let us help you pass your dmv licensed location inspection

the process of licensing

involves taking our car dealer class


submitting your car dealer application and photos


meeting the dmv inspector at your licensed location

when this meeting occurs

this is the dmv location inspection form

that is used to approve your car dealer license location






car dealer bond application


If you are inspired to open a new wholesale dealership business in California, there are a few administrative and financial steps that you will have to take first. Becoming a wholesale dealer is different from new or used auto dealers, as these businesses sell vehicles directly to the general public. As a wholesale dealer, your activity boils down only to selling to other car dealers. You can purchase the vehicles from car auctions or from other car dealers. The sales limit in California is 24 vehicles per year with the minimal bond of $ 10,000 and if you sell 25 or more you need the $50,000 bond.

Obtaining a wholesale dealer license in California is a complicated process, it is good to be prepared and informed about the various steps and requirements. Read on for some useful tips on how to tackle the licensing and how to save time and money on the requirements.

Just the basics

Naturally, the first place to start your licensing endeavor is the California Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Reading carefully through the Application Check List will give you a thorough idea of the required documents and fees.

California DMV

California DMV Occupational Licensing
When you are ready to meet the requirements, you can proceed with the Application for Original Occupational License and the rest of the paperwork found on the checklist.

DMV Licensing procedure

You will also have to undergo a Dealer Education Program and receive a Certificate of Completion.

The best California Car Dealer School is run at gotplates.com

The licensing process includes completing the Personal History Questionnaire

You must provide a copy of your Fictitious Business Name Statement.

Zoning approval, even for a home based office location for wholesale dealers is required.

You must provide a rental or lease agreement for a physical space or a proof of ownership.

Our license builder, Azita Rezaei can assist you with the license building process

You can reach Azita at 415-730-3137

You must get bonded

The wholesale dealer surety bond for the State of California will be $10,000 for wholesale less than 24 cars per year and $ 50,000 for wholesale of 25 cars per year or more.

 You will need to supply a signed copy of the original in your application package.

The car dealer bond is a protection for your clients and for the state. The car dealer bond functions as a guarantee that your business will pay all of its obligations of sales & use tax, dmv fees and ANY judge’s order to pay. Failure to comply with all applicable state regulations could result in bond activation which requires immediate repayment to the bonding company.

The bond price is a percentage of the car dealer bond amount. Your application will determine your car dealer bond price and is based on your personal credit.

Car Dealer Bond Application

How to Become a Licensed California Car Dealer Checklist

Car Dealer License Application

Gotplates Car Dealer School

DMV Licensed Salesperson School

Car Dealer Vehicle History Reports

Used Car Dealer Insurance

Car Dealer Forms Starter Kit

Licensed Salesperson Application

Car Dealer Registration Guide



SINCE 1998


car dealer bond FAQ

Car Dealer Bond Vital Info…

What is a dealer bond?

The car dealer bond protects your customers against fraudulent or unethical actions by a dealer.

The bond assures the dealer is financially secure in cases where a customer is cheated by a dealer.

The DMV and flooring company can also make claims against this dealer bond.

Can I make a down payment and then pay monthly for the dealer bond?



for the best rates on a retail or wholesale car dealer bond

and ask about our 30% down payment option.

All surety bond carriers ask for payment of the bond in full,


Your Car Dealer Bond

has set up a financing program to give

California dealers access to a payment plan for their DMV bond.


The DMV needs the OL-25 form signed – what is this and where do I get it?

The OL 25 is your surety dealer bond.

The original bond that will be sent from your bond carrier will meet this requirement.

How long does it take to receive the initial dealer bond quote?

Approximately 24 hours, unless your FICO score is below 650.

Then the process usually takes 2 days.

How long does it take to receive the originally-signed dealer bond needed to obtain my license?

From the time we receive your payment,

it’s typically a week to 10 days before your receive your bond in hand depending on where you are located in the country.

We’ve invested in check-by-fax and check-by-email to help expedite our service.

What if I have had some credit issues (bankruptcies, short-sales, foreclosures, etc.)

Most dealers these days have encountered credit issues of some sort.

We have the most competitive surety carriers for all credit levels so no worries if your credit is less than perfect!

