Call Us Email Map Contact Us
Search Button

The vehicle procedures manual is currently unavailable until further notice.

Chapter 12 - Dealers and Other Businesses Licensed by MVD

01/10/2014
3:51 PM

Section A.  Businesses that Must be Licensed by the Division
Section B.  "Dealer" Defined
Section C.  Auto Recyclers
Section D.  Vehicles in a Dealer's Inventory - Dealer Plates
Section E.  VIN Inspector Certification
Section F.  Dealer Titles with Wrong MCO
Section G.  Dealer Titles with Wrong Title

 

Section A.  Businesses that Must be Licensed by the Division

Revised December 1, 2017

Dealers, wholesalers and distributors of vehicles, title service companies and auto recyclers must be licensed. (§§ 66-4-1(A) and 66-4-1.1(A))

A person, unless licensed to do so by the department (TRD-MVD), shall not carry on or conduct the active trade or business of:

  1. A dealer in motor vehicles of a type subject to registration, including:
  1. trailers, but not trailers sold as kits;
  2. recreational vehicles designed to be towed;
  3. motorcycles over 55 cubic centimeters; and
  4. off-highway motor vehicles pursuant to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act.

However (§§ 66-1-4.4 and 66-1-4.3) “dealer” does not include a person making “casual sales” of not more than four per year of their own vehicles.

  1. Wholesaling of vehicles

    Any person who sells or offers for sale vehicles of a type subject to registration to a vehicle dealer, or who is franchised by a manufacturer, distributor or vehicle dealer to sell or promote the sale of vehicles dealt in by such manufacturer, distributor or vehicle dealer, is presumed to be conducting the business of wholesaling.
     
  2. Distributing of vehicles

    Any person who distributes or sells new or used motor vehicles to dealers, and who is not a manufacturer, shall be presumed to be conducting the business of distributing vehicles.
     
  3. A title service company (TSC)

    Any person who, for consideration, prepares or submits applications for the registration of or title to vehicles shall be presumed to be engaging in the business of a title service company.

    However (§66-1-4.17(E)), “title service company” does not include an agent of TRD-MVD. An organization that is contracted as an MVD Partner, with access to Tapestry, is an agent of TRD-MVD and is not required to be licensed as a TSC.
     
  4. Dismantling any vehicle (auto recycler) 

    A person desiring to engage in the business of wrecking or dismantling vehicles for the purpose of reselling parts or scrap material shall apply to the department for an auto recycler license.  A person possessing three or more wrecked, dismantled or partially wrecked or dismantled vehicles who regularly sells or offers for sale used vehicle parts or vehicle scrap material within the period of one year shall be presumed to be conducting business as an auto recycler.
     

Application for license (§§ 66-4-1(B) and 66-4-1.1(C))

Application for a dealer, wholesaler, distributor, title service company or auto recycler license shall be made upon the form prescribed by the department and shall contain the name and address of the applicant and, when the applicant is a partnership, the name and address of each partner or, when the applicant is a corporation, the names of the principal officers of the corporation and the state in which incorporated and the place where the business is to be conducted and the nature of the business and such other information as may be required by the department.

 

Section B.  "Dealer" Defined

Revised November 29, 2017

Definition of Dealer (§66-1-4.4)

General definition:

A dealer is any person who sells or solicits or advertises the sale of new or used motor vehicles, manufactured homes or trailers subject to registration in New Mexico (see Chapter 2 Section B and Section C).

Exceptions:

However, "dealer" does not include:

  1. receivers, trustees, administrators, executors, guardians or other persons appointed by or acting under judgment, decree or order of any court;
     
  2. public officers while performing their duties as such officers;
     
  3. persons making casual sales of their own vehicles (limited to four vehicles in a calendar year; and all vehicles must be titled in the individual's name);
     
  4. finance companies, banks and other lending institutions making sales of repossessed vehicles; or
     
  5. licensed brokers under the Manufactured Housing Act (§§ 60-14-1 through 60-14-20) who, for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration, engage in brokerage activities related to the sale, exchange or lease purchase of pre-owned manufactured homes on a site installed for a consumer.

