Vermont Automatic Renewal Double Opt-In Law Effective July 1, 2019

A number of states have recently updated restrictions on automatic renewal provisions. Now, Vermont House Bill 593 makes the vermont country imagestate the first to require a “double opt-in” with respect to automatic renewal provisions. The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2019.

The law applies to “consumer” contracts with an initial term of at least one year and that automatically renew for a subsequent term longer than one month. It requires clear and conspicuous language in bold-face type regarding the renewal terms. It also requires that consumers – separately from accepting the contract itself – take some affirmative action to opt-in to the automatic renewal provision.

Vermont is the only state in the U.S. to require a second, affirmative opt-in. The seller (or lessor) must also provide the consumer with written or electronic notice of the automatic renewal no less than thirty (30) days, and no more than sixty (60) days, prior to the contract renewing or terminating.

Importantly, the law applies to “consumer” contracts and business-to-business contracts. The law exempts insurance contracts, and contracts between a consumer and a financial institution or credit union.

Marketers that do business in Vermont must comply with Vermont’s new automatic renewal law before it goes into effect on July 1, 2019. Contact an FTC compliance attorney if you would like to discuss how Vermont’s consumer protection law and other state automatic renewal laws apply to your business.

The measure became law on May 28, 2019 after Governor Phil Scott declined to sign it. Violations of the terms will be considered unfair and deceptive acts.

The law follows the strict modifications to California’s automatic renewal law last year.

Richard B. Newman is an Internet marketing attorney focusing at Hinch Newman LLP. Follow him on Twitter @ FTC Defense Lawyer.

Informational purposes only. Not legal advice. Attorney advertising.

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