DMV Courses

California DMV-Certified Auto Dealer License Class

Our New San Rafael Headquarters & Classroom Location

The Dealer License Class

Our Dealer License Class, called the DMV "Pre-Licensing Class," teaches you how to get your dealer license, how to use it to buy and sell vehicles (including at Dealer Auctions), how to use dealer plates, how to export vehicles, and more. DMV requires you take this six hour course to get your dealer license and that it be taught live, not on-line. Dealers renewing their licenses can take the on-line course, called Continuing Education

We offer our Dealer License Class multiple times per month in Northern and Southern California. Our schedule and class registration forms are below. Classes & Registration Once you complete the course, you will have an whole year to submit your license application to the DMV for approval. Approval times vary, from a few days to a few weeks, depending upon how busy your local DMV inspector is.


The cost of our class is $125.00. Some may offer a lower price, or offer you something for "free" to entice you to take their class. We believe the more important issue is the value you receive, not simply the amount you pay. We feel it is better to spend a few dollars more and get the best start possible in your new business venture. Just as in auto racing, if you start down the main straight a tenth of a second quicker than your competitor, and you carry that advantage down the entire straight, you will be leading by 10 times that amount by the end of the straight. The right start is key.

We have been providing the Pre-Licensing Class to thousands of successful students for well over a decade. Most of our referrals are from former students, the California Department of Motor Vehicles, and those who have bought and sold cars through us. We educate you, not hustle or "sell" you on getting a dealer license. We also discuss how to use it to your maximum advantage, regardless of whether you plan to buy and sell a one or two cars per year, or export hundreds to foreign countries. You will receive hard copy materials in class. You will also receive ongoing access to continually updated and expanded web-based materials and tools. You will receive objective vendor recommendations, including dealer bond companies, insurance companies, etc.

Every class, regardless of location, is taught by Art Hebert. Mr. Hebert is an automotive law attorney and founding member of Motorsports Market. He has been a vehicle and dealership consultant to some of the world's leading auto manufacturers, including Mercedes, Lexus, General Motors, Toyota, Ferrari, Volkswagen, Ford, and more. He has given live presentations to some of the world's leading automotive executives, as well as tens of thousands of automotive enthusiasts and journalists. Every class is held in a high quality, comfortable, learning environment to insure you have a great experience. See "Locations" below. We also offer the only money-back guarantee in the industry.


Sacramento Photos

Orange County Photos

San Rafael Photos

Oakland Photos

San Jose Photos

Ontario Photos

Long Beach Photos

All our course dates, times, and addresses are at the bottom of this page. Dates, Times, and Locations

Private classes can also be arranged at your location in the San Francisco Bay Area for $450.00. You can contact us to set up a private class.

Advantages to having a Dealer License

  • Getting into dealer-only auctions
  • Buying vehicles at wholesale dealer prices
  • Buying vehicles with auction company financing
  • Paying no sales tax on your vehicle purchases
  • Paying no registration fees on your vehicle purchases
  • Using dealer plates to drive your vehicles without registering them
  • Making money doing what you enjoy
  • Writing off your expenses
  • Doing it part time or work it into full time
  • Saving significant money buying vehicles for yourself, friends and family
  • Selling locally, or exporting to other countries
  • Buying at the auctions and selling on Craigslist, E-Bay, or your own website
  • Brokering vehicles with none of your own money invested
  • Not getting caught selling without a license and being barred from getting a license in the future.
  • Driving around in great vehicles and then selling them at a profit.
  • Dealer License Types and Requirements

    Vehicle Dealer

    A vehicle dealer is someone who buys, sells, trades, or arranges the purchase, sale, or trade of vehicles in return for some compensation or benefit. This can be done full or part time. To buy and sell at the dealer auto auctions, you must be a licensed dealer.

    Types of Dealer Licenses

    Wholesale: A wholesale dealer license allows you to buy at the dealer auctions, and from other dealers directly. Wholesale dealers can sell to other dealers, and they can sell/export vehicles to foreign countries. Wholesale dealers cannot sell directly to the public, but they can "broker" sales to the public with the additional DMV-issued Auto Broker Endorsement. See the "Broker" discussion below. There are some additional wholesale dealer sales options and business models which we cover in class. To get your wholesale dealer license DMV requires an office. There is no sign nor display area requirement for wholesale. A home office can, in many cases, qualify as a location for a wholesale dealer license. Wholesale dealers can obtain dealer plates.

