Nevada: Seller of travel registration law repealed following six-year suspension

Nevada Governor Brian Sandovalsigned a billon June 10, 2015 repealing a law, that for decades, required all travel agencies doing businesswith Nevada consumers to register, maintain trust accounts and support a consumer recovery fund. Prior to the repeal, the Nevada legislature instituted three suspensions of the seller-of-travel law (NRS 598.305 – 598.395) for two-year periods beginning in 2009.The law was initially enacted to protect consumers from being victimized by scams in which unscrupulous travel agents and tour operators would pocket client payments and deposits without booking travel reservations and without the ability to obtain a refund. But the seller-of-travel program has not been a cost-effective measure for the state, a factor which likely influenced lawmakers under pressure to balance budgets in a tight economy, to first suspend and then eliminate the program completely. The repeal bill passed with nearly unanimous support in both of Nevada’s legislative chambers.Provisions requiring registered sellers of travel to display a written statement both online and at their business premises informing consumers of their rights to recover from the fund have been permanently erased from Nevada’s collection of statutes regulating deceptive trade practices. Travel agencies that have previously registered in Nevada no longer need to prominently display their registration numbers on advertisements and websites.Since the current suspension was due to expire on July 1, travel agencies can now operate in Nevada with the certainty that their activities will not be subject to additional scrutiny by state officials. Nevada was one of six states that maintained seller-of-travel laws requiring registration. California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, and Washington are the only remaining states that require such registration. The repeal in Nevada follows a growing trend of states that have abandoned seller-of-travel legislation during the past 12 years, including Ohio, Oregon and Rhode Island.©Zim Travel Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.

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