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

Primary Function of the MVDB

The primary function of the MVDB is to license (Car, Truck, Trailer, Motorcycle and RV) for both franchise (new) and independent (used) dealers.


Dealer Licensing

As part of the licensing process, the DMV has authorized the MVDB to issue dealer license plates and decals to licensed dealers. Licensing activities include:

  • Testing new applicants (DMV Customer Service Centers)
  • Reviewing Criminal Background History Background Checks on new applicants and on a random sample of renewals
  • Processing applications and issuing a license or a denial
  • Processing and issuing supplemental licenses
  • Performing field inspections for the opening and closing of dealerships
  • Maintaining a customer “window” for in-person transactions


Criminal History Guidelines

Motor Vehicle Dealer Board Guidelines for review of applications for salesperson and dealer-operator licenses where the applicant has a criminal record. Adopted March 17, 1998

The primary goal of the application review process is to “screen out” applicants whose past conduct indicates that they should not be licensed as a motor vehicle salesperson or as a dealer-operator. This action is necessary in order to protect the interests of retail motor vehicle consumers and the integrity of the Motor Vehicle Dealer Transaction Recovery Fund.

In recommending or resolving disposition of applications by applicants with a criminal history, the Board, hearing officer and staff, where relevant, will consider each of the following factors:

  1. A conviction of any of the following offenses, by itself, may be grounds for denial:
    • Criminal offense is classified as a felony (a copy of the conviction record(s), name of probation officer, date(s), and court jurisdiction(s) must be attached to the MVDB 61) 
    • Any criminal act involving the business of selling vehicles
    • Any fraudulent act in connection with the business of selling vehicles or any consumer-related fraud
    • Larceny of a vehicle or receipt or sale of a stolen vehicle
    • Odometer tampering or any related violation
  2. If the applicant has been convicted of any such violations, the reviewer will first consider whether the applicant is, at the time of application and subsequent hearings, under court supervision or probation and if so, the date of the underlying conviction(s), the date of release from court supervision or probation and the reports of probation officers which might be submitted by or on behalf of the applicant.

In addition, the reviewer shall also consider, where relevant:

  1. The nature and seriousness of the conviction(s);
  2. The age of the applicant at the time of the offense(s) and the length of time since the most recent offense was committed;
  3. The extent of the applicant’s criminal record, including the number, nature and date of all criminal convictions;
  4. The impact of the criminal behavior which led to the conviction(s), upon the community and the victim(s) of the offense(s);
  5. Severity of the sanctions imposed by the court(s) for the violations;
  6. Any evidence offered by or on behalf of the applicant in support of his application and any other factors which may be considered relevant by the hearing officer, Board or staff and
  7. The credibility and demeanor of the witnesses.

The hearing officer, Board and staff will articulate and explain in any written recommendation or decision those particular factors especially emphasized or relied upon in reaching a recommendation or decision.