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ohiomapBob is an auctioneer. He lives in Ohio and has an Ohio auctioneer’s license.

Occasionally, Bob gets a call about conducting a personal property auction in one of Ohio’s neighboring states:

    1. Indiana
    2. Michigan
    3. Pennsylvania
    4. West Virginia
    5. Kentucky

What would Bob need to do in order to conduct an auction in one of these states? Here, we’ll take a look at each one, speaking generally for any Ohio auctioneer. For most situations, the prudent step for Bob (and any Ohio auctioneer) would be to secure a license by reciprocity (rather than going through the traditional in-state process from “scratch.”)

All the license states contiguous to Ohio (Indiana, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky) have reciprocal agreements with Ohio. As such, an Ohio auctioneer can secure an auctioneer’s license in any of these states without taking a test or completing an apprenticeship. Instead, there is simply a fee and associated paperwork.

In most cases, some sort of paperwork will be required from Ohio. Such can be secured from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Auctioneer Program, 8995 E. Main St, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068, Phone (614) 728-6240, auctioneer@agri.ohio.gov

Indiana: (Reciprocal license)

    • Application (https://forms.in.gov/Download.aspx?id=4784)
    • Resident of state of Ohio
    • Letter of certification from Ohio, certifying that they are duly licensed in Ohio, stating their Ohio residency, date of issuance and expiration of license
    • $70 fee
    • Typical license issued: Next day
    • Contact: Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, Attn: Auctioneer Commission, 402 W Washington Street, Room W 072, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204, Phone (317) 234-3040, pla11@pla.in.gov
      Per 812 IAC 1-1-18 and 812 IAC 1-1-35 (a)(3)


    • No license required

Pennsylvania: (Reciprocal license)

      Per 63 P.S. 734.12

West Virginia: (Reciprocal license)

    • Application (http://www.wvagriculture.org/programs/Auctioneers/AuctioneerApplication.pdf)
    • Resident of state of Ohio
    • Letter of Good Standing from Ohio Department of Agriculture
    • Licensed for at least one year in Ohio
    • $10,000 bond
    • $100 fee
    • Typical license issued: 7-10 days
    • Contact: West Virginia Department of Agriculture, 1900 Kanawha Blvd., E., Charleston, WV 25305, Phone (304) 558-3200
      Per §19-2C-6c and §19-2C Section 61-11B-11

Kentucky: (Reciprocal license)

    • Application (http://auctioneers.ky.gov/Reciprocal%20application.pdf)
    • Licensed for at least one year in Ohio (Ohio residency not required)
    • Letter of Good Standing or License Certification
    • $230 fee, $130 renewal
    • Typical license issued: 3 days
    • Contact: KY Board of Auctioneers, 9112 Leesgate Rd, Suite 5, Louisville KY 40222, Phone (502) 429-7145, auctioneers@ky.gov
      Per KRS 330.095

In addition to reciprocal licenses, many states offer other “special, one-time, temporary and/or limited” (and the like) types of licenses. For instance:

  • Pennsylvania offers a “Special license” which can be issued with proper application, fee, and description of property/owner for an out-of-state licensee, subject to board review.
  • Michigan allows auctioneers use of the title “Registered Auctioneer” by submitting an application and fees, but this registration is not required to conduct auctions in Michigan.
  • Indiana offers temporary and provisional licensing, as well as special licensing treatment for military service and military spouse applicants.
  • Ohio offers a “one time” license which can be issued with the proper form, fee, bond, consent to service and experience.

As well, in most all license states, there are auctioneer licensing exemptions. Such exemptions typically include some nonprofit/charity events, selling your own property “not acquired for resale,” and Internet auctions.

Additionally, there are many states which do not prohibit nor supersede local, township, county, village or city licensing for auctioneers. It’s always prudent to check all licensing requirements.

How does Ohio accommodate auctioneers in Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Kentucky? Can an auctioneer from one of these states get an Ohio reciprocal license? Ohio’s requirements are as follows:

Ohio: (Reciprocal license)

    • Application (http://www.agri.ohio.gov/public_docs/forms/Auctioneer/Auct_3601-004.pdf)
    • Proof of license for at least one year (residency is not required) or two years and 12 auctions if from Ohio
    • Letter of Good Standing from license state
    • $25,000 bond
    • $200 fee ($100 fee if half-way through 2-year term)
    • Typical license issued: 3 days
    • Contact: Ohio Department of Agriculture, Auctioneer Program, 8995 E. Main St, Reynoldsburg,OH 43068, Phone: (614) 728-6240, Fax: (614) 728-6328, Email: auctioneer@agri.ohio.gov
      Per §4707.07 (D); §4707.12; §4707.13

Lastly, it is fair to say that anyone can act as an auctioneer in any state given political or judicial connections. For example, a court order almost always supersedes licensing regulations. And/or, say the Governor wants someone “licensed” right away, and without the normal prerequisites … but these exceptions to the rules are very rare.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State Community College and is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.