California DMV Certified Auto Dealer License Educator #CCC0028

Vehicle Salespersons License General Info

May 28th, 2024 by Jessica Biarbe

It is unlawful for any person to act as a vehicle salesperson without having first obtained a license or temporary permit issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles or if the license or temporary permit issued by the Department has been canceled, suspended, revoked, or invalidated or has expired.

Sales person license dealer license

A Vehicle Salesperson is a person who does one or a combination of the following:

  • A vehicle salesperson is any person employed by a dealer for commission, money, profit or other thing of value who sells, exchanges, buys or offers for sale, negotiates or attempts to negotiate a sale or exchange interest in a vehicle that is required to be registered.
  • Induces or attempts to induce a person to buy or exchange interest in a vehicle which is required to be registered and expects commission, money, brokerage fees, profit from either the seller or purchaser of the vehicle. Any employee who induces a customer to enter into a security agreement or purchase agreement for the sale of a vehicle on behalf of a dealer.
  • A manager who supervises salespersons employed by a dealer, such as a general manager, assistant general manager or sales manager on behalf of a licensed vehicle dealer.
  • A person who is regularly employed by a licensed vehicle dealer authorized to do business in California.

Who is excluded from obtaining a Salesperson’s License?

  • Insurance companies, finance companies or public official representatives in the course of business that are required to dispose or sell vehicles for their employer or in the performance of an official duty or under authority of a court of law if the sale is for the purpose of saving the seller from loss or in accordance with the authority of a court that has jurisdiction over the subject matter.
  • Licensed manufacturers, distributors, representative, remanufacturers or transporters
  • Employees of a business exclusively exporting vehicles or soliciting orders for the sale and delivery of vehicles outside the United States.
  • Business owners disposing of vehicles that have been acquired for their own use and are not engaged in the purchase or sale of vehicles as a business.
  • Employees of a business who are engaged in the business involving the purchase, sale or exchange of boat trailers.
  • Persons licensed as the ownership structure for a vehicle dealership.

Apply for your license and pay your fees online:

  • Create or log in to your MyDMV account. You will be directed to DMV’s digital platform.
  • Go to My Licenses and select the type of license you are applying for, renewing, or updating.
  • Complete the online form, OL 16 S and Live Scan Fingerprint Receipt (DMV8016) if appropriate. Once all items are completed, submit your online application. *NOTE: If an individual has held an Occupational License issued by DMV In the prior three years, you may not be required to obtain a new set of live scan fingerprints.

Background Investigation by the Department of Motor Vehicles

The Department for reasonable cause may refuse to issue a license to an applicant applying for a vehicle salesperson’s license.

All applicants for an occupational license have a background investigation completed. Providing incorrect information or failing to disclose prior convictions on the application is grounds to refuse this and any subsequent license. The Department may refuse to issue a license due to past or pending convictions of a crime or committed any act or engaged in any conduct involving moral turpitude which is considerably related to the qualifications of the license being applied for. California Vehicle Code and the California Code of Regulations are used as a guideline in determining if a license should be granted. **Note: Applicants need not disclose a conviction for California Health and Safety Code 11357(b)(c)(d)(e) or 11360(b) if the conviction is more than two years old.

An application for an Occupational License where there is a past criminal history, either Felony or Misdemeanor that occurred within the past 10 years may expedite the review of the application by submitting a copy of the arresting agency’s report and a copy of the certified court documents.

If an application is denied by the department, the applicant has the right to a hearing conducted by an Administrative Law Judge, the appropriate documents will need to be completed requesting a hearing.

If an applicant has been denied, refused or revoked, the applicant may not reapply for a salesperson license until 1 year has elapsed.

What are the fees associated with a Vehicle Salesperson License:

  • Original application: $50.00 + $1.00 family support program fee
  • License Reinstatement: $50.00 + $1.00 family support program fee
  • Duplicate License, Transfer License, or Address Change fee: $15.00
  • Renewal: $50.00 + $1.00 family support program fee

Once the application is completed and fees paid, the average processing time can take up to 120 for background checks and processing the license. In the meantime, the Department may issue a temporary license for up to 120 days if the individual has met the requirements for the salesperson’s license. Issuance of a temporary license upon a fraudulent application or permits issued in error may be immediately canceled. A Temporary permit shall also become invalid when the applicant’s license has been refused.

How long is a Vehicle Salesperson’s License Valid?

A vehicle salesperson’s license is valid for three years from the date of issuance, unless it has been canceled, suspended or revoked by the Department. Renewals for a salesperson’s license is done on the DMV portal.

Salesperson’s License Display:

At the time of employment, the salesperson will surrender their license to the employing dealer to be posted in a conspicuous place to the public where he/she is actively engaging in the selling of vehicles for their employer. If the salesperson is terminated the employing dealer is required to return the license to the salesperson.

What Is a Bird Dog?

A bird dog in this instance is illegal salesperson’s activity. It is unlawful for a licensed dealer to employ a person as a salesperson who has not been licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. This includes the payment of "referral" or "finders" fee to any person who directs a potential customer to a dealer.

Posted in: Auto Dealer Business

Information within this publication is not intended to give legal advice or compliance with any Federal, State, or local laws and/or regulations. It should be noted that laws, regulations and standards are subject to revisions, additions or deletions at any time. If legal advice or assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be obtained.