Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Program
Automotive Repair Dealers (ARDs) engaged in the retail sale of replacement lead-acid batteries are now required to charge consumers a $1 fee when a battery is purchased. The Lead-Acid Battery Recycling Act of 2016 was enacted by Assembly Bill 2153 (Garcia, Chapter 666, Statutes of 2016). Beginning April 1, 2017, this law requires the collection of two new fees. Battery manufacturers now pay a $1 fee for every retail sale of a lead-acid battery directly to consumers, or any sale made to a dealer, wholesaler, distributor, or other third-party retailer of the battery. In addition, a $1 fee is charged to the consumer for each purchase of a replacement lead-acid battery from a dealer, including purchases directly from the battery manufacturer.
ARDs who sell replacement lead-acid batteries must collect the fee and remit it to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA). ARDs must list the fee as a separate line-item on all invoices. The fee is not subject to sales tax and 1.5 percent of the fee (15 cents) may be retained by the ARD as reimbursement for collection of the fee. Beginning April 1, 2022, the fee is scheduled to increase to $2.
A refundable deposit must also be charged by the ARD and separately stated on the invoice when a consumer purchases a replacement lead-acid battery and does not exchange the used battery at the time of purchase. The deposit is not subject to sales tax if the transaction is taxable and is refunded if the battery is returned within 45 days.