Occupational Licensing For The Vehicle Industry

Semi with cars on back

You can apply for, renew, or modify
an occupational license online.

Vehicle industry service providers such as manufacturers, distributors, and salespeople are licensed, monitored, and regulated by Occupational Licensing (OL).

These businesses and professions include:

  • Dismantlers Buying, selling, or dealing in nonrepairable vehicles for the purpose of dismantling them, their parts, components or materials requires a dismantler license.
  • Distributors A distributor license is required to sell or distribute new vehicles, trailers, off-highway motorcycles, and all-terrain vehicles.
  • Lessor-Retailers Selling previously leased or rented vehicles to the public requires a vehicle lessor-retailer license.
  • Manufacturers A manufacturer license is required to produce vehicles or off-highway motorcycles subject to registration or identification, and/or to alter commercial vehicles into housecars.
  • Registration Services You need a registration service license if you process public applications for vehicle registration, transfer of ownership, registration renewals, lien sales, or dismantler documents.
  • Remanufacturers A vehicle remanufacturer license is required to produce vehicles with used or reconditioned parts.
  • Representatives If you work for a manufacturer or distributor to negotiate sales, promote vehicles to franchisees, and/or engage with prospective franchisees, a vehicle representative license is required.
  • Salesperson A vehicle salesperson license is required to sell vehicles, vehicle contracts, or supervise vehicle sales or contracts for a dealer.
  • Transporters Moving vehicles for the purpose of delivering them to dealers, manufacturer sales agents, purchasers, or a new location requested by the owner requires a vehicle transporter license.
  • Vehicle Dealers You need a vehicle dealer license to sell new or used vehicles.
  • Vehicle Verifier License This license is required for the work of submitting vehicle identification proof to DMV or to an authorized representative for the purpose of registering a vehicle or transferring vehicle ownership.

If your business provides non-educational vehicle industry services for a fee, or if you are opening a business that will do so, you are required to hold a current and valid occupational license.


Holding an occupational license shows that your vehicle industry service or business meets the standards set by California State law and the Vehicle Code. As part of the application process, OL inspectors will perform background verifications and physically inspect places of business for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Your business locations will be periodically reviewed for continued compliance.