Occupational Licensing

The Occupational Licensing (OL) branch of California DMV is responsible for licensing and monitoring a wide range of motor vehicle related businesses and individuals.

The automobile industry is one of the largest in the United States. There are currently over 31 million vehicles with more than 24 million licensed drivers on the road in California. 

The sale and use of automobiles in California has resulted in widely diversified industries that address the various needs of California drivers, including vehicle manufacturing and sales, driver training, vehicle registration, and more. To protect consumers, the California DMV OL branch is responsible for regulating these industries.

In This Section

Apply for an Occupational License

Learn how to apply for an occupational license, including processes, requirements, forms, and fees. As part of the application process, OL inspectors perform background verifications and physically inspect places of business for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. We also routinely monitor businesses for continued compliance and perform periodic reviews of business locations. 

Products That Require an Occupational License

To sell automobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), commercial vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, etc., you need to be licensed as a dealer. Find the complete list of products that require an occupational license to sell. 

Employer Testing Program (ETP)

The ETP allows commercial employers to administer the drive test to employees pursuing their commercial driver’s license, instead of requiring them to go to DMV.


Need to file a complaint against a driving school, traffic violator school, vehicle dealer, salesperson, dismantler, registration service, or other licensed business? 

License Status

Find the license status of vehicle industry businesses.

New Motor Vehicle Board

The New Motor Vehicle Board is a program within DMV with oversight provided by the California State Transportation Agency. Within the Board there is a Consumer Mediation Services Program which attempts, through informal mediation, to resolve disputes between consumers and new motor vehicle dealers and/or a manufacturer or distributor. 

Online Vehicle Salesperson Renewal/Reinstatement

You can renew or reinstate your vehicle salesperson license through our Virtual Office. Learn more about the steps and get started.

Occupational Licensing Inspector Offices

OL Inspector Offices provide services to business license applicants.

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