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

Independent Dealer-Operator

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


Two Types of Dealer-Operators

There are (2) types of dealer-operators, Franchise and Independent. Both Dealer-Operators are similar in job duties and functional roles. What differentiates between Franchise and Independent DO’s is the oversight and regulatory requirements.

Franchisers require a substantial amount of knowledge and experience for franchise dealership operators. While in 2011, the independent Dealer-Operator Recertification Program was established as a new required continuing education program administered by the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. You can find out more details on the Independent Dealer-Operator Recertification Program.



You can register for the two-day Independent Dealer-Operator course throughout the year.

Becoming an Independent Dealer Operator

The first step to becoming an Independent Dealer-Operator is starting right here...

Register for the 2-day Independent Dealer-Operator Course

The course is taught by the Virginia Independent Automobile Dealers Association (VIADA). There is a fee for this course, and it is recommended that you register early to avoid closed/full classes and late registration fees.

You can find more on schedules , locations and fees on our Training Course Listing page.

The 2-day course is a comprehensive course covering the primary responsibilities of an Independent Dealer-Operator, including recent changes in motor vehicle laws and regulations, ending with an administered final exam.  In order to successfully pass the course you must pass the in-class final examination. If you pass the course, you can proceed to complete the final requirement by taking and passing the Independent Dealer-Operator examination at any DMV customer service center.

 It is recommended that you take the Independent Dealer-Operator examination soon after completing the two-day course.

You Are On Your Way...

Next Step is Taking the Independent Dealer-Operator Exam at DMV

After passing the 2-day Independent Dealer-Operator study course, you are now able to move on to taking the Independent Dealer-Operator Examination at any DMV Customer Service Center.

To better prepare yourself for taking the Independent Dealer-Operator Examination, we recommend you do the following first:

  • Download and use the Salesperson Study Guide (MVDB 35), also located in our Forms and Publications section.
  • Download and use the Dealer-Operator Study Guide (MVDB 34), also located in our Forms and Publications section.
  • Take the Dealer-Operator Practice Quiz and the Salesperson Test Quiz Here
  • Complete the MVDB 57 (Dealer-Operator/Salesperson Qualification Test Application).
    1. If you DO currently hold a valid Virginia Salesperson License, check on the MVDB 57Dealer-Operator Independent (80 questions).
    2. If you DO NOT currently have a valid Virginia Salesperson License, check on the MVDB 57 Combined Dealer-Operator Independent/Salesperson  (100 questions).
Next: Go to any DMV Customer Center to take the Independent Dealer-Operator Exam. A DMV associate will set you up on the test console.


DMV Service Centers require a $50 Test Fee.

What to Bring?

  • Proper Identification (Valid Drivers License, Passport)
  • $50 payment for testing fee


Upon passing the Independent Dealer-Operator exam, you are a qualified Independent Dealer-Operator. To finalize your qualification, the following must be completed by the dealership and the applicant:
  • The MVDB 61 Application for Salesperson license, (Sections 1, 2, 3, and 4).
  • The MVDB 61 must be signed by the dealership representative and the applicant.
  • Submit the appropriate fee of $50 for the salesperson license to the MVDB.
  • Dealership will submit Criminal Background Record Vendor and report/file as required to the MVDB. Otherwise the MVDB will collect the Criminal Background Check fees from the dealership, prior to issuance of the salesperson license.

Independent Dealer-Operator Recertification Requirement

To maintain your Independent Dealer-Operator qualification, you are required every 24 months (2 Years) months to complete a recertification on-line course or test.