In a hearing, the Registrar of Motor Dealers acts as a one person administrative tribunal and makes quasi-judicial decisions. It is very similar to a court proceeding. The Registrar receives and weighs evidence to determine if there was non-compliance with the law. Where the law permits, the Registrar may order a remedy to address a consumer’s loss resulting from the non-compliance. The outcome of a hearing is known as a Registrar’s Decision. See the Registrar’s Rules of Practice and Procedure here.
A voluntary acknowledgement by a motor dealer or a salesperson that they have violated the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (section 154). The terms of an undertaking may include one or many terms and conditions, such as a promise to:
The Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund provides compensation primarily to consumers who lost money because a motor dealer went out of business or has failed to meet certain legal obligations.
The money in the Fund comes from annual dealer contributions. Only some types of losses are covered by the Fund. Since its inception in 1995, the Fund Board has adjudicated over 1,000 claims, of which 57% were approved
for compensation. Over $2.9 million has been paid to consumers over the last 19 years.
See claim results here.
A decision of the Registrar of Motor Dealers may be reviewed by the B.C. Supreme Court when a person petitions that court to conduct a judicial review (click here for
a guidebook to an overview of the judicial review procedure). A judicial review is not the same as an appeal and the court does not re-hear or re-try the case. A court conducting a judicial review looks to see if the Registrar followed
the legislation and complied with the common law principles of procedural fairness and natural justice when conducting a hearing or making a decision. The court may also review the investigation process in much the same way. Generally,
if a court finds some error, the court “quashes” (cancels) the decision of the Registrar and orders the matter be reheard by the Registrar. Directions the court believes are appropriate may be provided to the Registrar.
See judicial reviews here.
While every effort is made to obtain voluntary compliance before applying for a court order, the Registrar may apply to the court to carry out statutory duties such as: