Types of Texas Dealer Licenses

Retail General Distinguishing Number
Wholesale General Distinguishing Number
Franchised Dealer License
Converter License
Salvage Dealer License
Manufacturer License
Distributor License
In Transit License
Vehicle Lessor License
Lease Facilitator License

Retail General Distinguishing Number

Retail GDN licenses are the basic dealer licenses and are broken down into 5 categories. If you want to sell vehicles from multiple categories you will need to have a license for each category. I want to repeat that, if you want to sell vehicles from multiple categories you will need to have a license for each category. So if you want to want to sell motor vehicles AND travel trailers you will need a motor vehicle license AND a travel trailer license.
The five categories are Motor Vehicle, Motorcycle, Travel Trailers, Trailer/Semi Trailers, and Independent Mobility Motor Vehicle Dealer
Always remember Retail dealers can sell RETAIL to a customer on the lot or WHOLESALE to another dealer or at a DEALER AUCTION

Motor Vehicle GDN Dealer License. A motor vehicle GDN allows to Buy, Sell, or Exchange Used Cars, Trucks, Motor Homes, & Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, you May Buy, Sell, Repair, or Rebuild Salvage Motor Vehicles & Nonrepairable Motor Vehicles, a Motor Vehicle GDN allows you to Use Dealers Temporary Tags, Buyer’s Temporary Tags, & Metal Dealer License Plates ONLY on Motor Vehicles and buy the way we will cover dealers temporary tags, buyers temporary tags and metal dealer license plates later in the course, this license DOES requires you to Provide a Dealer Surety Bond The license allows you to sell vehicles retail to customers on the lot, or wholesale directly to other dealers or through dealer only auctions.

Motorcycle GDN. A motorcycle GDN allows you Buy, Sell, or Exchange Used Motorcycles, Mopeds, off highway vehicles, which would be ATV’s ROV’s and UTV’s or autocycles, It also allows you to Buy, Sell, Repair, or Rebuild Salvage Motor Vehicles & Nonrepairable Motor Vehicles
May Use Dealer's Temporary Tags, Buyer's Temporary Tags, & Metal Dealer License Plates ONLY on Motorcycles, Mopeds or off highway vehicles
And requires you to Provide a Dealer Surety Bond

Travel Trailers. A travel trailer GDN allows you to buy, sell, or exchange used travel trailers. By the way a travel trailer is defined as a house trailer-type vehicle or a camper trailer that is a recreational vehicle or that is less than eight feet six inches in width or 45 feet in length, and is designed primarily for use as temporary living quarters in connection with recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use it is NOT a permanent dwelling; and is NOT a utility trailer, enclosed trailer, or other trailer that does not have human habitation as its primary function.
This license allows you to Buy, Sell, Repair, or Rebuild Salvage Motor Vehicles & Nonrepairable Motor Vehicles. You May Use Dealer's Temporary Tags, Buyer's Temporary Tags, & Metal Dealer License Plates ONLY on Travel Trailers and this type of license Does NOT Require Dealer a Surety Bond

Trailer/Semitrailer. A trailer/semitrailer GDN allows you to buy, sell, or exchange, NEW or used utility and semitrailers. May Buy, Sell, Repair, or Rebuild Salvage Motor Vehicles & Nonrepairable Motor Vehicles. You may Use Dealer's Temporary Tags, Buyer's Temporary Tags, & Metal Dealer License Plates ONLY on Trailers/Semitrailers, it Does NOT Require a Dealer Surety Bond Please be aware this is the ONLY GDN license category that allows you to sell brand new vehicles without a franchised dealer license.

Independent Mobility Motor Vehicle Dealer. An independent mobility motor vehicle GDN allows you to new and used vehicles that have been converted into mobility vehicles at a specific location. You must have an agreement with the licensed franchise dealer of the underlying chassis of the mobility vehicle. A mobility motor vehicle is designed to transport a person with a disability. This type of license also requires the applicant hold a converter’s license.

All independent motor vehicle GDN license types with the exception of wholesale, wholesale auction, and Independent Mobility Motor Vehicle dealers may operate as a salvage dealer as of Sept 1, 2019, without a separate salvage license as long as it is ONLY at the same business location for which the GDN license was issued. A Sales & Use Tax Permit, Sales Tax ID Number, and NMVTIS Number is Also Required if Operating as a Salvage Dealer. Once again wholesale, wholesale auction, and Independent Mobility Motor Vehicle dealers are excluded

Wholesale General Distinguishing Number

A Wholesale GDN or wholesale dealer license allows you to purchase and sell vehicles to other wholesale dealers or at dealer auctions. You may not sell a vehicle to a person without a dealer’s license, such as a retail customer on a display area. You may never sell a vehicle to the general public with a wholesale dealer license. A wholesale license allows you to Buy, Sell, or Exchange Used Vehicles, Including Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles, & Travel Trailers May Buy, Sell, or Exchange New or Used Trailers and/or Semitrailers , it Does Not Require Display Lot but you Must Provide a Dealer Surety Bond

If you hold a wholesale dealer license and want to sell vehicles to the general public you will need to amend your license to a retail dealer license. Retail and wholesale dealers may not have offices in the same business structure for example as shared roofline, regardless whether they have a different suite number. If other wholesale dealers are in the same building you will need to move to a new location if you are amending your wholesale dealer license to a RETAIL dealer license.