I started with a $10,000 bond because I am a wholesale dealer and thought I would sell 24 vehicles or less per year.

Will the surety company increase the limit of my bond from $10,000 to $50,000 for additional premium

if I will sell 25 or more cars or I want to retail or auto broker?

Unfortunately not.

Once your DMV inspector accepts your bond and issues your dealer license, the surety company will not make any refunds whatsoever.

The $10,000 bond would have to be canceled and a $50,000 bond would need to be written without a credit or refund.

Can I pay with a credit card?

You sure can.

For your convenience, we accept Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

A standard convenience charge of 5% will be applied.

While we hope you don’t need to incur this additional expense, some of our customers have found this option extremely helpful.

More Important Info about Your Car Dealer Bond…

RIDER Process: needing a rider can be very frustrating if it’s only needed because your app was incomplete or something was incorrect. One of most common reasons for a rider that we see is the dealer forgot to put his middle name on the app. The cost is $100 and having to go through this process will add on 2 – 3 weeks to the time before you can be licensed. We are here to help and would rather spend 10 minutes answering your questions to provide you with the best possible experience with respects to your bond acquisition.

The two (2) most time-consuming steps of the car dealer licensing process are:

  • getting the LiveScan fingerprints into the Department of Justice system. This takes about 45 days and costs about $70; and
  • forming a corp. or LLC (if applicable). This also takes about 45 – 60 days, although the Secretary of State offers an expedited service for about $375 vs. about $100.





car dealer education from TriStar

Applicants applying for a used dealer or dealer-wholesale only must attend a dealer education program and pass a written examination administered by the Department of Motor Vehicles before submitting their application (11704.5 CVC).
The purpose of this program is to ensure that applicants are aware of the laws and regulations governing the operation of a used vehicle dealership in California.
• What is a Dealer Education Provider?
A dealer education program provider is a private vendor who has been authorized by the DMV to instruct potential applicants for a used vehicle dealer license on laws and regulations governing the operation of a used vehicle dealership in California. Dealer Education Provider’s are listed on our website at:

• Who is required to successfully complete a dealer education program?
− Sole owner
− All partners who manage the business
− A corporate officer who manages the business
• Who is not required to successfully complete a dealer education program?
− A person applying for a new vehicle dealer’s license or any employee of that dealer.
− A person who holds a valid license as an automobile dismantler, an employee of that dismantler, or an applicant for an automobile dismantler’s license.
− A person applying for a motorcycle only dealer’s license or any employee of that dealer.
− A person applying for a trailer only dealer’s license or any employee of that dealer.
− A person applying for an all-terrain only dealer’s license or any employee of that dealer.
• Where do I go after I successfully complete the dealer education class?
After successfully completing the class you will be issued a completion certiicate. You must contact a DMV Inspector in your area to take the test.

The test consists of 40 questions and must be passed with at least 70%
For testing appointments and information regarding a dealer’s license, please call one of the Inspectors in your area.
You must present your original completion certiicate, issued by the provider, and your current California driver’s license or California identiication card to take the test.
NOTE: Completion certiicates issued for completion of approved dealer education programs will be valid for submission with new dealer license applications for a period of only one year from the date of program completion
(268.08[b] CA Code of Regulations).
• Is there a charge to take the test?
Yes, you will be charged $16 to take the test. If you do not pass, you may retake the test after a seven (7) day waiting period.You will be charged $16 each time the test is taken.
• What if I can’t pass the test?
If, after three attempts, you cannot pass the test, you will be referred to the education provider listed on your completion certiicate to determine if additional training is needed.
• Can I submit my application before attending the dealer education class?
Applications for a used vehicle dealer’s license will not be accepted by the department without proof of completion of the used dealer education program and proof of successfully passing the examination or proof of being licensed as a vehicle dealer within the past 36 months.
• Where can I obtain application forms?
You may call at (916) 229-3126 or download the application from the Internet at www.dmv.ca.gov

do you have a chinese car dealer licensing class ???


Administration is handled by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). It is the responsibility of the automobile dealerships to register themselves as well as new and used vehicles sold by their dealership.