    Retail: A retail dealer license allows you to buy at the dealer auctions and from private parties. Retail dealers can sell to other dealers and to the general public. They can also sell/export vehicles to foreign countries, and they can broker sales to the public with the Auto Broker Endorsement. See the "Broker" discussion below. The DMV requires retail dealers to have an office, a two foot square sign, and a vehicle display area big enough for two vehicles. Retail dealers can obtain dealer plates.

    Broker: The Auto Broker Endorsement (which is an add-on to your dealer license) allows you to arrange the sale of vehicles owned by others and get paid for it. Brokers don't actually own vehicles. They merely arrange a sale between a buyer and a seller. The broker can act on behalf of the seller, helping them sell their vehicle. They can also assist buyers with finding and purchasing vehicles. Brokers are sometimes also called "Auto Buying Services." Brokers can charge the buyer, the seller, or both for their services. You can get the Auto Broker Endorsement from the DMV with your dealer license (wholesale or retail) for an additional $100.00. Only licensed dealers can get the Auto Broker Endorsement. The Auto Broker Endorsement has several nice advantages, including but not limited to, providing wholesale dealers a way to engage in retail sales. It also provides dealers getting started a way to buy and sell vehicles without having to invest their own money in the vehicles. The paperwork you fill out when brokering is also quite simple. In addition, there is no display area requirement for brokers, which helps keep your overhead low. There are a number of further advantages to brokering which we cover in class. To become a dealer/broker, DMV requires an office, and a two foot square sign, but no display area. Brokers can also obtain dealer plates.

    Vehicles That Require a Dealer's License to Sell

    For a list of vehicles and products that require you to have a dealer license to sell, and those that do not, see Dealer Vehicle & Product List.

    Steps to Becoming a Dealer

    1. Complete a live, six hour, DMV Pre-Licensing Class. This class teaches how to become a dealer, how to get into dealer auctions, and how to buy and sell vehicles. It must be taken live, not on-line. The fee is $125.00.Classes & Registration

    2. Pass a 40 question test with the DMV. The fee is $16.00. The Pre-Licensing Class will prepare you for this test. We will give you a pre-test during our class to insure you are ready. Sample Test Questions

    3. Download and complete the Dealer License Application forms. Dealer Application Forms The Application fee is $176.

    4. Select a Location for your Dealership & Take Photos To obtain a wholesale dealer license all you need is an office. To obtain a retail dealer license, you will need an office, a display area big enough for two vehicles, and a two foot square sign with your name and address on it, posted permanently outside. Auto Brokers need an office and a sign, but no display area.These location requirements are covered in detail in class, including ways to overcome obstacles, and in some cases, even allowing for home offices.

    5. Apply for a Local Business License. You can obtain a business license at your local city or town offices in their tax and license division. Some cities have applications on-line. Fees are often a small percent of your annual gross sales. For example, in Oakland the license fee rates are forty cents ($.40) for each one thousand dollars of gross receipts, or gross payroll, with a minimum fee of $74.00 if total annual gross receipts are less than $ 74,000.00.

    6. Apply for a Seller’s Permit. You can do this by filling out an application in person at one of Board of Equalization field offices. You can also download the application beforehand and mail it, or deliver it in person, to a Board Field Office. These permits allow dealers to buy vehicles tax free. Seller’s Permits are usually issued the same day they are submitted. Help in completing the form, if needed, is available at the Field Offices.

    7. Get “Live Scan” Fingerprints. “Live Scan” is an inkless electronic fingerprinting process where your fingerprints are electronically transmitted to the Department of Justice for completion of a criminal background check. The costs generally range from $18 to $25. Live Scan Locations

    8. Apply for a Fictitious Business Name - If you want one. If the name of your dealership will be something other than your personal name (example: “West Coast Auto Sales”), you will need to file a fictitious business name statement with your local County Recorder’s Office. You can often find your county’s filing procedure and forms by searching for “Fictitious Business Name Filing” on-line and adding the name of your county to the search terms. Basically, you will publish a notice in a local paper for 30 days advising that you are doing business under the name you select. After 30 days you send proof of that publication to the Recorder for filing. Costs are under $100 if you do it yourself, or $175 to have a service do it.

