Business Partners

What is the Business Partner Automation (BPA) program?

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) BPA program allows companies such as dealers and registration services to process vehicle-related transactions in their offices. They are authorized to assign license plates and stickers and print validated registration cards for their customers.

There are three types of business partners:

  • First-line business partners are partners who receive information from DMV and use it to complete registration and titling activities for that partner’s own business. Avis rent-a-car is currently the only first-line business partner.
  • First-line service providers are partners who receive information from DMV and transmit it to another authorized business partner for registration processing. There are five first-line service providers who offer their software/services to second line business partners.
  • Second-line business partners are partners that receive information from a first-line service provider. A second-line business partner must be a registration service, vehicle dealer, leasing company, salvage pool, dismantler, or rental car company. There are more than 2,600 second-line business partner participants in the BPA program.

How does legislation impact the BPA program?

Legislation requires dealers licensed to sell or lease new motor vehicles to enroll in the BPA program and to process all of their new and used car sales and lease transactions electronically (California Vehicle Code [CVC] §4456.4) using BPA. It also:

  • Reduces the length of time a temporary permit issued by the dealer is valid from 6 months to 90 days (CVC §4456).
  • Authorizes DMV to limit the fee charged by BPA service providers who provide dealers and other participants with software, connectivity, and training (CVC §4456.5).
  • Authorizes BPA dealers to charge customers an $80 documentation fee per transaction and an electronic filing fee for each transaction processed electronically (CVC §4456.5).
  • Requires used vehicle dealers to obtain a National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) report prior to offering or displaying a used vehicle for sale. If it is determined that the vehicle is or has been a junk or a salvage vehicle, or the certificate of title contains a brand, the dealer must post a disclosure statement on the vehicle while it is displayed for sale (CVC §11713.26).

When does the new legislation go into effect?

Effective July 1, 2012, all new motor vehicle dealers must use the BPA for processing. Dealers who are not enrolled in the BPA program on July 1, 2012, must submit their transactions to a BPA approved registration service. Effective October 1, 2012, it is illegal to sell new vehicles without first enrolling in the BPA program.

Are used vehicle dealers required to process their transactions electronically?

No, the law applies to new motor vehicle dealers only. However, if a used vehicle dealer elects to enroll in the BPA program, they will be authorized to charge the higher documentation fee of $80 when they sell a vehicle.

Will new vehicle dealers be allowed to submit any work to DMV offices?

Yes, business partners are procedurally prohibited from processing certain types of transactions and cannot adjust fees. As a result, some dealer’s transactions will still be submitted to DMV offices. A list of the transactions that can be processed through BPA is located online at

How will DMV employees know if the work should be submitted to DMV?

Business partners must provide a copy of the screen print reflecting the error message that prevents them from processing a transaction, or complete a Statement of Facts (REG 256) form stating the reason a transaction needs to be processed by DMV.

What if a business partner continues to submit work without a screen print or REG 256?

The office manager will report the activity to the BPA Program Administrator.

Are there any exceptions to this new legislation?

Vehicles sold by used vehicle dealers, motorcycles, off-highway, and recreational vehicles are excluded and do not have to be processed electronically.

Recreational vehicles are broadly defined to include motor homes, house cars, travel trailers, truck campers, and camp trailers with or without motive power designed for human habitation or other occupancy.

For additional information, see the DMV website at Questions and concerns may be directed to the BPA Program Administrator at or (916) 657-6258.