Trans 138.06   Business signs.
Trans 138.07   Lease agreement.
Trans 138.08   Temporary sales locations.
Trans 138.09   Effect of suspension, denial, revocation or voluntary surrender of license.
Ch. Trans 138 Note Note: Chapter MVD 13 as it existed on July 31, 1981 was renumbered to be chapter Trans 138 effective August 1, 1981.
Trans 138.01 Trans 138.01 Authority, purpose and scope.
Trans 138.01(1) (1) As authorized by ss. 85.16 (1), 218.0152, and 227.11 (2), Stats., the purpose of this chapter is to interpret ss. 218.0101 (6) and (23) (a), 218.0114 (14) (a), 218.0116 (1) (om), (3), and (5), 218.0119, 218.0146, 218.30, 218.32 (2) and (4) (c), 227.51 (2), 341.51 (3), and 342.16 (2), Stats., relating to the activities defining a motor vehicle dealer, wholesale dealer, and motor vehicle auction dealer, and exceptions thereto; the records and facilities required of such dealers; and the business activities of motor vehicle dealers during or after suspensions, revocations, denials or voluntary surrenders of licenses.
Trans 138.01(2) (2) This chapter pertains to any person applying for or holding a Wisconsin motor vehicle dealer, motor vehicle wholesale dealer, or motor vehicle auction dealer license.
Trans 138.01(2m) (2m) This chapter applies to any dealer or salesperson who sells or leases a vehicle to a person within the state of Wisconsin and delivers the vehicle within the boundaries of this state notwithstanding any contractual agreement between the dealer or salesperson and the person to the contrary.
Trans 138.01(3) (3) One purpose of this chapter is to interpret the definition of a motor vehicle dealer found in s. 218.0101, Stats., and that section's requirement that all motor vehicle dealers be licensed. The definition of a dealer is intended to cover a broad range of business activities relating to the sale of motor vehicles, yet it is also designed to give limited exemptions and thus ensure flexibility for individuals and businesses who wish to dispose of their private vehicles and provide advertising or other general business services to dealers.
Trans 138.01 History History: Cr. Register, July, 1981, No. 307, eff. 8-1-81; am. (1) and (2), Register, October, 1984, No. 346, eff. 11-1-84; correction in (1) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register, December, 1987, No. 384; am. (1), cr. (3), Register, June, 1991, No. 426, eff. 7-1-91; CR 99-135: cr. (2m) Register February 2004 No. 578, eff. 3-1-04; corrections in (1) and (3) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register February 2004 No. 578.
Trans 138.02 Trans 138.02 Definitions. Words and phrases defined in ch. 218, Stats., have the same meaning in this chapter unless additional interpretations are specified.
Trans 138.02(1) (1) "Auction dealer" means a person who for compensation takes possession, whether through consignment or bailment or any other arrangement, of a motor vehicle owned by a motor vehicle dealer and offers it for sale at an auction open only to motor vehicle dealers or wholesalers.
Trans 138.02(2) (2) "Compensation" means commission, money, goods, services, or other thing of value. The term includes any increase in the value or attractiveness of membership, affiliation, or employment with a club, association, corporation, government agency, or other organization.
Trans 138.02(2m) (2m) "Day" means calendar day, unless otherwise stated in this chapter. The provisions of s. 990.001 (4), Stats., apply to calculations of time under this chapter, except that a legal holiday shall be counted as a day if the dealer is open for business.
Trans 138.02(3) (3) "Department" means the Wisconsin department of transportation.
Trans 138.02(4) (4) "Incidental sales" mean sales of motor vehicles incidental to their owner's primary business activities. Vehicle sales are incidental to their owner's primary business activities if the owner provides a service, manufactures a product, or is engaged in some other clearly identifiable business activity which is demonstrably distinct from the sale of motor vehicles or their lease with an option of purchase; and if the vehicles are purchased and used primarily to serve the transportation needs of the owner's business or its employees in their work.
Trans 138.02(5) (5) "Lease with the option of purchase" means to rent or lease a vehicle to a person with an option or right to buy the vehicle, whether or not the option or right to purchase is described in the rental or leasing contract. The term includes offering contracts to prospective lessees.
Trans 138.02(5g) (5g) "Motor vehicle dealer" or "dealer" has the meaning provided in s. 218.0101 (23) (a), Stats.
Trans 138.02(5r) (5r) "Motor vehicle salesperson" or "salesperson" has the meaning provided in s. 218.0101 (24), Stats.
