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Legal Requirements for Michigan Oil Change Facilities Effective April 5, 2017

Ryanne Hartman, Weights and Measures Specialist
Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

On January 4, 2017, Governor Snyder signed into law an update to Public Act 283, the Weights and Measures Act of 1964, as amended. What appears to be a small change in the law will have a statewide impact on the motor oil industry.

Effective April 5, 2017, Michigan will adopt the 2023 editions of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Handbooks 44 and 130. The Michigan Oil Change Association (MOCA), in partnerships with the Legislature updated this statute to provide regulatory oversight and increased consumer protection. Enforcement will begin no later than April 5, 2018. This additional time will allow stakeholders to gain an understanding of the new requirements and for MDARD to develop the program.

What does this mean for you? The update will require labeling on any vehicle engine (motor) oil container, receptacle, dispenser, or storage tank; and any invoice or receipt from service on an engine that includes the installation of vehicle engine (motor) oil dispensed from any of those sources. This new information can be found in NIST Handbook 130 2023 edition, Uniform Laws and Regulations in the Areas of Legal Metrology and Engine Fuel Quality, Section B. Uniform Regulation for the Method of Sale of Commodities, 2.33.Oil.

The label, receipt or invoice is required to contain the following: Viscosity – The grade classification preceded by the letters “SAE” in accordance with SAE International’s latest version of SAE J300, “Engine Oil Viscosity Classification.” Brand – The name, brand, trademark, or trade name of the vehicle engine (motor) oil. Engine Service Category or Categories – Displayed in letters not less than 3.18 mm (1/8 in) in height, as defined by the latest version of SAE J183, “Engine Oil Performance and Engine Service Classification (other than Energy Conserving)” or API Publication 1509, “Engine Oil Licensing and Certification System.” Inactive or Obsolete Service Categories – The label shall bear a plainly visible cautionary statement in compliance with the latest version of SAE J183, Appendix A, whenever the vehicle engine (motor) oil in the container or in bulk does not meet an active API service category as defined by the latest version of SAE J183, “Engine Oil Performance and Engine Service Classification (other than Energy Conserving).” Tank Trucks or Rail Cars – Are not required to display the SAE viscosity grade and service category or categories. Documentation – When the engine (motor) oil is sold in bulk, an invoice, bill of lading, shipping paper, or other documentation must accompany each delivery. This document must identify the quantity of engine (motor) oil delivered as defined in Viscosity, Intended Use, Brand, and Engine Service Category; the name and address of the seller and buyer; and the date and time of the sale. For inactive or obsolete service categories, the documentation shall also bear a plainly visible cautionary statement. Documentation must be retained at the retail establishment for a period of not less than one year.

Exemptions: A motor vehicle repair facility registered under the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act, 1974 PA 300, is subject to the oversight of the Secretary of State. If the Secretary of State believes a motor vehicle repair facility may have violated section 2.33 of the Uniform Regulation for the Method of Sale of Commodities, of the 2023 edition of NIST Handbook 130, then the Secretary of State may refer the matter to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD). If the facility is not licensed under the Motor Vehicle Service and Repair Act and merely performs engine oil changes, transmission fluid and filter replacement, and other incidental services, MDARD Weights and Measures has the authority to conduct inspections.

If the establishment is a licensed motor vehicle repair facility and you need to file a complaint, call 800-SOS-MICH (800-767-6424) or file a complaint online.

Inspections: Facility operators can expect the following should a Weights and Measures Inspector visit the facility:

The official will introduce and identify themselves with a State of Michigan MDARD pictured identification card. The purpose of the visit will be explained (e.g. consumer complaint), and a review of container labels, receipts and invoices will be conducted. Documents related to the stored oils onsite will be reviewed and discussed with the operator. In some cases a sample may be collected for further analysis. In all cases a written report will be left for the operator.

Consumers and industry with questions or concerns may call Weights and Measures at 800-632-3835 or 517-655-8202, to file a complaint or request information.