    9. Obtain a Surety Bond. DMV requires dealers to get a $50,000 surety bond. The going rates generally range between $1,000 - $2,000 per year for a $50,000 bond. In our current economy these rates have been fluctuating quite a bit, so shop around. If you have very good credit, or purchase a bond for a two or three year period, the rates are less. Established dealers with good credit, no complaints on file with DMV, and no court judgments against them, often pay half these rates or less. Note that motorcycle-only dealers and wholesale dealers selling less than 25 vehicles per year need only a $10,000 bond. Going rates for a $10,000 bonds generally vary between $200 and $350 per year. Bonding Company List

    10. Obtain a Signed copy of your Lease, or Rental Agreement. This will be submitted with your dealer license application. If you own the property, proof of ownership may be required. Your local DMV Inspector will let you know.

    11. Corporation/Partnership/LLC. If you are one of these types of entities you will need to provide a copy of your articles of incorporation, corporate minutes, or other documents showing officers, shareholders and managers with a 10% or greater interest in the business with your dealer license application. If you are the only owner (sole proprietor) you do not need to do this step.

    12. Submit Completed Application for Approval. Give your application to your local DMV Inspector. Then ask them how long it will take for their review and approval. Often it takes between one and two weeks. It can also happen more quickly, or more slowly, depending upon the Inspector’s current workload.

    13. Inspection. After reviewing your application, your Inspector will contact you to set up at time to meet you at your location to inspect the premises. The Inspection is not a surprise and only takes a few minutes. This final step is often the easiest because you will have already met the physical location requirements in order to complete your application. When the Inspector has finished looking around, they will hand you a temporary license and you are ready to go! You will receive a formal license in the mail.

    Indiana Dealer Licenses, and other options: Good deals or not?

    You may have seen websites promoting getting an Indiana dealer license instead of a California dealer license. Is this a legitimate, good, option for you? Here are some of the main issues to consider. Indiana License

    Questions? We Are Here to Help.

    Motorsports Market has been offering the DMV Pre-Licensing class for over ten years. We have helped thousands get their dealer licenses. We are happy to answer any questions you may have before, during, or after the course. Just call us at 800-980-1967, or e-mail us. We will also give you tips and insights into the business that will save you time, money and aggravation. We don't just teach the class, we are licensed dealers too.

    For more information about the course, how to register, and links to helpful resources, please see below.

    Instructor: Art Hebert

    Formula One Drivers Justin Wilson and Mark Webber
    Racing with Art Hebert for Jaguar at Indianapolis

    Celebrating winning both the Formula Vintage support race for the 2013 U.S. Grand Prix,
    and the 2013 Vintage National Championship at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas.

    Art Hebert, Jay Leno, and Justin Bell driving Mercedes SLR McLarens
    for Mercedes-Benz at the Monterey Historic Automobile Races

    Our class is taught by Art Hebert, an attorney specializing in automobile dealership law. He is also a consultant to auto manufacturers, a prototype vehicle test & development driver, and one of the most successful vintage race car drivers in the U.S. Art has presented live seminars to tens of thousands of automotive consumers throughout the U.S. He has also presented seminars to some of the world's leading automotive executives, journalists, and engineers, including those from Lexus, Mercedes, Maserati, Toyota, General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen, and others. Art provides a very informative, and entertaining, class.

    Comcast SportsNet Interview with Greg Papa and Art Hebert

    General Motors' Bob Lutz and Gary Cowger

    Your presentation was excellent!
    It was superb!

    Gary Cowger,
    Former President of General Motors
    North America

    Art Hebert speaking at the FIAT U.S. launch in Los Angeles, 2011

    Recent Student Testimonials

    Hi Art,

    I wanted to drop a line and thank you for teaching the class. There sure was a lot of information to go over, but so much of it was new regardless of my prior experience. Now I've been to more classes for insurance, real estate, notary classes, you name it, to know the bad from the good, and the good from the excellent. Your class was excellent. It was presented in a well thought out manner, a make sense approach, and was accompanied by the class book which is refreshingly complete and useful after the course.

    Richard Rose

    I enjoyed your class very much. You masterfully covered both the required DMV test material as well as real-life examples and "insider" tips which I found extremely insightful. Hands down, your command of the industry is impressive. Well done!
    C. Castro

    I attended another Pre-Licensing school a couple years ago but did not complete the licensing process at that time. Your class was much more informative and helpful than the other class.
    Alan J. Park

    Hi Art,

    I just want to drop you a note to tell you that I have become an auto dealer today. I finally did it by following the steps you taught me in class. Today is an exciting day for me and I'm on my way to success in auto industry.
    I couldn't have done it without you and your excellent course. THANK YOU !