Trans 138.02(6) (6) "Negotiate a sale or exchange of an interest in motor vehicles" means any bargaining by a person other than a prospective retail buyer over the terms of a motor vehicle sale, exchange, or lease with an option of purchase. The term includes establishing or offering to establish agreements with dealers or other vehicle owners concerning the conditions under which the owners may sell their vehicles or lease them with an option of purchase to any person or group of persons. Such conditions may include vehicle prices or discounts, formulas for determining prices, or criteria for determining a consumer's eligibility for these or other conditions of sale.
Trans 138.02(6m) (6m) "Pay-off" means the outstanding balance of any note or loan secured by a lien on a vehicle, or in the case of a leased vehicle, the lease buy out.
Trans 138.02(7) (7) "Perfect or case bound" means a book that is permanently bound by gluing, stitching or both.
Trans 138.02(8) (8) "Privately titled" means a vehicle owned by a person who acquired the vehicle through a bona fide sales transaction in which anything of substantial value was exchanged to acquire ownership of the vehicle for purposes other than lease, rental or resale, and the person is not a motor vehicle manufacturer, final stage manufacturer, converter, distributor, wholesaler, motor vehicle dealer, auction dealer, or leasing or rental company.
Trans 138.02(9) (9) "Retail auctioneer" means a person who for compensation takes possession of a motor vehicle owned by another person, whether through consignment or bailment or any other arrangement, and offers the vehicle for sale to retail buyers by auction.
Trans 138.02(10) (10) "Sell" means to transfer or offer to transfer ownership of a motor vehicle for compensation, whether or not the person executing or offering to execute the transfer owns the vehicle. Selling includes all of the following:
Trans 138.02(10)(a) (a) Displaying, depicting, or describing the vehicle to potential purchasers and indicating by any means that the person is willing to sell the vehicle or accept an order for the vehicle's future sale or the sale of a similar vehicle.
Trans 138.02(10)(b) (b) Executing or offering to execute a lease with a requirement that the lessee purchase the vehicle.
Trans 138.02(10)(c) (c) Accepting or negotiating an order to purchase a vehicle placed by fax, telephone, the Internet, mail or some other means with a person within this state, if the vehicle purchased as a result of the order is delivered to the purchaser at a location within this state.
Trans 138.02 Note Note: This definition of "selling" includes the activities of consignment dealers, who may display vehicles and negotiate sales on behalf of the vehicles' owners.
Trans 138.02(11)(a)(a) "Services aiding the sale" of motor vehicles means describing or displaying specific vehicles or representing the conditions under which they are available for sale or lease with an option of purchase to prospective buyers or lessors. These services may include advertising, displaying vehicles, or soliciting bids on vehicles available for sale or lease with an option of purchase.
Trans 138.02(11)(b) (b) The services in par. (a) do not include providing general advice or information to prospective buyers, sellers, lessors, or lessees on issues concerning the buying, selling, or leasing of motor vehicles, provided the information does not include representations of specific vehicles available for sale or lease with an option of purchase.
Trans 138.02(11)(c) (c) The services in par. (a) do not include a financial institution offering, negotiating, or consummating a motor vehicle loan.
Trans 138.02(11m) (11m) "Title" means certificate of title issued by the Wisconsin department of transportation under ch. 342, Stats., or by another state in conformity with its applicable law, as evidence of ownership of a specific vehicle.
Trans 138.02(12) (12) "Titled owner" means the person named as the owner on the face of the most recent certificate of title issued for the vehicle. The term does not include a person named in a reassignment of the title.
Trans 138.02(13) (13) "Used motor vehicle" has the same meaning as in s. Trans 137.03 (9).
Trans 138.02(14) (14) "Wholesaler" or "wholesale dealer" means a person, other than a licensed motor vehicle dealer or licensed motor vehicle auction dealer, who does any one of the following:
Trans 138.02(14)(a) (a) Sells more than 5 used motor vehicles in any 12 month period to motor vehicle dealers, other wholesalers, motor vehicle auction dealers or salvage dealers;
Trans 138.02(14)(b) (b) Purchases used motor vehicles at a motor vehicle auction dealer; or,
Trans 138.02(14)(c) (c) Purchases used motor vehicles on behalf of motor vehicle dealers, unless the person buying the vehicles satisfies both the following conditions:
Trans 138.02(14)(c)1. 1. The person is employed by and receives compensation from one and only one dealer for services related to the sale or purchase of motor vehicles; and
Trans 138.02(14)(c)2. 2. The person conducts all financial transactions involving the sale or purchase of motor vehicles in the name of the employing dealer, under the dealer's supervision, and using the dealer's funds and financial accounts.
