Register April 2024 No. 820
Chapter Trans 138
Trans 138.01   Authority, purpose and scope.
Trans 138.02   Definitions.
Trans 138.0225   License requirements.
Trans 138.025   Motor vehicle dealer license required; exceptions.
Trans 138.027   Wholesaler.
Trans 138.028   Retail auctioneers; limited exemption.
Trans 138.03   Dealer business facilities.
Trans 138.04   Records kept.
Trans 138.05   Auction dealers.
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 138.01Authority, 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 138.02Definitions. 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(13m) (13m) “Valid motor vehicle buyer license” means a written authorization issued by the department that authorizes the holder to bid on or to purchase at a motor vehicle auction dealer, to an applicant that meets the requirements under s. Trans 138.0225.
Trans 138.02(13r) (13r) “Motor vehicle buyer” has the meaning provided in s. 218.0101 (22m), Stats.
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; EmR2305: emerg. cr. (13m), eff. 4-21-23; CR 23-014: cr. (13m), (13r) Register April 2024 No. 820, eff. 5-1-24; correction in (13r) made under s. 35.17, Stats., Register April 2024 No. 820.
Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.