    Frank Wu

    Thanks for the great class. It was really an awesome experience! Really! You made everything simple and to the point. When I walked into class I literally knew nothing about this industry and business. But from your great mentoring, and ability to make everything understandable, I learned a lot. Thanks Art!!
    Rick Prasad

    Course Book, Resources, and Links

    Motorsports Market Course Book

    Our course book provides you the rules and requirements you need to know to set up and operate your dealership. It includes fee charts, sample form documents, and many examples of how to conduct dealership tasks. This will be one of the most used books at your dealership.

    Valuable Resources List

    This is a list of important resources and providers for dealers. It includes contact information for form companies, important websites, the DMV e-mail alert system, the Board of Equalization (for free tax information and advice) and much more. This is included in our course book.

    Helpful Links

    Below are helpful links to help you get started with your dealership.

    Used Dealer, and Auto Broker, Application Forms: These are the official DMV forms you will need to complete to get your dealership license, and auto broker license, if you want that too. These are PDF forms that you can fill out on-line, print, and submit to the DMV to obtain your license.

    How To Complete An Application For A Vehicle Dealer's License: The official DMV step-by-step guide to filling out the dealer license application forms. A great tool!

    DMV Handbook of Registration Procedures: This is a great guide to preparing the DMV paperwork when you sell a vehicle.

    Dealer Contracts and Other Dealer Forms: Below are three of the major form providers to dealers in California. You can go to their websites and obtain a free booklet showing you all the forms they have available.

    BPI Auto Forms: https://www.bpiautoforms.com/
    Reynolds & Reynolds: http://reysource.com/
    ADP: http://www.dealersuite.com/DSHome/index.jsp

    Dealer Auctions: This is a comprehensive list of Dealer Auctions in California. It includes not only addresses and contact information, but also what types of vehicles (salvage to highline), what manufacturers are represented at each auction, and when the vehicles will be auctioned. You can also register for these auctions on-line and bid on-line as well.
    Dealer Auctions

    Dealer Bond Companies: To shop for the best dealer bond rates, visit our Dealer Bond Page for a list of bonding companies to chose from. If you are a bonding company that would like to be added to our page, would like to post your rates, and would like to provide links to your application forms for our students, please contact us.

    Dealer Insurance Companies: Although DMV does not require proof of insurance to issue your dealer license and dealer plates, you will want to get at least minimum liability insurance to cover your dealer plates for when you use them to drive your vehicles. Proof of this insurance will be required by some dealer auctions too. You can check out a sample auto dealer insurance company, what they offer, and what they charge, at www.dealercover.com. Once you determine what level of coverage you would like and the typical cost for it, then contact your own insurance company to see if they offer similar products. You may get a better rate as their pre-existing customer. If you are an auto dealer insurance company that would like to post your products, rates, and provide links to your application forms for our students, contact us.

    California Vehicle Code Book: This contains many of the laws regulating dealers, plus other auto-related laws such as traffic and speeding violations. Use this book to help run your dealership, and to defend against traffic tickets. You can use the On Line Vehicle Code for free, or purchase a hard copy of the vehicle code on-line. You can also pick one up at your local DMV. The cost for the hard copies is $9.00.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    This is a list of the questions students and new dealers have most frequently asked us over the past 10 years. It covers such things as what to do with the DMV paperwork if someone returns the car, how to make corrections on your DMV forms, how to get late registration fees removed, etc. This is included in our course book.

    Course Preview

    To preview what you will learn about in our course, check out our On-Line Course Book. There you will find an abbreviated version of our course book to review. It has a complete index of topics that you can click on to learn more about. You can use our Course Book Search Engine to find answers too. Do not be overwhelmed by what you see. We will review these subjects in the Pre-Licensing Class. We break everything down into simple, easy to understand, and east to remember concepts. This is key to helping you pass the DMV test and to confidently, and successfully, use your dealer license.


