Benefits of Getting a Car Dealer License in Oregon


The process of selling an old car or vehicle is pretty simple: post it online or in a magazine and hope to find a buyer soon. But if you are going to trade cars or vehicles as a business, ensure you get an auto dealer license for those purposes. The process might take longer, but you have to spend the time and effort necessary to do everything right.

Know When You Need to Acquire a Permit 

In Oregon, such a license might not be required at all in a few cases. Make sure you do research before you actually apply for the permit.

Selling vehicles for personal or family use is possible without a dealer’s permit.  Oregon law allows the sale of up to 5 vehicles in 12 months without a valid dealer’s permit. Be sure to check the limited exemptions in the law (See ORS 822.005 and 822.015).

In other cases, you will need an additional permit to continue dealing with automobiles.

Try to avoid schemes when dealing with cars that do not belong to you, are not registered in your name, or are not primarily used for personal household or family purposes. This scheme, called curb stoning, is illegal. By the way, titling vehicles in your name or posing as a private seller to sell multiple vehicles to avoid obtaining a dealer’s license is not an exception. Violating the registration law can cost up to $5,000 per vehicle.

If there is any question whether a dealer license is necessary to sell vehicles, as a rule, one is required. Laws and regulations vary depending on the state. Therefore, be sure to check your state’s laws before applying for a car dealer license.

To figure out whether a license is needed or which of the car dealer categories you fit into, call the DMV (Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles) or visit their website.

You can request an application packet to be sent to your email or download it yourself from the website.

In Oregon, three categories of car dealers demand you to be licensed if you trade five and more cars in a year:

  • New motor vehicle
  • Used motor vehicle
  • Motorcycle, moped, snowmobile, or ATV

State law requires auto dealers to have a fixed place of business, where your business and accounting records are regularly kept. It is also necessary to meet several requirements, including city/county zoning approval. Contact your city or county zoning department. Determine the zoning regulations for vehicle sales at your business location. Zoning regulations do not prohibit you from offering vehicles for sale, but they may limit the number of vehicles available simultaneously.

Make sure you complete a dealer training course before applying for an Oregon car dealer license. Register for the course with DMV-approved providers of a dealer training course. The number of hours you must complete depends on the state and the type of dealer license you have. Oregon applicants must complete eight hours prior to licensure. You must show proof that you have taken and passed the course when you submit your application to the DMV.


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