Great News! DMV Adopts OVDA Requested Change to “Inspections” vs “Investigations”


On September 1, 2022, DMV implemented an internal policy clarifying the definitions of an “Inspection” and an “Investigation”, and the parameters surrounding when Dealer Investigators schedule dealership visits, instead of making unannounced visits. Earlier in 2022, the Oregon Vehicle Dealer Association (OVDA) approached DMV Administrator Amy Joyce with a proposal to mandate scheduling of inspections for dealers who meet specific criteria. After review of the current Investigations Team practices, DMV determined a written policy was desirable to document and provide clarity of long-standing practices and expectations.

Inspections are routine compliance reviews, and will now be scheduled at least 48 hours in advance when practicable under the new policy. Investigations are conducted to gather information and documentation related to a customer complaint or suspected dealer violation. The policy allows the Investigators discretion in conducting scheduled or unscheduled investigations. Depending on the circumstances, reasonable requests to delay or reschedule an inspection may be accommodated, but an unscheduled visit may be conducted if undue delays pose a risk to the integrity of DMV’s regulatory responsibilities.

Dealers are reminded to keep their contact information current with DMV Business Licensing, and to respond promptly when Investigators leave a message requesting contact. The policy does not supersede requirements in statute and administrative rule, which require dealers to store their records in a manner allowing for timely and efficient retrieval, and to accommodate inspection of records, inventory, and premises on request (scheduled or not).

OVDA acknowledged the need for discretion in conducting unannounced Investigator visits, and after
reviewing the written policy is excited about the shift towards an increase in the number of visits being
scheduled in advance.

Dismantler businesses require annual compliance reviews pursuant to state law enacted in 2020. The
Dismantler Investigator works with the principals of dismantler businesses to ensure minimal disruption of
their business when conducting inspections and compliance checks. (Bold and Italic added by OVDA.)