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Dealers

  • No! A wholesaler can only deal in USED vehicles.

  • No, a used vehicle dealer can only buy and sell USED vehicles. All vehicles must have been previously titled, plated and registered before being sold by a USED vehicle dealer.

  • Currently licensed or registered dealers, repair facilities and mechanics can be found under Online Services. Follow the link Vehicle Services. Locate Business Services. Follow the link Dealer Services or Repair Facility Services. Then follow the link Find a Dealer or Find a Repair Facility. You may also search for a mechanic by locating Additional Services and following the link Mechanic Services and then following the link Find a Mechanic. These listings are updated on a daily basis. If you are unable to locate the motor vehicle dealer, repair facility or mechanic you are searching for, please call the Customer Support Section at 1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424) for assistance.

  • A purchase agreement is a contract between the dealer and the prospective buyer. The contract should specify the conditions under which the deposit may or may not be refunded. You must abide by the terms of the contract.

  • Yes. The Department uses the name, date of birth and driver license or personal identification (PID) number to verify the purchaser(s) identity and eligibility for license plates. This applies to RD-108s and with private transactions conducted in branch offices.

    Michigan residents subject to registration denial cannot purchase, renew, or transfer a license plate, or obtain a registration for any motor vehicle they purchase, lease, or already own. This includes all motor vehicles they own, co-own, lease, or co-lease.  Verifying your customer is eligible for registration prior to submitting your RD-108 at your office may reduce the chance of a returned deal.

    Verifying the purchaser(s) driver license or PID number enables Secretary of State branch office staff to process your RD-108s quicker, as we can generate the purchaser(s) name and address from their driver license or PID record. This saves our employees the time-intensive process of typing in the name and address by hand.

    • Class H dealers must maintain workers' compensation insurance as prescribed by their home state;
    • Other dealers may also need to carry workers' compensation insurance but proof of such insurance is not required with the application for Class A, B, D, E, F, G or W dealers (unless also licensed as a Class C or R dealer).
  • There is no requirement to notify Bureau of Driver and Vehicle Programs when you begin using a computerized police book. However, it is the dealer's responsibility to make sure the system being used complies with all requirements of the Michigan Vehicle Code.

  • Calculating license plate fees is now easier than ever for dealers! For more information, visit Online Services.

  • A: The Michigan Department of State issues the following notification to vehicle owners who buy (or are considering buying) a vehicle from a vehicle dealer over the internet:

    The Michigan Department of State processes title applications as quickly as possible once it is received from the vehicle dealer. The department has recently observed some online vehicle purchase applications being submitted by vehicle dealers quite some time after the vehicle purchase resulting in online vehicle buyers waiting longer for their title and registration. State law requires these applications from Michigan dealers to be submitted within 15 business days. MCL 257.217(4).

    If you have any additional questions about any delays in your application, please contact your vehicle dealer. To report potential violations, please contact the Regulatory Monitoring Division at SOS-RMD-800@michigan.gov.

  • How the error is corrected depends on what error was made. The procedure for correcting odometer errors, for example, is different from the procedure for correcting the purchaser's name and address. Contact your local Secretary of State office for details or you may contact the Department of State Information Center at 1-888-SOS-MICH (1-888-767-6424).

  • Yes. If the vehicle meets the criteria for salvage (75% -90% of the predamaged value) or scrap (91% or more of the predamaged value), dealers are required by law to apply for the appropriate title within 5 days. For more information, see the information regarding special titles, or the Salvage Section of the Dealer Manual.

  • For a comprehensive list of compliance requirements, dealers should consult the dealer manual.  However, for your convenience we have created the following checklist that can be used for a quick reference of items that will be inspected.

    Vehicle Dealer A & B Checklist

  • Only for Class B vehicle dealer applicants. PA 420 of 2018 went into effect March 20, 2019, which requires all applicants for a Class B used vehicle dealers to attend prelicensure training within 6 months prior to the date of their application.  The pre-license training is required for any applicant, partner of the applicant, or each officer of the applicant, as applicable, for the original eligible used vehicle dealer license.

    In addition, every Class B dealer applicant shall select a designated individual to complete the continuing education dealer training program in the 90 day period following the issuance of the license.  Newly issued Class B vehicle must select a designated individual for each of its retail sales locations.  The dealer cannot select a single individual to be the designated individual for more than 3 locations.  See MCL 247.248 and MCL 257.248l for more information. 

  • MiVehDealerCloseoutA temporary sale at a location away from the established place of business requires additional licensing. This includes a "tent sale," auto show or activity in which vehicles may be displayed or sold for a specific length of time. Additional licensing is required for these activities. Forms are available from Bureau of Driver and Vehicle Programs, Business Licensing and Regulation Division:

    Inside County of Licensure - Submit form AR-0066, Vehicle Dealer Supplemental Location License Application (PDF format) and Michigan Vehicle Dealer Closeout Statement (Temporary Location) (PDF format);

    • The Closeout Statement will be used to cancel the license once the temporary sale is over;
    • Approval for temporary sales cannot be given without a Closeout Statement.
  • If a Michigan dealer loses an assigned Michigan title for a vehicle, the dealer's best option is to contact the previous owner for a replacement title. If unable to do so, the dealer follows one of the two options shown below to apply for a resale title in the dealer's name:

    1. If the vehicle is less than ten years old or worth more than $2,500, the dealer must either contact the previous owner for a replacement title, obtain a surety bond or court order for proof of ownership.   

      The dealer submits an RD-108 resale title application, a TR-121 Surety Bond or court order naming the dealer as owner, a TR-205 Ownership Certification, and a BDVR-108 Odometer Mileage Statement (unless the vehicle is exempt).
       