Since 1998 TriStar Motors LLC has been the leader in compulsory DMV car dealer education.

Since 2001 TriStar Motors LLC has offered car dealer continuing education.

Since 2008 TriStar Motors LLC has offered car dealer red flags certification.

Each student must present a valid government issued photo ID to take the licensing class.

Out of state applicants may take the class but must acquire a California ID card to get licensed.

DMV License Ownership Regulations

When a dealership is created, all owners with a 10% ownership interest must take the DMV class.

The owners spouse must also take the class to be a listed owner of the dealership.

Dealer plate privileges for 24/7 personal use are only extended to listed owners.

There are four choices to hold dealer ownership:

Sole Proprietor



Limited Liability Company ( LLC )

The tax considerations of your choice of ownership should always be considered. You have one year from the course date to make this decision when you submit your completed car dealer application to your DMV inspector. All owners regardless of dealership structure must take the class.

DMV License Application Assistance

The process of completing the dealer application and forming your structure can be difficult.

These TriStar instructors offer dealer application assistance for an additional fee:

Sony Duong, English, Vietnamese and Chinese, 714-677-0843

Jorge Elizalde, English and Spanish, 209-985-0426

Azita Rezaei. English and Farsi, 415-730-3137

burbank dealer training is #realcardealerschool


Burbank dealer training

If you look at the list of DMV Certified Dealer Education providers

only ONE is an actual retail car dealer / broker

TriStar Motors LLC


licensed to sell and broker cars since 1998

( Dealer / Broker License 35862 )

licensed to teach car dealer school since 1998

( Certified Instructor CCC0004 )

we are not pretending to be car dealers



5 helpful tips for getting your DMV wholesale car dealer license

  1. Sign up for our 6 hour Car Dealer Pre-Licensing Class. Follow the steps that you are taught, and then get approved by the California DMV as a wholesale dealer.
  2. Utilize the Web. Did you know that most wholesale dealers search the internet prior to purchasing a vehicle? A good wholesaler will recognize a low priced car at auction buy it and resell it a week later at the same auction.
  3. Keep in mind that delivery of the vehicle to the buyer must occur at the sellers licensed location. Some wholesalers will buy seasoned stock ( vehicles which are front line ready on a retailers lot but approaching 60 days in inventory ) and swap them out for vehicles freshly obtained. This allows the used car sales manager to restart the clock on that seasoned stock. These deals are often done book for book, the wholesaler ends up with added value. In a front line ready car the wholesaler can sell to another dealer, but it will often take a series of these book for book trades before you can actually see profits. Many small used car lots do not have the time to go to auction. A good wholesaler can stock these smaller lots and make a small profit on each car.
  4. Don’t ever consign a vehicle to another dealer. The wholesale license is a good starting place for the beginner; lesser bond, easier zoning and access to the market. Dealer plates and insurance are included in the wholesale package but as a wholesaler one can only buy and sell within the industry. That means as a wholesaler you can sell only to other dealers, there is no buying off the street. If and when a wholesaler has a vehicle to sell to the public he/she may draft that sale through a licensed retailer, this is call this a drafted sale.
  5. Remember the drafted sale creates liability for the retailer. Typical draft fee is $ 500. We advise the following: no loss selling ( wholesaler must sell higher than acquisition cost ), smog safety and verification provided by wholesaler, wholesaler as contact person on the buyers guide, statement from wholesaler assuming all liability if customer is not happy. Then the retailer collects and pays all taxes and fees, and sends the documents to DMV for processing.


  • Wholesale Dealers cannot sell to the Public (only to other Car Dealers).
  • Wholesale Car Dealers have a lower bond requirement and spend less on insurance.
  • When selling to the public you must use a Drafted Sale.
  • Wholesale dealers provide a much needed asset to the retail car market. Wholesalers provide cars to retail dealers and often facilitate trades among dealers. A good car buyer will make a little on each car (perhaps $ 300), but can only sell up to 24 cars in one year.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

