Vehicle Lessor-Retailer License

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You need a vehicle lessor-retailer license if you sell previously leased or rented vehicles to the public, unless you sell to:

  • An individual who has leased the vehicle for at least one year.
  • A buyer for agricultural, business, or commercial purposes.
  • A government agency.

How to Apply for a Vehicle Lessor-Retailer License

Apply for your license and pay your fees online.

To apply for your license, submit the following:

After DMV processes your application, you’ll receive an email instructing you to schedule an inspection of your business location. Once you receive that email, you’ll need to create a DMV online account and select a time slot for an inspection. The email you receive will provide the information you need to get started.

Need help? These step-by-step guides can help you use DMV's online inspection scheduling service:

Create your DMV Account
YouTube Video
Schedule an Inspection
YouTube Video
View your Inspection Report and Upload a Photo
YouTube Video

Please note that this inspection tool supports these browsers: Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari (iOS/OS X).

At the inspection, an OL inspector will:

  • Inspect the main business office where you conduct business, whether or not retail sales are made from this location (business inspection within California only).
  • Inspect all books and records pertinent to the business (California Vehicle Code (CVC) §11601(a), (c)).

You will also need to undergo a background investigation.


  • $175 nonrefundable application fee
  • $1 family support program
  • $70 for each branch location (if applicable)

How to Renew a Vehicle Lessor-Retailer License

Renew your license and pay your fees online.

To renew your license, complete a Renewal Application (OL 45). Mail your application and fees to the address on the form.


  • $125 renewal application fee
  • $1 family support program
  • $70 for each branch location (if applicable)

How to Modify a Vehicle Lessor-Retailer License

Modify your license and pay your fees online.

To modify an existing license, complete and submit the relevant form(s): 


  • $70 name change fee
  • $70 address change fee
  • $70 add a branch fee
  • $70 officer change fee

Lessor-Retailer Licensing Authority

CVC §§286 (i) and (j), 373, 11600 et seq. The CVC is available for purchase from DMV.

California Code of Regulations, Title 13, Chapter 1.

California Business and Professions Code §§9889.50-9889.53, and 17500.5.

California Civil Code §§2981-2984.4.

California Government Code §6157 (a) – (d).

California Health and Safety Code §§43150-43156, 43200-43213, and 43600-43660.

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