Vehicle Lessor-Retailer License

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You need a vehicle lessor-retailer license if you sell previously leased or rented vehicles to the public, unless you sell to:

  • An individual who has leased the vehicle for at least one year.
  • A buyer for agricultural, business, or commercial purposes.
  • A government agency.

How to Apply for a Vehicle Lessor-Retailer License

To apply for your license, submit the following:

Once you have completed these forms and collected all documents, call a local OL inspector for further instructions before mailing in your application packet. After OL has approved your completed application, we will schedule an appointment for inspection. At the inspection, an OL inspector will:

  • Inspect the main business office where you conduct business, whether or not retail sales are made from this location (business inspection within California only).
  • Inspect all books and records pertinent to the business (California Vehicle Code (CVC) §11601(a), (c)).
  • Collect your paperwork and fees.

You will also need to undergo a background investigation.


  • $175 nonrefundable application fee
  • $1 family support program
  • $70 for each branch location (if applicable)

How to Renew a Vehicle Lessor-Retailer License

To renew your license, complete a Renewal Application (OL 45). Mail your application and fees to the address on the form.


  • $125 renewal application fee
  • $1 family support program
  • $70 for each branch location (if applicable)

How to Modify a Vehicle Lessor-Retailer License

To modify an existing license, complete and submit the relevant form(s): 

To avoid processing delays, submit your modification at your local OL inspector office.


  • $70 name change fee
  • $70 address change fee
  • $70 add a branch fee
  • $70 officer change fee

Lessor-Retailer Licensing Authority

CVC §§286 (i) and (j), 373, 11600 et seq. The CVC is available for purchase from DMV.

California Code of Regulations, Title 13, Chapter 1.

California Business and Professions Code §§9889.50-9889.53, and 17500.5.

California Civil Code §§2981-2984.4.

California Government Code §6157 (a) – (d).

California Health and Safety Code §§43150-43156, 43200-43213, and 43600-43660.

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