every car dealer license holder MUST have an office

Established Place of Business: Posting

11709.  (a) A dealer’s established place of business, and other sites or locations as may be operated and maintained by the dealer in conjunction with his or her established place of business, shall have posted, in a place conspicuous to the public in each and every location, the license, or a true and exact copy of the license, issued by the department to the dealer and to each salesperson employed by the dealer and shall have erected or posted thereon signs or devices providing information relating to the dealer’s name and the location and address of the dealer’s established place of business to enable any person doing business with the dealer to identify him or her properly. A sign erected or posted pursuant to this subdivision, on an established place of business, shall have an area of not less than two square feet per side displayed and shall contain lettering of sufficient size to enable the sign to be read from a distance of at least 50 feet. This section shall not apply to a dealer who is a wholesaler involved for profit only in the sale of vehicles between licensed dealers.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 11704 and this section, a dealer may display vehicles at a fair, exposition, or similar exhibit without securing a branch license, if no actual sales are made at those events and the display does not exceed 30 days.

(c) A vehicle displayed displayed pursuant to subdivision (b) or (e) shall be identified by a sign or device providing information relating to the dealer’s name and the location and address of the dealer’s established place of business.

(d) This section shall not be applicable to a dealer who deals only in off-highway vehicles subject to identification, as defined in Section 38012.

(e) Notwithstanding Section 11704 and this section, a vessel dealer may display a trailer and may sell a trailer in conjunction with the sale of a vessel at a fair, exposition, or similar exhibit without securing a branch license if the display does not exceed 30 days.

downloadable dmv car dealer license handbook


Chapter 1 — General Registration Information

Chapter 2 — General Information – Licensees

Chapter 3 — Collection and Payment of Fees and Penalties

Chapter 4 — Use Tax

Chapter 5 — Odometer Mileage Reporting

Chapter 6 — New Vehicles Sold by California Dealers

Chapter 7 — Miscellaneous Originals

Chapter 8 — Report of Sale – Used Vehicles

Chapter 9 — Wholesale Vehicle Transactions

Chapter 10 — Renewals

Chapter 11 — Transfers

Chapter 12 — Nonresident Vehicles

Chapter 13 — Commercial Vehicles

Chapter 14 — Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI)

Chapter 15 — Off-Highway Vehicles

Chapter 16 — Special Equipment

Chapter 17 — International Registration Plan (IRP)

Chapter 18 — Lien Sales – Abandoned – Abated Vehicles

Chapter 19 — Salvage – Nonrepairable – Junk Vehicles

Chapter 20 — Duplicates and Substitutes

Chapter 21 — Special Plates

Chapter 22 — Corrections and Adjustments

Chapter 23 — Bonds and Certifications

Chapter 24 — Vessels

Chapter 25 — Permits and Decals

Chapter 26 — Refunds

Chapter 27 — Information Requests

Chapter 28 — Bundle Listings

Chapter 29 — Form Specifications

Chapter 30 — Inquiries

Appendix 1A — County and City Fees

Appendix 1B — Air Quality Partial Counties (PDF)

Appendix 1C — Partial Biennial Smog Counties Zip Codes (PDF)

Appendix 1D — Tables of Penalty Dates (PDF)

Appendix 1E — California License Plate Data (1914-1972) (PDF)

Appendix 1F — Fees (PDF)


carmax dealer training reveals traditional used car dealer games

Traditional car dealer pricing games

Most car dealers won’t give you a straight answer about price. If they lower the price of the car, they’ll just inflate your financing, or lower the value of your trade-in.

At CarMax, we don’t play games. But because most car dealers do, here are a few things to look for when buying a car that will help you avoid traditional car dealer games.

Online car dealer buying games

Beware of online car-buying services. There could be extra charges and hidden fees; what you see isn’t necessarily what you get.

Beware of online car dealer services that… carmax.com®
show one price online and another, higher price when you get to the lot. has the same low price you see at carmax.com on the car when you get to the store.
act as “middlemen” to area car dealers, charging them a brokerage fee. You pay the “middleman” mark-ups. lets you skip the middleman so you pay less and avoid mark-ups.
only offer no-haggle prices until you get to the car dealership. has low, no-haggle prices clearly marked online and on every car.
make you play traditional car dealer pricing games on your trade-in and financing. doesn’t play games. Our low, no-haggle prices also apply to our financing and extended service plans.
quote features and options that aren’t on the car when you arrive at the car dealership. allows you to browse actual cars that are already at CarMax locations.

