Dealer News Today COVID-19 Dealer Resource Guide

Updated April 20, 2020.

With the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic hitting the U.S. many franchised dealerships have questions about how to prepare and respond in their towns based on shelter-in-place and non-essential business shutdowns. Dealer News Today is offering regional information to help dealers navigate their operations during this unprecedented time. 

-CISA Guidance on Essential Workforce version 3.0 released April 17 defines vehicle sales workers as essential.

Workers critical to the manufacturing, distribution, sales, rental, leasing, repair, and maintenance of vehicles and other transportation equipment (including electric vehicle charging stations) and the supply chains that enable these operations to facilitate continuity of travel-related operations for essential workers.

-Each state has the right to use these guidelines as they see fit. Each state government will determine if sales are allowed and to what extent.

Regions are organized from East to West.
Each region is alphabetical by state.
New England Region
States in this region that are coordinating efforts to re-open include CT, MA and RI.
Connecticut – Stay at Home order expires 5/20. Auto Repair and Supply are essential. Sales may continue under provisions found here. DMV is on limited staff and operations. Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association has a list of resources for dealerships state-wide. 

Maine – Stay Healthy at Home order expires 4/30 and state of civil emergency exists through 5/15. Auto Dealerships (pdf) are specifically identified as Non-Essential. Workers of Non-Essential businesses are permitted to travel for the purposes of Minimal Operations and delivery of goods (pdf I.A.3.).

Massachusetts – Non-essential businesses closed until 5/4. Auto Repair and Maintenance are Essential Services. Limited sales are permitted per, “Workers critical to rental and leasing of vehicles and equipment that facilitate continuity of operations for essential workforces and other essential travel.” View the full details here.

New Hampshire – Stay at Home order expires 5/4. Auto Sales and Service are Essential Businesses. Follow NHADA’s COVID-19 Update page for more info. 

Rhode Island – Stay at Home order expires 5/8. Auto repair and supply are Critical Retail Businesses. “Car and other motor vehicle dealerships” are listed as Non-Critical Retail Businesses and must close “except for auto repair and by appointment only”. View the full list here (pdf).

Vermont – Stay Home, Stay Safe order (pdf) expires 5/15. From the VT ACCD, “Auto dealers may continue to sell vehicles if they implement policies that eliminate in-person customer interactions (this includes closing dealer showrooms).” 

Mid-Atlantic Region
States in this region that are coordinating efforts to re-open include DE, NJ, NY and PA.
Delaware – Shelter in Place order expires 5/15. Automobile dealers are ordered to close. A full list of businesses is detailed here.

Maryland – Stay at Home order is open-ended. Dealerships are allowed to remain open with precautions and limitations. Link to most recent PDF from WANADA.

New Jersey – Stay at Home order is open-ended. Governor’s latest Executive Order specifically identifies auto dealerships as essential businesses, but limits operations to service only. Online sales are permitted. NJCar has all of the guidelines and regulations for dealers in the state.

New York – New York State on PAUSE is in effect through 5/15. Under the “essential business” guidance, dealers may sell vehicles to essential businesses only. “(S)ales can be made through dealers at the dealership by appointment only, and only necessary employees may be present to complete the sale to the essential business.” NYSADA has the information here.

Pennsylvania – Statewide Stay at Home order effective through 4/30, though it seems likely to be extended. Automobile Dealers/other Motor Vehicle Dealers may not continue physical operations. Per Governor’s FAQ from 4/10 (#16), phone/online sales may continue with vehicle delivery to the customer. The Pennsylvania Automotive Association has ever-changing information on their website.

Virginia – Stay at Home order expires 6/10. Dealership sales and service may remain open with stipulations. The Virginia Automobile Dealer’s Association website is updating its information.

Washington D.C. – Stay at Home order effective through at least 5/15. Dealerships are allowed to remain open. Link to most recent PDF from WANADA.

West Virginia – Stay at Home order is open-ended. Dealerships are considered essential businesses, but must operate under limitations and precautions. WVADA is constantly updating its information.

Great Lakes Region
All states in this region are coordinating efforts to re-open.
Illinois – Stay at Home order effective through at least 4/30. Auto Supply and Repair are Essential Services. Dealers are permitted to conduct sales by appointment only. Visit the IADA’s website for more info.

IndianaStay at Home order expires 5/1. Auto Sales, Supply and Repair are Essential Services and may continue with precautions and limitations.

Michigan – Stay at Home order effective through 4/30. Auto Supply and Repair are Essential Services. Remote and online sales are permitted effective 4/9. Visit the MADA Coronavirus Toolkit for more info.

Minnesota – Stay at Home order expires 5/3. “Motor vehicle repairs and limited sales” are permitted. Visit the MADA COVID-19 page for more info.

Ohio – Stay at Home order expires 5/1. Auto Supply and Repair are Essential Services. Sales may be permitted by local health authorities. Visit OADA’s Coronavirus page for more info.

Wisconsin – Safer at Home order extended through 5/26. Auto, motorcycle and truck dealers classified as Essential Operations and may remain open. Visit WATDA’s Coronavirus Information page for more info.

Southeast Region 
AlabamaStay at Home order expires 4/30 (pdf). Auto Sales, Service and Repair may all continue with proper precautions.

Florida – Statewide Stay at Home Order effective through 4/30, though harder hit regions could stay closed longer. Dealerships are considered an Essential Service and may remain open with limitations and precautions. Visit FLADA’s Dealership Guidance page for more info.

