(b) This article establishes minimum competency and ethical standards for persons engaged in the business of selling motor vehicles to the general public.
(1) "Applicant" means any person making application for an original or renewal of a salesperson license;
(2) "Dealer" means any motor vehicle or auction business regulated under the provisions of article six or six-c of this chapter;
(3) "Licensee" means any person holding a license issued under the provisions of this article;
(4) "Motor vehicle salesperson" or "salesperson" means any person employed by a dealer to sell, buy, display and offer for sale or deal in motor vehicles, recreational vehicles or trailers, as those terms are defined in section one of article one of this chapter, for a commission or other valuable consideration, but does not mean any public officer performing his or her official duties or the dealer licensee. A person employed by a dealer as a finance and insurance representative is for the purposes of this article a salesperson. For the purposes of this article, the term "motor vehicle salesperson" does not apply to persons employed by a dealer in the business of selling commercial motor vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of twenty-six thousand one pounds or more, employees of financial institutions or to businesses licensed as auctions.
(b) No class of vehicle dealer as defined in article six or six-c of this chapter may employ an unlicensed motor vehicle salesperson on or after the first day of January, two thousand eight. No person may sell vehicles for more than one vehicle dealer unless the commissioner grants a written waiver.
(c) Any person employed by licensed dealers as a salesperson immediately preceding the effective date of this section is exempt from the requirements of the background investigation and the written test and payment of the fee for the background investigation provided in section four of this article.
(1) Is employed by a licensed West Virginia dealer who verifies the employment;
(2) Completes the application for a license on the form prescribed by the division, fully completed, signed and attested to by the applicant, including, but not limited to, the applicant's:
(A) Full name;
(B) Social security number;
(C) Residence and mailing address;
(D) Name of employing dealership;
(E) Statement as to whether the applicant has ever had any previous application for a dealer or salesperson license refused in this or any other state or jurisdiction;
(F) Statement as to whether the applicant has been previously licensed as a salesperson in this state or any other state or jurisdiction;
(G) Statement as to whether the applicant has ever had his or her salesperson license or a dealer license suspended or revoked in this state or any other state or jurisdiction;
(H) Statement as to whether the applicant has ever held a dealer license which has been suspended or revoked or has been employed by a dealer which has had its license suspended or revoked;
(I) Statement as to whether the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony or whether the applicant individually or as an owner, partner, officer or director of a business entity has been convicted of, or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a criminal action, and if so, a written explanation of the conviction;
(J) Statement as to whether or not the applicant owes a child support obligation, owes a child support obligation that is more than six months in arrears, is the subject of a child support related warrant, subpoena or court order; and
(K) Statement that the applicant has not been found to have done any of the acts which would justify suspension or revocation of a salesperson's license under section nine of this article;
(3) Submits verification of employment by the employing dealer;
(4) Furnishes a full set of fingerprints to facilitate a background check and other investigation considered necessary by the commissioner;
(5) Pays an initial nonrefundable application fee of seven dollars for each year the license is valid. Payment of the fee entitles the applicant to one attempt at a written test prescribed by the division. Successful completion of at least seventy percent of the written test is a passing score;
(6) Pays a nonrefundable background investigation fee of twenty-five dollars; and
(7) Is not the subject of a background investigation which reveals criminal convictions or other circumstances for which the commissioner may deny licensure under the provisions of this article.
(b) The division may, upon successful completion of all the requirements contained in subsection (a) of this section, with the exception of the background investigation, issue the applicant a temporary motor vehicle salesperson license. The temporary license is valid for a maximum of ninety days pending issuance of the permanent license endorsement or receipt of an unfavorable background investigation, whichever occurs first.
(c) The division shall refuse to issue the license if the applicant:
(1) Does not provide the necessary documents as determined by the division to establish his or her identity or legal presence in this country;
(2) Has made any false statements of material fact in the application;
(3) Has had his or her privilege to sell vehicles denied, suspended or revoked by this state or any other state or jurisdiction: Provided, That upon the applicant's appeal, the commissioner may grant an exemption of this restriction if the applicant can show that he or she is eligible for reinstatement in his or her previous jurisdiction of licensure;
(4) Has committed a fraudulent act or omission or repeatedly defaulted in financial obligations in connection with the buying, selling, leasing, rental or otherwise dealing in motor vehicles, recreational vehicles or trailers;
(5) Has been convicted of a felony: Provided, That upon the applicant's appeal the commissioner may grant an exemption to this restriction if the felony did not involve financial matters or the motor vehicle industry;
(6) Is not employed as a salesperson for a motor vehicle dealer licensed in accordance with article six or six-c of this chapter;
(7) Is acting as a salesperson for more than one motor vehicle dealer at the same time without a waiver issued by the commissioner; or
(8) Has a background investigation which reveals criminal convictions or other circumstances for which the commissioner may deny licensure under the provisions of this article.
