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DMV Alert – DMV Proposes Changes to the 18-Month Rule

Robert Ebin /

The DMV recently proposed amendments to 13 CCR section 272.02, better known as the 18-Month Rule. As you may recall, the 18-Month Rule requires a dealer to maintain all original business records at its principal place of business or branch location for at least 18 months after the purchase, sale, rental, or lease of a vehicle. The Rule also allows a dealer to make electronic copies of records at any time, and then after the 18-month period, an electronic record will satisfy record retention requirements should certain criteria be met. 

The proposed amendment reduces this retention period to 90 days. The DMV believes this amendment will relieve dealers from the economic burdens of storing paper records.

The DMV has left open a written comment period on this proposed amendment until May 25, 2020. Stay tuned for further updates in this regard.


If you have any questions regarding this, or any other situation that may arise in your sales or service departments, hotline clients are invited to contact us at (800) 785-2880 (then press “4” for hotline) or [email protected].

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