Dealer-related Information in New York
Motor vehicle dealerships are governed by the Vehicle Safety Services & Clean Air divisions of the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The vehicle sales industry does, unfortunately, attract the occasional fraudulent dealer―a fact which forces the DMV to regulate all dealerships very closely.
In turn, you need to carefully document everything while running your dealership. For a thorough and comprehensive explanation of the regulations, download the DMV's Motor Vehicle Dealers & Transporters Regulations (Form CR-78) document.
If you sell cars, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, or other types of motor vehicles, you are expected to know all the ins and outs of the legislation surrounding this industry. Assuming you've visited our Licensing Requirements page and you're in the process of applying for or have received your dealer registration, the following information and links will help you navigate the system and run a successful dealership that remains on good terms with the New York DMV. Again, these topics are the tip of the iceberg, so study the regulations guide.
- Dealer business applications: (518) 474-0919.
- Information about procedures and regulations: (518) 474-5282.
- MV-50 orders: (518) 474-2398.
Displays and signs: The business certificate issued by the DMV must be prominently displayed at the dealership. You must also have a permanent sign or window lettering, conspicuously placed, that gives the name of your business.
In addition, you must post an official dealer sign or a permanent sign that identifies you as a registered dealer in New York and satisfies the physical requirements as given in the manual (for example, it must be 3 feet wide and 2 feet tall, with white lettering on a red background).
Sales of vehicles: The dealer must make all sales at the registered place of business or at the home or place of business of the customer. Under certain circumstances, the New York Division of Division of Vehicle Safety Services may grant permission to temporarily man a booth or desk at another location (such as a vehicle fair or trade show) and sell cars from there.
Certificates of sale (Form MV-50): See our Dealer Forms page for how to use the NY DMV MV-50 Retail/MV-50W Wholesale Order Form (Form VS-144I). These books must be securely kept where they may not be accessed by non-employees, and dealers must be able to satisfactorily account for every form. This form may only be issued for vehicles owned or controller by the dealer, and must be used to transfer ownership even if other forms, such as a certificate of title, exist.
You can find a detailed explanation of how to fill out this form on the Motor Vehicle Dealers & Transporters Regulations (Form CR-78) document.
Inspections and warranties: Used vehicles must pass a comprehensive safety inspection from a licensed inspection station within 30 days of the sale date. Any vehicle you sell must be accompanied by a statement from you that the vehicle is acceptable for use on the road at the time of sale.
If the vehicle was ever salvaged or declared a lemon according to New York's Lemon Law, this must be clearly stated and several forms filled out to this effect. All guarantees or warranties must be in writing and a copy given to the buyer.