To auction cars and other motor vehicles in Louisiana, you need to apply for a car auction license AND a used car dealer license. Both these licenses are processed by the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission (LUMVC).
Read on to learn how to apply for a Louisiana car auction license and how much it costs. We cover everything from license types to Louisiana auto dealer bonds to license renewal.
Louisiana Auto Auction Licensing Requirements
Complete Used Auto Dealer/Auctioneer Educational Training
While you don't need post-secondary education to get a car auction license in Louisiana, all used car dealers are required to take a training seminar. This 4-hour dealer education course is free and done through the LUMVC.
- Sign up for the training seminar online or print the registration form and mail it in. Once processed, you will be contacted with the date of your seminar. All seminars take place in person at the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission building.
Mailing address and location of seminar:
Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission
3132 Valley Creek Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
Establish a Place of Business
You will need to secure a place of business that meets certain standards. This includes:
- Proper zoning for the municipality in which it resides.
- A suitable office with storage for files and records.
- A permanent business sign that is clearly visible from the street or roadway. It must be a minimum of 16 square feet and in accordance with local zoning requirements.
- A cellular phone or telephone listed with Nationwide Directory Assistance (411) under your business name and address.
- A garage liability insurance policy on all vehicles offered for sale.
Register Your Car Auction Business
You must register your business with the Louisiana Secretary of State if you're operating under an Incorporation, LLC, LP, or LLP.
Steps to Get a Car Auction License in Louisiana
Step 1: Get the Louisiana Car Auction License Application
Visit LUMVC to get your license application. It is called an Initial Dealer Packet.
Unlike other states, Louisiana does not have separate licensing for wholesale dealers (those that sell to other authorized dealers) and retail dealers (those that sell to the general public). However, in order to get a car auction license, you will also need to apply for a used auto dealer license—even if you don't plan on running a car dealership. You may apply for these simultaneously in the same application. Other designations you can apply include dismantler and parts recycler, crusher, and catalytic converter.
Step 2: Complete the Forms
This application packet has forms that require general information but also includes specifics such as a:
- Salesperson Application
- Request for Training Seminar Form (if you haven't already completed this course)
- Zoning Verification Form (completed by local zoning authority)
- Garage Liability Insurance Form
The online application contains the most up-to-date information on these forms/licensing requirements.
Step 3: Get a Louisiana Dealer Surety Bond
This surety bond, commonly called an auto dealer bond, is required in the amount of $50,000. This bond ensures that the car auctioneer will abide by the profession's statutes, laws, and ethics. A bond form is in the application packet, but you will need to attain the bond itself through a surety company licensed to issue bonds in Louisiana, such as JW Surety.
How Much Does a Louisiana Auto Dealer Bond Cost?
Those with a good personal credit score can expect to pay 1% - 5% of the total bond amount—$500 - $2,500 for a $50,000 bond. To know exactly how much you can expect to pay for an auto dealer bond, get a free quote today—we give a bond quote in a matter of minutes.
Note that if you apply for multiple licenses for the same location, you only need one bond to cover them all.
Step 4: Take Pictures of Your Business Sign
Include a photo of your business sign in your application. After the application is submitted, an inspector will schedule a visit to ensure your sign and business location meet the required standards.
Step 5: Submit Application & Fees
Submit your application and the associated fees. It will take about 14 business days for it to process.
Once your license is granted, you will then need to register with the Louisiana Auctioneers Licensing Board. This comes with additional licensing fees and requires a surety bond in the amount of $10,000. Additionally, if you plan on doing any dealings with new cars, you will have to consult the Louisiana Motor Vehicle Commission.
How Much Does It Cost to Get an Auction License in Louisiana?
$400 - Used Dealers License Fee
$400 - Car Auction License Fee
$25 - Salesperson License Fee
$0 - Educational Training Seminar
$300 - Louisiana Auctioneers Licensing Board Registration Fee
*$35 – Background check
* Only required if you have been found guilty of a crime that is not traffic-related in the past ten years
What is a car auction license, and why is it required in Louisiana?
A car auction license allows a licensee to auction cars to the public and/or registered car dealers. This license—which has a $50,000 surety bond requirement—protects the public by ensuring that the auctioneer acts according to the laws and ethics surrounding the profession. If a car auctioneer operates outside of the law or in an unethical manner, a claim against their surety bond can be made for financial reparation.
Additionally, in benefit to the license holder, a valid dealer's license permits an auctioneer/car dealer to assign titles, as well as transfer, purchase, and sell used motor vehicles without paying Louisiana general sales tax.
How long does it take to process a car auction license application in Louisiana?
On average, it takes 14 business days to process a Louisiana car auction license application. They are processed in the order they are received.
What are the consequences of operating a car auction without a license in Louisiana?
Used motor vehicle auctioneers are considered used motor vehicle dealers under the definition of the law. Therefore, they must comply with licensing regulations—which includes being licensed through the Louisiana Used Motor Vehicle Commission (LUMVC). Operating a car auction without a license is an offense that will result in a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $1000. Each day a person, firm, association, corporation, or trust violates this law it counts as a separate offense.
How often do I need to renew my car auction license in Louisiana?
A Louisiana car auction license must be renewed every two years before the end of the calendar year. There is a late fee for renewals after December 31st.