used car dealer license procedure for california dmv

DMV Car Dealer Licensing Checklist

The process can be broken down into three steps:
Dealer Class, Practice Exam & Certificate
Getting your bond & submitting an Application
Final location inspection by your DMV Inspector

Here is a list of everything:
· Dealer Education School, Call TriStar Motors
800 – 901 – 5950 and to attend obtain your Certificate.
· Register On-Line at

Everyone must take the New Dealer Class,

· Obtain the DMV Inspector’s number for your area and
leave a message to schedule the examination.
The DMV website @

Then from the dmv website,,

the student must find the:
list of DMV inspectors,
application for dealers license,
list of registration forms,


· Pay $ 16. and pass the DMV exam.

When you have studied and are prepared for the
DMV dealer examination the student will make an
appointment with the DMV Inspector.

The student will
need to take their:
CA photo ID & TriStar issued DMV Certificate of Completion.
The DMV dealer test is 30 minutes long, 40 questions,
multiple choice.
The student must get 28 correct out of 40, 70%, and
three chances are allowed on one certificate.
If the student does not pass, TriStar supplemental
training is always FREE.
If the student fails the test three times, TriStar will
make a full refund.

· Choose the Name, Location and Type of dealership.
Once the testing is complete the student begins to
build the business.

Every dealer needs to choose a name of the
dealership and a location.

Every dealer MUST have an office.

Every dealer needs to choose the type of dealership
and vehicle type with endorsements.
Dealer types: Retail or Wholesale Only
( Retail includes Wholesale )
Vehicle Types: A/C cars and trucks
M/C motorcycles
ATV all terrain vehicles
MH motorhome
Rec T recreational trailer
Trl trailer
SM snowmobile

Endorsements: AutoBroker

· Obtain the Zoning Verification Letter.
Every dealer must have their location zoning
approved, using the proper DMV form, by the local
planning authority for the office location.
The proper zoning

· File a Fictitious Name Statement with the county clerk
and have it published in a local paper.
The dealer must file a Fictitious Name Statement with
the county clerk of jurisdiction for the office location.
A list of California county websites:·


Obtain a Surety Bond in the amount of $ 50,000.
Wholesale & less than 25 cars/ year then $ 10,000.
The surety bond is a promise by the dealer to honor
all obligations on behalf of the dealership, including
DMV fees and penalties, State sales tax and a
judgment by any court against the dealership.
Cash, Savings or a Bond may be posted.
Your credit report will set the Bond Premium
Some credit scores will require collateral.
The DMV form needed to submit your bond:
If less than 25 cars per year & wholesale only:

· Obtain a Business License
The city or county issuing the zoning permission letter
will usually require a business license.
· Obtain a Live Scan Fingerprint Card.
To obtain a location check:

DMV Live Scan information:
DMV Sample Live Scan Form


Obtain a Board of Equalization Seller’s Permit.
To obtain a location of a field office:
Board Information on Registration:
Application Form:

· Complete the Application and have someone read it
over for you to look for errors and omissions.

Ask your
DMV Inspector if you can FAX it in for review.
· Call the DMV Inspector and submit the Application with
your Bond Declaration Form. You must have a Bond in
place to submit your application. If you wish to be
considered for a temporary license, you must have all
photos completed as well.
list of DMV inspectors,
DMV photo requirements:

Generally you will need:
11 photos for retail
8 for wholesale, 9 for wholesale with a broker endorsement

 They are:

1 Building photo
2 Outside sign photo ®
3 Display area photo ®
4 Office
5 Business License posting photo
6 Resale Permit posting photo
7 Telephone
8 Interior Signs ®
9 Locked Cabinet
10 Checkbook
11 Dealer Book

· Build your office before you contact the DMV Inspector
for final inspection and clearance.

· Obtain a phone and have a phone line installed in the
name of the dealership, including a 411 listing.

· If retail, Obtain and install exterior signs.
One sign if sole user of the location.
Multiple signs if mixed use at the location.

· If retail, Install the three Office Signs provided by TriStar

The No Cooling Off Period Notice to Public

The Inspection of Vehicle Notice to Public

Car Buyer Bill of Rights Disclosure


 Create a locked cabinet, desk drawer, file cabinet or safe to store DMV report of sale forms.


· Open a Bank Account in the name of the dealership.

· Label a thick 3 ring binder as your dealer book.

This book will hold for all updates sent by the DMV, all ROS
forms you might have to void & your broker log. ·

For registration forms write to:
DMV Forms Office
P.O. Box 932242, Sacramento,CA, 94232
Use the list of forms from the DMV website & add the
REG 262 to the list.
list of registration forms,
Draft a letter on your dealer letterhead including a
copy of your DMV certificate of completion requesting
25 of each listed form.
These forms are sent at no charge.

· Contact for forms & disclosures.
Their website for dealer forms:

The four forms needed:

conditional sales contract CA553
English copy, 4 per set, latest version
Spanish Copy, 1 per set, latest version

as-is no warranty for Federal Buyers Guide, 327D
English copy, latest version
Spanish Copy, latest version


car buyer bill of rights option form
English copy, latest version
Spanish Copy,latest version


Not for Sale Sticker


· Create & have ready photos of your setup.
Instruction on photos @

· Final inspection follows in 90 – 120 days following
clearance from Sacramento.
The DMV Inspector will call you for an inspection appointment.
· When you pass inspection you will receive your:
dealer number
wall license
car dealer license special plates
report of sale forms, for your type of license.


good luck




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