House Bill No. 232
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act limiting the location of off-premises sales by state recreational vehicle dealers; establishing conditions for exhibitions by out-of-state recreational vehicle organizations, associations, or corporations; and amending sections 61-3-301, 61-4-101, and 61-4-102, MCA."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 61-3-301, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-3-301. Registration -- license plate required -- display. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter,
person may not operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways of Montana unless the vehicle is properly registered and
has the proper number plates conspicuously displayed and unobstructed from plain view, one on the front and one on the
rear of the vehicle, each both securely fastened to prevent it the plates from swinging and unobstructed from plain view,
except that trailers, semitrailers, quadricycles, motorcycles, and vehicles authorized in 61-4-102 (6) (7) to display
demonstrator plates may have but one number plate conspicuously displayed on the rear. No A person may not display on a
vehicle at the same time that it is displaying a number plate pursuant to this chapter a number assigned to it under any
motor vehicle law except as provided in this chapter. A junk vehicle, as defined in Title 75, chapter 10, part 5, being driven
or towed to an auto wrecking graveyard for disposal is exempt from the provisions of this section.
No A person may not purchase or display on a vehicle a license plate bearing the number assigned to any a county, as
provided in 61-3-332, other than the county of his the person's permanent residence at the time of application for
registration. However, the owner of any motor vehicle requiring a license plate on any a motor vehicle used in the public
transportation of persons or property may make application apply for the license in any county through which that the
motor vehicle passes through in its regularly scheduled route, and the license plate issued bearing the number assigned to
that county may be displayed on the motor vehicle in any other county of the state.
(3) It is unlawful to use license plates issued to one vehicle on any other vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer unless legally
transferred as provided by statute
, or to repaint old license plates to resemble current license plates.
(4) This section does not apply to a vehicle exempt from taxation under 15-6-215 or subject to taxation under 61-3-520.
Any A person violating these provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to the penalty prescribed in 61-3-601."
Section 2. Section 61-4-101, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-4-101. Application for dealer's license or wholesaler's license. (1) (a) A verified application for licensure as a dealer or wholesaler must be filed, by mail or otherwise, in the office of the department by each person, firm, corporation, or association that, for commission or profit, engages in:
(i) the business of buying, selling, exchanging, taking for consignment, or acting as a broker of new motor vehicles
recreational vehicles ,; used motor vehicles ,; trailers, (except trailers having an unloaded weight of less than 500 pounds ),;
semitrailers ,; mobile homes ,; or special mobile equipment as defined in 61-1-104; or
(ii) the business
as of a wholesaler as defined in 61-1-319.
(b) A licensed real estate broker or agent lawfully buying, selling, exchanging, taking for consignment, or acting as a broker of mobile homes is exempt from licensure under this section.
(c) The sale of more than three motor vehicles or the offering for sale of more than three motor vehicles, if the motor
vehicles are not titled in the seller's name, in any
1 calendar year is prima facie evidence that a person is engaged in the
business of dealing motor vehicles. Licensed wholesalers do not have the privilege of the use of dealer license plates, as
provided in subsection (2)(b), but are authorized to display and use demonstrator plates under the provisions of
(d) Each license application and all of the information contained in it must be verified by the department or an authorized
representative of the department on a form to be furnished by the department for that purpose and must contain the
information required. Each application must be accompanied by the license fee specified in 61-4-102. A dealer's or
wholesaler's license must be renewed and paid for annually, and an application for relicensure
must may not be filed not
later than January 1 of each year. If an application for renewal of a license has been received by the department prior to the
expiration of the license, the licensee may operate the business and display dealer or demonstrator plates under the expired
license between January 1 and February 15 following expiration.
(2) To qualify for licensure and the issuance and use of "D", "UD", "RV", "DTR", or "MCD" plates as provided in this
subsection, the applicant
must shall furnish the following information and qualify under the following provisions:
(a) To qualify as a new motor vehicle dealer and for the use of "D" plates, the applicant
(i) state the name under which the business is to be conducted and the location of the premises, including the
address, city, county, and state ), where records are kept, sales are made, and stock of motor vehicles is displayed;
(ii) state the name and address of all owners or persons having an interest in the business
, provided that; however, in the
case of a corporation, the names and addresses of the president and secretary are sufficient;
(iii) state the name and make of all motor vehicles handled and the name and address of the manufacturer, importer, or distributor with whom the applicant has a written new motor vehicle franchise or sales agreement;
(iv) execute a certificate to the effect that the applicant has a permanent building for the display and sale of new motor vehicles at the location of the premises where sales are conducted;
(v) execute a certificate to the effect that the applicant has a bona fide service department for the repair, service, and maintenance of motor vehicles; and
(vi) execute a certificate to the effect that the applicant is a bona fide dealer in new motor vehicles and that the dealer is recognized by a manufacturer, importer, or distributor as a dealer in new motor vehicles.
