The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was announced on January 12, 2018, increasing the maximum documentary fee from $116 to $118 for processing titlework manually (from $138 to $141 if dealers perform on-line registrations with an on-line provider such as (Cox/Dealertrack). The increase is effective immediately.
The documentary fee:
· is non-taxable;
· may be excluded from a dealer’s advertised price for the sale of a vehicle;
· is a negotiable item, so the actual dollar amount may not be pre-printed on the buyer’s order;
· is a dealer-imposed charge, not a state-mandated fee; and
· must be disclosed on a sign in the dealership.
The documentary fee will continue to be adjusted annually in accordance with the Federal Consumer Price Index. If a dealership’s documentary fee exceeds the permissible charge, the Attorney General’s Office may consider it to be deceptive, as to what services are being performed, and may find it subject to enforcement action.
Please update the information posted in your dealership as needed. Occasionally, financial institutions will require a dealership to submit proof in writing of the fee increase. The state franchise law permitting an annual adjustment based on the CPI can be found at www.paa.org/legislative. Or information is available through the Department of State at: www.dos.pa.gov/ProfessionalLicensing/BoardsCommissions.
Courtesy of PAA Bulletin No. 2, 1/24/2018