Georgia – Statewide Shelter in Place order expires 4/30. Service and Repair are critical infrastructure as is leasing and rental of vehicles. No specific guidance on sales. Visit GADA’s COVID-19 Information page and contact them for guidance.

KentuckyKentucky is coordinating with all states in the Great Lakes Region for re-opening. Healthy at Home Order (pdf) issued 3/25 is open-ended. Auto repair and auto supply, and related services may remain open. Limited, necessary sales may continue. Visit KADA’s COVID-19 Dealer Resources for more info.

Mississippi – Statewide Shelter in Place Order (pdf) extended through 4/27. Automotive sales and repair are deemed Essential Services and may continue to operate with limitations and precautions.

North Carolina – Stay at Home order effective until 4/29. Automobile dealerships are listed as Essential Business. Visit NCADA’s COVID-19 Update page for more info.

South Carolina – Home or Work order in place until 4/27. Dealerships are not identified as a non-essential business and may remain open with proper precautions. SCADA is emailing members about updates. Check their Facebook page for more info.

TennesseeSafer at Home Order effective until 4/30 (pdf). Automotive sales and repair are essential services with sales being left as undefined, however any business that can operate with 10 or fewer people on premises including employees and customers may continue.

Mid-South Region
ArkansasNo Stay at Home order. Dealerships may continue normal operations with protective measures.

LouisianaStay At Home order extended through 4/30. Auto Repair and Auto Supply deemed Essential Businesses. Sales may be permitted to supply Essential Businesses. Visit LADA’s update page for more info.

Oklahoma – State has issued “Safer at Home” for “vulnerable populations” and closure of non-essential businesses through 5/6. “Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers” identified as Essential Industries (pdf) and may remain open with precautionary measures.

Texas – Statewide Essential Services and Activities Protocols effective through 4/30. The TADA notes the TDEM is using the CISA definitions of Essential Services. Under this, “workers critical to the rental and leasing of vehicles” are essential. Consult local officials for further guidance.

Midwest Region
IowaNon-essential businesses closed until 4/30. Dealerships may continue normal operations with protective measures. Contact IADA for guidance.

Kansas – Stay at Home Orders extended until 5/3. “Sell and maintain automobiles” are Essential Functions. Visit KADA’s update page for more info.

Missouri – Stay at Home Order effective 4/6. Missouri is using the federal CISA definitions meaning auto sales are not considered essential. Businesses that can maintain 10 people or less at least 6 feet apart can continue to operate.

Nebraska – Normal operations with protective measures.

North Dakota – Normal operations with protective measures.

South Dakota – Normal operations with protective measures.

Mountain Region
ColoradoStay at Home order extended to 4/26. Auto supply and repair deemed Critical Service (pdf); in-person sales prohibited, but online sales and delivery permitted. Visit CADA’s Resource page for more info.

Montana – Stay at Home order extended through 4/24. Dealerships may remain open if they comply with social distancing and other precautions. Visit MTADA’s COVID-19 Updates page for more info.

Utah – Stay Safe, Stay Home order effective through 5/1 (FAQ pdf). The statewide order provides a minimum level with counties having the ability to increase as needed. Consult local officials for operational guidance.

Wyoming – Wyoming has closed some non-essential businesses through 4/30, but is allowing county governments to execute stronger measures as needed. Consult local officials to determine what is permitted.

West Region
States in this region that are coordinating efforts to re-open include CA, OR and WA.
Alaska – Stay at Home order expires 4/21. Auto Repair and Auto Supply deemed Critical Businesses. Consult local officials to determine if sales are permitted.

Arizona – Stay at Home order expires 4/30. Vehicle sales included as Essential Services.

California – Stay at Home order has no set end date. Service is Essential Business; Sales permissibility varies. Here’s CNCDA.org’s C-19 Resource Page for more info.

HawaiiStay at Home order (pdf) effective through at least 4/30. Auto Repair and Auto Supply deemed Essential Businesses. Permissibility of sales is unclear.

Idaho – Order to Self-Isolate expires 4/30 unless extended. Auto Repair and Auto Supply deemed Essential Businesses. Idaho Gov FAQ notes that sales “should be permitted” so long as CDC guidelines are followed.

Nevada – Statewide Stay at Home order expires 4/30. Auto Supply, Auto Repair and Tire Shops deemed Essential Businesses. NV Dept of Public Safety (pdf). Sales on a limited basis is permitted.

New Mexico – Stay at Home order extended to 4/30. Online sales permitted. Visit NMADA’s COVID-19 Information page for more info.

Oregon – Stay at Home order has no set end date. Sales and Service permitted – must maintain 6ft social distancing at all times and comply with all health and safety orders – Most recent Executive Order (pdf)

Washington – Stay at Home order extended to 5/4. Repair deemed Essential Service. Limited sales to essential workers or businesses are permitted by appointment only. See the full guidelines here.

Gallagher’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Preparedness site is an information hub that includes links to videos, compliance resources, FAQ’s, business continuity best practices, employee communication samples, and other guidance for HR and employee benefits.

Regulatory compliance info for dealers: NADA has compiled a list of resources and information for dealers on SBA loans, the coronavirus Paid Leave Bill, and more.

For up-to-the-minute industry news for dealers, visit our Daily Drive, which highlights the latest resources for dealers and decision makers.

For input from key industry professionals, visit our Industry Insider.

For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC: COVID-19 CDC Resource

State-by-state information: Health Department Information by State