Sometimes, a licensed auto broker feels that they spend too much time cutting through red tape. In Georgia, the Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Board governs business practices and licensing for car dealers and brokers. The board’s rule can be strict and the process can be slow. Ultimately, most rules are in place to protect customers from fraudulent dealers and brokers.
Don’t trust second-hand gossip when it comes to state regulations for car dealerships. Go straight to the source. Your friends and acquaintances may think they’re familiar with UMVDB laws and procedures. However, things change and laws can be misinterpreted.
Here are some common misconceptions we see regarding dealer and broker licensing and regulations in Georgia.
Don’t forget, TDS’ site has pages of forms, links, and resources for dealers in multiple states.
1. Can I operate a dealership in my home?
You can make your home the base of your dealership operations depending on local zoning ordinances. However, the used motor vehicle dealer board says the dealership office must be set up in a detached building.
If you plan to operate from your residence, you must meet the requirements of an “established place of business,” as defined in the Used Motor Vehicle Dealers’ and Used Motor Vehicle Parts Dealers’ Registration Act and Board Rule 681-6-.01.
Contact your city or county Planning & Zoning Office to determine if current regulations will allow you to operate the business from your residence. You should also ask if current regulations will allow you to erect a permanent sign at your residence to advertise your business as a used car dealership, as required by Board Rules.
Insurance companies will also require proof of a separate homeowners policy in order to insurance the premises with a garage liability.
2. Can I sell up to 5 cars without being a licensed auto broker?
No. This is a common misconception.
According to the Georgia UMVDB, the “five cars per year” rule is a standard that the Department of Revenue uses to flag someone as a possible unlicensed dealer.
“For an individual selling their personal car – you do not need a license to sell a car that is titled in your name and that you have driven as a personal vehicle.”
You also need a license to sell cars on the internet.
3. What is a “Designee,” or how do I change them?
The Designee for your dealership is the person authorized to hold the license.
You will need to file a Change of Designee application. You can find the form for this on our website.
However, the complete application and fees and required with the accompanying documents. Changing the designee will not require a new dealer license.