Dealer-related Information in New Mexico

Used Car Lemon Law

On January 1, 2004, New Mexico's Used Car Lemon Law went into effect. This law requires used car dealers to provide a statutory warranty for every vehicle that drives off their lot―they are no longer allowed to sell a used car "as is."

The warranty must last at least 500 miles or 15 days, whichever comes first. New cars in New Mexico have their own Lemon Law.

Exactly What Is "Curbing," Anyway?

"Curbing" is the illegal practice of unlicensed dealers selling cars by posing as private sellers. Selling your personal car or cars is perfectly legal, which is why you can put a "for sale" sign in the vehicle's window or place a classified ad to sell it, and park it by the curb to show it off. "Curbstoners" do this too―but as their profit-making business.

This is illegal. A "curbstoner" poses as someone just trying to sell the old college car, when in fact they are peddling a full inventory of vehicles. When you see several cars by the side of the road with "for sale" signs in the window, you might be seeing the work of a curbstoner.

A "curbstoner" is an unlicensed salesperson or dealer. Since they do not operate under the regulatory umbrella of New Mexico law, they pose a threat to consumers and dealers alike.

Curbstoners are known to commit fraud by selling salvage vehicles without disclosing their status. They lack a permanent place of business, fail to pay sales taxes, and fraudulently roll back odometers. They will not hold the vehicle's title in their name, making them difficult to track down after the buyer realizes they've been bamboozled.

Not only do curbstoners make licensed dealers look bad, but they're also making an easy profit without going through all the training and licensing that bona fide dealers went through―and without playing by any of the rules. If you are a legitimate dealer seeking to put a stop to bad business, you should report suspicious activity at once to the New Mexico Attorney General's office.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Inspection Certification

Many dealers, salespeople, or employees in the dealership's service department are also VIN inspectors . However, being appointed this task is not as easy as just being able to jot down the proper numbers on a vehicle.

To be licensed as an official New Mexico VIN inspector, you need to enroll in a course, enter into a contract with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division, and post a $30,000 surety bond .

Rules, Regulations, and Laws Pertaining to Vehicle Dealers

In an industry as highly regulated as auto dealership, you can expect loads of red tape and legalese. The following reading is sure live up to these expectations! But it's good stuff to know, so swallow hard and dig in:

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