Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 54.1. Professions and Occupations
Chapter 6. Auctioneers
9/24/2021

Chapter 6. Auctioneers.

§ 54.1-600. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Absolute auction" means an auction where at the time of the auction sale the real or personal property to be sold will pass to the highest bidder regardless of the amount of the highest and last bid.

"Auction" means the sale of goods or real estate by means of exchanges between an auctioneer and members of his audience, the exchanges consisting of a series of invitations for offers made by the auctioneer, offers made by members of the audience, and acceptance by the auctioneer of the highest or most favorable offer.

"Auction firm" means any corporation, partnership or entity, except a sole proprietorship, performing any of the acts of an auctioneer as defined in this section.

"Auctioneer" means any person who conducts or offers to conduct an auction.

"Board" means the Auctioneers Board.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation.

"Goods" means any chattels, merchandise, real or personal property, or commodities of any form or type which may be lawfully kept or offered for sale.

"Person" means any natural person, association, partnership, or corporation, and the officers, directors, and employees of a corporation.

"Virginia licensed auctioneer" means any auctioneer who meets the requirements for licensure as prescribed by the Board.

1982, c. 538, § 54-824.2; 1983, c. 522; 1986, c. 61; 1988, c. 765; 1991, c. 299; 2003, c. 367.

§ 54.1-601. Exemptions.

The provisions of this chapter and the terms "Virginia licensed auctioneer," "auctioneer" or "auction firm," as defined in § 54.1-600, shall not apply to:

1. Any person who auctions his own property, whether owned or leased, provided his regular business is not as an auctioneer;

2. Any person who is acting as a receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, guardian, conservator, administrator, or executor, or any person acting under order of a court;

3. A trustee acting under a trust agreement, deed of trust, or will;

4. An attorney-at-law licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia acting pursuant to a power of attorney;

5. Sales at auction conducted by or under the direction of any public authority, or pursuant to any judicial order or decree;

6. Sale of livestock at a public livestock market authorized by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services;

7. Leaf tobacco sales conducted in accordance with the provisions of former § 3.1-336;

8. Sale at auction of automobiles conducted under the provisions of § 46.2-644.03 or by a motor vehicle dealer licensed under the provisions of Chapter 15 (§ 46.2-1500 et seq.) of Title 46.2;

9. Sale at auction of a particular brand of livestock conducted by an auctioneer of a livestock trade association;

10. Sales conducted by and on behalf of any charitable, religious, civic club, fraternal, or political organization if the person conducting the sale receives no compensation, either directly or indirectly, therefor and has no ownership interest in the merchandise being sold or financial interest in the entity providing such merchandise;

11. Sales, not exceeding one sale per year, conducted by or on behalf of (i) a civic club or (ii) a charitable organization granted tax-exempt status under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; or

12. Sales of collateral, sales conducted to enforce carriers' or warehousemen's liens, bulk sales, sales of goods by a presenting bank following dishonor of a documentary draft, resales of rightfully rejected goods, resales of goods by an aggrieved seller, or other resales conducted pursuant to Titles 8.1A through 8.10 and the Virginia Self-Service Storage Act (§ 55.1-2900 et seq.).

1982, c. 538, § 54-824.3; 1983, cc. 261, 522; 1986, c. 61; 1988, c. 765; 1991, c. 299; 1995, c. 227; 1997, c. 801; 2009, c. 664; 2014, cc. 21, 684.

§ 54.1-602. Auctioneers Board; membership, meetings and powers.

A. The Auctioneers Board shall be composed of five members as follows: three shall be Virginia licensed auctioneers and two shall be citizen members. Board members shall serve four-year terms.

The Board shall meet at least once each year for the purpose of transacting business. Special meetings of the Board may be held at the discretion of the Director.

B. The Board shall have the following authority and responsibilities:

1. Establish regulations to obtain and retain licensure of auctioneers.

2. Make all case decisions regarding eligibility for initial licensure and renewal thereof.

3. To fine, suspend, deny renewal or revoke for cause, as defined in regulation, any license.

4. To examine auctioneers for licensure.

1982, c. 538, §§ 54-824.4, 54-824.7; 1983, c. 522, § 54-824.9:3; 1988, cc. 42, 765; 1991, c. 299; 2012, c. 522.

