Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get a license for a used car dealership?
You must submit a complete Application for Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License. Refer to the Information Sheet for Used Motor Vehicle Dealers for more detailed information on the required documents that must be sent with the application. Prior to preparing the application, you must attend a Board-approved pre-licensing seminar, and obtain an established place of business and a working telephone number listed in the business name. At the established place of business, you must erect an appropriate permanent sign, advertising your business as a used car dealership.
What are licensing fees for a used car dealer license?
Refer to the Fee Schedule for current fees for licensure.
How do I get a used parts license?
You must submit a complete Application for Used Motor Vehicle Parts Dealer License. Refer to the Information Sheet for Used Parts Dealers for more detailed information on the required documents that must be sent with the application. Prior to preparing the application, you must obtain an established place of business and a working telephone number listed in the business name. At the established place of business, you must erect an appropriate permanent sign, advertising your business as a used parts dealership.
What are licensing fees for a used parts dealer license?Refer to the Fee Schedule for current fees for licensure.
What license do I need to sell new vehicles?
New vehicle dealers, or franchise dealers, are not licensed or regulated by the Georgia State Board of Registration of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers. Franchise dealers have a franchise agreement with the manufacturer of the vehicles (Ford, GM, Toyota, etc.), and the manufacturer assumes the responsibility for the business practices of the franchise dealership. Even though the franchise dealership sells used motor vehicles from the dealership, a used motor vehicle dealer license is not required for the franchise location. Besides a local business license, the franchise dealer will need to obtain a dealer registration number from the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety.
What is an “established place of business”?
An “established place of business” is defined in the Official Code of GA Annotated, O.C.G.A 43-47-2 (3), as “a salesroom or sales office in a building or on an open lot of a retail used car dealership or at which a permanent business of bartering, trading, offering, displaying, selling, buying, dismantling, or rebuilding wrecked or used motor vehicles or parts is carried on, or the place at which the books, records, and files necessary to conduct such business are kept. Each such place of business shall be furnished with a working telephone listed in the name of the licensee for use in conducting the business and shall be marked by an appropriate permanent sign as prescribed by the appropriate division under this chapter.”
How many vehicles can I sell in a year before I have to be licensed?
You may not sell any vehicles with the intent to make a profit before becoming a licensed dealer. O.C.G.A. 43-47-2 (17)(A) defines a used motor vehicle dealer as “any person who, for commission or with intent to make a profit or gain of money or other thing of value, sells, exchanges, rents with option to purchase, offers, or attempts to negotiate a sale or exchange of an interest in used motor vehicles or who is engaged wholly or in part in the business of selling used motor vehicles, whether or not such motor vehicles are owned by such person. A motor vehicle broker shall be deemed to be a used motor vehicle dealer or a used car dealer for the purposes of this chapter.”
I thought I could sell up to five vehicles in a year before I had to be licensed?
The “five cars per year” statement has been misinterpreted by many people. The origin of the “five car” phrase is the Used Motor Vehicle Dealers' and Used Motor Vehicle Parts Dealers' Registration Act. O.C.G.A. 43-47-2 (17)(A) states that “…the sale of five or more used motor vehicles in any one calendar year shall be prima-facie evidence that a person is engaged in the business of selling used motor vehicles.” This means that evidence indicating that a person has sold five or more used motor vehicles in any one calendar year can be used to show that the person is engaged in the unlicensed practice of used motor vehicle sales. This statement should be read in its context, and should not be misinterpreted to mean that a person may sell up to five vehicles in a year before becoming licensed.
Can I operate a used car dealership out of my home?
Whether you can lawfully operate a used car dealership out of your residence will depend upon the requirements and restrictions of your local zoning ordinances. Even though you plan to operate from your residence, you must meet the requirements of an “established place of business”, as defined in the Used Motor Vehicle Dealers' and Used Motor Vehicle Parts Dealers' Registration Act. You should contact your city or county Planning & Zoning Office to determine if current regulations will allow you to operate the business from your residence. You should also ask if current regulations will allow you to erect a permanent sign at your residence to advertise your business as a used car dealership.
What is an “appropriate permanent sign”?The sign used to advertise your business must be of a permanent nature, as opposed to a banner or one along the lines of a real estate sale sign. “Appropriate” is determined by the city or county regulations that detail the restrictions in signage in your area. You will need to discuss the restrictions with your local zoning or business license office.
How do I become a used car wholesaler?
The Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License allows a dealer to sell wholesale or retail. No distinctions are made between wholesalers and retailers on the license. The process for obtaining the license is detailed on the Information Sheet for Used Motor Vehicle Dealers.
