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Auto Repairer Information - FAQs

Q. What will registration do for me?

A. First, the board's primary focus is to address "backyard" operators and create a level playing field in terms of competition. If costs are relatively equal between repairers, competition is increased, price-cutting is reduced, and repair pricing/labor rates more accurately reflect the actual cost of operations. Second, we are intent on regularly providing information to you, both through our website and direct mailings as regards programs that can be of benefit to shop owners, articles of interest, and keeping you informed about legislative/judicial activities that may impact your business, both positively or negatively. We believe that by being better informed you can make better decisions. Last, we are uniquely positioned to address issues such as falling profit margins, after-market versus OEM parts, securing future labor, et cetera, that have plagued the industry for years and which can be resolved or improved upon.

Q. Why haven't I heard of the registration program before?

A. The shop registration requirement has been "on the books" since December, 1997. Since then, a board has been named, staff was hired, and office space was acquired, all of which take time to bring together. Additionally, state agencies are required to write, submit, and get approval upon rules by which they operate. The rule making and review process alone takes over 60-days to accomplish. On January 21, 1999- nearly 13 months later- the agency was finally able to embark on its mission, namely, promoting the program and registering repairers statewide. Since then, we have and will continue to send literally hundreds of letters to shop owners telling them about the program. In addition, we have conducted numerous presentations around the state through which we explain the program and answer shop owner questions and concerns, with more being scheduled for the future. The fact that you haven't heard about the program is a great example of why it is a good idea to remain informed about things that affect your business and how we can help.
In August of 2003, auto glass, paintless dent repair and air bag businesses were added to registration requirements.

Q. What is an example of a "program" we, as shop owners, might be able to use?

A. Good question. A sister agency, called the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, has a program known as "The Clean Air Resource Center", which can be reached at (614) 224-3383, (800) 225-5051. This program is designed to address and remedy air pollution sources within a business. Contacting them puts you in touch with their field staff who will come and assess your facility, at no cost, and if necessary, prepare a report outlining the source(s) of pollution there along with proposed remedies. While working with them, the Environmental Protection Agency is prohibited, by law, from levying fines or other enforcement actions upon your establishment, regardless of the amount of pollution you generate.

Assuming you must acquire equipment to solve a pollution problem, they can secure loans, at competitive rates, with which to obtain that equipment, the purchase of which is exempted from the payment of state sales tax, personal use taxes, and personal property taxes. In many instances, the savings can and have literally paid for equipment!
We believe many repairers can utilize this program, can help clean the environment and save money at the same time.

Q. How did the registration requirement come about?

A. Over ten years ago, a group of concerned auto repairers decided they were fed-up and tired of trying to compete with illegitimate shops that were playing by a different set of rules, avoiding regulations that every legitimate business must abide by and losing repair business to them. These shop owners took it upon themselves to come to Columbus many, many times, to meet with and discuss the problem with state legislators in order to get legislation put in place that would compel the "backyard" operators to abide by the law. Finally, after years of effort and countless trips between Columbus and their homes, The 122nd General Assembly recognized the problem and passed Amended Substitute House Bill143, which became law December 18th, 1997.

Q. Won't registration put some repairers out of business?

A. No. The intent of the board and legislation is to promote fair competition from shop to shop and across the state. The law provides up to four years for currently non-complying shops to come into full compliance. In most cases, a non-complying shop will merely have to obtain and provide necessary identification numbers (e.g. worker's comp I.D., federal taxpayer I.D.), and begin paying their fair share in the areas they neglected previously. In a few cases, shops will have to acquire equipment to satisfy regulations, particularly those of the Environmental Protection Agency, which will cost money. In all cases, however, the agency will work with each and every operation as best possible to bring them into compliance while keeping them in business. Ultimately, should they decide to hang up the tools at the end of four years, the decision will be an internal decision rather than being forced out of business by an outsider.

Q. What if I choose not to register?

A. Registration is now a requirement and so, failure to register becomes a violation of Ohio law. This agency is authorized to enforce that law and can administer fines of up to $5,000 and can ultimately close a business, if necessary. Additionally, failure to register results in the loss of your mechanic's lien rights, which can be costly if you have performed work but have not been paid for. Moreover, we assist other agencies in their enforcement efforts and exchange investigation information with them when required. This can bring additional penalties to bear upon the issue. Considering the potential costs of not registering compared to the costs and benefits attendant with registration, registering makes good sense.

Q. I do not feel comfortable providing "confidential" information. What can you do about that?

A. As a state agency, we are subject to "sunshine" laws, which make it necessary to divulge our records upon request. However, Ohio case law has generally held that the release of information like social security numbers, for example, should not be disclosed as the potential for wrongdoing outweighs the possible benefits of disclosure. To that end, we will not produce information of that sort nor will we compile and then sell lists of the registered shops across the state. When a public records request is received, we "redact" (black-out) sensitive information of that sort and provide only copies and information that is in the public domain such as addresses, names, et cetera. Additionally, pursuant to the sunshine laws, an agency cannot be compelled to produce records that it does not maintain such as lists.

Q. What role does the Ohio Motor Vehicle Repair Board play?

A. Effective December 18, 1997, every independent collision repair shop is required by law to be registered with the state of Ohio. The program is administered by the Ohio Board of Motor Vehicle Repair whose mission is to insure repair shop compliance with existing statutes such as taxation, worker benefits and minimization of pollution.

B. In August of 2003, auto glass, paintless dent repair and air bag businesses were added to registration requirements.

C. In March of 2013, window tint installation was added to registration requirements.

The Ohio Board of Motor Vehicle Repair:

  • acts as an advocate on behalf of repairers by addressing issues of concern to the industry
  • promotes consumer awareness and education regarding the auto repair process via literature, discussion forums and programs
  • investigates and prosecutes violations of the registration law

Q. Where can I get additional information?

A. For additional information, please contact us at:

Ohio Board of Motor Vehicle Repair
77 S. High St., 16th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
(614) 995-0714 (Voice)
(614) 995-0717 (Fax)