In addition, the bill would provide that any documents required by state or federal law to be signed in person may be signed at the time of delivery “without constituting an off site sale that is subject” to the permit requirements for off-site sales.
“Up until now, Illinois State law has been silent on the issue of online cars sales,” Joyce said in a statement emailed to Automotive News. “This legislation aims to give a more clear explanation of the law by just adding a framework that will help build up the auto industry in Illinois.”
The bill would alter the Illinois code to give space to and clearly define e-signatures and home vehicle delivery within it. Online sales in Illinois have thus far existed in a gray area of the statute because they don’t fit current definitions of off-site sales or sales at a trade show exhibition laid out in the code, according to sources in Illinois state government.
Carvana was in regulatory hot water in Illinois after the state twice suspended Carvana’s dealer license last year over motor vehicle registration and titling infractions. The two entities settled the long-running regulatory dispute in January. While the provisions included in the new legislation don’t address the titling and registration requirements central to Carvana’s previous tangles, online sales and home delivery are critical to the company’s business model.
Digital sales and home delivery were increasingly adopted by dealers during the height of the coronavirus pandemic when dealerships were closed, and sales couldn’t be carried out in person.
“We looked at it,” Joe McMahon, executive director of the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association, said in a phone interview. “Even though Carvana is really pushing the legislation, it doesn’t only pertain to Carvana. It amends the vehicle code, which affects all dealerships. And e-signatures [are] something that would be fine with us.”
The association doesn’t “have a problem with the legislation,” though it is watching to see whether changes are made to it in the coming weeks, McMahon said.
“It’s not like we’re bending over backwards helping anybody,” McMahon said. “It’s just this is stuff that dealers can use. E-signatures will be great, [as well as] home delivery. If you want to put that in the statute and say it’s OK, I think we’re fine with that.”