Pub. 20 2021-2022 Issue 4


Five Things Auto Dealers Need to Know to Meet Their Legal Obligation for Compliance


This story appears in the
New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Dealers Magazine
Pub. 20 2021-2022 Issue 4

Compliance Management Systems (CMS) ensures dealers follow consumer protection regulations required by the Federal Trade Commission. Dealerships have a legal obligation to administer a qualified CMS and ensure components of that system are embedded in the organization’s Document Management Services Platform (DMSP). Document scanning services offer an excellent way to help dealers create (and sustain) a culture of oversight and compliance.

1. Securing & Protecting Personal & Financial Information

Many of the documents created at the dealership contain customers’ personal and financial information. Having a secured DMSP in place protects this information and serves dealerships in many other ways. The process of scanning documents protects clients’ data and protects businesses from unnecessary audit penalties resulting from non-discoverable documentation.

2. Avoid Potential Penalties of up to $42,500 Per Day & Per Occurrence

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) current penalty for breach of customer personal and financial information is $42,500 per event per day. Manufacturer audits focus on various specifics within Repair Orders and Deal Jackets. A DMSP system helps dealerships comply with the voluminous amount of documentation generated.

3. Mitigate Breach Risk & Manufacturer Penalties

Dealerships have a choice of either scanning their Retail Order Forms, Deal Jackets, Human Resource documents and more OR having them physically stored in a secure records center. Having documents stored at the store level does not mitigate the risk of client information being stolen or documents being lost. Scanning at the store level is a step forward.

4. Avoid Repeating Unfavorable Historic Trends

A dealership having its documents stored in a secure environment and/or scanned significantly reduces the risk of breach, penalties and non-compliance. Choosing to store boxes of paper is an alternative, but history provides strong evidence that this is not the most secure, compliant and cost-effective solution. Services providing scanning and storage ensure the proper processes, security and certification credentials. Quality Control processes, checking that all scanned documents are accounted for and itemized, are essential given the high stakes of penalties and non-compliance.

5. Qualifying a Document Scanning Service Bureau & Records Storage Vendor

When selecting a Document Scanning service, it’s critically important to have SOC1 and SOC2 compliance certifications. These credentials ensure that a qualified third-party firm has audited the vendors’ processes, facilities, and controls.

A dealership having processes in place compliant with a third-party vendor relieves the burden of managing their in-house DMS and any risk involved with client data being exposed or breached during the capture and or storage processes.

The focus of any dealership is selling and servicing vehicles. NJ CAR has partnered with AutoTrieve to provide dealers with a service that captures and stores Deal Jackets, Retail Order Forms, and other critical paperwork automotive dealers are required to retain and ensure they achieve (and maintain) compliance.

Michael Dachille is Managing Director of Business Development at AutoTrieve Document Scanning & Records. He can be reached at or 201.820.7419.