If I have a felony on my record, can I get approved for a car dealer license? The short answer is it depends.
Getting a car dealer license with a felony is not impossible. There are cases where you will have a more difficult time getting a car dealer license with a previous felony.
For example, if you have been convicted of a motor vehicle dealer crime, you will more than likely not be granted a license.
If you have been convicted of a non-violent, non-motor vehicle dealer crime, this most likely will not affect your ability to get approved for a dealer license.
Note that many states prevent a felony conviction from acting as an automatic bar to employment.
Here is an overview of 14 state laws that ban discrimination by employers.
Crimes That Could Affect Your Ability To Get a Dealer License
- Felony convictions relating to persons, property, or fraud
- Automotive crimes such as:
- Odometer tampering
- Auto theft
- Title forgery
Crimes That Most Likely Will Not Affect Your Ability To Get A Dealer License
- Non-violent crimes such as:
For a list of non-violent and violent crimes, check out this list.
Ready to get your dealer license? View our full-length guide or view your state-specific tutorial below:
View tutorials on how to get a Car Dealer License
If You Have a Previous Felony
If you’ve been convicted of a previous felony, you will need to provide documentation that your civil rights have been restored.
Many states automatically restore your civil rights upon completion of probation or discharge from Department of Corrections.
Some states require you to file an application to restore your civil rights. Contact your state for the restoration process.
Note that many states prevent a felony conviction from acting as an automatic bar to employment. Here is an overview of 14 state laws that ban discrimination by employers.
Before Applying For A Dealer License
If you are not sure whether you are eligible for a car dealer license due to something on your record, you may be able to submit an abbreviated application.
An abbreviated application will allow you to see if you would be granted a license before you go through the trouble of setting up your business location, obtaining a surety bond, and so forth.
To see if your state allows for an abbreviated application, contact your DMV licensing staff.
Not sure if you need a dealer license? Check out this post on selling cars without a license.
If you are ready to get a dealer license, check out our “5 Easy Steps To Getting Your Car Dealer License Post”
Motor Vehicle Dealer License FAQ