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ODPS | BMV | FAQs

Dealer Licensing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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In the course of normal business, may I sell, using the auction method, an individual's motor vehicle so long as the individual, the seller, does not sell more than five (5) vehicles in a rolling twelve (12) month period?

The casual sale law, Ohio Revise Code 4517.02 (A) (6), will apply when you are auctioning vehicles from an individual owner. You will be able, within the Ohio Revised Code, to auction up to five (5) vehicles in a rolling twelve (12) month period. Per the Ohio Revised Code 4517.01 (F), the casual sale law does not apply in an estate auction, where more than five (5) vehicles may be sold from the estate at one time.

May I auction off a licensed motor vehicle dealers (new or used) inventory to the public if I do it on their property?

You may auction vehicles that are titled to the dealer at the licensed location only. Any other location or any other dealer's inventory is prohibited from the auction per the Ohio Revised Code 4517.02 (B).

Can a licensed auctioneer gather at a large parking lot and invite the general public to sell, via the auction method, any number of motor vehicles, as long as no one individual violates the casual sale rule?

A licensed motor vehicle dealer can hold a flea market, in which the dealer will invite the general public, t0 sell their vehicles at a designated location. The dealer may charge a nominal fee for those individual that wish to participate in the flea market. The casual sales law does apply for those participating in the flea market per the Ohio Revised Code section 4517.01 (U), which defines a "flea market", and Ohio Revised Code section 4517.02 (A) (6), which defines the sale of a motor vehicle at a flea market without obtaining a license as a dealer.

Who is required to have a motor vehicle dealer's license?

Any person engaged in the business of offering for sale, displaying for sale, or selling motor vehicles at retail, is required to obtain an Ohio dealer's license. Wholesale purchases and sales may be made incidental to, and in support of, engaging in business at retail.

Are motor vehicle manufacturers required to have an automobile dealer's license?

Yes, if sales are made at retail.

Are finance companies dealing in motor vehicles required to be licensed?

Yes. However, finance companies may sell repossessed motor vehicles at retail without obtaining a dealer's license.

Are persons engaged in salvaging motor vehicles eligible for a dealer's license?

No. However, such persons may be eligible for a dealer's license by establishing a motor vehicle dealership entirely separate from the salvage business.

Do dealers in new motor vehicles have to have a contract with a manufacturer or distributor for the new motor vehicles they sell?

Yes.

What are the physical requirements for a new car dealer's place of business?

A new motor vehicle dealership must have and maintain the following minimum physical characteristics to obtain a license:
- Space under roof for the display of at least one new motor vehicle.
- Space under roof for the servicing and repair of at least one new motor vehicle.
- A sign showing the exact name of the business, including any registered trade names, prominently displayed, permanent in nature, and properly maintained. Letters on the sign must be at least six inches high.
- The dealership must be used exclusively for the purpose of offering for sale, displaying for sale, or dealing in motor vehicles.

If a new motor vehicle dealer also has an automobile repair service, is the dealership still considered as used exclusively for dealing in motor vehicles?

Yes, provided that any products or services offered are in support of the business of dealing in motor vehicles.

Is a salvage department in a dealership considered as in support of the business of dealing in motor vehicles?

No. Places of business or departments in a place of business used to dismantle, salvage, or rebuild motor vehicles with used parts are not considered as in support of the business of dealing in motor vehicles.

What are the physical requirements for a used car dealer's place of business?

A used motor vehicle dealership must have and maintain the following minimum physical characteristics to obtain a license:
- The proposed location must be easily accessible from the public roadway and identified as a motor vehicle dealership.
- A display lot of at least 3,500 square feet, not including driveways, with adequate ground cover of a hard surface (gravel, concrete, etc.) to prevent the collection of dust, mud, water, or other unsightly conditions.
- The display lot must be separated from any other business or residence with a permanent physical barrier that is sufficient to deter normal vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
- The barrier must not be able to be removed.
- A permanent office of at least 180 square feet of usable office area, which shall be kept in a neat and orderly fashion. The office must include a desk, three chairs, a filing cabinet, a telephone in service at all times, listed and answered in the dealership's name, and electric lighting and heating sufficient for an office.
- A sign showing the exact name of the business, including any registered trade names, prominently displayed, permanent in nature, and properly maintained. Letters on the sign must be at least six inches high.
- Business hours must be prominently displayed. The business must be open and attended during the posted business hours, by the owner, a partner, president of the corporation, member of a limited liability company, trustee of a business trust, or a licensed salesperson.
- The dealership must be used exclusively for the purpose of offering for sale, displaying for sale, or dealing in motor vehicles.

Who needs a salespersons license?

All employees who offer for sale, display for sale, or sell motor vehicles for a dealer must be licensed. All employees that offer to lease, make available for lease or lease motor vehicles to another person for personal, family, or household use, must be licensed as a salesperson. Salespersons must apply for a license immediately upon being hired by a motor vehicle dealer, and are prohibited from offering for sale, displaying for sale, or selling motor vehicles until licensed.

What is required when applying for a license?