§ 54.1-603. License required; requirements for licensure; nonresident applicants.

A. Unless exempted by § 54.1-601, no person or firm shall sell at auction without being licensed by the Board.

B. Any auctioneer desiring to obtain a license may apply to the Board and shall establish to the satisfaction of the Board that he:

1. Is a resident of Virginia and meets the application fee requirements set by the Board;

2. Is covered by a surety bond, executed by a surety company authorized to do business in this Commonwealth, in a reasonable amount to be fixed by the Board, conditioned upon the faithful and honest conduct of his business or employment;

3. Has successfully completed a course of study at a school of auctioneering which has obtained course approval from the Board or an equivalent course; and

4. Has passed the Virginia Licensed Auctioneer's Examination, administered by the Auctioneers Board.

C. A nonresident of the Commonwealth may be licensed as an auctioneer by meeting one of the following requirements: (i) conform to the provisions of this chapter and regulations of the Board with reference to resident auctioneers or (ii) hold a valid auctioneer's license or certificate in another state with which reciprocity has been established by the Board. Nonresident applicants shall also file with the Board an irrevocable consent that service of process upon the Director is as valid and binding as service of process upon the applicant.

Any process or pleading served upon the Director shall be filed by the Director in his office and a copy thereof immediately forwarded by registered mail to the main office of the auctioneer at the last known address.

1983, c. 522, § 54-824.9:1; 1986, c. 61; 1988, c. 765; 1991, c. 299; 1996, cc. 438, 822; 1997, c. 281; 2010, c. 91.

§ 54.1-603.1. Continuing education.

A. The Board shall promulgate regulations governing continuing education requirements for auctioneers licensed by the Board. Such regulations shall require the completion of the equivalent of at least six hours of Board-approved continuing education courses for any license renewal or reinstatement, except that no continuing education shall be required for any auctioneer licensed by the Board for 25 years or more and who is 70 years of age or older. The Board shall establish criteria for continuing education courses, including but not limited to (i) content and subject matter of continuing education courses; (ii) curriculum of required continuing education courses; (iii) standards and procedures for the approval of courses, course sponsors, and course instructors; (iv) methods of instruction for continuing education courses; and (v) the computation of course credit. Any continuing education courses completed by an auctioneer pursuant to a requirement of the Certified Auctioneers Institute or participation in the educational programs sponsored by the National Auctioneers Association or Virginia Auctioneers Association shall satisfy the continuing education requirement of this section.

B. The Board may grant exemptions or waive or reduce the number of continuing education hours required in cases of certified illness or undue hardship.

2004, c. 956; 2016, c. 504.

§ 54.1-604. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 1991, c. 299.

§ 54.1-605. Taxation of auctioneer.

An auctioneer may not have a local license tax imposed by any county, city, or town except that in which his office is maintained. If a branch office is maintained elsewhere in Virginia, a local license tax may be imposed by the county, city or town in which the branch office is located, pursuant to §§ 58.1-3707 and 58.1-3709.

1982, c. 538, § 54-824.15; 1988, c. 765.

§ 54.1-606. Unlawful to advertise as an auctioneer.

It shall be unlawful for any person not licensed under the provisions of this chapter to advertise that he is in the auction business or to hold himself out to the public as an auctioneer.

1982, c. 538, § 54-824.19; 1983, c. 522; 1988, c. 765; 1991, c. 299.

§ 54.1-607. Advertising; absolute auctions involving real property.

A. No advertisements for any auction sale of personal or real property shall contain false, misleading, or deceptive statements, with respect to types or conditions of merchandise offered at auction, why merchandise is being sold, who has ownership, where the merchandise was obtained, or the terms and conditions of the auction and sale.

B. No auctioneer shall advertise an auction sale of real property as "absolute" unless all lots included in the sale meet that criteria.

2003, c. 367.