 

Section C.  Auto Recyclers

Revised November 29, 2017

Definition of “auto recycler” (§66-1-4.1(H))

An auto recycler is a person engaged in an established business that includes acquiring vehicles that are required to be registered under the Motor Vehicle Code for the purpose of dismantling, wrecking, shredding, compacting, crushing or otherwise destroying vehicles for reclaimable parts or scrap material to sell.
 

Auto recycler license (§66-4-1.1)

  1. A person desiring to engage in the business of wrecking or dismantling vehicles for the purpose of reselling parts or scrap material shall apply to the department for an auto recycler license.

    A person possessing three or more wrecked, dismantled or partially wrecked or dismantled vehicles who regularly sells or offers for sale used vehicle parts or vehicle scrap material within the period of one year shall be presumed to be conducting business as an auto recycler.
     
  2. An auto recycler licensee shall not sell motor vehicles of a type subject to registration pursuant to the Motor Vehicle Code.
     

Wrecker and auto recycler are synonymous

According to the New Mexico Administrative Code (18.19.4.7 NMAC), “wrecker” means an “auto recycler.”

“Dismantler” is also synonymous with “wrecker” and “auto recycler.”
 

Nonrepairable vehicles (18.19.3.53 NMAC)

The owner of a nonrepairable vehicle may not transfer ownership to anyone other than a licensed auto recycler.

Exception: An insurance company may take title to a nonrepairable vehicle, in exchange for a payment to a person making a claim for vehicle damages.

 

Section D.  Vehicles in a Dealer's Inventory - Dealer Plates

Revised November 29, 2017

Dealer plates (§66-3-401)

Any vehicle that is required to be registered and that is included in the inventory of a dealer may be operated or moved upon the highways for any purpose, provided that the vehicle displays a dealer plate.

However, §66-3-401(B) specifies that dealer plates are not to be provided for a dealer’s work or service vehicles, including parts or delivery vehicles; vehicles used to tow another vehicle; courtesy shuttles; or vehicles loaned to customers for their convenience.  

Each dealer plate shall be issued for a specific vehicle in a dealer's inventory. If a dealer wishes to use the plate on a different vehicle, the dealer must re-register that plate to the different vehicle.
 

Maximum number of dealer plates (§66-3-402)

A currently licensed dealer of new or used motor vehicles or motorcycles is eligible for a maximum number of plates based on the number of vehicles sold by the dealer in the previous year:

  1. One plate for a dealer who sold five or more but fewer than 50 vehicles;
  2. Three plates for a dealer who sold more than 50 but fewer than 100 vehicles;
  3. Five plates for a dealer who sold more than 100 but fewer than 500 vehicles;
  4. 10 plates for a dealer who sold 500 or more vehicles; or
  5. Five plates in a dealer's first calendar year in business, including the first full calendar year for dealers licensed on or after August 1st of any year.
     

Registration of vehicles in inventory (§66-3-401)

Vehicles that are included in a dealer's inventory may be registered but need not be titled.

When a vehicle is no longer included in a dealer's inventory, and is not sold or leased to an unrelated entity, the dealer must title the vehicle and pay the motor vehicle excise tax (MVET) that would have been due when the vehicle was first registered by the dealer. 

Instead of using dealer plates, a dealer may choose to register and title a vehicle in the dealer's inventory in the name of the dealership upon payment of the registration fee, but without payment of the motor vehicle excise tax, provided the vehicle is subsequently sold or leased in the ordinary course of business in a transaction that is subject to the MVET or the leased vehicle gross receipts tax.

 
Coaches and athletic directors (§66-3-404.1)

A dealer may register a vehicle in the name of the dealer for the purpose of providing the use of a vehicle from the inventory of the dealer to a full-time coach or athletic director at any state-supported four-year institution of higher education in New Mexico.

Dealer plates provided for such vehicles do not count against the maximum number of dealer plates described above.

