Dealer’s License – Do I Need One?


Yes and No!

If you buy and sell several homes, you will need a license. If you buy one to live in it, not needed.

If you are an investor, you will need a license after the 1st, 2nd, 4th. It varies by state.

In some states, like Oregon, you need a license on your very 1st deal. No grace or trial period. If you don’t have one, the state could ask about it.

Before you read on, please know that this story has a happy ending so let not your heart be troubled!

In Oregon, the potential penalty is $5k per deal if unlicensed. And if it happens again, they could ban you from doing any more deals.

Someone we know, did 3 unlicensed deals over 2 year period. Another dealer had a disagreement with them, and knew that they did NOT have a dealer’s license. The state called them after an “Anonymous Tip” came in. They kinda guessed where it came from.

They were to receive a potential fine of $15k for the 3 deals. Ouch!

After several meetings the state reduced the fines to $4500. Then if they would get a dealer’s license, the fines would be further reduced to $2400 with a 3 year probation or monitoring period. If they stepped out of line they would get the other $2100 fines that were waived.

They got licensed.

What does it take to get a license? Again varies by state.

Oregon requires a $20k bond, which is insurance. A commercial insurance agent can give you a quote. It’s based on credit and could be $2k.

If you have enough resources, and can prove it, you won’t need the bond.

Oregon does NOT require a commercial office so you can work out of your home.

Oregon‘s license fee is $542. Why the round number?

Washington right across the river has different rules.$30k bond and a commercial office with signage (business name visible outside the building).

And Idaho next to Oregon and Washington has different rules from them both.

So Oregon requires a license on the 1st deal. What about other states?

Again it varies by state. Some require a commercial office and cannot be in a residence.

As mentioned, Oregon and some other states don’t require an office at all. They just want you licensed.

Where do you get the correct info?

Check these:
Department of Motor Vehicles – Since most states use a title for manufactured homes, just like a car. A trip to DMV is always a good first step. They can usually steer you to the right department. I have talked to some DMVs though and the people had no idea.
May be called something different. Washington DMV is called DOL or Department of Licensing.
County Tax Assessor’s Office
Department of Transportation
Department of Housing and Community Affairs/Development
Manufactured Housing Division
Division of Finance & Corporate Securities in Oregon

One or more of these departments can tell you exactly what’s needed in your state.

Happy Hunting and Have Fun!

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