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How NYC carwashers can comply with the Car Wash Accountability Act

NEW YORK — Here are tips to help carwashes comply with the new surety bond law.


NEW YORK — According to, in September, Judge Alvin Hellerstein, who struck down the Car Wash Accountability Act in May as a breach of federal law, revised his own decision from that time and ruled that carwashes in New York City needed to get licensed and bonded in order to comply with the law.

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As such, the Department of Consumer Affairs has started accepting applications for carwash licenses, the article continued, and enforcement of the law will begin on Dec. 4th.

To fulfill the licensing requirements, applicants will need to do the following, the article noted:

  • Submit a license application
  • Submit a carwash self-certification
  • Provide a sales tax identification number or a certificate of authority application confirmation number from the state Department of Taxation and Finance
  • Provide a $150,000 carwash bond
  • If applicable, provide copies of workers’ compensation insurance, disability benefits insurance, commercial general liability insurance and unemployment insurance
  • Pay a license fee.

As the bond requirement may be new to some carwash owners, the article explained, these “surety bonds work as [tri]-party agreements that guarantee that a bonded party will comply with state or city rules and regulations.”


“If the bonded carwash owner violates the law, a claim can be made against his bond, and the surety may pay compensation to claimants up to the full amount of the bond,” the article noted. “In return, the carwash owner must repay the surety for any compensation it extends.”

According to the article, carwash bonds can cover:

  • Fines, penalties and obligations to the city
  • Damages received by persons who have received carwash services from the bondholder
  • Wages owed to employees.

If the carwash owner does not infringe on the law, the only cost to the owner is the premium paid to obtain the bond, the article stated.


Owners can improve their bond rate by improving their credit scores; the higher the personal credit score, the lower the rate will be, the article added.

Surety bonds also account for such factors as financial statements, personal assets and liquidity; thus, even if owners do not have great scores, there may be additional ways for them to lower their bond rates, the article concluded.

Read the original article here.

For more information on surety bonds, visit

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