Editorial: California must pass bill allowing e-signatures in car sales

Newswire: June 22, 2017.

Dateline: Sacramento, Calif.

California is the only state in the U.S. where car buyers do not have the option of signing their vehicle sale or lease documents electronically, a disparity that should be corrected by a bill now before its state legislature, writes the president of the state’s car dealers association.

Writing for the Sacramento Bee, Brian Maas, president of the California New Car Dealers Association, notes how strange it is that the home of American car culture does not allow e-signatures in auto sales or leases. He cited a public opinion survey that said 75 percent of the state’s voters want such an option.

“It’s time for car buying in our state to better reflect what consumers expect,” Maas writes. “Otherwise, they may look to unlicensed markets, preventing local dealers from staying competitive and undercutting the important contribution they make to California’s economy.”

Assembly Bill 380 would resolve this, Maas said. California’s existing Uniform Electronic Transactions Act recognizes electronic signatures, but carries a specific exemption for sale and lease contracts for motor vehicles. Assembly Bill 380 deletes that exemption and authorizes sellers or lessors to offer electronic signature options to their buyers or lessees, with certain disclosures required. Consumers are protected from additional charges for the electronic signature option.

“In a state that prides itself on a culture of innovation, California drivers deserve a better, more efficient car-buying experience,” Maas argues.

Read the full editorial here.

(Front page image via FreeImages)

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