By Todd Bryant
PENNSYLVANIA — As of 2019, recreational vehicle dealers in Pennsylvania will have to meet new licensing requirements. The legislation that sets the new rules is Senate Bill 764 (https://legiscan.com/PA/text/SB764/2017) which was passed on October 24, 2018.
The new bill introduces numerous changes to the way dealers in Pennsylvania are required to conduct their operations. Among them, it alters the Board of Vehicles Act from 1983, sets a definition for what a recreational vehicle constitutes, and introduces a new surety bond requirement for certain activities involving recreational vehicles. In addition, the new law also sets exceptions for RV dealers, such as in regards to termination of franchises and to industry reorganization.
The definition for a RV in the Senate Bill 764 is that this is a vehicle which can be either self-propelled or towed by another consumer vehicle. In addition, its main purpose is temporary habitation for recreation, camping or travel. The new law defines six RV types, which are travel trailers, fifth wheel travel trailers, motor homes, folding camping trailers, truck campers, and park model RV.
You can find more details about the surety bond requirement below, as well as ways to ensure your compliance.
The new bond requirements for RV dealers
RV dealers in Pennsylvania have to meet a $30,000 motor vehicle dealer surety bond requirement as part of the licensing process with the State Board of Vehicle Manufacturers, Dealers and Salespersons. Read this guide to learn more about Pennsylvania’s dealer bond requirements (https://www.bryantsuretybonds.com/auto-dealer-bonds/pennsylvania).
Senate Bill 764 expands the surety bond criterion to additional activities involving recreational vehicles. With the legal changes, dealers who want to conduct off-premises shows, sales and exhibitions and rallies of RVs also have to obtain a $30,000 bond. If a licensed RV dealer has already posted the bond, there is no need to get additional bonding for the activities listed above.
The aim of the new bonding requirement is to provide additional protection for the state and for dealers’ customers. For this type of bond, the purpose is to ensure that dealers conducting the above-mentioned activities will follow the law and make all due payments. The dealer bond can be used as a compensation mechanism in cases when a licensee has transgressed from their legal obligations. Harmed parties can file claims against the dealer and seek reimbursement up to the provided bond amount.
Complying with the new rules
If you are a licensed recreational vehicle dealer in Pennsylvania and have complied with the bonding requirement once, you will not need to provide an additional surety bond to the State Board. However, if you are licensed as another type of dealer, but want to engage in activities such as RV off-premises shows, rallies, sales and exhibitions, you will have to get a $30,000 bond.
When you apply for a RV dealer bond, the surety has to take a close look at your personal and business financials. This is how your bond price can be determined, which is a small percentage of the actual bond amount. The bond provider has to assess the strength of your profile on the basis of factors such as your credit score, company finances, and any other liquidity or assets. Applicants with stable finances typically get a bond rate in the range of 1%-3% of the bond amount. In principle, the better your overall standing is, the smaller your bond cost is likely to be.
How do you see the effect of Senate Bill 764 on recreational vehicle dealers in Pennsylvania? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Todd Bryant is the president and founder of Bryant Surety Bonds (https://www.bryantsuretybonds.com/). He is a surety bonds expert with years of experience in helping business owners get bonded and start their business.