May 1, 2019

Contact: Senator Robert Cowles: (608) 266-0484

DOT Now Has the Tools to Properly Address

Fraudulent Auto Sales With New Law

NEENAH– Senator Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) released the following statement after 2019 Senate Bill 3, which was authored by Senator Cowles and Representative David Steffen (R-Green Bay) and with the help of Senator Andrè Jacque (R-De Pere), was signed into law: 

“From 2014 to 2016, dozens of vehicles on consignment at the car dealership Standard Pre-Owned were sold despite the original vehicle owner not being notified or receiving compensation. While complaints flooded into DOT, more Northeast Wisconsin residents found themselves defrauded by Standard Pre-Owned as the lengthy and tedious process of license revocation failed to protect Wisconsinites in these consignment sales.

“Senate Bill 3 acknowledges that consumers shouldn’t have to expect to be defrauded during vehicle sales or purchases. By simplifying the licensure review process, we provide DOT the ability to better protect Wisconsinites from fraudulent activity. While we may not be able to stop every case of fraud, these changes will help to give Wisconsinites a better piece of mind during automotive transactions.”

2019 Senate Bill 3, now 2019 Wisconsin Act 4, simplifies the process for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to deny, suspend, or revoke certain licenses issued to motor vehicle manufacturers, importers, distributors, and dealers to better allow DOT to adequately address the most severe cases of fraud. This new law also establishes guidelines on what types of fraud could constitute a license denial, suspension, or revocation and provides for an appeals process. This legislation was drafted following a series of fraudulent auto sales at the Kaukauna and Suamico car dealership Standard Pre-Owned for the purpose of reducing the ability for ongoing fraudulent activity in future automotive transactions.