Dealer Licensing Questions
What conditions do I need to meet to become a licensed dealer?
  • Police Information Checks for dealership principals and salespeople Police Information Check Policy 377 kB
  • Credit checks
  • A minimum of one licensed salesperson
  • All those in contact with consumers licensed as required
  • Payment of the annual licence fees
I want to open a dealership. How do I apply?

Please contact the Licensing Department at 604-575-7253 or for more information and/or to obtain an application. The VSA will determine if a dealer licence is needed.


Who needs a dealer licence?

Any person, partnership, sole proprietor or company selling or leasing motor vehicles to retail consumers in British Columbia must be licensed as a motor dealer. Anyone selling more than five vehicles per year is automatically deemed to be a dealer under BC law. However, the sale of even one vehicle to a retail consumer as a business activity may require a licence.

A licensed dealership must also have at least one licensed salesperson. If you are a sole proprietor, you will need a motor dealer licence and a salesperson licence. In addition, every person working in retail vehicle sales in B.C. must be licensed. Motor dealers must ensure that all sales and management staff in contact with retail consumers have a valid salesperson licence.

How much will it cost? What are dealer license fees?

Fees are based on the type of vehicles sold and the number of vehicles sold or the number of demonstration licence plates (or D-plates) issued by ICBC.  Application fees and annual contributions to the Motor Dealer Customer Compensation Fund also apply. See the Dealer Licence Fee Schedule here
289 kB

What laws govern dealer licensing and selling practices?

The Motor Dealer Act and the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act are very important.

Plain language explanations of their requirements can be found in:

Vehicle Sales Authority General Guidelines 324 kB

Advertising Guidelines 1480 kB

Others include the federal Competition Act and B.C.’s Personal Information Protection Act.

Can I open a second location under my current motor dealer licence?

No. Each location requires a separate motor dealer licence.

How do I change my dealership trade or legal name?

Your dealership can have more than one trade name.  If you need to add a trade name, change a trade name, or change the legal name of your dealership, fill out Form 3b Notice of Change – Dealer Name 53 kB .  If it is a new entity (for example – change from a sole proprietor or partnership to a corporation), you will need to submit a new application and apply for a new Motor Dealer Licence.

How do I change my dealership address?

Fill out Form 3a Notice of Change Dealer Address  within 14 days of location change.

Is a motor dealer licence transferable?

No. The motor dealer licence is not for sale.  A complete new application is required when ownership is transferred.  Contact the Licensing Department to obtain an application.

When do I need an offsite permit?

Anytime there is a sale that is not at the motor dealers’ registered location and there are salespeople present.  An offsite sale permit request 107 kB form must be submitted at least three weeks before the event.  Review the offsite sale policies  41 kB prior to submitting a request form.

My dealership is bringing in a marketing company for a special event. What do I need to do as the dealer?

Ensure that all marketing members meet all VSA licensing requirements.  This includes completing the Salesperson Licensing Course and a Salesperson Application Form  prior to the event. Employment Authorization  forms also need to be submitted for all marketing people that will be attending at least three weeks before the event.

Salesperson Licensing for Dealers
How can I see a list of my current licensed salespeople?

You can search for your dealership by name.

I just hired a new salesperson. Now what?

Your salesperson needs to be or get licensed.  You can search for salespeople by name, city or number to see if they are licensed.

If they are not licensed, they can submit a Salesperson Application Form or online to apply.  They will need to complete the mandatory Salesperson Licensing Course.  Once an application is submitted, a Conditional Licence will be issued for a period of 45 days.  You will be in violation of the Motor Dealer Act if a new employee is selling vehicles before they receive a Conditional Licence.

I hired a new salesperson who used to work for a different dealership. What are my responsibilities?

You need to send in an Employment Authorization  form to the Licensing Department.  Once it is received, your salesperson will be sent a new permit (licence) for selling at your dealership.

My new hire has a criminal record. Can they still be licensed?

Having a criminal record does not exempt anyone from applying for a licence. Refer to the salesperson application package  for more information.

My new hire said that they’re licensed already, but they’ve never been employed at a dealership. Can they get licensed even if they’re not employed?

Yes.  However, their licence will only become activated once they are employed and you send in an Employment Authorization  form.

My new hire used to be licensed. How do they reinstate their licence?

They will need to complete a reinstatement form. Please contact the Licensing Department for more information.

My new hire passed the course but hasn’t received their licence yet. Why?

Completing the mandatory Salesperson Licensing Course only provides a certificate, not a licence.  To receive a licence, a completed salesperson application needs to be submitted.

What are my responsibilities to ensure my salespeople renew their licence on time?

Every salesperson needs to renew their licence annually.  You confirm their status online by searching your dealership name.  You will be in violation of the Motor Dealer Act if an employee is selling vehicles and they do not have a valid Salesperson Licence.

Who needs to be licensed at my dealership?

Every person who in anyway participates in soliciting, negotiating or arranging for the sale or lease of a motor vehicle to a consumer.  This includes all salespeople, dealer principals, general managers, sales managers, internet sales staff and the staff of business and lease offices.  This also includes anyone who is bird-dogging or you may be paying to direct business to your dealership.

What if my new hire was licensed in another province?

The VSA complies with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement (NWPTA) which replaced the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) in 2013.

If a salesperson is licensed in good standing with the Alberta Motor Vehicle Industry Council (AMVIC), the salesperson must submit a completed application form, pay the required fees, and submit to a criminal record and background check to confirm their good standing. Once their VSA licence is issued, they will have 45 days to complete their professional development requirement by completing the Salesperson Licensing Course, which focuses on BC law.

Saskatchewan currently does not license automotive salespeople, so a person from Saskatchewan must comply with the same process as a British Columbian applicant.