(b) To qualify as a used motor vehicle dealer and for the use of "UD" plates; as a recreational vehicle dealer and for the use of "RV" plates; as a trailer, semitrailer, or special mobile equipment dealer and for the use of "DTR" plates; as a motorcycle or quadricycle dealer and for the use of "MCD" plates; or as a wholesaler and for the use of demonstrator plates, the applicant shall, in addition to the matters set forth in subsections (2)(a)(i) and (2)(a)(ii), provide:
(i) a statement that the:
(A) applicant has an established place of business that includes a lot or lots upon which motor vehicles may be displayed and a permanent nonresidential building on or contiguous to the lot or lots where records are kept and sales are made; or
(B) wholesaler applicant has an established place of business that includes a permanent nonresidential building or office where records are kept in order that those records may be inspected;
(ii) a certificate to the effect that the applicant is a bona fide dealer or wholesaler in used motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, trailers, semitrailers, special mobile equipment, motorcycles, or quadricycles. An applicant for a recreational vehicle dealer license shall also indicate on the same certificate that the person is recognized by a manufacturer, importer, or distributor as a dealer in recreational vehicles.
(c) If two or more vehicle dealer or wholesaler businesses share a location, all records, office facilities, and inventory, if applicable, must be physically segregated and clearly identified. Each applicant's established place of business shall display a sign that indicates the firm name and that vehicles are offered for sale. The letters of the sign must be clearly visible and readable to the major avenue of traffic at a minimum distance of 150 feet.
(d) To qualify for a used motor vehicle dealer's or wholesaler's license, a person shall submit an annual application for that
license and comply with the provisions of 61-4-102
(5) (6) in addition to fulfilling the requirements of subsection (2)(b) of
(e) The provisions of subsection (2)(d) do not apply to an applicant who is licensed as a motor vehicle wrecking facility under the provisions of Title 75, chapter 10, part 5.
(3) (a) The applicant for a dealer's or wholesaler's license shall also file with
his the application a bond of $25,000 for a
license as a new motor vehicle dealer, a used motor vehicle dealer, a recreational vehicle dealer, a trailer dealer, or a
wholesaler. However, applicants for a license as a trailer dealer or a trailer wholesaler shall file the $25,000 surety bond
only if special mobile equipment, commercial trailers and semitrailers exceeding 6,000 pounds maximum gross loaded
weight, mobile homes, or house trailers are sold; otherwise, all other trailer dealer dealers, motorcycle dealer dealers, or
wholesaler license applicants shall file a bond in the sum of $10,000. All bonds must be conditioned that the applicant shall
conduct the business in accordance with the requirements of the law. All bonds must run to the state of Montana, must be
approved by the department and filed in its office, and must be renewed annually.
(b) A person who suffers loss or damage
due to because of the unlawful conduct of a dealer or wholesaler licensed under
this section shall obtain a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction prior to collecting on the bond. The judgment
must determine a specific loss or damage amount and conclude that the licensee's unlawful operation caused the loss or
damage before payment on the bond is required."
Section 3. Section 61-4-102, MCA, is amended to read:
"61-4-102. Fees -- restrictions on licensees. (1)
Upon making such application, the An applicant for a dealer's license or
wholesaler's license shall pay to the department, in addition to the fees required of dealers and wholesalers under the
provisions of subsection (2), a fee of $5. Upon receipt of the application, the fee, and the bond , as provided above for in
61-4-101, the department shall examine the application , and may, prior to issuing a license, make individual investigation
of the truth of the statements contained in the application. If the department is satisfied that the applicant qualifies for the
issuance of a license under the provisions of this chapter, the department may issue the license. The department may refuse,
after investigation, to issue a license to an applicant as allowed by law.
(2) Registration or license fees
shall must be paid upon registration or reregistration of dealers in motor vehicles,
recreational vehicles, or trailers as follows:
(a) (i) a fee of $25 for all dealers in motor vehicles and recreational vehicles,
a fee of $25, which shall entitle such entitling
the dealer to one set of number plates, and $25 an additional fee of $25 for each additional set of number plates, subject to
the following limitations on the number of additional sets allowed a dealer:
(A) 5% of the first 100 vehicle sales for the previous year; plus
(B) 3% of the next 100 vehicle sales for the previous year; plus
(C) 2% of vehicle sales in excess of 200 for the previous year; and
(D) any additional sets upon a showing of good cause by the applicant dealer to the department.
