Section 40-12-392

License - Applications; inspection of records; restrictions on sales; liability insurance.

(a) The application for a license shall be in such form and shall be subject to such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the commissioner. An application shall be verified by the oath or affirmation of the applicant. If the applicant is a sole proprietorship, the application shall contain the name and residence of the applicant. If the applicant is a partnership, the application shall contain the names and residences of each partner. If the applicant is a corporation, the application shall contain the names and residences of the officers and directors. If the applicant is a new motor vehicle dealer, or used motor vehicle dealer in this state, the application shall contain the state sales tax number assigned to the applicant. The application shall enumerate the number of new and used vehicles sold during the previous calendar year; describe the exact location of the place of business, and shall state: That the location is a permanent one; that the location affords sufficient space upon and within which to adequately display one or more motor vehicles offered for sale and that an appropriate sign designates the location as being the place of business of a motor vehicle dealer; that it is a suitable place from which the applicant can in good faith carry on such business and keep and maintain books and records necessary to conduct business, which shall be available at all reasonable hours for inspection by the commissioner. The application shall state that the applicant is either (i) franchised by a manufacturer of motor vehicles, and, if so, the name of the manufacturer and line make that the applicant is authorized to represent, or (ii) a used motor vehicle dealer, rebuilder, or wholesaler. Upon making application, the person applying shall pay an application fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) to the commissioner in addition to other fees required by law. The commissioner may cause an investigation to be made and upon being satisfied that the facts set forth in the application are true, shall issue a license certificate to the applicant, which shall entitle the licensee to operate as a motor vehicle dealer, rebuilder, or wholesaler for one year from the first day of October of each year. If the commissioner, upon investigation, determines that a license should not be issued, the commissioner may deny the license and the applicant may appeal the denial to the Alabama Tax Tribunal as allowed in Chapter 2A of this title.

(b) A motor vehicle rebuilder or a motor vehicle wholesaler who is not a new or used motor vehicle dealer shall not be required to maintain a sign designating the location, and may maintain books, records, and files of his or her business at his or her home; provided, that books, records, and files shall be accessible and available for inspection by the commissioner, inspectors, or employees during normal business hours on usual business days. The location may be adjacent to his or her residence.

(c) A motor vehicle rebuilder or motor vehicle wholesaler may not sell any motor vehicles or component parts to anyone other than a licensed motor vehicle dealer, motor vehicle wholesaler, or motor vehicle rebuilder, or as salvage.

(d) New and used motor vehicle dealers, motor vehicle rebuilders, and motor vehicle wholesalers shall be required to maintain blanket motor vehicle liability insurance coverage on vehicles operated on the public streets and highways of this state, including vehicles in dealership inventory. Evidence of liability insurance for business and inventory vehicles shall be filed with the application for license, and the application for license shall be denied if proof of liability insurance satisfactory to the commissioner is not provided. A licensee who fails to maintain a blanket motor vehicle liability insurance policy during the licensing period may be assessed a civil penalty of up to five thousand dollars ($5,000). The penalty may be assessed against the bond as provided for in Section 40-12-398.

(Acts 1978, No. 539, p. 597, §3; Acts 1991, No. 91-321, p. 595, §1; Acts 1992, No. 92-186, p. 349, §29; Acts 1995, No. 95-727, p. 1553, §1; Act 2000-554, p. 1005, §2; Act 2014-158, p. 445, §2.)