What You Need To Know About The NYC Car Wash License & Bond

new york city car wash bond

On June 29th, 2015, New York City passed the Car Wash Accountability Act. This Act was passed to mandate and establish higher accountability and requirements for car wash operators in NYC.

The Car Wash Accountability Act, which went into effect on December 26, 2015, requires all car wash operators to obtain a license and bond before they are legally allowed to operate in the city.

After some revisions of the law, the New York Department of Consumer Affairs has begun accepting applications for car wash licenses and will begin enforcing the Car Wash Accountability Act on December 4, 2017.

Who Needs a New York City Car Wash License?

You must have a Car Wash License if your business:

  • Cleans vehicles
  • Washes vehicles
  • Details vehicles
  • Dries, polishes, or vacuums vehicles
  • Conducts any other cosmetic care

You do not need a Car Wash License if you:

  • Sell, lease, rent, or repair vehicles, and do car washing secondary
  • Operate a facility which requires customers to self-service their car
  • Wash vehicles on an irregular basis to fundraise money
  • Are a federal, state, or local government agency

About the License

New York City Car Wash Licenses are valid for two years. Licenses expire on October 31 of odd years.

To get an NYC Car Wash License, follow the Car Wash License Application Checklist. The checklist consists of:

  • Completing a NY Car Wash License Application
  • Submitting a Car Wash Self-Certification
  • Getting a Sales Tax Identification Number or an Application Confirmation Number (get one here)
  • Proof of:
    • Worker’s Compensation Insurance
    • Disability Benefits Insurance
    • Commercial General Liability Insurance
    • Unemployment Insurance
  • Paying the license fee (the fee schedule can be found on the application checklist)
  • Granting Authority to Act (if required for your business)

You can apply for your license online using the DCA Business Toolbox or you can apply in person by submitting your paperwork via mail.

Licensees must also furnish a New York City Car Wash Bond before they can be issued a license.

What is a New York City Car Wash Bond?

An NYC Car Wash Bond is a type of surety bond that promises you will run an ethical and honest business. This includes paying any penalties in a timely manner, properly paying your employees, and providing a healthy and safe work environment.

Should you not do any of the above, the city or one of your employees could file a claim against your bond. If the claim is found to be valid, the city and/or your employees will be protected by the bond and be reimbursed any financial losses.

You are responsible for repaying any surety bond claims. Essentially, the Car Wash Bond holds you liable for your actions.

New York City Car Wash Bond Amounts

The bond amount is set at $150,000 unless you signed a bona fide collective bargaining agreement with a labor organization (i.e., a union arrangement). In this case, your bond amount would only be $30,000.  

You do not need to pay the full bond amount to get bonded. 

You will pay a portion of the bond amount. The portion you pay is based off your personal credit score.

If you have good credit, you will pay less than if you have bad credit.

Generally, those with good credit will pay 1-3% of the bond amount. For a $150,000 bond, this would mean you would pay $1,500 – $4,500. Your payment would cover you for the entire 2-year term. After the term, you would need to renew your bond.

Once you purchase your bond, the surety bonding company will mail you the bond and you can submit it with your license application.

Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company currently does not offer New York City Car Wash Bonds.

License Expiration and Renewal

New York City Car Wash Licenses are valid for two years. Licenses expire on October 31 of odd years.

Related links:

How To Comply With The New NY Car Wash Law Without Being Taken To The Cleaners

Getting Your California Car Wash Bond

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