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Oregon Vehicle Repair Shop Legislation: Estimates Required, But When?

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Back in 2009, I blogged:


The other day, someone asked what happened with that bill.  It turned out to be a little bit of a research exercise to find out the new statute number.  We could easily find out that the bill became law and could easily find the Session Law number.  But finding the new ORS cites was a bit of an Legal Research Adventure. 

It was fairly straightforward to do the search in print sources, using Tables and the Oregon Laws volumes, and could also have been done online, assuming you knew what you were looking for, but, well, read on:


Using the information at the Oregon Legislature’s website:

The bill, 2009 HB 2268, stated that it was amending 646.608:

2009 HB 2268, Chapter 133, (2009 Laws): Effective date January 1, 2010:
An act: Relating to requirements for customer authorization of motor vehicle repairs; creating new provisions; and amending ORS 646.608.”

However, remember that the bill created “new provisions” and amended ORS 646.608.  Where were those new provisions?

Clever little law librarians that we are, we tracked down the Tables volume of the ORS, where we discovered that the new law was codified in ORS 646A.480 et seq.

Now, suppose you had instead used the ORS Index, assuming you didn’t know about those other research tools.  Ha ha ha ha.  Here’s that journey through the ORS Index:

  1. Look up the word “vehicle” in the Index.  Nothing.  We’re sent to “Motor Vehicles.”
  2. Look up, under Motor Vehicles: vehicle repair, nothing
  3. Then we try under “repairs” – we’re sent to “Garages and Repair Shops
  4. Under Garages and Repair Shops, there is nothing under “vehicle repair” or “repair,” but:
  5. We look under the word “Estimate.”
  6. Eureka – yay for us!  A perfect match to ORS 646A.480 et seq.

Whew.  Maybe.  Now try reading this law.  Someone had a tough time with their syntax, and I quote:

“(1) A vehicle repair shop shall prepare an estimate of the cost of work the vehicle repair shop proposes to perform on a motor vehicle before beginning the work. The vehicle repair shop not later than before receiving final payment shall give a copy of the estimate, either as a separate document or in the form of an invoice, to the owner or the owner’s designee. The vehicle repair shop shall retain a copy of the estimate. The estimate, at a minimum, must:...”

Huh?  I see trouble ahead – and lawyers or maybe just English teachers.

Many thanks to the person who asked the question in the Comment.
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2 responses to “Oregon Vehicle Repair Shop Legislation: Estimates Required, But When?”

  1. It must be signed. It doesnt open the door to a phone call asking about other work that they might give you the impression you must agree or they warn you that you will be in danger of other problems with out clarifing the whole cost just the labor or maybe the parts The posting of this requirement must be in plain site for all including handicap acsess

  2. Kenneth Acheson says:

    If shop makes repairs without authorization is the vehicle owner required to pay?

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