(ii) in addition to the dealer plates allowed under subsection (2)(a)(i), a dealer who has purchased one or more sets of dealer
plates or a licensed wholesaler is entitled to purchase demonstrator plates at a cost determined by the department to offset
the cost of production. Demonstrator plates must be used in lieu of a dealer plate but only as set forth in subsection
and must be distinguished from dealer plates in a manner determined by the department. Wholesaler demonstrator plates
must be distinguished from dealer demonstrator plates in a manner determined by the department.
(b) a fee of $45 for dealers in motorcycles, quadricycles, and trailers, including housetrailers
, $45; and
(c) a fee of $30 for wholesalers in used motor vehicles
,; recreational vehicles ,; trailers, (including semitrailers and special
mobile equipment ),; and motorcycles, (including quadricycles ), $30.
(3) If a dealer or wholesaler is originally registered 6 months after the time of registration as set by law, the registration or
license fee for the remainder of the year is one-half of the regular fee
(4) (a) A dealer or wholesaler in motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, or trailers who maintains more than one place of business or who maintains a branch establishment or establishments shall register and pay a registration or license fee for each place of business or establishment.
(b) (i) A dealer may sell vehicles only from
his a licensed place of business unless the dealer notifies the department 10
days in advance, on a form prescribed by the department, of the opening date and location of an off-premises sale.
(ii) Except for recreational vehicle dealers, an off-premises sale must be conducted within the city limits of the city of the
dealer's licensed location or
upon at an adjacent off-premises site that is approved by the department and that is within the
county of the dealer's licensed location, except that a recreational vehicle dealer may hold an off-premises sale in any
adjacent county or any county that does not have an active recreational vehicle dealer maintaining at least six units of
(iii) The sale may not exceed 10 consecutive business days, and a licensed dealer may not conduct more than 10
off-premises sales during any
1 calendar year.
(5) An out-of-state recreational vehicle organization, association, or corporation organized to promote the recreational vehicle industry may conduct an exhibition in this state under the following conditions:
(a) The out-of-state recreational vehicle organization, association, or corporation shall solicit the participation of at least four recreational vehicle dealers licensed in this state, regardless of their location within this state, to participate in the exhibition.
(b) The length of the exhibition may not exceed 10 consecutive business days.
(5)(6) A new applicant for a used motor vehicle dealer or wholesaler license shall pay $300 to the department in addition
to any other sums required by this section or other provisions of the law. An applicant for a renewal of a used motor vehicle
dealer or wholesaler license shall certify under oath that he the applicant has sold more than five used motor vehicles
during the preceding calendar year or shall pay an additional $300 before he may be licensed being eligible for a license. (6)(7) Demonstrator plates provided for in subsection (2)(a)(ii) may be used only as follows:
(a) New and used motor vehicle or recreational vehicle demonstrator plates may be used:
(i) to demonstrate, for
no not more than 72 hours, an authorized vehicle held for sale , when operated by an individual
holding a valid operator's license;
(ii) on authorized vehicles owned by
the firm a dealer or wholesaler when operated by an officer or bona fide full-time
employee of the dealer or wholesaler and used to transport the dealer's or wholesaler's own tools, parts, and equipment;
(iii) on authorized vehicles being tested for repair;
(iv) on authorized vehicles being moved to or from a dealer's place of business for sale;
(v) on authorized vehicles being moved to or from service and repair facilities before sale;
(vi) on authorized vehicles being moved to or from exhibitions within the state
, provided any such if the exhibition does not
exceed a period of 20 days, except as provided in subsection (5).
(b) Mobile home and trailer dealer demonstrator plates may be used:
(i) on units hauled to or from the place of business of the manufacturer and the place of business of the dealer or to and from places of business of the dealer;
(ii) on mobile homes hauled to a customer's location for setup after sale;
(iii) on travel trailers held for sale to demonstrate the towing capability of the vehicle
provided that if a dated demonstration
permit, valid for not more than 72 hours, is carried with the vehicle at all times;
(iv) on any motor vehicle owned by the dealer that is used only to move vehicles legally bearing mobile home and travel
trailer dealer license plates of the dealer owning
any such the motor vehicle;
(v) on vehicles being moved to or from vehicle exhibitions within the state
, provided any such if the exhibition does not
exceed a period of 20 days, except as provided in subsection (5)."