Many states require car salespeople to be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles, Secretary of State or another state department. Although the application process to become a licensed car salesman is easy, there are some roadblocks you may encounter. The licensing requirement is meant to exclude individuals with extensive criminal histories and "driving while impaired" offenses from being under the employ of car dealerships. Note that the car salesman license is a requirement for employees of a dealership; a dealership must have a separate new or used vehicle dealer license in the state where business is conducted.
Things You'll Need
- Sales license application
- Current job or offer from a dealership
- Proof of identity
Speak to your dealership's human resources department. If you have accepted a job at a car dealership and are already on the job, ask the human resources department or general manager about license requirements. While most states require salesman licensing, some states leave background and driving record checks to individual dealerships.
Complete the application. The application may ask questions of your past, including employment history and any prior criminal convictions. Answer the questions on the application truthfully, as your state Department of Motor Vehicles may complete a background check before issuing the license.
Complete the background check authorization. If the salesman license application notes that a background check is necessary, complete the background check authorization form required by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Go for fingerprinting. In addition to a background check, some states require fingerprinting to check for past criminal offenses. You may have to visit a private fingerprinting lab to complete the process, or a local Department of Motor Vehicles branch office may be able to do the fingerprinting. Be sure to follow the instructions on the form and go to the appropriate office to be fingerprinted.
Pay fees. There may be fees associated with the salesman license application, background check and fingerprinting. You might be required to pay out of pocket for these expenses, but your dealership may have a reimbursement plan in place to cover expenses you incur.
Tips & Warnings
- Rules vary by state, but you may be inadmissible for a car salesman license if you have a felony record or any driving- while-impaired offenses, as either could be problematic in an industry that works with large sums of money and requires you to drive company-owned vehicles.
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