The vehicles need not be titled, but must be included in inventory for federal tax purposes and transferred to the full-time coach or athletic director under conditions that require the dealer to report the value of the use of the vehicle as income to the full-time coach or athletic director.

 Documentation needed to register dealers and coaches plates:

  • Copy of front and back of title or MCO
  • Insurance - can be garage liability

The current year dealer’s license should be verified in the system in accompaniment to the provided documentation.

Dealer plates provided for such vehicles are processed at the Vehicle Services Unit, in Santa Fe.  For more information dial 888-683-4636.
 

Expiration of dealer plates (§66-3-403)

Every dealer plate expires at midnight on December 31 of each year. Renewal of all dealer plates shall be on or before December 31. 
 

Dealer plates not transferable to another dealer (§66-3-404)

Dealer plates are not transferable between dealers.

Whenever a dealer ceases operation for any reason, the dealer shall surrender to the division any dealer plates issued to the dealer.

 

Section E.  VIN Inspector Certification

Revised November 29, 2017

The Dealer Licensing Bureau administers the Civilian Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Inspector program.   Certification classes are provided for employees of New Mexico motor vehicle dealers, partner offices (title service companies), tow companies and auto recyclers, as well as for MVD employees and agents (including county, municipal and partner offices). Applicants must be sponsored by a currently licensed company to attend the class and receive VIN credentials.
 

VIN Inspector Certification and Recertification Requirements (18.19.3.10 NMAC)

Any individual desiring to become an authorized VIN inspector must:

  • be 18 years of age;
  • not have been convicted of a felony;
  • demonstrate to the division's satisfaction that he or she has satisfactorily completed training in: (a) conducting inspections of the standard vehicle identification number provided by the manufacturers; and (b) inspecting vehicles which have been assembled or re-assembled to verify that such vehicles have the safety equipment required by state and federal laws and regulations; and
  • (except for government employees) post a $30,000 Bond.

VIN inspector applicants must also pass a background check, including tax compliance verification.

All VIN Inspector applicants must complete the on-line certification class to conduct Level 1 and Level 2 vehicle identification number (VIN) inspections. The class teaches the complete VIN program. An exam is given and individuals must pass with a grade of 80% or better to obtain VIN credentials. Credentials are valid for two years. The expiration date on the credential will coincide with bond expiration (excluding Government entities).

An individual appointed as VIN inspector is authorized to perform physical inspection, within the state of New Mexico, of vehicles on behalf of TRD-MVD for vehicle identification numbers and for verification of required safety equipment.

The authorized inspector may not permit any other individual to perform any of the inspector’s delegated duties in the name of the inspector.
 

VIN Inspection Levels

  • Level 1 and 2 Inspections can be completed by civilian inspectors.
    They require that the inspector understand: (level 1) the formulation of a Vehicle Identification Number and Federal Safety Certification (Nader) Label, and the factory attachment method of both items; and (level 2) vehicle engine and transmission numbering and derivative numbering systems. Any VIN Inspector certified by MVD’s Dealer Licensing Bureau is authorized to perform Level 1 and 2 VIN inspections.

  • Level 3 and 4 Inspections must be completed by law enforcement personnel.
    Level 3 and 4 certified law enforcement personnel understand the formulation of secondary identification numbers, methods of counterfeiting Public VIN (PVIN) Plates and Federal Safety Certification Labels. And they have access to confidential vehicle identification resources needed to complete the identification and investigation of a VIN-altered vehicle.

 

Section F.  Dealer Titles with Wrong MCO

Revised November 29, 2017

A Dealership Titles a Vehicle with the Wrong MCO (You did what?!)

Note: Though this problem is a more common with vehicle dealers, everything in this section applies equally, when a boat dealer makes the same mistake, to vessels and their MCOs (Manufacturer's Certificates of Origin) and hull identification numbers (HINs).

It is not uncommon for a dealership that is handling the title transaction for a new vehicle to mistakenly submit the wrong MCO, i.e. the MCO for a different vehicle, with a different VIN.

