Notice of Proposal/ Licence Appeal Tribunal
This is part two of a four-part series to explain OMVIC’s approach to enforcement action with a focus on the notice of proposal/ Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT).
LAT is an independent agency and is one of the 13 tribunals in Tribunals Ontario. It adjudicates applications and resolves disputes concerning compensation claims and licensing activities regulated by the provincial government, including those activities of delegated administrative authorities.
Registration With OMVIC
Registration with OMVIC is mandatory for all motor vehicle dealers and salespersons in Ontario. To register, applicants must meet the minimum requirements set out in the Motor Vehicle Dealers Act, 2002 (MVDA). The MVDA prohibits the registrar from registering any dealer or salesperson who does not meet the strict requirements.
If OMVIC’s registrar determines that an applicant does not meet the requirements or is not eligible for registration due to past poor conduct, for example, the registrar will issue a proposal to refuse registration.
Also, if the registrar determines that a current registrant is no longer entitled to registration, a proposal to suspend or revoke registration may also be issued. Anyone who disagrees with the registrar’s action has the option to appeal a registrar’s proposal to LAT.
Proposals to Refuse, Revoke or Suspend Registration
The registrar is responsible for the administration of the MVDA, so they have the authority to issue proposals to refuse, revoke or suspend registration. If the registrar has reasonable grounds to believe that an applicant or registrant does not meet the criteria for registration as a dealer or salesperson under the MVDA, he or she will do one or a combination of the following:
- Issue a notice of proposal to refuse an application for registration
- Revoke an existing registration, or
- Apply conditions to a registration.
A notice of proposal will detail the grounds for refusal, revocation, or suspension. An applicant or registrant who disagrees with the notice of proposal has the right to appeal the decision to LAT. This independent body, similar to a court, will deliver a decision on whether the registration should be refused, revoked, or have conditions added.
When a registrant is facing the possibility of having their registration revoked, they will usually be able to trade motor vehicles until LAT makes its decision. But in serious cases, OMVIC may seek to immediately suspend a registrant’s registration before a hearing has taken place.
In LAT appeals or similar enforcement proceedings, dealers and salespersons have the right to know the case against them. They can challenge OMVIC’s witnesses and evidence, and present their own evidence, witnesses, and legal arguments. They may also choose to represent themselves or hire a lawyer or paralegal to defend them. Decisions are always made public and posted on omvic.ca.
Depending on the type of offence and circumstances of the case, a dealer or salesperson may be subject to one or more of the three types of enforcement proceedings explained in OMVIC’s approach to enforcement action article.
However, OMVIC prefers an educational approach rather than immediately commencing enforcement action. Sometimes, a letter of caution is enough to correct a dealer or salesperson’s conduct. This depends on the severity of the offence, past violations, the risk to the public, and OMVIC’s obligation to ensure a professional, fair, and honest motor vehicle sales industry in Ontario.
Part three of OMVIC’s approach to enforcement will discuss registered dealers and salespersons who have violated the Code of Ethics – otherwise known as, a notice of complaint.
How OMVIC Can Help
OMVIC offers free education for dealers and salespersons upon request. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. To find out more the enforcement process, register for our webinar in November. Watch our social channels in the coming weeks to find out how you can register.
Email our dealer support team at email@example.com or call 1-800-943-6002 Ext. 4 if you have questions about the enforcement process, understanding the law, and more.
Looking to further understand OMVIC’s approach to enforcement action and what this means for you as a dealer? Register here in advance for this webinar taking place on November 16th, 2022 at 10:30 a.m.