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californiaAbout one-half of the states in the United States license auctioneers in a fairly comprehensive fashion.

Typical requirements for licensure include auction school, a test, fees, bonding, background check, serving an apprenticeship and/or periodic continuing education.

The other “about one-half” of the states in the United States don’t license auctioneers to any significant degree, or at all.

Some of these non-license states require a permit by county or municipality, or possibly require a license for certain types of auctions, but not much more.

Our question today is: Would a state ever eliminate auctioneer licensing?

California did in 1992. South Carolina and Indiana are considering.

States use a variety of reasons to eliminate licensing agencies/departments:

    1. There are licensing laws and regulations which clearly benefit the profession but not the consumer or the professional candidate who wants to enter into the profession.
    2. In effect, the licensed group, through the board and its licensing program, has set up artificial barriers of entry into the profession that enables it to control the availability and cost of services and to restrict competition.
    3. Research finds there are little to no disciplinary actions being taken against licensees.
    4. Committees of the boards, made up of volunteer professionals, are making decisions usually according to staff or the executive officers concerning investigations or disciplinary actions to be taken against licensees.
    5. Boards are not carrying out their statutory responsibility for particular programs.
    6. Boards are not operating their licensing, examination and enforcement programs in an effective and efficient manner; they are not responding to consumer complaints, nor resolving complaints in a timely fashion. Program spending is not prioritized and some programs are too costly or completely unnecessary.
    7. Boards lack definitions of professional standards or what amounts to incompetent, negligent or unprofessional conduct.

Not surprisingly, I suppose, there are states without licensing which are considering such. Maybe the grass is always greener? We’ll discuss in a future article.

As well, there are states considering additional licensing for online auctions and other currently unlicensed activity such as estate sales and the like. Obviously one complexity to licensing online auctions is, “Where exactly (what state) does any particular online company (the transaction) exist?”

Are there merits for statewide auctioneer licensing? We explored that topic here:

What can we expect as far as states eliminating auctioneer licensing? I think some states will do just that, in an effort cited as focused on lessening expenses and annulling perceived excessive regulation.

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.