There are car dealers in California who sell new vehicles, and dealers who sell used vehicles. New vehicle dealers are franchised by the automaker and follow that company’s operational policies and they are allowed to sell used vehicles, too. Dealers of used vehicles may not sell any new cars
If you want to sell cars in California, you will have to obtain your dealer license first. The DMV has special inspectors who review your application and issue occupational licenses, such as those for dealers. These inspectors operate out of their offices throughout California. For general licensing questions call 916 229-3126.
All applicants for dealer license California will be required to undergo a criminal background check. The DMV is looking for not only crimes, but examples of “moral turpitude” that suggest that someone wouldn’t run an ethical dealership. This background check is not cheap, but if you’re not sure whether you are eligible for a dealer license in California due to a previous conviction, the DMV allows you to file an abbreviated application. You’ll still have to pay a $175 application fee, but the state will let you know whether it would grant you a license before you start setting up your business, obtaining a surety bond etc.
Whether you want to sell new or used cars, you will need to file an application for a dealer license. This is a little bit complicated, because the state wants to see all sorts of documentation regarding your business. This includes proof of insurance, your business license, evidence of proper bonding, franchise agreements, photos of your dealership and other paperwork.
Other documentation you need to have in order to obtain your dealer license in California:
– Original certificate of completion from the dealer education provider (used car dealer applicants only).
– Copy of city and/or county business license.
– Copy of resale permit from the state’s Board of Equalization
– Fictitious business name statement copy.
– Copy of the lease or rental agreement for the facility.
– Photographs of the facility showing the main entrance, the sign, the vehicle display area and a general image of the location.
How long do I have to wait for the dealer license in California?
It can take up to 120 days to process your dealer license application and run a background check.
How much do I need to pay for it?
– $175 nonrefundable initial application fee
– $1 Family Support Program fee
– $100 Autobroker fee (in addition to application fee)
– $70 for each branch location
– $225 New Motor Vehicle Board fee
– $58 for each automobile dealer plate (optional), plus county fees
– $60 for each motorcycle dealer plate (optional), plus county fees
How often do I need to renew the dealer license?
– Your license expires annually
– Every two years, you also must supply proof of continuing dealer education.
– You should send your renewal application and other documentation to the address listed on the back of the form
Information on Dealers License, LLC
Dealers License, LLC is based in Greenville, South Carolina and helps clients across the country acquire their dealer license. They can assist you whether you are looking for a wholesale or retail dealer license, either of which allow you to access the dealer-only auctions mentioned above as well as buy and sell within the company’s retail network. They will also help you 24/7 with marketing assistance, mentoring and coaching. If you would like to learn more, check out: https://www.dlcnetwork.com/.