Wis. Admin. Code Department of Transportation § Trans 138.025 - Motor vehicle dealer license required; exceptions

(1) DEALERS. Except as provided in sub. (2), any person engaging wholly or partly in the business of selling motor vehicles or exchanging, buying, leasing, providing services aiding the sale of motor vehicles, offering or attempting to negotiate a sale or exchange of an interest in motor vehicles, whether or not such vehicles are owned by such person, without first obtaining and maintaining a valid license under ss. 218.0101 to 218.0163, Stats., violates s. 218.0114, Stats.

Note: Examples of motor vehicle dealers include businesses that sell vehicles from their own inventories, persons who sell vehicles on consignment, and "buying clubs" or others who negotiate terms of sale in behalf of consumers or dealers, such as a membership organization which arranges special discounts for its members with dealers. Arranging such discounts constitutes "offering or attempting to negotiate a sale or exchange of an interest in motor vehicles for compensation," which is part of the statutory definition of a dealer. "Compensation" includes increasing the value of membership or affiliation with a club or association.

(2) EXEMPTIONS. The following persons are not required to hold a motor vehicle dealer license and, except as provided in this subsection, are exempt from the provisions of this chapter and ss. 218.0101 to 218.0163, Stats.
(a) Express statutory exclusions. Any person described in s. 218.0101(23) (b), Stats.
(b) Limited private sales. Any person who sells or who offers or attempts to negotiate a sale of 5 or fewer used motor vehicles during a 12 month period, provided that the vehicles are privately titled to that person.
(c) Auxiliary business services. A person who provides services to prospective sellers or buyers which aid the sale of motor vehicles if and only if the service provider's compensation is determined prior to, and is completely independent of, the sale of any motor vehicle.

Note: This exemption is primarily intended to allow advertising companies, newspapers, magazine publishers, property lessors, and others to provide their usual business services to dealers without having to be licensed as dealers themselves, even though their services or activities may encourage or facilitate vehicle sales.

(d) Retail disposal of vehicles by business fleet owners. A corporation, firm, association, partnership, or other business that sells its own used motor vehicles to retail buyers, provided that all of the vehicles are privately titled to the seller; and that all the vehicle sales are incidental.

Note: This exemption allows fleet owners to sell off their surplus property to retail customers without getting a dealer license. It does not apply, however, to companies which lease, rent or manufacture motor vehicles since their vehicles are not privately titled.

(e) Wholesale disposal of vehicles by business fleet owner. A corporation, firm, association, partnership, or other business that sells its own used motor vehicles, provided that all sales are made to licensed motor vehicle, wholesale, motor vehicle auction, or salvage dealers; and that all vehicle sales are incidental.
(f) Exempt auction services. A retail auctioneer in compliance with s. Trans 138.028.
(g) Licensed wholesalers. A wholesaler in compliance with s. Trans 138.027.
(h) Licensed salespersons. A motor vehicle salesperson licensed in accordance with s. 218.0114(1), Stats., and acting within the scope of the salesperson's employment with a licensed dealer.

Notes

Wis. Admin. Code Department of Transportation § Trans 138.025
Cr. Register, June, 1991, No. 426, eff. 7-1-91; corrections in (1), (2) (intro.), (a), and (h) made under s. 13.93(2m) (b) 7, Stats., Register February 2004 No. 578. Amended by, CR 22-048: am. (2) (h) Register July 2023 No. 811, eff. 8/1/2023

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