    2. If the vehicle is ten or more years old, was previously titled in Michigan, and worth less than $2,500 the dealer may use the self-certification of ownership procedure only if the dealer is unable to contact the previous owner for a replacement Michigan title.  If a dealer loses an assigned out-of-state title or an assigned Michigan title for a vehicle that does not qualify for self-certification, the dealer must obtain either a replacement title from the previous owner or a surety bond.

     If unable to obtain a replacement title from a previous Michigan owner, the dealer submits an RD-108 for a resale title and:

     a)   A TR-205 Ownership Certification

     b)   A copy of the page from their paper or electronic police book indicating how and when the vehicle was acquired for their inventory.

     c)   A BDVR-108 Odometer Mileage Statement completed by the dealer unless the vehicle is over 10 model years old.

     d)   Copies of the front and back copy of the lost Michigan title.

     e)   Purchase documents such as an auction receipt or a bill of sale confirming the vehicle is worth less than $2,500 and qualifies for self-certification, or, for a trade-in vehicle, a printed page from an on-line appraisal service (Kelly Blue Book, Edmunds, N.A.D.A. Guides, etc.).

  • Class A, B, and D dealers who choose the EFT method to pay for their transactions enjoy the following benefits:

    • Eliminates the need for writing checks for each transaction.
    • Expedites transactions with the Secretary of State by ensuring proper fee collection. Eliminates the need for branches to return RD-108s for added fees, if you've made an agreement with your branch to change fees by a few dollars, without returning a transaction.
    • Dealers receive an itemized receipt showing all related fees for each transaction processed. This receipt can help you to maintain your business records.

    Dealers may set up their EFT account by logging into their CARS e-Services account under ‘Dealer Services.’

  • Michigan law provides for the replacement of lost titles for licensed Michigan dealers and Michigan residents. Michigan law does not provide for a title replacement in this instance. This new owner/dealer must use the provisions available to them in their home state to obtain a replacement title.

  • A "conforming" title is one which has an odometer disclosure statement which complies with federal verbiage standards. For your information, a conforming odometer statement will consist of one of the following two phrases (states have a choice which phrase to use):

    I (we) state that the odometer mileage is __________________ and certify that to the best of my knowledge the odometer reading is:

    -- actual mileage

    -- not actual mileage -- WARNING-ODOMETER DISCREPANCY

    -- exceed mechanical limits of odometer

    I certify to the best of my knowledge that the odometer reading is the actual mileage of the vehicle unless one of the following statements is checked:

    -- The mileage stated is in excess of its mechanical limits.

    -- The odometer reading is NOT the actual mileage. WARNING: ODOMETER DISCREPANCY

    If an out-of-state title contains an odometer statement with the wording above, then it is a conforming title (the wording does not have to be exact, but often will be).

    The majority of states began issuing conforming titles between 1989 and 1992. Generally, those issued before 1989 are nonconforming. 

  • Public Act 455 of 1998, known as the Truth in Brokering Act, became effective on December 30, 1998. This law requires brokers and dealers to keep certain information about fees and commissions they receive or pay.

  • Dealers must apply for both a title and registration with every retail sale unless one of the following explanations is provided in the Remarks section:

    • "Title Only - No Registration - Vehicle Inoperable." This means the vehicle is not drivable. The vehicle must be towed or trailered from the dealership.
    • "Title Only - No Registration - Customer's Request." This means the customer requests no registration. The dealer must also enter the method of delivery: "Vehicle Towed," "Vehicle Trailered," or "Vehicle Delivered on Dealer Plate."
    • "Salvage" Salvage vehicles are not eligible for registration.
  • Leasing companies entrust plate ownership to their lessees. The plate expires on the lessee's birthday. This is dictated by law. Some lessees may wish to have their plate expire on the date their lease is up, however, a birthday expiration date must be used. At the end of their lease, the lessee keeps the license plate and may transfer it to the next car they choose to purchase or lease.

    A few leasing companies still own the plates on their leased vehicles. In these cases, the plate expiration date is the first of any month. The leasing company chooses which month they want the plate to expire when they first buy the plate.

    • If a Michigan title or out-of-state title has a conforming odometer statement, the odometer statement on the title is always used. There is no need to also complete a separate odometer statement.
    • If an older title does not have a conforming odometer statement, a separate odometer statement is required.
    • With MCO's, either the back of the MCO or a separate odometer statement can be used. We recommend using the MCO.
    • Dealers under Michigan's Paperless MCO Program, do not receive a MCO from their manufacture and must use a separate odometer statement when vehicle ownership transfers.
  • Vehicle base price information is available at Secretary of State offices and on the web site at Vehicle Base Prices.

  • The Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act requires persons to obtain an installment seller license when selling a motor vehicle if: Two or more scheduled payments or deposits are made on motor homes or passenger vehicles only, whether or not the seller has retained a security interest in the motor vehicle.

    Installment seller licenses are issued by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. Form FIS-1028, Installment Seller or Sales Finance Company License Application, is used to apply. The cost of the license is $30 annually. It expires on June 30 each year.

    Telephone: 877-999-6442 (toll-free) or 517-373-0220
    Fax: 517-373-0549

  • The Michigan Department of Treasury requests dealers contact their Sales, Use, and Withholding Taxes Division with any questions about the collection of sales tax. Treasury requests dealers not ask Secretary of State branch offices any sales tax questions, as final jurisdiction with all tax matters rests with the Department of Treasury.

    Dealers with any questions about the proper collection of sales or use tax should contact the Michigan Department of Treasury customer service line at 517-636-4230.