auction cars for sale

First off, the term “auction license” needs clarification. Auction License is often used colloquially to refer to an auto dealer’s license that allows them to operate an auto dealership. In effect, this then allows them to buy and sell cars at a dealer only car auction.

This information below focused on an auto dealer’s license, but keep in mind that some states also offer a wholesaler license that does not require a physical dealership.

Again, this process will vary slightly depending on your state. For example, getting an auction license in California is not exactly the same as getting an auction license in Texas; however, the general process is very similar.

car auction license

How to Get an Auction License

Obtaining a dealer’s license is a necessary step for individuals or businesses looking to bid in dealer only auto auctions. At Car Auction Network, we hope this guide can help you get started with obtaining your own auction license for bidding.

Requirements for Auction License aka Car Dealer License

Before applying for an auction license, it is important to ensure that you meet the necessary requirements. These requirements vary by state, but generally include:

  • Being at least 18 years of age
  • Having a valid driver’s license
  • Having a physical business location
  • Having liability insurance
  • Passing a criminal background check
  • It is important to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for specific requirements in your area.

Application Process

Once you have determined that you meet the requirements, the next step is to complete the application process. This typically involves:

Filling out an application form, which can usually be obtained from your state’s DMV website or office
Submitting the application form, along with any required documentation, such as proof of insurance, to your state’s DMV. For example, here is California’s form packet.

Paying any Applicable Fees

Scheduling an inspection of your business location
It is important to note that the application process can take several weeks to complete, so it is a good idea to start the process well in advance of any dealer auto auctions you plan to attend.

Inspection of Dealership

Once your application has been received and processed, an inspector will visit your business location to ensure that it meets the necessary requirements.

Adequate Lighting and Signage at Dealership

  • Adequate space for storing and displaying vehicles
  • Compliance with any zoning or building regulations
  • Compliance with any environmental regulations
  • It is important to have your business location in compliance before the inspection, as any deficiencies will need to be corrected before a dealer’s license can be granted.

Dealer License Issuance

If your application is approved, and your business location passes inspection, your state’s DMV will issue your dealer’s license. This license will typically be valid for one year, after which it will need to be renewed.

Video: How To Get a Dealer License | Buying & Flipping Cars


Obtaining a auction license is an important step for individuals or businesses looking to bid in dealer auto auctions. The process involves meeting certain requirements, completing an application, and passing an inspection of your business location.

It’s also important to check your state’s requirements, as it varies by state. With a dealer’s license in hand, you will be able to participate in dealer auto auctions, and have access to a wide variety of vehicles at competitive prices.

Last updated on April 15th, 2024 at 04:06 pm

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