Legislative Authority

The Legislative Authority of the VSA

The VSA operates within the limited powers delegated to it in an Administrative Agreement with the provincial government and the Motor Dealer Delegation Regulation.

The Motor Dealer Act (MDA) and the Motor Dealer Act Regulation give the Registrar and the VSA authority to enforce the Motor Dealer Act and certain sections of the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCPA).

Motor Dealer Act

The MDA creates licensing requirements for motor dealers and salespeople, broker agents and their representatives, and wholesalers.

It also requires dealers and salespeople, as well as broker agents and their representatives make specific declarations and disclosures to consumers about vehicles for sale. Broker agents also have strict conflict of interest requirements.

The Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund provides compensation to certain eligible consumers for losses that occurred when a licensed motor dealer went out of business or failed to meet certain legal requirements.

The MDA also permits compliance orders and significant administrative penalties for the unlicensed selling of vehicles. This includes what is known as curbing.

Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act

The BPCPA defines certain practices as being unfair, deceptive and unconscionable. It also requires a seller to stand behind the representations they make. The Registrar and the VSA have the authority to enforce limited sections of the BPCPA.

Role of the Registrar

The Registrar is appointed by the VSA Board of Directors, but remains independent from the Board on all regulatory and enforcement matters. Under the MDA, the Registrar has the power to:

  • Review, grant, revoke, renew, add conditions to, or suspend licences
  • Order salespeople, broker agent representatives and wholesalers to complete required courses
  • Inspect motor dealers, broker agents, wholesalers and wholesale auctions
  • Require compliance with the MDA and its Regulations
  • Investigate consumer complaints involving transactions with licensed motor dealers and broker agents
  • Investigate complaints involving transactions with licensed wholesalers
  • Apply to the courts to appoint a receiver and issue a property freeze order to a motor dealer or wholesaler when necessary
  • Investigate unlicensed selling and issue compliance orders and administrative penalties

Under the BPCPA, the Registrar has the power to:

  • Issue compliance orders and administrative penalties to licensed motor dealers and salespeople, broker agents and their representatives as a result of a deceptive practice or unconscionable act
  • Require appropriate consumer restitution when the Act is breached by a motor dealer or salesperson, broker agent or broker agent representative

If you have any questions, please contact VSA Consumer Services.

NOTE: This is to provide general information and is not intended to be legal advice.