Do I need a mobile home sales license??? - Posted by Sue Robinett

Posted by FJW on January 27, 2000 at 16:36:54:

Hi Dirk

Thanks for responding. As always, you have been a gentleman and a provider of useful information. I hope the information you gave the others in this thread will help them. I understand your views on hand holding and seeking professional counsel. I guess the issue is more of “how” the licensing issue is regarded.

I’m only discussing what I actually observe here and, in my observation; the licensing issue is nearly disregarded here. I have no axe to grind with anyone here. This is a great site, so of course the people that make it what it is, are also. It’s just disappointing to me when the consensus encourages looking the other way.

It can be quite confusing and possibly lead to eventual disaster for the neophyte. I don’t agree with many laws that exist today. Some are unconstitutional in my opinion, but I know I should abide by them whether I like them or not. We all should. History has shown, when we look the other way once, it makes it that much easier to look the other way again. It’s like the old cliche: Do as I say, not as I do.

Case in point:

Very recently, this was a thread that passed through this board:

You yourself quoted Deals On Wheels as it pertains to the subject. I also did some more digging and found this:

I called a regional office for further clarification. They enforce the law as best they can, and yes they know people do get away with it…but they’re always looking.

It s*cks, I don’t like it, but I won’t disregard this particular law any more than I would any other law.(Not implying anyone suggested as such) I don’t think anyone else should either.

Those are my thoughts on it.



Do I need a mobile home sales license??? - Posted by Sue Robinett

Posted by Sue Robinett on January 24, 2000 at 19:54:32:


I live in Pa. A manager at one of the parks nearby tells me to buy and sell mobile homes in Pa, I need a license!!! Want to do Lonnie deals, but can’t seem to get anyone to answer this question. If I don’t need a license, how do I get around this manager.


Sue, in PA get a hold of these folks - Posted by Dirk Roach

Posted by Dirk Roach on January 26, 2000 at 12:47:10:

Pennsylvania Manufactured Housing Association
P.O. Box 248
New Cumberland, PA 17070
(717) 774-3440

Hope that helps

MH “dealers license issue” is COMPLETELY ignored here - Posted by Ray (NJ)

Posted by Ray (NJ) on January 26, 2000 at 11:54:10:

After reading “Deals on Wheels”, I became VERY excited about doing Lonnie Deals in NJ. I, too, have asked on two occassions for assistance from this board about licensing in NJ for doing “Lonnie Deals”. The only replies I’ve gotten were the typical “stop complaining, just do a deal” and “do it until you’re caught.”

As a the owner of a couple or three retail businesses, I know if I dared open my doors without the proper licensing and permits, I’d be shut down and find faster than I could lock the doors. I find it troubling that the advice given on this board is to “just do it” or “do it until you’re caught.” What kind of precidence are you setting?

I agree, there are a few people out there who didn’t put in the time reading and educating themselves looking for the easy way. I’ve read the books, I read the articles daily, I’ve been out scouting parks, I’ve met with a few park managers, I’m learning the comps. I simply need to know, before I do anything illegal, what licensing requirements there are in NJ.

I’ve searched methodically through the internet, the NJ DMV website, and the NJ state website for anything in the way of mobile home dealer licensing. I found nothing, except the possibility that there are additional licensed and permits needed for a “home finance agency”.

I inquired on this site for assistance on two simple questions:

  1. What licenses do I need in NJ and where do I get them?
  2. Doed this “home finance agency” apply to seller financing of mobile homes?

I would really appreciate it if someone here could at least guide me in the proper direction, without the typical “stop whining” and “do it until you’re caught”.

In closing, I hope those MH investors out there currently dealing without a license wise up and get licensed before they DO get caught. When they finally do, it will certainly put increased pressure on those of us trying to do things legally.

Re: Do I need a mobile home sales license??? - Posted by David C

Posted by David C on January 25, 2000 at 16:42:36:

Greetings Sue;

The easiest way to get your questions about a license answered is to;

A. Open the yellow pages to Mobile home dealers.
B. Pick one at random.
C. Call them and ask which government agency regulates them.
D. look up that agency in the phone book.
E. Call them and get all of the answers you need from the only people that know them, the mh regulators in your state.

In at least 48 states there is a requirement for a dealers license to buy and sell mhs,(yes even “lonnie deals”). Those requirements are due to planning and zoning, fire and safety, insurance and taxation regulations. I.E. they are there for the safety of the public. DO not make the mistake of ignoring them as the penalties can become quite severe,including progressive fines, jail time and being barred from dealing in Mhs. Not to mention the potential civil liabilities that can occur.

