Get a DMV Certificate in 1 Business Day

DMV Approved #CCC0052

Used Vehicle Dealer Pre-Licensing Education Program

Get Your California DMV Car Dealer License

This is the online Pre-License Training, required by the California DMV to become a licensed Car Dealer (Retail or Wholesale) or Broker. It includes detailed videos, notes, and practice questions designed to help get you licensed fast.

No time limit, enjoy lifetime access, dedicated live support, and succeed with our pass guarantee.


Complete the Training

To get a DMV Certificate

Take the DMV Test

We guarantee you’ll pass

Apply for Your License

Our guide makes it easy

Access Dealer-only Auctions.

California Dealers can access auctions in all 50 States and other countries. We will provide you with a list of Dealer-only Auctions.

Buy, Sell, Rent & Export without Limits.

Earn profit and pay no sales tax or DMV fees on your inventory vehicles. California Dealers can buy and sell to any state or country.

Get Special Dealer License Plates.

Dealers can drive their inventory vehicles for unlimited personal and business use without paying Tax or Registration Fees.

Dealer Discounts on Parts & Service.

Leading parts and service suppliers offer discounts to licensed dealers. Pay no sales tax for parts when installed on inventory vehicles.

Live Chat, Phone & Email Support.

Available Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

Questions & Answers

It’s our job to help you get your Dealer license

Who is Dealer 101®?

Dealer 101® is a dealer training company, authorized by the California DMV (#CCC0052) to provide the required “Pre-License Training” for anyone looking to obtain a Wholesale or Retail Dealer License.

Occupational DMV Trainer #CCC0052

Contact Occupational DMV (Sacramento)
(916) 262-2563

How many cars can I sell for profit without getting a license?

Zero. Selling even a single vehicle for profit in California requires a Dealer License.

You may sell any vehicle -if- you first pay the sale tax, DMV fees, and transfer the title into your name -and- you do not intend to make a profit. 

Licensed California Dealers can sell as many (or few) vehicles as they desire for profit, without limits.

Dealers also have access to dealer-only auctions that are closed to the public where you can purchase vehicles directly from consumers, banks, manufacturers, and other dealers.

With a California Dealer License, you can buy, sell, lease, rent, and broker unlimited vehicles.

You also get custom Special License Plates (Dealer Plates) with your license. This means you can drive your inventory vehicles for unlimited personal use without paying sales tax and registration fees.


How soon will I get my DMV Certificate?

After completing the online training, we’ll send your DMV Certificate of Completion on the same business day. Most people complete their training the same day they start.

You will be asked for your mailing address after completing the course.

We offer 3 delivery options:

  1. Free – USPS 5-14 business days
  2. $10 – Priority Mail 2-4 business days (with Tracking)
  3. $39 – Overnight FedEx (with Tracking)

Is the training online or in person?

This 6-hour training is 100% online with live customer support and is approved by the California DMV.

You can complete either course on any device (phone, computer, or tablet).

  • Live Phone and Chat support
  • Includes short Video & Text lessons
  • Available 24/7 here at
  • Complete on your own schedule
  • Taught by experienced dealers
  • DMV Approved (Lic. #CCC0052)

The training is required and the first step to getting your dealer license.

You cannot fail the pre-license training and you will have unlimited time to finish it.

What is included with the Pre-License course?

To make it as easy as possible to get your California Dealer License, we have created several valuable resources including:

DMV Certificate of Completion
This is required to take the DMV’s 40-question Dealer License test and apply for your license.

Dealer-only Auction Directory
A list of the top Dealer-only auctions in California and across the United States.

DMV Practice Test
An online test to help you prepare for your visit to the DMV. Practice with our test and be confident you’ll pass the DMV test with ease.

Printable Study Guide
Packed with information including how to get your license, advertise, buy, sell and repair your vehicles. All the rules that affect California dealers.

DMV Application Forms
All the required forms to complete the DMV application process and get your dealer license. The forms are very straightforward.

And much more!
Our program is packed with many valuable resources.

What are the steps to getting a California Dealer License?

  1. Complete the online “Pre-License” training here at to receive your DMV Certificate
  2. Schedule and Pass the Dealer License test at the Occupational DMV
  3. Apply for your Dealer license

Our step-by-step guide is approved and required by the California DMV.

We make sure you don’t waste time or money and this process will guide you from beginning to end.

The only thing you need to get started with the DMV’s process is a California Drivers License or California ID.

STEP 1: Complete the Online Training

Start and finish today to receive your DMV Certificate of Completion.

  • 100% online
  • No tests or time limits
  • Live chat, phone & email support
  • DMV Certificates are mailed the same business day

STEP 2: Take the DMV Test

Pass the test at the nearest DMV Occupational Licensing office (locations provided in the training). To take the test you will need your “DMV Certificate” from us, California identification and a check for $16 to “DMV”.

Our program is designed to help you prepare for the test and easily pass.

  • 40 multiple-choice questions
  • 70% or better passes (28/40)
  • Unlimited test attempts
  • A practice test is included in our training

You can complete our online Practice Test test as often as you’d like, for free.

STEP 3: Apply for Your Dealer License

You can apply for your California Dealer License after completing the training and test.

All the required forms to complete the DMV Application process are included with the training.

  • Application forms are provided
  • We provide the steps to make it easy
  • Live chat, phone & email support

What are the 2 Dealer License types?

California has two types of Dealer Licenses for selling pre-owned vehicles; Retail and Wholesale.

Both Retail and Wholesale Dealers can:

  • Buy vehicles anywhere in the USA or other countries
  • Access Dealer-only auctions
  • Drive vehicles with Dealer License Plates (Special Plates) for unlimited personal use without paying tax or registration
  • Discounts on parts and service

Retail Dealer’s License

Only Retail can sell to the public (Craigslist, Offerup, Friends, Family, etc).