The result is that the customer (buyer) gets a title showing the wrong VIN. In some cases the MCO (and VIN) will be for a vehicle that the dealer has already sold to a different customer.

Dealers handle a huge amount of paperwork. Sometimes (sadly, but understandably) the paperwork gets mixed up. This is one of those situations. Fortunately, we can fix it.
 

How to Fix It

The dealership needs to re-register the vehicle with the correct MCO and the correct VIN to the correct customer, as follows:

  • The dealer must provide all original documents and must pay all fees (including any late fees for time elapsed from the original date of sale) to get the title and registration issued correctly to the owner.
     
  • If there is a lien on the vehicle, a release of lien must be provided.
     
  • MVD will cancel the incorrect title.
     
  • The customer (not the dealer) then needs to request a refund on the incorrectly issued title.
     
  • In order to properly assign the vehicle the dealer needs to get a duplicate MCO from the manufacturer.
     
  • Once the dealer has the duplicate MCO, MVD's Field Operations unit can then reactivate the VIN number.
     
  • The issuing office should process the MCO as a first time out-of-state title, using “NM” for the state and “MCO” for the out of state title number
     
  • After the title is processed, the dealership needs to verify that the VIN is correct.

This is a costly and lengthy process for dealers which is why it is imperative that they always be careful to use the correct MCOs when titling vehicles and vessels.

MVD field offices, partner offices and title service companies should not attempt this process by themselves, but should contact Vehicle Services in Santa Fe for guidance and assistance as soon as it becomes apparent that a dealer has titled a vehicle or vessel with the wrong MCO.

 

Section G.  Dealer Titles with Wrong Title

Revised November 29, 2017

A Dealership Titles a Vehicle with the Wrong Title (You did what?!)

Note: Though this problem is a more common with vehicle dealers, everything in this section applies equally, when a boat dealer makes the same mistake, to vessels and their titles and hull identification numbers (HINs).

It is not uncommon for a dealership that is handling the title transaction for a used vehicle to mistakenly submit the wrong title, i.e. the title for a different vehicle, with a different VIN.

The result is that the customer (buyer) gets a title for the wrong vehicle with the wrong VIN. In some cases the title (and VIN) will be for a vehicle that the dealer has already sold to a different customer.

Dealers handle a huge amount of paperwork. Sometimes (sadly, but understandably) the paperwork gets mixed up. This is one of those situations. Fortunately, we can fix it.
 

How to Fix It

The dealership needs to re-register the correct vehicle with the correct title and VIN to the correct customer, as follows:

  • The dealer must provide all original documents and must pay all fees (including any late fees for time elapsed from the original date of sale) to get the title and registration issued correctly to the owner with the incorrect title.
     
  • If there is a lien on the vehicle, a release of lien must be provided.
     
  • The dealer must also provide:
    • duplicate title application in the name of the previous owner
    • power of attorney from the previous owner
    • copy of the previous owner’s driver’s license
    • copy of the previous owner’s title. 
       
  • MVD will cancel the incorrect title.
     
  • The customer (not the dealer) then needs to request a refund on the incorrectly issued title. The original title (issued in error) must be attached to the request for refund. A copy is not acceptable.
     
  • MVD's Field Operations unit can then reactivate the VIN number.
     
  • The issuing office should process the title as a first time out-of-state title, using the correct state and title number
     
  • After the title is processed, the dealership needs to verify that the VIN is correct.

This is a costly and lengthy process for dealers which is why it is imperative that they always be careful to use the correct titles when titling vehicles and vessels.

MVD field offices and title service companies should not attempt this process by themselves, but should contact Vehicle Services in Santa Fe for guidance and assistance as soon as it becomes apparent that a dealer has titled a vehicle or vessel with the wrong title.

 

back to list

Locate an MVD Office

Find an MVD Service Provider Near You

MVD Home          Site Map          Privacy & Security          Site Policies          Accessibility          About Us          Contact Us

Governor Susana Martinez

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division Facebook Page


Call Email Map Contact