Wholesale Motor Vehicle Auction License General Distinguishing Number
or wholesale motor vehicle auction dealer license is a little bit different. A wholesale motor vehicle auction DEALER license allows the licensee to offer vehicles for sale at a dealer auction and may also hold auctions.
Changing a license type from wholesale to retail requires an amendment application to be submitted in eLICENSING.

Franchised Dealer License

A franchised dealer license is required to sell new motor vehicles. A franchised dealer may sell NEW and USED vehicles A franchised dealer is referred to as a FRANCHISEE. If a franchisee also wants to sell used motor vehicles they will need to obtain a retail GDN even if only selling new vehicles and franchisees may buy or sell both new and used vehicles. A franchise license is required to sell all types of new motor vehicles including motorcycles, travel trailers, ATVs, and ROVs.

A franchise motor vehicle dealer may operate several dealerships in the same city with the same GDN. Each separate location, however, does require a separate franchise license. Franchised dealers are authorized to sell specific line-makes and must amend their license when adding or removing line-makes to a location.

Texas Converter License

A converter license is required if you assemble or install special equipment to a vehicle chassis before offering the vehicle for retail sale. A"conversion" means a motor vehicle that has been substantially modified by a person other than the manufacturer or distributor of the chassis of the motor vehicle; and has not been the subject of a retail sale.
A "converter" means a person who before the retail sale of a motor vehicle:
assembles, installs, or affixes a body, cab, or special equipment to a chassis; or substantially adds, subtracts from, or modifies a previously assembled or manufactured motor vehicle.

Neither converters nor their representatives are allowed to sell the new motor vehicles they convert directly to Texas consumers, including municipalities. Only dealers that are franchised and licensed for the underlying line-make of the converted vehicle are allowed to sell converted vehicles to Texas consumers.
Remember converters cannot sell to the public if they do not have a franchise license. The conversion may, but does not have to, include special equipment.

Texas Salvage Dealer License

A salvage dealer is engaged in the business of buying, selling, repairing, or rebuilding salvage motor vehicles and nonrepairable motor vehicles
A salvage motor vehicle has been damaged or is missing a major part causing the cost to repair the vehicle to be higher than the actual cash value of the vehicle before it was damaged. A salvage motor vehicle may be repaired (or “rebuilt”) so that it can be titled as a rebuilt motor vehicle and registered to operate on public roads. Rebuilt vehicles MUST pass inspection to be titled and sold as used motor vehicles using a GDN license.

You must be licensed as a GDN or a salvage dealer if you:
buy or sell more than five salvage or nonrepairable motor vehicles in a calendar year; or rebuild more than five salvage motor vehicles in a calendar year. All retail and salvage inventory must be kept separate
Independent GDN’s except for wholesale or independent mobility motor vehicle dealers May Operate as a Salvage Dealer Without Separate Salvage License

Manufacturer License

A manufacturer license is required if you assemble or manufacture new vehicles for sale by franchised motor vehicle dealers or what we call FRANCHISEES. Manufacturers are prohibited from selling vehicles directly to the general public. They must sell the vehicles they manufacture to franchisees.

Distributor License

A distributor license is required for anyone that distributes, and or, sells vehicles to franchised motor vehicle dealers. They sometimes act as an intermediary between a vehicle manufacturer and a franchised motor vehicle dealer.

In Transit License

Allows Drive-a-Way Operator to Transport & Deliver a Vehicle in Texas from the Manufacturer or Another Point of Origin. Drive-a-Way Operators May Apply For, Receive, & Attach Metal In-Transit License Plates to Vehicles they Transport.

Vehicle Lessor License

A vehicle lessor license is required for any person that offers vehicles for lease of more than 180 days. A dealer may not have the word lease or leasing in the dealership name unless the dealer has a vehicle lessor license. Retail and WHOLESALE license holders and vehicle lessor license holders may not share an office.

Lease Facilitator License

A lease facilitator license acts as a leasing agent for a vehicle lessor licensee. This person acts as an intermediary between the vehicle lessor and a person leasing a vehicle. Retail license holders and lease facilitator license holders may not share an office.
Also I want you to be aware A Lessor or Lease Facilitator may only share an office with another dealer if the other dealer or business is 100% owned by the same Lessor or Lease Facilitator.

We are here to help you obtain and renew your Texas Dealers License!

Texas Dealer License

Delus Johnson-Lead Instructor
Automobile Dealer Training Association