Car Wash Registration Instructions

Who Must Register?

 “Car washing and polishing” means washing, cleaning, drying, polishing, detailing, servicing, or otherwise providing cosmetic care to vehicles. “Car washing and polishing” does not include motor vehicle repair, as defined in Section 9880.1 of the Business and Professions Code. Labor Code section 2051(a). Every person engaged in the business of car washing & polishing must register with the Labor Commissioner. California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 13680 through 13693.

Who Is Excluded from Registering?

"Employer" means any individual, partnership, corporation, limited liability company, joint venture, or association engaged in the business of car washing and polishing that engages any other individual in providing those services. Labor Code Section 2051(b)(1). "Employer" does not include any charitable, youth, service, veteran, or sports group, club, or association that conducts car washing and polishing on an intermittent basis to raise funds for charitable, education, or religious purposes. "Employer" does not include any licensed vehicle dealer or car rental agency that conducts car washing and polishing ancillary to its primary business of selling, leasing, or servicing vehicles. "Employer" does not include either a new motor vehicle dealer, as defined in Section 426of the Vehicle Code, that is primarily engaged in the business of selling, leasing, renting, or servicing vehicles or an automotive repair dealer, as defined by subdivision (a) of Section 9880.1 of the Business and Professions Code, who is primarily engaged in the business of repairing and diagnosing malfunctions of motor vehicles. "Employer" does not include any self-service car wash or automated car wash that has employees for cashiering or maintenance purposes only. Labor Code Section 2051(b)(2).

Posting Requirements:

Each employer must post the registration form issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement where it may be read by the employees during the workday. (Labor Code section 2057)

Record Keeping Requirements:

Pursuant to Labor Code section 2052, every employer must keep accurate records for three (3) years showing all of the following:

  • The names and addresses of all employees engaged in rendering actual services for any business of the employer
  • The hours worked daily by each employee, including the times the employee begins and ends each work period
  • All gratuities received daily by the employers, whether received directly from the employee or indirectly by deduction from the wages of the employee or otherwise
  • The wage and wage rate paid each payroll period
  • The age of all minor employees
  • Any other conditions of employment

Additional Resources:

California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Chapter 6, Subchapter 11, Car Washing & Polishing, sections 13680-13694.

Duration of Registration:

Every employer must register annually (Labor Code section 2054) satisfying all of the conditions prescribed by the Labor Commissioner (Labor Code section 2061). The Car Washing and Polishing Application form DLSE 666 (05/17) or the online application, along with other required documentation, can be found at the Car Washing and Polishing Registration page.

Fees Required for Registration:

The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement must receive a completed application along with a $200.00 annual registration fee for each branch location. In addition to the fee specified each employer shall be assessed an annual fee of $100.00 for each branch location. (Total registration fee of $300.00 for each branch location.) The registration and assessment fees may be combined and paid in one instrument. “Branch” means a separate location of the employer’s business where employees carry out car washing and polishing operations, and includes a main or central location.

IMPORTANT: Submitting an application for a certificate of registration DOES NOT authorize you to operate a car washing and polishing business. It is illegal to operate a car washing and polishing business without first obtaining a car wash registration certificate from the State Labor Commissioner. If you operate without a valid certificate of registration, you will be subject to a civil penalty

June 2017