Individuals who are paid to repair other peoples’ vehicles must be registered with the FDACS (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services), according to the Florida Motor Vehicle Repair Act. This applies whether you’re working as a single owner/operator or you belong to a repair shop employing any number of repair technicians.
If you only repair your own street legal vehicle, however, the law does not apply to you. Neither does it apply to people who repair vehicles that are used solely for horticultural or agricultural purposes.
The Responsibilities of Repair Shops
Repair shops have specific responsibilities pertaining to the FDACS. These are as follows:
- A sign advertising consumer’s rights in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Repair Act, and a registration certificate, must be posted in the customer service area in a conspicuous location.
- In any listings, announcements, or advertisements, in any directory, magazine, or newspaper, pertaining to the repair of motor vehicles, the shop’s registration number must be included.
How to Protect Yourself by Choosing A Reputable Facility for Repairs
The following are signs of quality and reliability in a repair shop:
- Evidence of qualified technicians
- Helpful, courteous staff
- A facility with a well-organized, neat appearance
- A customer service area with signs of professionalism (i.e., BBB membership, customer service awards, community and civic service awards, etc.)
What Are Your Rights?
Under the Florida Motor Vehicle Repair Act, the law requires a repair shop to give you several options if the repair will cost more than $100. The options are as follows:
The request of a written estimate.
- Notification by the shop if you have requested that the repair not exceed a certain amount, but it has been determined that the repair will exceed that amount.
- You also have the option of not requesting a written estimate at all.
Regardless of which of the above options are chosen, your choice must be signed and dated. You have the right to an estimate, and no motor vehicle repair shop can make you waive that right.