the MVR pilot project was successful and that a full rollout to over 5,000 dealers would start sometime in 2012 or 2013.
However, the rollout never moved forward.
We were so close!
So, let’s put Bill 3 into the fast lane to become law in Ontario. By emailing your MPP to pass Bill 3, we can make our collective voice heard and let political leaders know how important this issue is to the auto sector.
Visit PassBill3.ca today and let your MPP know the time has come to bring Ontario’s vehicle sales process into the 21st century.
Frank Notte is the director of government relations for the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, representing over 1,000 new car dealers in Ontario. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.