If you sell off a personal vehicle, or two, or three, you do not need any special licensing. However if you are a used car dealer you do. So how does the government determine which it is?

Are there strict limits or guidelines such as number of cars sold, how long you have owned the vehicle prior to sale, etc., or is it basically up to a government agent's discretion of whether to count you as dealing used vehicles without a license or just someone who has sold a lot of his/her cars if you are buying and selling vehicles?

  • This is typically regulated at the state level, so please specify which state you are interested in (and add the corresponding tag). Apr 18, 2018 at 3:03
  • 1
    Almost invariably, "being a car dealer" is defined by statute as "selling more than X vehicles within any Y months" where Y is usually 12 and X is usually around half of Y. But anything more detailed than that is going to require more detailed question.
    – user4657
    Apr 18, 2018 at 10:19
  • @Nij Very close to the mark.
    – ohwilleke
    Apr 19, 2018 at 1:53
  • In my home jurisdiction, it's 6 sold in any 12 consecutive. It seemed obvious that we would model from somewhere else that already dealt with the problem. @ohwilleke
    – user4657
    Apr 19, 2018 at 2:38

1 Answer 1


The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires you to have a retail dealer license if you’re in the business of selling 5 motor vehicles or more to the public during a period of 12 months.

From the New Hampshire Department of Motor Vehicles.

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