Selling cars is not a profession for the faint of heart. If you are a car salesperson, you know that it can be a difficult and demanding profession that doesn't always get the respect that it deserves. Not only do car salespeople need an in-depth knowledge of multiple vehicle types, models, and features, but they also need to understand the many state and federal laws that govern car sales. Each state has its own rules for licensing car sales professionals, but most require a licensing exam, a fee, and a background investigation.
It can take weeks or even months of preparation to become a licensed car salesperson. Your dedication to learning the requirements of safe and legal vehicle transactions is something that should be protected. If you are accused of misconduct or fraud, or are being investigated by your state's licensing board, the experienced team of legal professionals at the Lento Law Firm can help. Our tam helps car salespeople nationwide craft a defense to threats against their professional licenses and can help you protect your reputation and your livelihood.
Becoming a Licensed Car Salesperson
Depending on your state, becoming a car salesperson can have multiple requirements. Usually, there is an application, an exam, and several fees. Your state may also require a background investigation which may have additional costs. After you get your license, you may have to pay a yearly cost, join a professional membership group, or take periodic educational classes.
To get licensed and to maintain a professional license, car salespeople are charged with knowing multiple types of information. Running afoul of state or federal rules governing vehicle sales can result in complaints to the state governing board, criminal or civil investigations, and even fines and jail time.
The information that car salespeople need to know to protect their license varies from state to state, but in general, you may need to know:
- The requirements for different types of vehicle tags, titles, and registrations
- The fees and paperwork required to be sent to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles
- Rules for selling vehicles “as is,” as well as state and federal Lemon Laws
- Federal regulations like the Truth in Lending Act and the Truth in Mileage Act
- The IRS Cash Reporting Rule and the requirements for legally reporting a vehicle transaction made in cash
- Regulations requiring full disclosure of vehicle financing terms and conditions, including the Annual Percentage Rate
- Rules for the sale or auction of used cars and vehicles, including warranty provisions
Car salespeople have a lot to keep track of when it comes to the paperwork required for the legal sale of vehicles. When a potential issue arises that can jeopardize your professional license, it is important to take it seriously from the start. The Lento Law Firm and our experienced Professional License Defense Team is ready to assist you in making your case and protecting your license.
Problems With Vehicle Sales Licenses
When a state requires a person to have a license to sell vehicles, the state will also investigate and suspend or revoke the licenses of salespeople who do not meet their standards. Some common reasons why a car salesperson's license might be in danger include:
- Accepting illegal referral fees or commissions
- Taking advantage of elderly customers
- Deceptive sales or marketing techniques
- Failing to disclose all of the terms or conditions of a sale
- Altering a vehicle's odometer or tampering with a vehicle
- Helping someone else to sell vehicles without a license
Some states may also discipline car salespeople for criminal convictions that are unrelated to their professional behavior. Convictions for offenses like driving under the influence, fraud or theft, or child abuse may be a reason for the state to take action against your license.
Disciplinary Procedures Can Affect Your Vehicle Sales License
Trouble with the Department of Motor Vehicles (or your state's licensing equivalent) usually starts with a notice of an investigation into a complaint. You may have a very limited amount of time—often around two weeks—to respond to any notices that your state licensing board sends. In some states, you may be able to attend a hearing and present any evidence in your favor.
Depending on the severity of the complaint or the reason for the investigation, the state's licensing board may choose to suspend or revoke your license or enact a minor type of discipline. Some states allow you to file an appeal if there is negative action taken against you.
While it may be tempting to respond to the state licensing board's request on your own, it is important to get help reviewing any documents that could affect your vehicle sales license. If you fail to respond to requests, respond incorrectly, or sign documents that you don't understand, you may inadvertently make admissions or lose out on certain rights that may be impossible to get back. Protect your career and livelihood by retaining a professional license defense attorney at the Lento Law Firm.
Get Help with Professional License Defense
The key to a successful defense is to act fast. Don't wait if you have received notice that you are being investigated—your license may depend on responding promptly. Contact the knowledgeable nationwide Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm and let us handle the details of your defense.
At the Lento Law Firm, our team can analyze the merits of your case, help you compile evidence and witnesses, prepare responses to complaints or letters of inquiry, and act as your legal representative where allowed. We understand how devastating it can be when your license and career are threatened, and will work hard to protect your rights. Your license is your career's greatest asset—Get the help you need to defend your rights today by contacting the Attorney Joseph D. Lento online or at 888.535.3686.