Driving and holding the steering wheel.

A vehicle salesperson license is required when selling vehicles, or supervising the sale of vehicles, for a car dealer. A vehicle dealer license is required when buying, selling, or trading vehicles for profit in California and to operate a car dealership. California vehicle salespersons are licensed and disciplined by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

If you are a car dealer or saleperson with a complaint filed against you with the California DMV and are being investigated by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, it is imperative to hire a professional licensing attorney who can uniquely understand the complexities facing a salesperson’s license.

Consider the Following Fictionalized Vignette:

Sara (a car salesperson) works for a used-car dealership in San Francisco, California. She recently sold a used truck to a young woman whose main purchase criteria was low mileage. Sara spent hours with this customer, happily test-driving several vehicles and answering many questions. Sara just learned that this customer filed a complaint with the Investigations Division of the California Department of Motor Vehicles against Sara claiming odometer fraud. To her knowledge, the odometer had not been rolled back. Sara is ethically against odometer fraud and is terrified that she could lose her license. What type of attorney should she hire? How can Sara best protect her license?

Definition of a California Vehicle Salesperson

According to the California Vehicle Code §675, a vehicle salesperson is someone who:

• “Is employed as a salesperson by a dealer, as defined in Section 285, or who, under any form of contract, agreement, or arrangement with a dealer, for commission, money, profit, or other thing of value, sells, exchanges, buys, or offers for sale, negotiates, or attempts to negotiate, a sale, or exchange of an interest in a vehicle required to be registered under this code.

• Induces or attempts to induce any person to buy or exchange an interest in a vehicle required to be registered, and who receives or expects to receive a commission, money, brokerage fees, profit, or any other thing of value, from either the seller or purchaser of the vehicle.

• Exercises managerial control over the business of a licensed vehicle dealer or who supervises vehicle salespersons employed by a licensed dealer, whether compensated by salary or commission, including, but not limited to, any person who is employed by the dealer as a general manager, assistant general manager, or sales manager, or any employee of a licensed vehicle dealer who negotiates with or induces a customer to enter into a security agreement or purchase agreement or purchase order for the sale of a vehicle on behalf of the licensed vehicle dealer.”

Consumer Complaints Against Salespersons

All consumer complaints against licensees are reviewed by the Investigations Division of the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
As stated by the DMV, “DMV investigators conduct selective investigations of these licensees and their activities, based upon the department’s priorities, patterns of misconduct and the availability of personnel. Your complaint will be kept on file in case an investigation is undertaken against this party or firm.”
Please see the related article titled California Vehicle Dealer Complaints for more information.
It is highly recommended that a dealer consult with a professional licensing attorney immediately upon notice of a complaint in an attempt to minimize disciplinary action against a dealer’s license.

Questions California Car Salespersons Facing Licensing Issues Should Ask Their Attorney:

• Are you a professional licensing law attorney with experience representing car salespersons?
• How many car salesperson cases have you won?
• Have you ever had a client’s license revoked by the California Department of Motor Vehicles?
• What are the outcomes I can expect for my case?
• Will the attorney I hire handle my case personally?
• Do you charge a flat fee or an hourly fee?

We Are Here to Help.

If you are a California vehicle salesperson or car dealer facing an investigation and possible disciplinary action (license revocation, suspension) by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, it is imperative to enlist the assistance of an experienced licensing attorney immediately.

Our team at the Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister understand the unique legal complexities facing vehicle salespersons and car dealers in California. We have the knowledge and experience to craft a comprehensive strategy and are dedicated to navigating your specific case throughout the disciplinary process to best defend your professional interests.

The Law Offices of Lucy S. McAllister have successfully represented a wide range of California licensed professionals including vehicle salespersons, car dealers and automotive repair workers among many others and we are experienced in handling all types of licensing accusations and licensing issues. Let us help you protect your professional license, your reputation, and your livelihood.

For additional information or to schedule a consultation on a professional licensing issue, please contact us today at (877) 280-9944.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute specific legal advice or outcome guarantees. This article does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and the blog/website publisher and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

For Additional Information

Application Requirements for a Vehicle Salesperson License – California Department of Motor Vehicles

Vehicle Salesperson License Handbook – State of California DMV

Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

California Vehicle Code Section 675

Problems with a Vehicle Purchase – Can DMV Help Me?