An application for motor vehicle salesperson's license and a completed electronic Web Check must be submitted, along with the licensing fee. Visit the following link on Ohio Attorney General Web site (Webcheck locations) for a complete list of electronic fingerprinting locations in Ohio and have the results forwarded to the Dealer Licensing Section, P.O. Box 16521, Columbus, Ohio 43216-6521.

For what reason would a salesperson's license application be denied?

Any felony or misdemeanor conviction relating to dealing in motor vehicles would be reason for denial.

What is required if a salesperson leaves the employ of one dealer, and begins working for another?

The dealer for whom the license was issued must send in a salesperson's termination form. A salesperson's license may be transferred by submitting an application for transfer of license and fee of $4.00.

What is a motor vehicle salvage dealer?

Any person who engages in business primarily for the purpose of selling salvage motor vehicle parts, and secondarily for the purpose of selling salvage motor vehicles or manufacturing or selling a product of gradable scrap metal.

What is a motor vehicle salvage auction?

Any person who, on his own behalf, or as an agent for a third party, engages in business for the purpose of auctioning salvage motor vehicles to motor vehicle salvage dealers.

What is a motor vehicle salvage pool?

Any person who, as an agent for a third party, engages in business for the purpose of storing, displaying, and offering for sale, salvage motor vehicles to motor vehicle salvage dealers.

How many motor vehicles can I sell before I must obtain a motor vehicle dealer's license?

Five motor vehicles within a 12-month period.

What are the physical requirements for a motor vehicle salvage dealer's place of business?

A motor vehicle salvage dealer, salvage pool, or salvage auction must have and maintain the following minimum physical characteristics to obtain a license:
- A minimum area of 50,000 square feet.
- The area must be shielded by a fence between 6 and 10 feet tall that shields the premises from ordinary view. A living hedge of equal or greater height and sufficient density to prevent view of the premises may be substituted for the fence. All inventory of the business must be stored behind the fence or enclosure to promote and preserve a positive visual impact of the salvage yard's business on the surrounding neighborhood.
- An office to conduct business, in a building of at least 225 square feet. The office must have an area devoted to sales transactions, an area with a parts counter, and an office to maintain records.
- A permanent sign in the exact business name as it appears on the application, with letters of at least 6 inches high. The business sign shall be prominently displayed at or near the entrance of the facility.
- Regular business hours posted in plain view.
- The facility shall be open and attended by someone who may reasonably assist a retail customer during the posted business hours.

I was notified by my bank of a returned check written to you or a Deputy Registrar office. How do I resolve this matter?

Banks are instructed to send returned checks through a second time. If the check clears on the second attempt, the BMV does not receive any notice of a returned check.

However, if the returned check does not go through on the second attempt, and/or for another reason is sent to the BMV to process, you will be sent a letter requesting payment, including a $15.00 service charge, with a return envelope provided. The letter will reference a claim number, which needs to be included with your payment in order for you to receive proper credit for the transaction.

We understand that mistakes happen and afford you the opportunity to correct the situation.

If you have further questions about a returned check, you may contact the BMV Tax Distribution Section at (614) 752-2084.

How do I obtain fingerprints for the background check required for a dealer's or salesperson's license?

All Ohio Residents must be electronically fingerprinted, visit the following link on Ohio Attorney General Web site (Webcheck locations) for a complete list of electronic fingerprinting locations in Ohio and have the results forwarded to the Dealer Licensing Section, PO Box 16521, Columbus, Ohio 43216-6521. Note: Electronic fingerprinting prices vary and payable to the company taking the print.

Out-of-State residents may submit the fingerprint card and processing fee with the completed salesperson application and exemption form to the address on form. Do not send the fingerprint card directly to B.C.I & I. Acceptable fingerprint card(s) may be obtained only by contacting the Dealer Licensing Section at (614)752-7636. Please make sure all information on the fingerprint card is completed.

How much can a seller entering into a retail installment contract charge a customer for the preparation of documents?

On June 30, 2006, an amendment to section 1317.07 of the Revised Code, which governs retail installment contracts, took effect.

That section provides that a seller entering into a retail installment contract can charge a fee of up to $250 for preparation of documents related to the sale. Previously, the maximum fee that could be charged for document preparation was $100.

As a result of the amendment, motor vehicle dealers selling motor vehicles to customers under retail installment contracts can charge the customer this $250 document preparation fee in addition to other fees associated with the sale of the vehicle (taxes, registration fees, etc.). It is important to note that the dealership is not required to charge the document preparation fee.

The Department of Public Safety, Bureau of Motor Vehicles did not play any role in the adoption of the amendment to section 1317.07, and receives no portion of the document preparation fee. Instead, the fee is retained by the motor vehicle dealer.

May a dealer gift a car for charity?

A dealer may gift a motor vehicle to an organization (with NIP title exemption). The organization must obtain title in their name. The motor vehicle does not become used at this point because the organization is not the ultimate purchaser, and this would also allow the organization to display the motor vehicle at the contest location.

For further information regarding taxes to be paid, contact the Department of Taxation at 614-466-4810. For information regarding a Non-Profit title exemption, contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Title Section at 614-752-7671.

 

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