Dealer-Operator, Pre-License


The dealer-operator of any new independent motor vehicle dealership is required to successfully complete a course of study before they are permitted to take the Independent Dealer-Operator Qualification Test at a DMV Customer Service Center. “Grandfathered” dealer-operators, title clerks and salespersons are also encouraged to take the course as regulations change regularly and the course has the most up-to-date information a prospective dealer-operator needs to know.

The Virginia Independent Automobile Dealers Association (VIADA) presents the two-day course at locations throughout the state and is taught by former dealers who have over 40+ years of experience combined.

  • The course takes the attendee from establishing the dealership under local zoning and Dealer Board requirements, through the sales process with its multitude of forms, laws and regulations, in to a sampling of opening and operating expenses, and ending with a discussion on ethics.
  • The course is open to all existing dealers and their employees.


REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED ONLINE BY CLICKING ON EITHER THE CLASS DATE OR LOCATION. Registration for all classes ends at 8:00pm the Sunday prior to the class. Registration for the class is $485.  

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION: If you register more that 14 calendar days before the class date, you will receive a $50 early registration discount.

​The class registration fee includes a $50 MVDB fee which will be submitted by VIADA to MVDB.

There is a $35 fee to reschedule to a different class/date. If you need to cancel your registration, a $50 cancellation fee will be deducted from your refund. No refunds are provided for cancellations after 12:00pm noon on the Monday before the class, or not attending.

A minimum of 10 students is required for any class. Due to room sizes at various hotels, some classes are limited to 25 students with a maximum of 50 at those with larger facilities. Be sure to register early to insure you get the location you prefer.

Class begins each day at 8:00 a.m. and ends each day at 5:00 p.m.  Students receive one hour for lunch each day with several venues located nearby.

The course test is given at the end of instruction on the second day.  You MUST pass this test with a grade of 80% BEFORE taking the final exam at a DMV Customer Service Center.  Those who do not pass will be required to retake the course at their expense at a future time.

All Participants

  • CLICK HERE to download information you need to know PRIOR to taking the course.
  • Find the course listed below you want to take and click the location to register.

If you have questions, please call 757-464-3460 or 800-394-1960, More information will be emailed to students prior to the start of the class. Find a DMV Customer Service Center

Listed below are the upcoming Dealer-Operator Pre-licensing Certification Training Courses.

Before attending the Dealer-operator class, the following is recommended:

1) If you are going to start a new dealership, please download a “New Dealer Package” from the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board (MVDB) website at For questions, call them in Richmond at 804-367-1100.

  • The above link will contain a Salesperson and a Dealer-Operator Study Guide for you to review. It will also have the paperwork needed to apply for a license and a step-by-step procedure for opening your dealership.
  • Practice exams and study guide manuals are available at this link:

To go directly to the practice exam site, click this link:

2) If you currently have a salesperson license and need to upgrade to a Dealer-Operator certificate of qualification, you can obtain the Dealer-Operator Study Guide from your local DMV Customer Service Center at the link in 1.b. above.  After completing the Dealer-Operator course, you will not have to take the salesperson part of the exam at DMV – only the Dealer-Operator portion is required.

3) When attending the Dealer-operator class, please bring pencil or pen and a good calculator with which you are comfortable. Classes start at 8:00am and end around 5:00pm.

4) The course test will be given at the end of instruction on the second day. You must pass this test with a grade of 80% before taking the final exam at a DMV Customer Service Center. Those who do not pass will be required to retake the course at a future time. An additional fee is required.

Further information may be obtained from the MVDB or the VIADA staff at the above numbers.