We use cookies to make your experience of using our website better. To comply with the e-Privacy Directive we need to ask your consent to set these cookies.

Motor Vehicle Repair Act 

An easy to understand synopsis of C.R.S. 42-9-101

Amended effective May 21, 1997

Note:  Please refer to the actual language of the law (C.R.S. 42-9-101) when needed.

This does not apply to :



NO repairs can be made to a vehicle without the written consent of the owner which includes an estimate of repairs.

The estimate MUST include:


Exceptions: Consent for repair MUST be written unless:


To give up the right to an estimate, the customer MUST sign a statement printed in BOLD type: “I DO NOT WISH TO RECEIVE ANY ESTIMATE, EITHER WRITTEN OR ORAL, TO WHICH I AM ENTITLED BY LAW. BEFORE REPAIRS ARE AUTHORIZED.” Authorization for repairs must be gotten, nonetheless.

If consent is not given at the onset of a business transaction, the motor vehicle repair facility must ORALLY communicate the estimate to the customer, which must then be recorded IN WRITING in specific detail on the invoice and/or repair order.

Specific information to be recorded on the estimate includes:



In the case where additional repairs are needed after the original job has begun, the repair facility MUST get the customer’s consent, written or oral, BEFORE the work is performed.

Without written or oral consent for the additional repairs, a facility may charge ONLY the estimated cost plus 10% OR $25.00, whichever is LESS. The cost of sub-contract labor and/or parts may be charged because the facility has no control over subcontractor pricing.


If a diagnosis must be done before an estimate can be given the customer MUST be given an estimate which includes:


After the diagnosis is completed, an estimate MUST be given orally to the vehicle owner, following the oral consent procedures.


Original Equipment
Manufacturer and New NonOrginal Equipment
Manufacturer Parts

The facility MUST note on the work order what type of new part the owner wants installed, if indeed, the owner wants new parts.

Used, Reconditioned or Rebuilt Parts:

Either written or oral consent must be given BEFORE used, reconditioned or rebuilt parts can be installed. A facility cannot charge for new parts if they are not new. The facility MUST note on the work order what type of parts the vehicle owner wants installed.

Return of Replacement Parts:

If requested at the outset, all parts except those warranty parts that MUST be returned to the manufacturer, must be given to the customer IF the customer so request at the time of consenting to or authorizing the repairs.


The first change in any original completion date MUST BE WRITTEN on the invoice and orally communicated to the customer no more than 24 HOURS after the original date has been missed. Any additional delays MUST be consented to by the customer and recorded pursuant to the oral estimate procedures. If no notification is given, or timely notification is violated, or consent refused, the contract may be cancelled and reassembly WITHOUT COST to the customer is required, unless the customer was previously notified that reassembly is not possible. The customer pays only for those repairs that have been completed with THREE DAYS (a customer can specify a lesser condition of reassembly).


When doing additional work under a warranty given by a facility for a previous repair, a written notice with the completion date MUST be given to the customer. A facility warranty IS LIMITED to the terms and conditions spelled out in the warranty.


The invoice MUST BE LEGIBLE and a copy given to the customer. The facility must retain a copy of the customer invoice for THREE YEARS. The invoice must include:



A facility MUST have a customer sign a SEPARATE WRITTEN AGREEMENT for any and all storage fees. There is no maximum allowable charge, yet the customer MUST agree to the amount in writing. A storage fee can only be charged beginning on the FOURTH DAY after the customer is notified that repairs have been completed.

A facility MAY NOT CHARGE storage fees for Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays and any days the facility is closed for business.

The storage fee authorization MUST BE A SEPARATE DOCUMENT from the work order, estimate or invoice and in BOLD TYPE, state the following:



Criminal Penalties

For failure to provide the written or oral estimate required or failure to give a correct and complete invoice.
Misdemeanor ($500 – $2000 fine)

For committing a prohibited act such as:

Misdemeanor ($500 – $2000 fine)

For a violation of any other provisions of the Motor Vehicle Repair Act.
Misdemeanor (up to $500 fine)


If a customer feels a facility broke the law, they may sue in Small Claims Court, and if the customer wins, they may recover THREE TIMES the amount of the actual damages, but no less than $250.00. Small Claims Court is limited to $7,500.00. A customer may sue in a higher courts to claim more. The courts MAY award attorney’s fees and court costs to the winning party in the law suit.

The customer MUST send by certified mail a WRITTEN NOTICE giving the facility 10 days to settle before the customer can file any action in any court. A customer does not give up the right to sue when the bill is paid to get the vehicle back. This DOES NOT mean that the customer has consented to the charges. The customer MUST bring action within ONE YEAR from the time of the notice to the facility.


Consumer Protection Act (6-1-101)

If convicted under the Motor Vehicle Repair Act, the provisions of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act MAY be imposed, including injunctive relief and fines. This is a civil statute co-enforced by the District Attorneys and the Attorney General of the State of Colorado.

Consumer doesn’t pay (liens or repossessions)

If a customer stops payment on a check written in payment of repairs or if that check bounces, a facility MUST give written notice by certified mail in which the customer has 12 days to settle any dispute. If not resolved, the facility MAY repossess the vehicle if this can be done without a breach of the peace.