Trans 138.02 History History: Cr. Register, July, 1981, No. 307, eff. 8-1-81; cr. (intro.), (1), (2), (4) to (6) and (8) to (14), renum. (1) and (2) to be (3) and (7), Register, June, 1991, No. 426, eff. 7-1-91; CR 99-135: cr. (2m), (5g), (5r) and (6m), am. (10) Register February 2004 No. 578, eff. 3-1-04; CR 08-029: cr. (11m) Register August 2008 No. 632, eff. 9-1-08.
Trans 138.025 Trans 138.025 Motor vehicle dealer license required; exceptions.
Trans 138.025(1) (1) Dealers. Except as provided in sub. (2), any person engaging wholly or partly in the business of selling motor vehicles or exchanging, buying, leasing, providing services aiding the sale of motor vehicles, offering or attempting to negotiate a sale or exchange of an interest in motor vehicles, whether or not such vehicles are owned by such person, without first obtaining and maintaining a valid license under ss. 218.0101 to 218.0163, Stats., violates s. 218.0114, Stats.
Trans 138.025 Note Note: Examples of motor vehicle dealers include businesses that sell vehicles from their own inventories, persons who sell vehicles on consignment, and "buying clubs" or others who negotiate terms of sale in behalf of consumers or dealers, such as a membership organization which arranges special discounts for its members with dealers. Arranging such discounts constitutes "offering or attempting to negotiate a sale or exchange of an interest in motor vehicles for compensation," which is part of the statutory definition of a dealer. "Compensation" includes increasing the value of membership or affiliation with a club or association.
Trans 138.025(2) (2)Exemptions. The following persons are not required to hold a motor vehicle dealer license and, except as provided in this subsection, are exempt from the provisions of this chapter and ss. 218.0101 to 218.0163, Stats.
Trans 138.025(2)(a) (a) Express statutory exclusions. Any person described in s. 218.0101 (23) (b), Stats.
Trans 138.025(2)(b) (b) Limited private sales. Any person who sells or who offers or attempts to negotiate a sale of 5 or fewer used motor vehicles during a 12 month period, provided that the vehicles are privately titled to that person.
Trans 138.025(2)(c) (c) Auxiliary business services. A person who provides services to prospective sellers or buyers which aid the sale of motor vehicles if and only if the service provider's compensation is determined prior to, and is completely independent of, the sale of any motor vehicle.
Trans 138.025 Note Note: This exemption is primarily intended to allow advertising companies, newspapers, magazine publishers, property lessors, and others to provide their usual business services to dealers without having to be licensed as dealers themselves, even though their services or activities may encourage or facilitate vehicle sales.
Trans 138.025(2)(d) (d) Retail disposal of vehicles by business fleet owners. A corporation, firm, association, partnership, or other business that sells its own used motor vehicles to retail buyers, provided that all of the vehicles are privately titled to the seller; and that all the vehicle sales are incidental.
Trans 138.025 Note Note: This exemption allows fleet owners to sell off their surplus property to retail customers without getting a dealer license. It does not apply, however, to companies which lease, rent or manufacture motor vehicles since their vehicles are not privately titled.
Trans 138.025(2)(e) (e) Wholesale disposal of vehicles by business fleet owner. A corporation, firm, association, partnership, or other business that sells its own used motor vehicles, provided that all sales are made to licensed motor vehicle, wholesale, motor vehicle auction, or salvage dealers; and that all vehicle sales are incidental.
Trans 138.025(2)(f) (f) Exempt auction services. A retail auctioneer in compliance with s. Trans 138.028.
Trans 138.025(2)(g) (g) Licensed wholesalers. A wholesaler in compliance with s. Trans 138.027.
Trans 138.025(2)(h) (h) Licensed salespersons. A motor vehicle salesperson licensed in accordance with s. 218.0114 (1), Stats., and acting within the scope of his or her employment with a licensed dealer.
Trans 138.025 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1991, No. 426, eff. 7-1-91; corrections in (1), (2) (intro.), (a), and (h) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register February 2004 No. 578.
Trans 138.027 Trans 138.027 Wholesaler.
Trans 138.027(1)(1) No person may act as a wholesaler in this state without a valid wholesaler license under ss. 218.0101 to 218.0163, Stats.
Trans 138.027(2) (2) A wholesaler may not sell motor vehicles to retail buyers.
Trans 138.027(3) (3) A wholesaler may not consign motor vehicles to a motor vehicle dealer.
Trans 138.027(4) (4) A wholesaler shall comply with ss. Trans 138.03 (5), 138.04 (1) (b) and (2), 138.06, 138.07 and this section, but is otherwise exempt from this chapter.