One caution: Because the Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License allows a dealer to sell both wholesale or retail, Board Rule 681-1-.01 states that you may not use the word “wholesale” in the name of the business, or in any advertising.
I don’t want to set up a car lot. I just want to be a broker. How do I become a broker?
The Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License allows a dealer to sell from an established place of business. This established place of business can be a used car lot, or it can be an office from which used cars are brokered. The licensing requirements for a broker are the same as for a dealer with an open lot. Please refer to the Information Sheet for Used Motor Vehicle Dealers for the requirements.
Do I need a license to sell on the Internet?You need a used motor vehicle dealer license to sell a vehicle, whether on an open lot, as a broker in an office suite, or on the Internet (O.C.G.A. 43-47-7). Even though you sell through a site on the Internet, you must still meet the requirements for an “established place of business”, as stated in O.C.G.A 43-47-2 (3) and Board Rule 681-6-.01. You must also meet the same requirements for bond and insurance as a dealer with an open lot. Refer to the Information Sheet for Used Motor Vehicle Dealers.
What type of license do I need to sell motorcycles or pull-behind trailers?Motorcycles and non-motorized trailers do not meet the definition of “motor vehicle” or “car”, as defined in the Used Motor Vehicle Dealers' and Used Motor Vehicle Parts Dealers' Registration Act. O.C.G.A. 43-47-2 (7) defines “motor vehicle” or “car” as “…every vehicle which is self-propelled and required to be registered under the laws of this state, except trackless trolleys (which are classified as streetcars), airplanes, motorboats, motorcycles, motor driven cycles, or go-carts.” According to this code section, motorcycles and pull-behind trailers are exempted from the category of “motor vehicle” or “car”, and, consequently, the sales of motorcycles and pull-behind trailers are not regulated by the Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. The only requirement to buy and sell motorcycles or pull-behind trailers is to obtain a local business license and a dealer registration number from the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety.
Do I need a license to repossess automobiles?
You do not need a used motor vehicle dealer license to strictly repossess automobiles. You will need a used motor vehicle dealer license, if you begin buying and selling repossessed vehicles.
How do I find out about pre-licensing seminars in my area?
Contact the Board-approved seminar providers , listed on our website, for information on schedules and fees for pre-licensing seminars in your area.
After I submit my application, how long will it take to get my license?
Please allow 30 days from the date you mail the application to obtain your license. You can verify your license when it is issued by going to the License Verification page on our website.
May I open up my dealership while my application is being reviewed?
You may not legally operate a used motor vehicle dealership without a license. See O.C.G.A. 43-47-7
How many photographs do you require?
The photographs of your business must show the outside of the facility, to include the sign. Whether you will need to submit one photograph, or multiple photographs, will depend upon whether you can sufficiently show your place of business and your sign in one photograph. If your business is in a suite in an office complex, your photograph(s) must show your business listed on the marquee of the office complex, and your must submit photograph(s) of the suite door, indicating your signage on the door.
Can more than one dealership be licensed at the same location?
According to Board Rule 681-3-.05, joint used motor vehicle dealer operations may be conducted, provided licensees maintain a separate office, entrance, inventory, records, and files necessary to conduct business. Each licensee at the location must ensure that the business name in which the license is listed appears on all business documents and vehicles offered for sale by the licensee. Each licensee must also have the required signage and telephone listing in the business name.
How long do I have to submit the application, once I complete the pre-licensing seminar?
One year from the date of seminar completion.
How do I find out about continuing education seminars?
Contact the Board-approved seminar providers , listed on our website, for information on schedules and fees for pre-licensing seminars in your area.
When does a used car license expire?All used motor vehicle dealer licenses are two-year licenses, expiring on March 31 of the even year. Licensed dealers will receive a renewal application approximately six weeks prior to the expiration date.
What is a “designee”?The designee is the person named by a corporation, a limited liability company, or a partnership to be the responsible license holder for the business. The business can have only one license holder; therefore, the license is issued to the business with the designee as the license holder. The designee assumes full responsibility for the operations of the licensed dealership on behalf of the partnership, corporation, or limited liability company. A sole proprietorship does not name a designee, because the sole owner is the license holder for the business and is considered by the Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Board to be the responsible person for the operations of the licensed dealership. The designee can be an officer, if the dealership is owned by a corporation, a partner, if the business is owned by a partnership, or an employee of the business. The designee makes application for the used motor vehicle dealer license on behalf of the corporation or partnership. When the application is submitted, the designee must submit the certificate of completion of the pre-licensing seminar to prove that the designee completed the required seminar. Other officers or partners do not have to submit proof that they have attended, although they will be wise to attend. The fingerprint cards submitted must be for the designee.