(d) Willful misrepresentation of any fact in any application or any document in support of the application is a violation of this article.
(b) A licensee may renew a license in the manner prescribed by the division upon completion of the application for renewal, verification by the employing dealer and payment of a renewal fee of ten dollars. The license shall be valid for a period of five years.
(1) Any licensee who fails to renew his or her license before the date of expiration shall pay an additional fee of five dollars.
(2) Any licensee who fails to renew his or her license within six months of expiration is not eligible for renewal and is required to complete the application process required of all new applicants, including the payment of all initial fees, completion of the written test and background investigation as if he or she never held a license.
(b) Within ten days of hiring a licensed salesperson, the dealer shall notify the division in the manner prescribed by the division. The dealer shall complete an application for transfer of a salesperson license, and shall verify the salesperson's employment in a manner prescribed by the division.
(c) The salesperson shall submit the completed transfer application, a fee of five dollars and obtain a new salesperson license in the name of the new employer before engaging in the activities of a salesperson as described in section two of this article. No transfer application or fee is required if the salesperson is reemployed by the previous employer within six months of cessation of employment.
(b) Every dealer shall conspicuously display a list of all employees currently licensed as salespersons.
(1) Violated any motor vehicle dealer law, any dealer rule or order of the division;
(2) Improperly withheld, misappropriated or converted to his or her own use any money received from customers;
(3) Misrepresented the terms of any existing or proposed vehicle sale, purchase, lease, rental, finance, warranty or insurance agreement;
(4) Engaged in any pattern of unfair competition or unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the business of buying, selling, renting or leasing vehicles;
(5) Forged another person's name to any application or form required for the titling, leasing, rental, registration, financing or insuring of a vehicle;
(6) Knowingly and willfully made or permitted a false or fraudulent application or form required for the titling, leasing, rental, registration, financing or insuring of a vehicle;
(7) Been convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to any felony: Provided, That upon the applicant's appeal the commissioner may grant an exemption to this subdivision if the felony did not involve financial matters or the motor vehicle industry;
(8) Been convicted of or pleaded nolo contendere to a misdemeanor in connection with his or her activities in the business of selling, renting or leasing vehicles;
(9) Been refused a dealer or salesperson license or had a dealer or salesperson license suspended, revoked, restricted or otherwise canceled in another state or jurisdiction: Provided, That upon the applicant's appeal, the commissioner may grant an exemption of this restriction if the applicant can show that he or she is eligible for reinstatement in his or her previous jurisdiction of licensure; or
(10) Obtained the license through misrepresentation, fraud or any other act for which the issuance of the license could have been refused had it been known to the commissioner at the time of issuance.
(b) For the purposes of this section:
(1) "Suspension" means the privilege to sell vehicles is temporarily withdrawn for a fixed period and is reinstatable without retesting; and
(2) "Revocation" means the privilege to sell vehicles is withdrawn permanently.
(c) A licensee whose license is revoked may reapply for an original license with an explanation as to why the commissioner should consider the applicant for relicensing.
(b) The commissioner may but is not required to stay the suspension or revocation of a salesperson license during the appeals process.
(c) Any final order entered pursuant to this article is subject to judicial review as provided in article five, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(b) The commissioner and the division shall keep any investigation confidential unless and until the commissioner suspends, revokes or otherwise denies a license: Provided, That the commissioner may advise the Motor Vehicle Dealers Advisory Board of information that may enable it to perform its advisory functions.
(b) The circuit court may, by mandatory or prohibitory injunction, compel compliance with the provisions of this article and all final orders of the commissioner. The court may also issue temporary injunctions.
(c) The judgment by the circuit court is final unless reversed, vacated or modified on appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia. An appeal shall be sought in the manner and within the time provided by law for appeals from circuit courts in other civil cases.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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