Sacramento – On January 23, 2018, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) investigators conducted simultaneous enforcement operations in San Diego and Fresno aimed at combating unlicensed vehicle dismantlers. DMV investigators targeted 63 locations and issued citations for either operating as an unlicensed dismantler or auto repair facility, or selling a vehicle not registered to a seller. Twenty-three misdemeanor citations were issued in San Diego and seven in Fresno.
“These enforcement operations work to protect consumers, the environment, and state coffers,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Those running unlicensed vehicle dismantling operations are not always paying taxes, workers comp, or paying attention to what’s seeping into the soil or ground water.”
During the enforcement operations, investigators focused on verifying businesses are complying with state laws and regulations, as well as environmental guidelines. In addition, investigators conducted Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) inspections, and examined engine and license plate numbers to recover stolen vehicles or components and parts.
Unlicensed vehicle dismantlers operate in the underground economy and do not comply with the licensing requirements. They also ignore environmental regulatory requirements, insurance obligations, workplace safety requirements, and avoid paying taxes. For example, vehicle fluids can seep and contaminate ground water and defective parts can be sold to unsuspecting people, creating a potential public safety hazard.
DMV investigators worked in conjunction with two environmental specialists from County of San Diego Environmental Health (Hazardous Materials Division) and one representative from the State Water Resources Control Board.