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Automotive Repair, Service Deemed ‘Essential’

As a growing number of states issue emergency orders to close non-essential businesses, the U.S. government has issued guidance declaring that automotive repair and maintenance are “essential” functions.     

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A March 19 memo from the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) includes automotive repair and maintenance employees in a list of “essential critical infrastructure workers.”

“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as health care services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule,” CISA Director Christopher Krebs says in the memo.

The list of essential critical infrastructure workers includes “employees who repair and maintain vehicles, aircraft, rail equipment, marine vessels and the equipment and infrastructure that enables operations that encompass movement of cargo and passengers,” as well as “employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, and workers that maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdiction travel).”

“The Auto Care Association has been working tirelessly on the federal, state and local level to educate officials on the need to include transportation services on the list of essential businesses that should remain open during emergency shutdown orders in order to ensure the mobility of the public and most importantly emergency service personnel,” Auto Care Association President and CEO Bill Hanvey said. “This federal directive hopefully will provide important guidance to state and local officials in the development of any emergency orders.”

Additionally, the Auto Care Association has been working with retail and industry associations to document state responses to the COVID-19 virus. This link, courtesy of the Retail Industry Leaders Association, documents each state’s publicly available information concerning emergency status, executive’s orders and other useful information. The Auto Care Association advises the public to check this document on a frequent basis for new developments. The link also can be found on the association’s coronavirus industry resource page at


For additional information, contact Aaron Lowe, senior vice president, government and regulatory affairs, at [email protected] or Tom Tucker, director, state affairs, at t[email protected].

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