    DMV requires you to pass two tests with a score of 70% to get your dealer license. One you take at the end of our course, and the other one you will take at your local DMV Inspector's office. The tests are very similar and cover the exact same material. So why do you have to take two? The first test you take with us to make sure you understand the basics of setting up and operating your dealership. The second test you will take at your local DMV Inspector’s office to prove to them you did attend a certified class and that you know the basics. Sample Test Questions

    Do not stress about passing the test. We will teach you everything DMV requires you to know to get your license in a simple and understandable way. If you can remember things like a dealer license is valid for two years, or that a dealer can charge a maximum of $50.00 for smogging a vehicle, or that seatbelts are a required safety item, you can pass the test. We have been doing this for over a decade helping thousands of people get their dealer licenses. Not one student has ever been sent back to us by DMV for re-training to pass the DMV test. We train you right the first time. We are also the only school that guarantees you will pass the DMV test or your money back. See details below.

    No Pass - No Pay Guarantee

    Our class is 100% guaranteed. If after taking our class you do not pass the DMV's Pre-Licensing test, you can re-take our class as many times as you like at no cost. In addition, we will provide you extra instruction, special test study guides, and further assistance, all at no additional cost, to insure you pass the DMV's test. We are committed to getting you a passing grade on the DMV test. If you do not pass the DMV test, we will give you a 100% refund. Motorsports Market is the only class that offers this guarantee. If you want to be a dealer, we will get you through the test. That is our job.

    Class Dates & Times

    Northern California Oakland Office
    1440 Broadway, 10th Floor
    Oakland, CA 94607
    (800) 980-1967

    Classes are held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Private Classes can be provided at your Bay Area location. Please contact us for details.


    Saturday, January 11th


    Saturday, February 1st


    Saturday, March 8th


    Saturday, April 5th


    Saturday, May 3rd


    Saturday, May 31st


    Saturday, July 12th


    Saturday, August 2nd


    Northern California Sacramento Office
    1215 K Street, Suite 1700 (The Esquire Plaza Building)
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    (800) 980-1967

    Classes are held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Private Classes can be provided at your Bay Area location. Please contact us for details.


    Thursday, January 9th


    Thursday, February 6th


    Thursday, March 6th


    Thursday, April 3rd


    Thursday, May 1st


    Thursday, May 29th


    Thursday, July 10th


    Thursday, August 7th


    Northern California San Jose Office
    2580 N. First Street, Suite 250
    San Jose, CA 95131
    (800) 980-1967

    Classes are held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Private Classes can be provided at your Bay Area location. Please contact us for details.


    Thursday, January 16th


    Thursday, February 13th


    Thursday, March 13th


    Thursday, April 10th


    Thursday, May 8th


    Thursday, June 12


    Thursday, July 24th


    Thursday, August 21st

    Northern California San Rafael Office
    4310 Redwood Highway, Suite 400
    San Rafael, CA 94903
    (800) 980-1967

    Classes are held from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

    Private Classes can be provided at your Bay Area location. Please contact us for details.


    Thursday, January 23rd


    Thursday, February 20th


    Thursday, March 20th


    Thursday, April 17th


    Thursday, May 22nd


    Thursday, June 19th


    Thursday, July 31st


    Thursday, August 28th

    Southern California Orange County Office
    Wells Fargo Tower
    2030 Main Street, Suite 1300
    Irvine, CA 92614
    (800) 980-1967

    Classes are held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


    Wednesday, January 8th


    Wednesday, February 5th


    Wednesday, March 5th


    Wednesday, April 2nd


    Wednesday, April 30th


    Wednesday, May 21st


    Wednesday, July 2nd


    Wednesday, August 6th

    Southern California Ontario Office
    Waterside Center
    3200 Guasti Road, Suite 100
    Ontario, CA 91761
    (800) 980-1967

    Classes are held from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


    Wednesday, February 12th


    Wednesday, March 12th


    Wednesday, April 9th


    Wednesday, May 7th


    Wednesday, June 18th


    Wednesday, July 9th


    Wednesday, August 20th

    Southern California Long Beach Office
    Kilroy Airport Center
    3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 200
    Long Beach, CA 90806
    (800) 980-1967

    Classes are held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


    Tuesday, January 21st


    Wednesday, February 19th


    Wednesday, March 19th


    Wednesday, April 16th


    Wednesday, May 14th


    Tuesday, June 17th


    Wednesday, July 30th


    Wednesday, August 27th




    Please fill in the form below to reserve a seat in one of our upcoming classes. When we receive your information, we will send you a confirming e-mail to let you know you are registered for the class you selected. If you do not receive a confirming e-mail within 24 hours, please call us at 800-980-1967 to confirm your reservation.


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