Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Motor vehicle auction license requirements

An auction company may need one of several motor vehicle business licenses based on who owns the vehicles it sells and who buys them. The following list describes auction company activities and the license required to do business.

If an auction:

  • Sells vehicles owned by licensed dealers or manufacturers to other licensed dealers only. No retail sales. License required: Wholesale auction dealer license.
  • Operates as a motor vehicle salvage pool which sells damaged vehicles owned by insurance companies and licensed dealers to licensed dealers only. License required: Wholesale dealer license
  • Sells to the general public for one dealership exclusively a Salesperson license is required.
  • Sells vehicles repossessed by finance companies to the general public—no license is required.
  • Sells vehicles for one private person who is selling his or her own vehicles or for two or more private people who are selling no more than a total of three vehicles—no license is required.
  • Sells vehicles for a business that is selling its own vehicles when those vehicles have been privately titled (used for transportation)—no license is required. (Note: the auction company cannot be selling for a business that leases, rents or manufactures vehicles.)

For more information about auction company activities and license requirements:

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Dealer & Agent Section
4802 Sheboygan Avenue, Room 201
P.O. Box 7909
Madison, WI 53707-7909

For more information:

Questions about the content of this page:
Division of Motor Vehicles, Dealer Section, dealers.dmv@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: October 12, 2005

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