61-4-101. Application for dealer's license or wholesaler's license. (1) (a) A verified application for licensure as a dealer or wholesaler must be filed, by mail or otherwise, in the office of the department by each person, firm, corporation, or association that, for commission or profit, engages in:
(i) the business of buying, selling, exchanging, taking for consignment, or acting as a broker of new motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, used motor vehicles, trailers (except trailers having an unloaded weight of less than 500 pounds), semitrailers, mobile homes, or special mobile equipment as defined in 61-1-104; or
(ii) business as a wholesaler as defined in 61-1-319.
(b) A licensed real estate broker or agent lawfully buying, selling, exchanging, taking for consignment, or acting as a broker of mobile homes is exempt from licensure under this section.
(c) The sale of more than three motor vehicles or the offering for sale of more than three motor vehicles, if the motor vehicles are not titled in the seller's name, in any calendar year is prima facie evidence that a person is engaged in the business of dealing motor vehicles. Licensed wholesalers do not have the privilege of the use of dealer license plates as provided in subsection (2)(b) but are authorized to display and use demonstrator plates under the provisions of 61-4-102(2)(a)(ii).
(d) Each license application and all of the information contained in it must be verified by the department or an authorized representative of the department on a form to be furnished by the department for that purpose and must contain the information required. Each application must be accompanied by the license fee specified in 61-4-102. A dealer's or wholesaler's license must be renewed and paid for annually, and an application for relicensure must be filed not later than January 1 of each year. If an application for renewal of a license has been received by the department before the expiration of the license, the licensee may operate the business and display dealer or demonstrator plates under the expired license between January 1 and February 15 following expiration.
(2) To qualify for licensure and the issuance and use of "D", "UD", "RV", "DTR", or "MCD" plates as provided in this subsection, the applicant shall furnish the following information and qualify under the following provisions:
(a) To qualify as a new motor vehicle dealer and for the use of "D" plates, the applicant shall:
(i) state the name under which the business is to be conducted and the location of the premises (street address, city, county, and state) where records are kept, sales are made, and stock of motor vehicles is displayed;
(ii) state the name, address, date of birth, and social security number of all owners or persons having an interest in the business, provided that in the case of a corporation, the names and addresses of the president and secretary are sufficient;
(iii) identify other dealerships owned by the applicant, identify all persons in Montana or in another state having an interest in another dealership owned by the applicant, and disclose whether the applicant or other person with interest in a dealership owned by the applicant has been convicted of a felony;
(iv) certify that the applicant has acquired and shall maintain motor vehicle liability insurance, pursuant to 61-6-301, for any vehicle offered for demonstration or loan to a customer;
(v) state the name and make of all motor vehicles handled and the name and address of the manufacturer, importer, or distributor with whom the applicant has a written new motor vehicle franchise or sales agreement;
(vi) execute a certificate to the effect that the applicant has a permanent building for the display and sale of new motor vehicles at the location of the premises where sales are conducted;
(vii) execute a certificate to the effect that the applicant has a bona fide service department for the repair, service, and maintenance of motor vehicles; and
(viii) execute a certificate to the effect that the applicant is a bona fide dealer in new motor vehicles and that the dealer is recognized by a manufacturer, importer, or distributor as a dealer in new motor vehicles.
(b) To qualify as a used motor vehicle dealer and for the use of "UD" plates; as a recreational vehicle dealer and for the use of "RV" plates; as a trailer, semitrailer, or special mobile equipment dealer and for the use of "DTR" plates; as a motorcycle or quadricycle dealer and for the use of "MCD" plates; or as a wholesaler and for the use of demonstrator plates, the applicant shall, in addition to the matters set forth in subsections (2)(a)(i) through (2)(a)(iv), provide:
(i) a statement that the:
(A) applicant has an established place of business consisting of one or more lots located within 200 feet of each other upon which motor vehicles may be displayed and a permanent nonresidential building on or within 1,000 feet of the lot or lots where records are kept and sales are made; or
(B) wholesaler applicant has an established place of business that includes a permanent nonresidential building or office where records are kept in order that those records may be inspected;
(ii) a certificate to the effect that the applicant is a bona fide dealer or wholesaler in used motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, trailers, semitrailers, special mobile equipment, motorcycles, or quadricycles. An applicant for a recreational vehicle dealer license shall also indicate on the same certificate that the person is recognized by a manufacturer, importer, or distributor as a dealer in recreational vehicles.
(c) If two or more vehicle dealers or wholesaler businesses share a location, all records, office facilities, and inventory, if applicable, must be physically segregated and clearly identified. Each applicant's established place of business may display a sign that indicates the firm name and that vehicles are offered for sale. The letters of the sign must be clearly visible and readable to the major avenue of traffic at a minimum distance of 150 feet.
(d) To qualify for a used motor vehicle dealer's or wholesaler's license, a person shall submit an annual application for that license and comply with the provisions of 61-4-102(5) in addition to fulfilling the requirements of subsection (2)(b).
(e) The provisions of subsection (2)(d) do not apply to an applicant who is licensed as a motor vehicle wrecking facility under the provisions of Title 75, chapter 10, part 5.
(3) (a) The applicant for a dealer's or wholesaler's license shall also file with the application a bond of $25,000 for a license as a new motor vehicle dealer, a used motor vehicle dealer, a recreational vehicle dealer, a trailer dealer, or a wholesaler. However, applicants for a license as a trailer dealer or a trailer wholesaler shall file the $25,000 surety bond only if special mobile equipment, commercial trailers and semitrailers exceeding 6,000 pounds maximum gross loaded weight, mobile homes, or house trailers are sold. All other trailer dealer, motorcycle dealer, or wholesaler license applicants shall file a bond in the sum of $10,000. All bonds must be conditioned that the applicant shall conduct the business in accordance with the requirements of the law. The bond may extend to any other type of dealer license issued to the applicant at the same place of business, provided that all types of licenses are indicated on the face of the bond. All bonds must run to the state of Montana, must be approved by the department, must be filed in its office, and must be renewed annually.
(b) A person who suffers loss or damage due to the unlawful conduct of a dealer or wholesaler licensed under this section shall obtain a judgment from a court of competent jurisdiction prior to collecting on the bond. The judgment must determine a specific loss or damage amount and conclude that the licensee's unlawful operation caused the loss or damage before payment on the bond is required.
History: En. Subd. 5, Sec. 1, Ch. 158, L. 1933; re-en. Sec. 1759.4, R.C.M. 1935; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 72, L. 1937; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 245, L. 1955; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 256, L. 1965; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 354, L. 1969; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 226, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 244, L. 1971; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 535, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 53-118(part); amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 73, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 47, Ch. 421, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 443, L. 1981; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 282, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 503, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 27, Ch. 516, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 179, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 523, L. 1989; amd. Sec. 2, Ch. 383, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 14, Ch. 724, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 9, Ch. 482, L. 1993; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 220, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 221, L. 1997.