Is Illegal to Flip-cars without a Dealer’s License?


The problem with partial truths is this: they are both true and not true at the very same time! Frustrating, I know. For instance, I bet you heard that you need a license to be a car dealer – right? Yet, I bet you have also heard that you can do it without one – right? Well, here we have the paradox of a partial truth. Both aspects are true. Let me explain.

 . . . here we have the paradox of a partial truth

One of the most common questions I see people asking is whether they should get a license before they start flipping cars. To be honest, there is only one thing I tell everyone and it’s a rather simple answer:

 “Although you have two paths, they both lead to one road.”

The fact of the matter is that many people will tell you that you can’t sell cars without a dealer’s license. To be honest, they are right, or at least partly right. You may think you need a license, but look at the world around you. People are selling cars every day. You might also say, “hey, people are also stealing everyday. That’s doesn’t mean it’s legal”. Right. But the fact is . . . is that it is legal in most states to sell a few cars a year (for personal use). You should check your local state laws, but it is unlikely that you will draw the attention of the authorities by selling a few cars a year’s as a way to get your feet for the ultimate goal of getting your dealer’s license. But again, please check your own state laws.

Maybe this is a moment I should re-enact that television series “Scared Straight,” where I tell you all the worst things to scare the ‘bejesus’ out of you! So here I go.

Now I read a story recently about a guy from Pennsylvania who was doing some unequivocal or, in my book, some seriously excessive curbstoning. Now, curbstoning is selling cars commercially without a dealer’s license. He sold about 120 cars working under another guys license. But let’s be clear here, the fact is he sold many many cars without having his own license! He would pay a licensed dealer a few hundred dollars to use his license to get cars at the auction and then resell them. The short of this long story is that he was busted: his house and business were raided, his cars impounded, and he is likely facing a fine of $400,000 and possible jail time. I don’t know the exact outcome, but it wasn’t good. Yikes! So really, don’t do it. Don’t be stupid, don’t be excessive. Know your state’s laws!

Don’t be stupid, don’t be excessive.

Know your state’s laws!


Yet there is another side to this partial truth of the evils of “curbstoning”. Let’s call it a “grey area”.

You see for me, I was crazy about cars. When I was young, I often bought and sold four cars a year for my own personal use! So, here we have a bit of grey area. The truth is that most states will allow you to buy and sell a few cars a year without any issues. Now I know that a lot of people may have also told you that states just don’t have the resources to investigate or even keep track of small-time curbstoners who sell maybe 10 or 15 cars a year. It’s that partial truth again. But do you really want to find out if that’s true or not?

So, while I in no way condone breaking the law, if you are going to push the limit in this grey area, please don’t be stupid! Don’t draw excessive attention or draw any sort of extra attention to yourself!

In fact, how about we just stay within the limits of the law and stay small time? Well, that is until you go big-time and decide to finally get your license.

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