Consumers wanting to get the government vouchers can find a list of registered dealers at www.cars.gov, the rules say. Participating dealers must be on a list of franchised dealers, which the government obtained from automakers and will update weekly to reflect new and discontinued franchise agreements.
Those dealers have received letters instructing them on how to register for the program, the rules say, adding that dealers must sign up separately for each brand they sell. The letters included information for registering electronically, and dealers will receive e-mail confirmation after doing so. Their names should appear on the www.cars.gov Web site within two to four days, the government estimates in the rules.
Along with the Web site, the government has set up a cash-for-guzzlers hotline, reachable at (866) 227-7891.
To get reimbursed for the consumers voucher, dealers must first submit applications electronically, using the username and password they receive via e-mail after registering for the program. Page 128 of the rules shows a sample application page that dealers can reference to prepare the necessary information about trade-ins, new vehicles and purchasers.
The government will use the information about the buyers to confirm they have not already received vouchers for a different purchase, including one that involved a vehicle jointly registered to more than one person.
Each dealer must attach electronic copies of the purchase contract or lease agreement, the manufacturers certificate of origin, certification paperwork from the salvage auction or disposal company and a summary of sale/lease and certifications form signed by the dealer and the buyer (page 122 in the rules). The government also requests that the dealership attach a customer survey (page 129 in the rules), the rules say.
If an application shows the dealer has met the cash-for-guzzlers requirements, the government will reimburse the dealership for the voucher amount by electronic transfer to an account the dealer lists upon registering for the program.
If the application is incomplete or shows that the dealer or vehicles did not meet the requirements, the government will electronically notify the dealer of the reason for rejection. Dealerships may correct and resubmit rejected applications at no penalty, the rules say.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is administering the program. The agency said it plans to hire 30 employees and more than 200 contractual workers to handle the program for the next six months.
It estimates 250,000 vehicles will be sold under the program, which is about 12 vehicles for each of the 19,700 dealers that the rules say were in business in early 2009.
Manufacturers and dealers employment levels are unlikely to be impacted, the rules say.
NHTSA says dealers, salvage auctions and scrappage facilities may incur costs from the program. But after telling buyers the scrap value of their trade-in, dealerships may keep $50 of any amount paid to them for scrapping the vehicle to cover their administrative costs.
The rules say they apply to any qualifying purchases or leases made after July 1, but they will not take official effect until they are published in the Federal Register, which has not yet happened.
The cash-for-guzzlers legislation, also known as "cash for clunkers," provides vouchers of $3,500 to $4,500 to customers.
These can include individuals, along with legal entities, such as corporations and partnerships, the rules say. Congress allocated $1 billion to fund the program, which expires Nov. 1, unless the funding runs out before then.
New cars eligible for the federal incentive must have combined highway and city fuel economy of at least 22 mpg, and smaller light trucks must have combined fuel economy of at least 18 mpg. New vehicles must have a suggested retail price of $45,000 or less.
Trade-ins eligible for cash-for-guzzlers must be drivable, less than 25 years old and have combined fuel economy of 18 mpg or less. They must have been continuously insured and registered to their owners for at least one year.