Occupational Licensing (OL) Information

The Occupational Licensing (OL) Branch is responsible for licensing and monitoring a wide range of motor vehicle related businesses and individuals.

The automobile industry is one of the largest in the United States. There are currently over 31 million vehicles with more than 24 million licensed drivers on the road in California today. The sale and use of automobiles in California has resulted in widely diversified industries that address the various needs of California drivers. The industries range from the initial sale of automobiles, boats, and other vehicles, training of drivers, traffic violator schools, and vehicle dismantlers. For consumer protection the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has been given the responsibility of regulating these industries. The purpose of the Department's oversight in these areas is to ensure that the consumer is dealing with reputable individuals and receiving the product that is represented to them.

As part of the application process, OL Inspectors perform background verifications and physically inspect places of business for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The OL Inspectors routinely monitor businesses for continued compliance and also perform annual reviews of Driving Schools and Traffic Violator Schools.

The Occupational Licensing Branch is also responsible for overseeing the Employer Testing Program (ETP). The ETP allows authorized employers of commercial drivers to conduct the drive test portion of the state's commercial driver licensing requirements for Commercial Class A, Class B and firefighter licenses.

Program participants are evaluated annually for compliance with statutes and regulations. Certified drivers are randomly selected for retest by the department as part of the annual evaluation.

As of January 1, 2014, OL maintains files for the following licenses:

Firms

  • Dealer — 13,225
  • Lessor Retailer — 19
  • Manufacturer — 561
  • Remanufacturer — 4
  • Distributor — 144
  • Employer Testing Program — 163
  • Transporter — 188
  • Dismantler — 1,150
  • Registration Service — 1,807

Individuals

  • Vessel Agent — 642
  • Vehicle Verifier — 3,365
  • Salesperson — 74,245
  • Manufacturing Representative — 224
  • Distributor Representative — 479

Driving Schools

  • Driving School Owner — 606
  • Driving School Operator — 546
  • Driving School Instructor — 2,879

Traffic Violator Schools

  • Traffic Violator School Owner — 629
  • Traffic Violator School Operator — 549
  • Traffic Violator School Instructor — 991

If you would like additional information on offices, forms, or other services offered by Occupational Licensing, click on the links in the column on the right to move to that page.


New Motor Vehicle Board

The New Motor Vehicle Board (Board) is a program within the DMV with oversight provided by the Business, Transportation & Housing Agency. Within the Board there is a Consumer Mediation Services Program which attempts through informal mediation to resolve disputes between consumers and new motor vehicle dealers and/or a manufacturer or distributor. For more information visit the New Motor Vehicle Board website.