The Dealer Standard

2024 – Issue 1

Dealer beware: Curbsiders employing new fraudulent sales tactic

Recently, OMVIC’s enforcement team has identified a concerning rise in deceptive online vehicle listings posted by “curbsiders” – illegal motor vehicle sellers posing as registered dealers and salespeople. These curbsiders steal photos and names from registered dealership websites and then use this information to create fraudulent online ads and profiles to entice unsuspecting buyers. 

By posing as reputable professionals, these curbsiders dupe car buyers into placing deposits on non-existent vehicles, only to vanish without a trace. Consequently, when buyers attempt to claim their purchased vehicle from the dealership, they discover that the purported seller, dealer, or transaction is entirely unaware of the business. 

Another deceptive scheme used by curbsiders involves illicitly altering authentic dealer advertisements, which are then reposted with the curbsider posing as the dealer and salesperson. Consequently, buyers unwittingly send deposits to these imposters, falling victim to fraudulent transactions. 

OMVIC continues to monitor online marketplaces for fraudulent sales and illegal motor vehicle activity. We continue to work diligently to safeguard the interests of registrants and to uphold the integrity of the motor vehicle sales industry.  

To protect their reputation and car buyers alike, dealerships are strongly urged to take proactive measures against curbsiders who exploit dealer and salesperson identities by monitoring and acting on illegal activity in the marketplace.    

National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft

OMVIC had the privilege of being invited to the Federal Government’s National Summit on Combatting Auto Theft, held on February 8, 2024. Representatives from all levels of government, law enforcement, the automotive industry, and the insurance industry came together to collaborate and commit to working together to combat auto theft, which is having a significant impact on the safety of our communities. What became evident during today’s summit is that the issue of auto theft is complex and calls for a comprehensive solution. OMVIC plays a significant role in helping to protect consumers as more stolen re-vinned vehicles enter the marketplace. 

New Motor Vehicle Inspection Station Program

Several MVRO members have inquired about Ontario’s transition from the Motor Vehicle Inspection Station (MVIS) program to the newly named DriveON program. DriveON merges motor vehicle inspection stations and emissions testing programs into a single digital platform, combining safety inspections and emissions testing for heavy-duty diesel commercial motor vehicles since Spring 2022. In early 2024, existing MVIS operators will need to apply as new vehicle inspection centers to join DriveON, facilitated by the program administrator, Parson’s Inc. For further inquiries, individuals are encouraged to contact the DriveON Contact Centre or visit the provided website.

Additionally, current MVIS stations seeking to continue under the DriveON program can find pre-enrollment information on the website, with further communication expected from the MTO via letter and/or email. If current MVIS stations do not receive emails from the MTO, they can request them directly.  

Annual Meeting and election of directors

OMVIC will hold its Annual Meeting on Wednesday, June 19, in person at the Novotel Toronto North York, 3 Park Home Ave, Toronto. The afternoon’s events are broken down as follows:

– 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.: Annual Meeting – Gibson Ballroom

– 3:30 to 3:45 p.m.: Question and Answer Session – Gibson Ballroom

Directors will be elected for three-year terms at this year’s Annual Meeting. The Governance and Nominating Committee, guided by the Director Nomination and Election Policy, will review the applications that were submitted by March 25, 2024, and interviews may be conducted if required. Qualified candidates will then be recommended via a slate of candidates for election by dealer members at OMVIC’s Annual Meeting.

OMVIC will circulate the slate of candidates and their biographies to all dealer members at least 30 days before the Annual Meeting. If the number of candidates equals the number of available positions on the board, the meeting chair will cast a single vote to elect all candidates. If the number of candidates exceeds the available positions, the dealer members will conduct the election through a vote. Only dealer members are entitled to vote, and each dealer member has one vote per matter considered at the Annual Meeting.

New fees reminder to all registrants

As a reminder to all dealers and salespeople, OMVIC is implementing the following fee increases, effective April 1, 2024:

Application Fees:
New salesperson application fee/reapplication fee $250 (set in 2008)$335
New dealer application fee/reapplication fee$500 (set in 2008)$670
Salesperson change application fee $75 (set in 1999)$115
Branch application fee $250 (set in 2010)$325
Dealership classification change application fee $250 (set in 2010)$325
Outside Ontario salesperson application fee $175 (set in 2010)$225
Outside Ontario dealer application fee $250 (set in 2010)$325
Renewal Fees:
Salesperson renewal fee $175 (set in 1994)$200
Dealer renewal fee $250 (set in 1999)$385
Transaction Fee:
Transaction fee $10 (set in 2015)$12.50
Compensation Fund Fee:
Compensation Fund fee $324 (set in 1990)No change

For applications received before April 1, 2024, OMVIC’s existing fee structure applies.  

Effective April 1, 2024, the new fees listed above will apply to all applications. 

As Ontario’s motor vehicle sales regulator, OMVIC’s mandate is to protect consumers and enhance registrant professionalism in the province. With oversight of over 8,000 dealers and approximately 30,000 salespersons, OMVIC strives to ensure a fair and well-informed vehicle sales marketplace.   

Funded primarily through fees such as registrations, applications, renewals, and transactions, OMVIC faces the challenge of maintaining operational effectiveness amid increasing costs, given that some fees were set in the 1990s and last adjusted in 2008, 2010, and 2015. As a result, the fee increases effective April 1, 2024, will help to ensure OMVIC has the processes, tools, and resources to fulfill its consumer protection mandate.   

OMVIC and Georgian College extend partnership 

In February, OMVIC and Georgian College announced the extension of their partnership for another five years, where the official signing took place at the Canadian International Auto Show. This 25-year collaboration has been instrumental in promoting professionalism and setting ethical standards within the Ontario automotive retail industry.  

Georgian College and OMVIC’s unique relationship began in November 1999 when we collaborated to offer an automotive certification course. Since its establishment in 1999, there has been a consistent rise in annual program participation, with registrations from across North America. Both OMVIC and Georgian College are committed to empowering future automotive professionals with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in a dynamic and evolving industry. 

Last year alone, Georgian College reported a record-breaking 8,700 registrations for the OMVIC certification course, offered through the Automotive Business School of Canada (ABSC). This course, a mandatory requirement for individuals aspiring to work as vehicle salespersons or dealers in Ontario, underscores the commitment to providing better protection for car buyers and fostering integrity within the automotive sector.