dmv licensing operations by california dmv

Occupational Licensing (OL) Information

The Occupational Licensing (OL) Branch is responsible for licensing and monitoring a wide range of motor vehicle related businesses and individuals.

The automobile industry is one of the largest in the United States. There are currently over 31 million vehicles with more than 24 million licensed drivers on the road in California today. The sale and use of automobiles in California has resulted in widely diversified industries that address the various needs of California drivers. The industries range from the initial sale of automobiles, boats, and other vehicles, training of drivers, traffic violator schools, and vehicle dismantlers. For consumer protection the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has been given the responsibility of regulating these industries. The purpose of the Department’s oversight in these areas is to ensure that the consumer is dealing with reputable individuals and receiving the product that is represented to them.

As part of the application process, OL Inspectors perform background verifications and physically inspect places of business for compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The OL Inspectors routinely monitor businesses for continued compliance and also perform periodic reviews of its licensee’s locations.

The Occupational Licensing Branch is also responsible for overseeing the Employer Testing Program (ETP). The ETP allows authorized employers of commercial drivers to conduct the drive test portion of the state’s commercial driver licensing requirements for Commercial Class A, Class B and firefighter licenses.

Program participants are evaluated for compliance with statutes and regulations. Certified drivers are randomly selected for retest by the department as part of the evaluation.

As of January 1, 2017, OL maintains files for the following licenses:


  • Dealer – 14,297
  • Lessor Retailer – 16
  • Manufacturer – 555
  • Remanufacturer – 3
  • Distributor – 148
  • Employer Testing Program – 157
  • Transporter – 181
  • Dismantler – 1,008
  • Registration Service – 2,180


  • Vessel Agent – 691
  • Vehicle Verifier – 3,883
  • Salesperson – 89,977
  • Manufacturing Representative – 180
  • Distributor Representative – 595

Driving Schools

  • Driving School Owner – 623
  • Driving School Operator – 576
  • Driving School Instructor – 3,051

Traffic Violator Schools

  • Traffic Violator School Owner – 964
  • Traffic Violator School Operator – 881
  • Traffic Violator School Instructor – 665