Understand I am not posting this to scare anyone. Quite the opposite. I encourage people to learn everything possible about their biz. Especially the stuff that can hurt you in a big way. I’ve seen several (4) “lonnie dealers” that I know about get in trouble here because they mistakenly believed they were not dealing or were special or because their dog didn’t need a license they didn’t either! ( you were kidding with that reasoning, right Gator?)

Please remember that all of the posts on this board are opinions. They may spring from education or experience, but you personally have to decide what is right or wrong for you, and what your willing to risk. Understand that you will be the only one paying for your mistakes.

Hope I didn’t make this too depressing!

Peace and Profits,

David C

Re: Do I need a mobile home sales license??? - Posted by etr

Posted by etr on January 25, 2000 at 12:56:47:

If you live in PA, call the State Real Estate Commission at (717)783-3658 with licensing questions. Im not a lawyer and do not deal in mobile homes, but it is my understanding that if the sale of a mobile home is accompanied by the sale or lease of land it is considered a real estate transaction. If you are buying and selling other peoples property, as a service, then a license would be required. As a private investor, I dont see why it would be necessary.

Hope this helps.


ATTENTION: MH “dealers license issue” is partially ignored here. - Posted by FJW

Posted by FJW on January 25, 2000 at 12:54:17:

He probably was referring to a dealer’s license, not a sales license. You’ll need to find the state agency that handles occupational licensing to get the info.

I’m going to take a bashing risk here, but this post is intended to promote definitive discussion on the issue.

It seems dealer licensing is an issue the promulgators of mh creative financing continue to skirt.(No pun intended) Why? I’m not sure. I say “seems” because I have not purchased any books/courses so I don’t want to imply the books/courses don’t provide the info. But I have done some due diligence re. the issue in my state(FL) and have received differing answers by state “officials” and educators. One says up to three/year it’s OK, another says “any more than one/year including lease-options, you need a license”. As Kiyosaki writes in his book: “I like to play within the rules.” I’m aware this could be considered naive, but if it turns out to be a grey area, I’d like to know it ahead of time.

While it is a fact that some states require licensing for various defined amounts(depends on state) of buying & selling activity, it has remained an issue that would seem elusive to the authoritative figures of creative mobile home investing. I can only surmise it is an issue they choose not to address OR; they feel it is an individual investors interpretation of the law that matters in much the same way some investors may interpret some minicipal requirements for permits and/or inspectors for home improvement(rehab) projects.

Personally, I believe that rather than advocating: “stop looking for excuses, just shut up and do it until you get caught”, it would be much more beneficial to aspiring mh investors to have some definitive information provided and let the would-be investor decide.

Do these authoritative figures have a responsibility to provide this information along with the rest of their information? Not necessarily, but the issue has been at hand for a long enough period of time that the answers should either be known by the promulgators or they should be able to direct the aspiring investors to a specific state agency that could provide such information. Because there “seems” to be a lack of such specific knowledge here on this most cherished and informative internet news group, the subject appears to be averted.

As an example: I could teach someone how to drive(or anything else that requires a license) and teach them the rules of the road. If the students were to ask me: “Do I need a license to do this after I learn all this?” I COULD answer: “Well, this information is all you need to know to get started and get to where you want to go. You’ll learn more of what you need as you go, if you need it.”

OR I could say: "Well, this information is all you need to know to get started and get to where you want to go. BUT, depending on where you practice this and how often you intend to, you may need a license. Here’s where you can find out if you do or not.

OR I could say: Well, this information is all you need to get started and to get where you want to go. BUT, because this has been a recurring question for years, we’ve contacted each state agency and found out how it pertains to “the kind of driving we’ll be doing” and what you will need to do if you need it.

OR I could say: "License…we don’t need no steeengkeeng license. That’s just a gov’t conspiracy by those pinko communists to extort money from us. All we’re doing is driving a car…They just put that one on the books to give some guys brother in law a job.(probably true)

PLEASE understand, I am not bashing anyone or their information. This site and the products it sells and promotes are the best available The dealer licensing issue just seems to be the type of simple information that would be readily available on a highly active internet news group such as this. Does anyone owe this information? No. Is anyone responsible to provide it? No. I just find it curious that the issue continues to be, at least partially, ignored.


my dog has no license - Posted by Gator

Posted by Gator on January 25, 2000 at 08:10:55:

In my county all dogs are required to be licensed. My dog has never had one. He’s never been to jail either. You have to do what you’re comfortable with. Whatever you decide do not work around the park manager. You must have the managers blessing or they can make your life tough. You might want to steer clear of this manager. Best of luck.


