Problems For Auto Dealers, Buyers During Shutdown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s day 12 of the state government shutdown and many services remain at a standstill, including parts of auto sales.

Scott Lambert from the Minnesota Automobile Dealer’s Association said they still have to do their job and collect all the taxes whether or not there’s a state shutdown.

“We can still sell the car, but the paperwork is going to take time and we’re urging customers to just be patient with us,” he explained.

WCCO’s John Hines Interviews Scott Lambert

You can also still send in your vehicle information to deputy registrars, who are not only doing their work but the state’s share of the work, too. According to Lambert, there is one thing the registrars can not do — give you a title.  Only the state can produce one.

“If your trading a car in, we used to be able sit around and look at a computer and say, ‘OK, we know who you are. We know what liens are on the title and what names are on the title,'” he said, “We can’t do that anymore. The state shut off our computers.”

Now auto dealers have to pick up the phone and find somebody at the deputy registrars office to tell them what’s happening.

If you recently bought a new vehicle and purchased it before July 1, you should receive your license plate, Lambert explained. If you bought it after July 1, you may encounter a problem when inventories run out.

“If you buy a car on July 30, and you got a 21-day permit — and God forbid this continues into August — you may eventually be driving illegally if we can’t get you a plate.”


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