Administering the Laws and Regulations to the Motor Vehicle Dealers of the Commonwealth of Virginia

Dealer Operators

Responsible for day-to-day operations of the dealership and primary contact with the MVDB.


What Does the Dealer-Operator Do?

The Dealer-Operator’s responsibilities may include, but are not limited to: (supervising salespersons, ensuring records are kept up to date, and serving as the primary contact with the MVDB).

BOTH FRANCHISE and INDEPENDENT dealers must have a qualified Dealer-Operator at their established business.  There are different requirements for becoming a qualified Franchise Dealer-Operator and an Independent Dealer-Operator, as described in the different sections of the Dealer-Operator tab of this site.

Each type of Dealer-Operator is permitted to hold the title of Dealer-Operator for more than one dealership, provided that the ownership for all dealerships is exactly the same.


Dealer License Renewal Process

As a Dealer-Operator, you may be involved in the Dealer License Renewal Process. MVDB will send a “Renewal Package” at least 6 weeks prior to the Dealer’s license expiration date. This occurs every 1 or 2 years, depending on the license renewal cycle. If completing the renewal package is one of your Dealer-Operator’s responsibilities at the dealership, please review the License Renewal Checklist.

If you are both the Dealer and Dealer-Operator, you are responsible for ensuring all information submitted to the MVDB is correct. 

MVDB staff conduct a thorough review and validate information during the processing of your renewal package. Providing an email address is helpful in cases where the MVDB may need to contact you with questions about your license renewal paperwork.

License Renewal Checklist

  • Ensure all forms are completed correctly
  • Ensure all forms reflect current information
  •  All applicable fees should be submitted along with the renewal package
  • Review Ownership Structure, Business Hours, and all contact information for accuracy
  • Ensure the MVDB 10 is accurate, complete and signed by the Dealer or authorized individuals
Prevent delays in the dealer license renewal process, please review before submitting your package to the MVDB.
Always keep your contact information up to date with the MVDB.
Franchise Dealer-Operators

Want to become a Franchise Dealer-Operator? Read how in our section “Becoming a Franchise Dealer-Operator“.

Independent Dealer-Operators

Want to become an Independent Dealer-Operator? Read how in our section “Becoming an Independent Dealer-Operator“.

IDO Recertification Program

Independent Dealer-Operators are required to take the Re-certification Program every 3 years. Find out what steps you need to take…

Dealer-Operator Courses
This two-day study course for Dealer-Operators is required before taking the IDO Qualification Test. See the course schedule for available dates and locations.
Dealer-Operator Deadline Dates
The MVDB provides a complete list of Dealer-Operators requiring re-certification with deadline dates to re-certify. If you are a Dealer-Operator, review the list to see when you are due for re-certification.
Loss of Dealer-Operator

There may be times when a Dealer-Operator leaves due to unforeseen circumstances. Find out what you need to do when that happens.

Change or Loss of Dealer-Operator

When a Dealer-Operator leaves due to planned or unforeseen circumstances such as:
  • Retirement
  • Health reasons or disability
  • Death
  • Any other reason which may cause the Dealer-Operator to no longer be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the dealership


If this is the situation, it is the Dealer’s responsibility (§46.2-1513) to notify the Board immediately by fax or mail.  This notification must be signed by the dealer and dealer-operator and must explain the reasons for the change or loss in the dealer-operator.  In addition, an updated MVDB 10 must be submitted indicating the new dealer-operator.

The new Dealer-Operator must have a salesperson license and dealer-operator qualification.

As always, a good time to ensure dealer-operator information is accurate, including the primary contact phone number, is during the Dealership renewal period.