Independent Dealer-Operator Recertification Program

Effective January 1, 2011, the Independent Dealer-Operator Recertification Program is a new, required continuing education program administered by the Motor Vehicle Dealer Board. The new regulations require Independent Dealer-Operators to recertify every three (3) years by either completing a continuing education course or successfully passing an examination.   Details on continuing education options are addressed later in this section under, “Continuing Education Options”.

In developing the Independent Dealer-Operator Recertification Program, the MVDB took into account feedback from the dealer community, as well as the success of the two-day course for new Dealer-Operators presented by the Virginia Independent Automobile Dealers Association (VIADA). Since 2006, thousands of students have participated in dealer operator education.  Many of these students have gone on to pass the test and qualify as Dealer-Operators for independent dealerships in Virginia.  For additional information on becoming a new Independent Dealer-Operator, please see How to Become a New Independent Dealer-Operator.

The recertification program aims to educate all Independent Dealer-Operators regardless of the status and date of their qualification.   Public comments provided valuable feedback on administering this program and led to the development of the following objectives:

  • Flexible continuing education choices that does not disrupt day-to-day business activities;
  • Course materials that emphasize recent changes in state and federal laws, regulations, and court decisions that impact the “used car” business as well as reinforce knowledge on older laws and regulations;
  • Providing reasonable and practical dates to meet the recertification requirement;
  • Building professional development and raising standards on the Independent Dealer-Operator Certification

Dealer-Operators who stay informed of changes in laws and regulations are more likely to succeed in business, have more satisfied customers, and need less regulatory oversight.


Program guidelines

There are no grandfather exceptions to recertify as an Independent Dealer Operator.

A Dealer-Operator’s recertification schedule is based on the month and year in which you were originally certified as a Dealer-Operator.  If you do not recall your certification date, there is no need to be concerned.  The Motor Vehicle Dealer Board has this information on file and you will receive the recertification notice along with continuing education material well in advance of your recertification deadline.  This ensures the Independent Dealer-Operator has ample time to schedule the course or examination without disrupting business activities.  This recertification notice and course material will be mailed to the Dealer-Operator’s home address currently on file at the Board.  Please keep us informed on any home (mailing) address changes.  Email, advising us this is a home mailing address change, your full name, dealer certificate number if applicable and new address.

We want to emphasize that your recertification deadline date is not tied to you license renewal for the dealership if you are currently the dealer operator.  However failure to recertify will result in your Dealer-Operator certification becoming invalid and may jeopardize the dealership’s licenses if you are currently the Dealer-Operator.

Your recertification deadline date will be clearly marked on the notice.  It is strongly advised not to delay in this process and choose the continuing education option (described below) which best fits your schedule and learning style.  MVDB does not provide advice on which option you should choose to meet the recertification requirement; however we can assist with program requirements.  Contacting the course providers below may further assist you on the course offering that meet your needs.

Continuing Education Options

The following three continuing education options will meet your recertification requirement.  Option 1, Option 2, and Option 3 are continuing education course vendors that offer classroom or online recertification courses. All online vendors will notify MVDB directly when you have completed the course.  If you decide to take the Dealer-Operator examination (Option 4), DMV notifies MVDB of your examination result.

OPTION 1- Compass Systems, Inc
This course provider is offering an online continuing education course to meet the dealer operator recertification requirement. To register, please visit or contact the office at 800-296-5585 for Dealer-Operator recertification information.

This course provider offers an online continuing education course to meet the dealer operator recertification requirement. Their course also allows continued access to the course material after completing recertification.  To register, go to or  For questions, contact VIADA’s Education Coordinator Vickie London at or call 800-394-1960.

OPTION 3 - JTZ Enterprise
This course provider is offering an online continuing education course to meet the dealer operator recertification requirement. To register, please visit or contact the office at 540-286-0801 for Dealer-Operator recertification information.

OPTION 4 – Independent Dealer Operator Recertification Examination (DRC Exam)
This is a recertification examination given at any DMV Customer Service Centers. You must successfully pass the examination for recertification.  If you fail, you will not be allowed to retake this examination and must take a course (see Options 1, 2, and 3) in order to remain certified as a Dealer Operator.
If you decide to take the examination, email requesting an Examination Authorization (MVDB 46 example). You must present the MVDB 46 along with proper identification (i.e., driver's license, passport, military ID, etc.) before going to the DMV, Customer Service Center. The test fee is $50 payable to DMV. The DRC test is one attempt only, if you fail the exam, you will not be allowed to re-take and must complete your recertification requirement by choosing Option 1, 2 or 3. Further instructions are provided on the MVDB 46.

(REV: 01/19)