Documentation Preparation


What is It?

The Documentary Preparation Fee, aka “doc fee” or “doc prep fee”, is permitted by Massachusetts law to be collected from vehicle purchasers by Massachusetts automobile dealers.

What is It For?

The doc prep fee recognizes and reimburses costs related to a dealer’s compliance with federal and state laws and regulations that provide for safety, consumer protection, anti-theft measures, vehicle history checks, notifications, certifications, and official filings among others.

Dealers must prepare and process the documents on each sale or lease transaction. Collection of the doc prep fee reimburses the costs incurred.

What is the Dealer Responsible For?

  • Check vehicle safety, history, and titles
  • Provide full condition information on the window label
  • Discover and disclose accurate vehicle mileage
  • Check for recalls on used vehicles where required
  • Complete required forms and contracts that protect your interests
  • Comply with consumer paperwork laws
  • File and clear liens
  • Keep your information private and secure
  • Fulfill vehicle emissions laws
  • Pass along manufacturer information, including warranty policies
  • Distribute state Lemon Law notices
  • Process rebates on your purchase
  • Keep you informed of your rights and obligations
  • Keep important records of your purchases
  • Purchase required forms and supplies
  • Maintain appropriate technology to process your paperwork faster
  • Train staff to carry out laws that protect you
  • Maintain professional and statutory licenses, and complete necessary education and training sessions, that ensure quality service

Why So Many Forms?

Most forms are required to fulfill Massachusetts and federal laws. Others are often necessary for accounting, financing, or manufacturer rebate reimbursement or notification. Dealers must collect non-public, personal while processing the sale or lease in compliance with federal and state laws enforced by but not limited to:

  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • U.S. Internal Revenue Service
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
  • U.S. Customs Service
  • U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
  • U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration
  • U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control
  • Federal Highway Administration
  • Federal Motor Carriers Administration
  • U.S. Research and Special Products Administration
  • Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Massachusetts Executive Office of Transportation and Public Works, including the Registry of Motor Vehicles
  • Massachusetts Department of Public Safety, including the State Police
  • Massachusetts Department of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
  • Massachusetts Department of Revenue
  • Massachusetts Department of Labor
  • Massachusetts Division of Insurance
  • Massachusetts Division of Banks
  • Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, including the Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance Program

Being informed is the best way to enter any purchase or lease. Now that you know more about doc fees, we’re eager to help you continue your journey toward getting behind the wheel of your next vehicle!