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DMV Enforcement Actions

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DMV Enforcement ActionsDMV enforcement regulations


The DMV, as well as State and Federal regulatory agencies, can limit, suspend, or revoke a Dealer’s license and or impose penalties should they fail to abide by the laws and regulations governing Dealers.


The State or Federal government can prosecute a Dealer for violations of the criminal law, resulting in fines and or imprisonment.
For example, this could happen where a Dealer rolls back odometers or sells vehicles in violation of the safety requirements.


A Dealer could face a civil lawsuit if their wrongful actions (or inaction) result in the loss or injury of any person. Consumers could receive financial compensation in Federal or State court.

Automatic Dealer License Cancellation

California Vehicle Code Section 11721 provides for the automatic cancellation of a Dealer’s License and Special Plate when the:

  • Dealer abandons or changes their location without immediately notifying the DMV
  • Dealer fails to maintain an adequate Surety Bond
  • Dealer voluntary or involuntary surrenders the Special Plates and License
  • Person designated as the Dealer has changed
  • Corporate status of the Dealer is suspended or revoked
  • Board of Equalization suspends or revokes the Dealer’s Seller’s Permit

Additional Misdemeanor Violations

The Car Buyer’s Bill of Rights (Assembly Bill AB 1839) requires that Dealers comply with new key requirements. Dealers are prohibited from:

  • Advertising or selling a vehicle as “certified,” or describe it using similar terms to imply that the Dealer has inspected the vehicle and corrected any defects found unless it comes within that definition and meets specified criteria.
  • Withholding a Buyer’s specific credit score information (when a buyer is financing)
  • Marking up the finance charge rate above that permitted by law
  • Adding charges to a sales or lease contract without the Buyer’s consent
  • Inflating a payment or extending the maturity of contract for the purpose of disguising the actual charges for goods or services.