Re: MH “dealers license issue” is COMPLETELY ignored here - Posted by Ray (NJ)

Posted by Ray (NJ) on January 27, 2000 at 24:00:59:

Thank you VERY much (especially Dirk) for your help.

I apologize if I was being curt in my message, but I spent close to an hour (long distance) shuffling between departments trying to find, what I thought, was a simple answer. I started with two local counties, then the state, and became very frustrated, because every time I got either “I don’t know” or “That’s not our department” and no one really wanted to spend 5 minutes with me and point me in the right direction. I guess that just proves Lonnie’s point.

I wasn’t trying to pawn my responsibilies off on anyone else, either. Obviously, there are numerous people on this board who have a lot more experience than I with mobile home investing. It seems logical to ask THEM for assistance, rather than some flunkie state worker who has no clue what a “Lonnie Deal” is and frankly doesn’t care.

Furthermore, I didn’t want to make it seem like I was making excuses. I am doing the groundwork, but needed assistance with this one issue. I’ve lost a lot of money by not being prepared in the past. Now, I make sure all my ducks are in line, so if something does come up, I’m ready. No, I don’t know anyone who’s ever been fined or jailed for doing MH deals. But, then again, I don’t know personally know anyone doing them, except here on the board. I have, however, read some posts alluding to others being fined. And I do know several business owners (and landlords) who have been fined for not following the rules. Whether or not those posts are accurate, I don’t want to be the one to find out the hard way.

Again, thanks for your help. I look forward to sharing my first deal with all of you, and I will continue to spread the knowledge on issues which I AM familiar on this board.


Re: MH “dealers license issue” is COMPLETELY ignored here - Posted by Lonnie

Posted by Lonnie on January 26, 2000 at 15:46:39:

Hi Ray,

Probably the reason you haven?t gotten an answer is because unless one is doing business in NJ, they probably don?t know how to answer your question. Every state has their own requirements and I don?t think any one person could, or would even try, to keep abreast of what each state requires. And too, license requirements are like taxes, they change from year to year.

The first page in both of my books state that a license will probably be required and YOU should check with the proper authorities in the area you plan on doing business. How much plainer can I say it? And I wouldn?t try to do it on the phone, or Internet. Make a visit to the appropriate offices in person and start asking questions. And if you ask six different people, don?t be surprised if you get six different answers. Even different cities in the same area have different rules. At one time I had an office in Va Beach, which required a separate license if I FINANCED any of the MH?s I sold. I moved 10 miles to Chesapeake, and it?s not required. So, 10 miles, different rules.

When I first started in business, I visited DMV, who at the time, (they don?t now) issued the MH dealer license. I asked a clerk what I thought would be a “simple” question…“What do I need to do to get a license to buy and sell used mobile homes”. I was shuffled from clerk to clerk. When they ran out of clerks, the last one gave me two phone numbers to call In Richmond.

When I left DMV, I knew nothing, but I thought, "If they don?t know, or care any more than that, the h**L with them, and I started (actually I continued) buying and selling MH?s. Two years later (yeah I sold MH?s for over two years with no license and never paid a fine or went to jail. Do you know anyone that has? (And, no I?m not implying or suggesting you, or anyone, do the same. You have to make your own decisions.)

I finally made another attempt, visited the same office and found someone that could tell me what was required…a simple test and a $200 fee. Big deal. Don?t know how much I made during the time I didn?t have a license, but I?ll bet it was a lot more than I would have been fined if it had came to that. If someone had tapped me on the shoulder during that two years and said “Hey, you have to have a license to buy/sell MH?s”. I would have replied, “Well, I?ve been looking for you for two years, where have you been, and how do I get a license?”

Ray, if you detect a little irritation in my message, it?s because I am. Nothing personal, but I always get irritated when people expect someone else to do what they should do for themselves. Your question is not as simple as you might think, for someone not from your area, to answer. Go to your Clerk of Court, to your DMV, or ask a MH dealer in your town. If you?re serious, get in the trenches and do whatever you need to do in order to build your business. It?s not the responsibility of others to do it for you.

You can probably tell I?m not to keen on excuses. As I often told my daughter in her young growing years…“If you don?t want to do something, just say you don?t want to do it. But don?t let me hear “I can?t” or a bunch of excuses.” Now, do whatever it takes and start making money.

Best wishes,


PS Just got off the phone from a man in WY. He says that you MUST sell at least 12 MH?s per year in WY in order to KEEP your dealer license. It ain?t as simple as you think, Ray.

