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A bill introduced in Missouri, S.B. 709, would establish a board of auto body repair and require auto body repair shops and auto physical damage appraisers to be licensed.
The bill is similar to one introduced in 2009 but includes some changes, according to Bob Smith of the Missouri Kansas Collision Coalition (MOKAN Collision). Smith says the changes qualify the bill as a consumer-oriented one that establishes the collision repairer in Missouri as a professionally licensed business.
Per the bill, a board of auto body repair appointed by the governor would be established to set requirements for licensing of shops and appraisers in Missouri as well as to administer the licensing. The board would be made up of industry professionals and a consumer. All shops meeting the definition of an auto body repair facility and all physical damage appraisers would need to be licensed under the law.
To be licensed, auto body repair facilities would have to submit an application to the board, pay an annual licensing fee of $250, and have all required state and federal licenses, permits and registrations, among other requirements. To renew a license, the facility would have to prove that it has completed continuing education. Temporary paintless dent repair businesses would also be required to pay licensing fees and comply with other requirements.
“This bill will not only establish a Board of Automotive Repair but will set minimal requirements for licensing of collision facility and appraisers," Smith said. "Think of it this way: Your barber and your insurance agent have to be licensed, and they are not dealing with reconstructing a vehicle in a proper and safe way to release onto the roadways of Missouri.”
“Much research went into providing a bill that was first of all beneficial to the consumer, secondly increased the professionalism of the repairer, and finally is friendly to all stakeholders,” he added. “This bill is a win-win-win situation for the consumer, the insurer and the repair industry while not creating a budget drain for the State of Missouri. All stakeholders will benefit from its passage.”
If passed, the bill would be effective Aug. 28, 2010.