Trans 138.027 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1991, No. 426, eff. 7-1-91; correction in (1) made under s. 13.93 (2m) (b) 7., Stats., Register February 2004 No. 578.
Trans 138.028 Trans 138.028 Retail auctioneers; limited exemption. Notwithstanding s. Trans 138.025, a retail auctioneer selling motor vehicles may conduct business without a motor vehicle dealer license, provided the retail auctioneer meets all of the following requirements:
Trans 138.028(1) (1) None of the vehicles offered at auction are owned by a motor vehicle dealer, wholesaler, manufacturer, or other licensee under ch. 218, Stats.
Trans 138.028(2) (2) Each auction is clearly distinct in place and date and meets at least one of the following conditions:
Trans 138.028(2)(a) (a) It includes only those vehicles owned by a single person, where person means an individual, household, association, firm, or corporation including its subsidiaries and divisions; or,
Trans 138.028(2)(b) (b) The auction includes no more than 3 motor vehicles.
Trans 138.028 Note Note: For example, an auctioneer may not need a dealer license when the auction only involves vehicles owned by one individual, corporation, or other "person." If the auction includes vehicles owned by 2 or more persons, the auctioneer or auction company usually needs a dealer license. The only exception occurs in very small consignment auctions, where no more than 3 vehicles are offered for sale at a single auction.
Trans 138.028(3) (3) The auction is not conducted on the permanent business premises of any motor vehicle dealer, wholesaler, wholesale auction dealer, or other person licensed under ch. 218, Stats.
Trans 138.028(4) (4) The auctioneer does not hold regular or frequent auctions under the conditions described in this section at a single location. Frequent auctions at the same location include, though are not limited to, situations in which 3 or more vehicle auctions are conducted in the same place within 12 months.
Trans 138.028 History History: Cr. Register, June, 1991, No. 426, eff. 7-1-91.
Trans 138.03 Trans 138.03 Dealer business facilities.
Trans 138.03(1) (1) Business facilities required to be provided and maintained by motor vehicle dealers are:
Trans 138.03(1)(a) (a) A permanent building in this state wherein there are facilities for:
Trans 138.03(1)(a)1. 1. A business office to maintain the books, records, and files necessary to conduct business.
Trans 138.03(1)(a)2. 2. A minimum 12 x 20 foot area accessible for automobile display, pre-sale preparation, or repair purposes. Motorcycle dealers who do not also sell automobiles shall provide an area of sufficient size to display, prepare, or repair at least 3 units. Truck dealers who do not sell automobiles are exempt from the requirements of this subdivision.
Trans 138.03(1)(a)3. 3. A repair shop, or a service agreement with a nearby repair shop, where there are repair tools, repair equipment and personnel to service such vehicles. Any service agreement shall be on the form provided by the department.
Trans 138.03(1)(b) (b) A vehicle display lot adjacent to the business office, unless all vehicles offered for sale are displayed within the business building.
Trans 138.03(1)(c) (c) The business premises which provide all required facilities shall comply with local zoning, building code and permit requirements.
Trans 138.03(2) (2) A residence, tent, or temporary stand is not a sufficiently permanent business facility within the meaning of this section. As used in this section and s. 218.0116 (3), Stats., "residence" means the domicile of a person who is an employee or owner of the dealership licensed, or applying for a license, under ss. 218.0101 to 218.0163, Stats. "Residence" does not include a building either formerly used as a residence or used as a residence by persons having no interest in an existing dealership. A motor vehicle dealer licensed by the department prior to July 1, 1991 despite having the required business office or indoor display or repair area in his or her residence may continue to use those facilities so long as ownership of the business remains unchanged and his or her dealer license is renewed continuously on or after July 1, 1991.
Trans 138.03(3) (3) More than one motor vehicle dealer, wholesaler or other business may share a single permanent building.
Trans 138.03(3)(a) (a) If a licensed motor vehicle dealer shares facilities with another motor vehicle dealer, wholesaler, or other business, each licensee shall:
Trans 138.03(3)(a)1. 1. Display a dealership sign which satisfies s. Trans 138.06.
Trans 138.03(3)(a)2. 2. Separate its own vehicle display lot from areas used by other licensees; and
Trans 138.03(3)(a)3. 3. With each license application, provide a copy of the lease agreement between the owner of the property and the dealer along with a diagram of the facilities for the designated location. If the dealer sublets the facilities from a lessee, that dealer shall provide a copy of the sublease and a copy of the lease authorizing the lessee to execute subleases.
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