Just CALL the right folks - Posted by Dirk Roach

Posted by Dirk Roach on January 26, 2000 at 13:57:59:

I just got off the phone with these folks,
New Jersey Manufactured Housing Association
2382 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road
Trenton, NJ 08619
(609) 588-9040

Basically they said if you own the Mobile Home, you provide some sort of disclosure (what’s wrong if anything) with home, and some sort of documentation that states there is a working smoke detector, and of course if the park is cool with it then NO PROBLEM.
Also have you spoken with anyone at the DMV? Sometimes internet pages can be lacking. I always prefer actually speaking to someone direct for important info.


Re: MH “dealers license issue” is COMPLETELY ignored here - Posted by lyal

Posted by lyal on January 26, 2000 at 13:01:58:

Why do you expect the people here who are spread across the country (the world??) to solve your problem when you haven’t made a good faith effort to look in your own back yard??
Pick up the phone!! Call the state Attorney General’s Office, your elected representatives and anyone else including the govenor’s office if necessary!!
I guarantee they’ll guide you in the proper direction.

Re: Do I need a mobile home sales license??? - Posted by Gator

Posted by Gator on January 26, 2000 at 08:45:02:

Howdy David,
My response about my dog’s license really had no bearing on this matter, it was only made in jest. I’m just a country boy and definately not the sharpest tack in the drawer but I’m not totally ignorant. Your approach may be best. I have some doubts about calling the dealers in my area and getting them to freely give reliable information to someone they don’t know but I’m sure you’re probably right. My experience in the past is that requirements for mobile home licensing in most states is similar to automobile dealers and more designed for dealers of new homes, thus requiring things like a sales lot, office, … State agencies often don’t understand the business of buying and selling used mobile homes. I see lots of people on this board get all uptight because of fear of government regulation and such. My advice to them would be to go and buy and sell ONE home. See if they like it. Test the waters. As goofy as government is I find it hard to believe it is illegal in any state to buy and sell one home. I’m sorry but it distresses me to see so many people decide that they can’t do lonnie deals in their area because of some 18 year old minimum wage ex McDonalds employee at the Department of Motor Vehicles doesn’t understand what they’re doing and tells them that its gonna cost a lot of money and red tape. All the while I’m out here makin money with mobile homes. Every one should do only what they’re comfortable with and personally I’m not losing a lot of sleep. I guess only time will tell but I’ll certainly post a message someday to let you know. Evidently you expect me to be writing from Brushy Mountain State Penal Farm. I expect I’ll be writing from Aruba. Whatever, best wishes to you and yours in all your endevors David. By the way, you ain’t gonna call the local dog warden and turn Buford in are you? Again best wishes,


Hand holding through deals - Posted by Dirk Roach

Posted by Dirk Roach on January 25, 2000 at 16:15:05:

I understand and appreciate your concern.
In Deals On Wheels by Lonnie Scruggs it does state that you most likely will need a License in your particular state.
That is a correct statement. However in some states you don’t. On a newsgroup such as this, when one posts they have a GLOBAL audience.
So of course one has to look at the advice and theory and then apply it to their particular local and situation.
The thing is so often people who post a lot get a ton of folks wanting “hand-holding” through their deals. True this most often happens when someone is starting out and unsure and have a general lack of confidence in themselves etc.
New folks also tend to OVER ANALIZE things. Also it tends to be a trait for folks to think of fifteen reasons a particular theory WON’T work as opposed of thinking of fifteen different ways to make something work.
Personally I have never seen a post say “Shut up and go do a deal”. However I do know that inaction leads to inaction. You have to get out there and make it happen. That is the big key.
But the big thing is if you have a technical question regarding something (i.e. MH dealer status in your state) then go out and find the answer. And I don’t mean on an internet news group.
What does the law say? What does your lawyer say?
I have had folks actually get angry with me because I would not have my lawyer advice them, on me I might add.
Personally I think that takes a lot of gall. You are very correct when you point out NO ONE here has any obligation to help folks out at all. The pro’s do out of kindness.
As for legal issues I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. I PAY ONE! What someone decides to do is his/her thing not mine.

Anyhow those at least are my thoughts on it,

Did Fido Have a License? - Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX

Posted by Jim Kennedy - Houston, TX on January 26, 2000 at 11:23:19:


I have a Cajun friend who used to live in Thibodaux, Louisiana. He had a dog named Fido. Of course, he spelled it Phidaux! Don?t know if Phidaux had a dog license or not.

Best of Success!!

Jim Kennedy,
Houston, TX