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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Dealerships were designated essential businesses and may operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the Government of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, there are three steps to ease public health restrictions. As Ontario moves through these steps and releases details about public health restrictions, OMVIC will make them available.

OMVIC staff operate remotely. They are still available to help consumers, dealers and salespersons.

Review these frequently asked questions to understand how the pandemic affects car sales and motor vehicle dealerships. If your question is not listed here, please e-mail OMVIC’s communications team for more details at: communications@omvic.on.ca. You can contact OMVIC anytime toll-free at 1-800-943-6002.

 

Car-buying for consumers

Question Answer
How are OMVIC’s consumer services affected by the pandemic?

OMVIC staff work remotely and are here to help consumers, dealers and salespersons.

Consumers with questions about car-buying or who need help with a recent car purchase can contact the consumer support team at:

Can customers still buy vehicles?

Yes. Dealers can operate under certain restrictions in Step Two of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen at 50 per cent capacity.

For more information about what restrictions exist for motor vehicle purchases, read OMVIC’s bulletin about Step Two of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Can customers buy vehicles online?

Yes.

Since vehicle sales are final once a contract is signed, you can request the dealer provide a written contract cancellation period for an opportunity to inspect and test drive the vehicle.

Please note, dealers are not legally required to offer a cancellation period in online sales.

For more information about safe online purchases, check out OMVIC’s tips for buying a car online.

Are test drives allowed?

Yes, they are.

Under Step Two, dealers must:

  • Test drives must be limited to a maximum of 10 minutes
  • A maximum of two people, including up to one sales representative, may be present in the vehicle during the test drive
  • If two people who are not members of the same household are present in the vehicle during the test drive, all windows in the vehicle must be opened at all times
  • Mask-wearing, face coverings and motor vehicle disinfecting policies should be consistent with the dealerships’ safety plan.

For more information about test drive restrictions for motor vehicle purchases, read OMVIC’s bulletin about Step Two of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Can customers trade vehicles in?

Yes, they can. To learn more about how to safely trade-in your vehicle, check out OMVIC’s trade-in tips.

What are some tips to help manage finances?
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada created helpful resources to offer consumers financial information and advice during the pandemic, like tools for budgeting and tips to help avoid more debt.
Is OMVIC still offering free car-buying webinars?

Yes.

Consumers and organizations that represent consumers can e-mail the education team to book a free car-buying webinar at: education@omvic.on.ca

 

Selling cars for registrants

Question Answer
Can dealerships still sell vehicles?

Yes. Dealers can operate under certain restrictions in Step Two of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen at 50 per cent capacity.

For more information about what restrictions exist for motor vehicle purchases, read OMVIC’s bulletin about Step Two of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Are test drives allowed?

Yes, they are.

Under Step Two, dealers must:

  • Test drives must be limited to a maximum of 10 minutes
  • A maximum of two people, including up to one sales representative, may be present in the vehicle during the test drive
  • If two people who are not members of the same household are present in the vehicle during the test drive, all windows in the vehicle must be opened at all times
  • Mask-wearing, face coverings and motor vehicle disinfecting policies should be consistent with the dealerships’ safety plan.

For more information about test drive restrictions for motor vehicle purchases, read OMVIC’s bulletin about Step Two of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.

Can dealers still accept trade-ins?

Yes. Dealers may consider contactless drop off methods to limit contact with others.

For more tips about accepting trade-ins, check out OMVIC’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Can dealers sell vehicles online?

Yes. Dealers can sell vehicles online but may not bring paperwork to a customer’s home.

Dealers can e-mail a contract to the customer to print, sign, scan and e-mail back to the dealer at the dealership, or the dealer could use an e-signature program/process.

For more information about selling to remote customers, read OMVIC’s bulletin about online sales.

Which Service Ontario locations are open?

For information about Service Ontario closures, visit their website.

Does OMVIC still offer educational webinars?

Yes. Dealers and salespersons can e-mail the education team to book a free webinar about advertising, contracts, disclosure requirements and more at: education@omvic.on.ca

 

OMVIC’s operations

Question Answer
Is OMVIC’s office open to the public?

No, OMVIC’s office is closed to the public until public health measures deem it safe for employees to return to its 65 Overlea Boulevard headquarters.

Does OMVIC still inspect dealerships?

Yes – inspectors are conducting inspections. On June 14, 2021, OMVIC resumed in-person inspections. All inspections follow health and safety guidelines set by public health bodies and the Government of Ontario.

Check out OMVIC’s inspection webpage for more information.

Can a dealer or salesperson make changes to their registration?

Yes, they can. OMVIC’s registration team works remotely and can help.

Dealers and salespersons can use online services to quickly make registration changes.

Dealers and salespeople can also e-mail or call the registration team at:

Is OMVIC still processing new dealer and salesperson applications?

Yes, the registration team can process new dealer and salesperson applications.

To become a registered salesperson, use OMVIC’s online services.

To become a registered dealer, visit OMVIC’s website for more information.

Dealers and salespeople can also e-mail or call the registration team at:

Is the OMVIC certification course still available?

Yes. The certification course and exam are held online. To learn more about the certification course, visit OMVIC’s education webpage.

Will legal proceedings still take place?

Yes, they are.

All Licence Appeal Tribunal, Discipline, and Provincial Offences matters are held virtually.

Check out OMVIC’s webpages about the discipline process and Licence Appeal Tribunal for more information.

 

The Ontario Government’s Roadmap to Reopen

Question Answer
Where can I learn more about the steps on Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen?

Visit the Ontario Government’s Roadmap to Reopen webpage for its three-step plan to lift public health measures safely and gradually.

To learn more about public health restrictions under Step Two, visit the Ontario Government’s public health measures and advice webpage.

Where can I find public health restrictions for Steps Three of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen?

For details about Step Three in Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen, visit the Government’s key highlights webpage.

OMVIC will issue bulletins when the Government of Ontario releases further details about how these steps will impact motor vehicle sales.

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