Retail can also sell vehicles to other Dealers, dealer auctions and export.

Wholesale-only Dealers

Wholesale cannot sell to the public (Craigslist, Offerup, Friends, Family, etc).

Wholesale Dealers buy their cars anywhere just like Retail but can only sell vehicles to other licensed dealers, dealer auctions, and export.

What is a Broker Endorsement?

In California, a “Broker” is not a license. It is an endorsement you can only add to a Retail license.

Retail dealers can check the box on the Application for a “Broker Endorsement”. It only costs $99/yr and it allows them to sell vehicles they currently don’t have in their inventory.

For example, they would contact other dealers on behalf of a consumer looking for a specific vehicle.

Brokers get paid by other dealers by referring customers on new or used vehicle sales and leases.

Can I change from a Wholesale or Retail Dealer in the future?

Yes. Dealers can easily change license types from Wholesale to Retail (or vice-versa) at any time. There is no need to repeat the training, test, or reapply to make that change.

Our DMV-approved course, the DMV certificate, and the test at the DMV are the same for both license types. This is why you can easily change license types at any time without starting over.

Both Wholesale and Retail get auction access, dealer plates, and discounts on parts.

How much does a Dealer License cost in California?

A Retail Dealer License costs less than $1,000/yr and a Wholesale Dealer License is about $500/yr.

Our Pre-License training covers all of this in detail with a step-by-step process to get it done but let’s take a look at the costs involved.

You can start with one license and change license types later.

Retail Dealer License Cost

Retail Total = About $900/year

  • $125 for our Pre-Licensing course (Includes DMV Certificate)
  • $16 for the test at the Occupational DMV
  • $500+/yr for a “$50k Dealer Bond” (based on credit check)
    $175 for the DMV Application

Optional Retail Costs

  • $100/yr per Dealer Plate
  • $100/yr Autobroker Endorsement (Retail Only)
  • Autobrokers get paid by other dealerships for referring customers

Wholesale Dealer License Cost

Wholesale Total = About $500/year

  • $125 for our Pre-Licensing course (Includes DMV Certificate)
  • $16 for the test at the Occupational DMV
  • $100/yr flatrate for a “$10K Dealer Bond” (No credit check)
  • $175 for the DMV Application

Optional Wholesale Costs

  • $100/yr per Dealer Plate

Can I get a car Dealer License without a lot in California?

Yes, you can. A Wholesale Dealer License only requires a home office and a Retail Dealer License requires a small commercial office with only 1 parking spot. Our program helps you with locating a low-cost office.

Not sure what license is best for you?

You can easily change license types at any time without taking the course or test again. The DMV Certificate we send you and the test at the DMV is the same for both license types.

Wholesale Office Requirements

You can get a “Wholesale Dealer License” with a home office or garage.

Retail Office Requirements

A Retail Dealer License requires a small commercial zoned office (not a residence). A small office with (1) parking spot or a garage can meet the DMV requirements.

NOTE: Our course includes a Google Map of low-cost “shared” dealer offices across California.

Can I buy vehicles from Dealer Auctions without a Dealer License?

No. By law, only licensed Dealers can purchase vehicles from true “Wholesale” or Dealer-only auctions such as Manheim, Adesa, Copart or IAA where the prices are significantly lower.

You may purchase vehicles from “Public” auctions at higher prices. Unlicensed buyers must pay the full sales tax and DMV fees.

How many people can be on one Dealer License in California?

You can add multiple people to your Dealer License depending on how you apply.

Anyone listed on the Dealer Licence gets the privilege of driving all inventory vehicles for personal use without paying sales tax and DMV fees.

Individual / Sole Proprietor 

If you apply as an individual or sole proprietor then you will be the only one on the license.

LLC or Corporation

If you apply as an LLC or Corporation, you will be able to add multiple people to the license either when you’re applying or after you get your license.

Note: It’s important to choose wisely because you cannot change from an Individual or Company after getting your license. You would need to reapply for a new Dealer License.

What are Dealer (Special) License Plates?

When a Dealer purchases a vehicle for resale, they must attach their Dealer plate to the rear of the vehicle. They may then operate those vehicles for unlimited business or personal use.

Do Car Dealers have to pay sales tax and DMV fees on vehicles?

Dealers are not required to transfer titles or pay sales tax or DMV fees when a vehicle is purchased for resale.

The Dealer plates may also be used for other business reasons including:

  • Salesperson or Employees of a Dealer, acting within their job duties
  • Drivers for special event purposes, carrying a letter of authorization from the Dealer
  • A prospective buyer or lessee, to test drive a vehicle.

You could have 100 cars, 1 Dealer Plate, and drive all of them. There is no time limit or restrictions on how long you can keep your vehicles.

You could even transfer your current personal vehicles to your dealership.

This alone makes having a Dealer License worth it.

Other purchases such as repair parts can also be purchased tax-exempt if they are being used on a vehicle you have in your inventory.

Can I get a Dealer license with a Felony or Misdemeanor Conviction?

Yes, you can get a dealer license with a Felony or Misdemeanor conviction in California.

The DMV does not require you to report convictions that occurred more than 10 years ago.

There is no requirement to disclose traffic offenses, including DUI convictions.

Not disclosing a prior felony conviction on your application could result in a lifelong license ban.

The DMV rates prior felony convictions as A, B, or C and will issue a Dealer License when the required time has elapsed.

A = After 5 ½ years from conviction, will issue a “probationary license”
B = After 3 years from conviction, will issue a license
C = After 1 year from conviction, issue a license

You can learn more here

I have more questions about becoming a Dealer. Can you help?

Sure. We can be reached at (619) 333-0701 or by email at and look for to connecting with you.