Pricing games

Beware of a price that’s too good to be true. When you’re comparing pricing, make sure you look at everything.

Beware of the traditional car dealer who… At CarMax…
avoids being up front about price (i.e., “I have to check with my manager”). low prices are clearly marked on every car, no hassles, no haggling.
inflates your financing rate and terms if they offer you a low price on the car. you view your financing options directly from our financing companies on screen, while you and your Sales Consultant find the rate and term that’s right for you.
sells you a poor-quality vehicle (like one that’s been flood- or frame-damaged). we won’t sell flood- or frame-damaged cars.

Used vehicles are thoroughly inspected by our technicians and come with a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee and a 30-Day Limited Warranty (60-Day in CT, MN and RI, 90-Day in MA, NJ and NY). See any CarMax store for written details.

Trade-in games

Beware of inflated trade-in values. They may mean you’re paying more for the car you’re buying than you should.

Beware of the traditional car dealer who… CarMax…
won’t buy your car without selling you one. will buy your car, even if you don’t buy ours.
changes the price you pay on the car depending on what you’ll accept for your car. will appraise your car separately from our sales process, so you get the same offer whether you’re buying a CarMax vehicle or not, good for 7 days.

Financing games

Just when you think the negotiations are over, you may find out the finance manager is a commissioned sales person too. Beware of changing rates and terms.

Beware of the traditional car dealer who… CarMax…
plays with your rate and term to fit the monthly payment you expect. lets you view your financing options on screen directly from our finance companies, so you and your Sales Consultant find the rate and term that’s right for you.
gives you a high financing rate and charges you a fee if you switch to another finance company. gives you 3 days to change your financing, penalty free.
sends you to a “finance manager” who earns commission based on how much you’re willing to pay. lets you choose the best finance plan for your budget.
makes you wait while playing around with your financing. offers fast, online financing with most approvals in 15 minutes or less.

Sales commission games

Beware of pushy salesmen. They’re pushing you to those higher priced vehicles for a reason, and it’s not to help you.

Beware of the traditional car dealer who… At CarMax…
pays salespeople commission based on the profit on each car they sell. Sales Consultants are paid the same no matter which car you buy (excludes CA employees).
tries to sell you a car that’s too much for your budget. Sales Consultants are trained to give you friendly, courteous service and help you find a car that’s right for you.
maximizes profit and commission by basing your finance terms and trade-in offer on how much you are willing to pay for the car. prices are clearly marked on every car and there’s never any price haggling or games.
uses tag-team sales tactics and “back room managers” to help get the highest total price from you. you work with one sales person from start to finish, even for your financing.

And don’t forget

Finally, check your paper work to make sure all the factors add up to the monthly payment you were quoted. Ask yourself:

  • Are you getting everything you want and nothing that you don’t want?
  • Is the price, including financing, what you were expecting it to be?
  • Did you get a fair value for your trade-in? Would they write a check for that amount even if you don’t buy from them?

we are not pretend car dealers teaching car dealer school

Modesto dealer traininggotlicense

If you look at the list of DMV Certified Dealer Education providers

only ONE is an actual retail car dealer / broker

TriStar Motors LLC


licensed to sell and broker cars since 1998

( Dealer / Broker License 35862 )

licensed to teach car dealer school since 1998

( Certified Instructor CCC0004 )

we are not pretending to be car dealers



can we help you get your car dealer license ???

DMV Licensing Common Obstacles

All dealer license applicants encounter difficulty with the process. The three major obstacles to dealer licensing:

Zoning Approval

Each dealer location must have local approval from local planning authorities.

Some localities require additional parking and /or a conditional use permit.

Bond Approval

Each dealer applicant must provide a valid car dealer surety bond.

The credit or collective credit of all owners will determine the bond cost.

Some applicants require a cash deposit and/or a co-signer.

LiveScan Fingerprint Clearance

Each dealer applicant must provide fingerprints for a background check.

Licensed Sales Persons must also submit a full set of fingerprints.

Anticipate 30-45 days for background clearance.

Criminal convictions within 10 years require certified court documents.