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Dealer Licensing

Dealer Licensing

Auction Owner’s License

A business licensed for the purpose of wholesale auctioning of motor vehicles. Any person engaged wholly or in part in the business of auctioning of motor vehicles.

Applications shall be denied for reasons listed in Ohio Revised Code 4517.12 and Ohio Administrative Code 4501:1-3-09 which include:

  • A conviction of ANY fraudulent act (misdemeanor or felony), regardless of the conviction date, related to selling or dealing in motor vehicles.
Following the issuance of a license, violation of any provisions of section 4517.171 of the R.C. could be subject to revocation of the license by the Registrar. The licensee may appeal the action of the Registrar to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Board. Notification of an administrative hearing shall be given to the licensed holder in a timely manner upon notification to the Board of such violations.


Auction Owner’s License Application BMV 4325 PDF Word

Physical Location Requirements

  • Verify with local authorities the zoning regulations for the proposed facility. The Dealer Licensing Section does not preempt the enforcement by local authorities of zoning, health, safety codes or laws.
  • The proposed established place of business must be easily accessible from a public roadway and identified as an auction.
  • The auction’s established place of business must be separated from any residence, motor vehicle dealership, salvage motor vehicle dealership, salvage motor vehicle auction, and salvage motor vehicle pool.
  • An auction’s established place of business is for the purpose of auctioning motor vehicles and shall also have at least one area under permanent roof that is large enough that motor vehicles may be moved through where such motor vehicles may be offered at auction.
  • A permanent sign in the registered name of the business as it appears on the application, with letters of at least six inches high. The business sign shall be prominently displayed, properly maintained and permanent.
  • A business telephone must be in service at all times and answered in the auction’s name. The business telephone number must be legibly posted in a conspicuous place in public view.
  • The business hours must be maintained and legibly posted in a conspicuous place near the entrance of the office.

NOTE: A physical inspection will be performed by BMV Investigations physical inspection will be performed prior to the issuance of the license. If the licensed location fails to meet any of the listed requirements, the application for the license shall be denied and may be appealed to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Board.

Conducting Auctions

  • The auction facilities may be used to conduct a public auction of repossessed motor vehicles and a motor vehicle dealer auction simultaneously. All inventories shall be maintained and separated at all times.
  • Any person in attendance for a public auction of repossessed motor vehicles shall be separately identified and prohibited from participating in a motor vehicle dealer auction.

Required Documentation for Licensing

  1. A copy of the certificate from the Secretary of State showing the business has been registered. (Exemption: Sole Proprietor and Partnership)
  2. A copy of the certificate from the Secretary of State showing a fictitious or trade name has been registered.
  3. Each person listed on the application in the Ownership Section are required to complete a criminal history record through the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI). For detailed information, see our Criminal History Record Requirements.
  4. Photographs of the location must be submitted via mail or e-mail (JPEG format). The required photographs are listed on the application.

Optional Plates

In-transit license plates may be purchased to be used in conjunction with the auction business. The license plates may only be used on motor vehicles being transported from an individual, firm or corporation to any point of destination.

NOTE: A reasonable number of additional plates may be requested to support the auction business. However the plates may not be used contrary to uses as specified in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4503.33. Plates used for any other purpose may be reduced or subject to confiscation.


Ohio Revised Code: 4517.01, 4517.02, 4517.07, 4517.10, 4517.12, 4517.21

Ohio Administrative Code: 4501:1-3-03, 4501:1-3-04, 4501:1-3-06, 4501:1-3-07, 4501:1-3-09, 4501:1-3-10, 4501:1-3-11, 4501:1-3-33

Have Questions?

Please contact us at (614) 752-7636 or email us at Dealers Support.

Monday - Friday
8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Fax: (614) 752-7220

Mailing Address
Ohio BMV Dealer Licensing
PO Box 16521
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6521

In Person (Drop-off Services ONLY)
Ohio Department of Public Safety
1970 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43223
Applications or paperwork may be dropped off near the security desk. All paperwork that requires payment, cash, check or money orders are accepted; however, no receipt will be available.

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