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Compliance and Technical Assistance Program

CTAP > Featured Topics > August 2009: Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS) August 2009: Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS)

The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS), also known as Cash for Clunkers, went into effect on July 24, 2009 (Congress extended the program on Aug. 6 by adding another $2 billion in available funds). This is a Federal program run by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT). Auto Salvagers and Recyclers interested in participating in CARS must be enrolled in the National Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program (NVMSRP) through End of Life Vehicle Solutions (ELVS). ELVS is in charge of enrollment and collecting mercury switches and IDEM handles the financial reimbursement that Auto Salvagers and Recyclers are eligible to receive through Indiana's Mercury Switch Program.

Indiana law requires motor vehicle recyclers to remove all mercury switches from each end of life vehicle it receives (see IC 13-20-17.7). To participate in Indiana's Mercury Switch Program, companies need to contact ELVS to get a bucket sent to them. Companies should fill out the online form on the ELVS Web site to request a bucket. ELVS is overwhelmed with requests for enrollment at this time, and are asking companies to use the online form instead of calling.

Once enrolled with ELVS, U.S. DOT will assign a Unique ID to each company and update the CARS list on a weekly basis. Simply appearing on the CARS list does not mean a company is automatically eligible to participate. Companies must be able to crush or shred motor vehicles, either with their own equipment or by use of a mobile crusher. U.S. DOT will be checking to ensure that companies meet this requirement.

For more information, call (866) CAR-7891. The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) has developed Frequently Asked Questions that are helpful. Check the ARA Web site for updates.