What do I need to do if the designee of my business leaves?
You will need to submit a new Application for Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License, and you will need to check the block for Change of Designee. The complete application, including fees and required accompanying documents (See Information Sheet for Used Motor Vehicle Dealers), must be submitted. The only additional requirement for a change of designee is an original notarized letter from the previous designee, releasing the position of designee to the new person. If the previous designee is no longer available to provide the letter of release, then the president or secretary of the corporation or LLC, or a partner of the partnership, must submit a letter to authorize the change.
What licenses do I need to operate a used motor vehicle auction?
You will need to submit an Application for Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License and an Application for Auction Company License. You may also need to submit an Application for Auctioneer License, if you are not a licensed auctioneer, and you plan on auctioning the vehicles yourself. You must have a licensed auctioneer to conduct the auctions. Refer to the License Requirements for Auctioneer for further information on becoming a licensed auctioneer.
How do I change my dealership name or address?
You will need to complete the Request for Change of Location &/or Change of Name. Change of location requires photographs of the new location, including the sign, and a new certificate of liability insurance, which lists the new location address.
Change of name requires a new bond or bond rider, issued in the new name, a new certificate of liability insurance, listing the new name, and photographs of the business that reflect the name change on signage.
Caution: A change of business structure, such changing from a sole proprietorship to a corporation, limited liability company, or partnership, is not a name change. Rather, this type of change is the formation of a new and separate business entity. A name change request cannot be granted for such a change. When the business entity has changed, even if a corporation is dissolved and a new corporation is created, a new and complete Application for Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License must be submitted, including fees and all required documents.
I want to open a second location under the same dealership name. How do I do that?
Submit an Application for Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License, and check the box for Supplemental License. The designee must be the same as for the original license. The accompanying documents will be required for this supplemental license application as was required for the original location’s license, with the exception of the proof of seminar completion and fingerprint cards. The same bond issued to the original location may be used for the supplemental, but a copy of the bond must accompany the supplemental application. The certificate of insurance must be amended to list the additional location. An original amended certificate must accompany the supplemental application.
How long does a dealer have after the sale of a vehicle to transfer the title to my name?
The dealer has 30 calendar days from the date of the sale to apply for a title in the purchaser’s name and to furnish the purchaser with the proper documents to obtain a tag for the vehicle.
It’s been over 30 calendar days, and I still do not have my title, and I can’t get a tag. What can I do?
· You should attempt to contact the dealer to demand the title. If you receive no satisfaction from the dealer, you may file an Official Complaint to the Georgia Board of Registration of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers. Keep in mind that the Board’s authority is limited to sanctions against a dealer’s license. The Board does not have the authority to get your title for you.
· You also may wish to seek legal counsel on your legal rights to pursue the possession of your title in court.
· If the dealer is licensed, or if the dealer has recently closed operations, you may request from the Board office a Letter of Certification, to include the bond information, on the dealer. Every dealer is required to obtain a $20,000 surety bond, issued in favor of the State of Georgia, to assist purchasers harmed by the dealer’s misrepresentations regarding liens against any used motor vehicle, or titles to any used motor vehicle. You can use the bond information to file a claim against the bond with the bond company.
· If the dealer is unlicensed, you may request from the Board office a Letter of Certification that indicates that the dealer is unlicensed. You will then need to follow the procedures of the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety to obtain a bonded title.
· If the dealer’s license has lapsed, you may access the License Verification page to search for the dealer license. Once you have found the dealer information, you can print the information that indicates that the dealer’s license has lapsed. You may then take this information to the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety and follow their procedures for obtaining a bonded title.
How can I know that a dealer is licensed and in good standing?
You can verify whether a dealer is licensed by accessing the License Verification page on our website. Every licensed used motor vehicle dealer in Georgia is listed on this site. Be sure to click on the link that reads, “Click here to search for a licensed professional entity,” since the license is issued in the business name. Follow the steps to search for the particular dealer in which you are interested. The information you receive will indicate the license number, the status of the dealer, the date the license was issued, the date the license expires, and if any public board orders exists.
I financed my car, and now my finance company has closed or merged with another company. I can’t find anyone to get my title. What can I do?
Please refer to the information maintained by the Department of Motor Vehicle Safety for obtaining a title when a lien holder is out of business. Whether the lien holder is a finance company, a bank, or a credit union, this site references addresses and telephone numbers for the agencies responsible for the regulation of the entity.