West Virginia Auction Law

Located in the Appalachian region, West Virginia has some of the most rugged land in the country. The state’s rolling mountains, hills and valleys earned it the nickname of The Mountain State, and it is well-known for its range of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, skiing and whitewater rafting. Auction industry in this area has been continuously developing with the help of the following legislative law for auctioneers in the state of West Virginia.


An applicant for an auctioneer license shall apply on forms prescribed by the commissioner. Pay a nonreturnable application fee and a license fee; and, upon successful completion of the application process, a license fee and pay the required bond.

The commissioner shall, within 30 days after the receipt of an application, notify the applicant of his or her eligibility to be examined at the next regularly scheduled examination, as well as the date of the examination.  If the license is denied, the commissioner shall refund the license fee submitted with the application to the applicant.

All licenses expire on June 30 of each year: Provided, That an auctioneer may continue to perform auctions for up to 30 days after June 30, so long as he or she has submitted the required paperwork to renew his or her auctioneer license: Provided, however, That licenses issued in 2019 shall continue to be active through June 30, 2020. A license may be renewed upon the payment of the annual renewal fee within 60 days of the expiration date. Renewals received more than 60 days after the expiration date are subject to a late renewal fee in addition to the annual renewal fee.

A license that has been expired for more than two years cannot be renewed until the auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer takes the written and oral examination, pays the examination fee and complies with the other requirements of this article.


Every person applying for a license as an auctioneer, apprentice auctioneer or continuing to act as a licensed auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer shall file with the commissioner and maintain in full effect a bond satisfactory to the commissioner and in form and amount as prescribed by the commissioner pursuant to the rules and regulations promulgated.

Provided, That in no event shall the amount of such bond be less than $10,000 for an auctioneer and in no event less than $5,000 for an apprentice auctioneer. The bond may include, at the option of the applicant, corporate surety bonding, collateral bonding (including costs and securities), establishment of an escrow account, an irrevocable letter of credit or a combination of these methods. 

If collateral bonding is used, the auctioneer may elect to deposit cash, or any of the following collateral securities or certificates: Bonds of the United States or its possessions, of the federal land bank, or of the homeowners’ loan corporation; full faith and credit general obligation bonds of the State of West Virginia, or other states, and of any county, district, or municipality of the State of West Virginia or other states; or certificates of deposit in a bank in this state, which certificates shall be in the name of the department.

The cash deposit or market value of such securities or certificates shall be equal to or greater than the sum of the bond. It shall be the duty of the applicant to ensure the market value of such bonds is sufficient. The commissioner shall, upon receipt of any such deposits of cash, securities or certificates, promptly place the same with the treasurer of the State of West Virginia whose duty it shall be to receive and hold the same in the name of the state in trust for the purpose for which the deposit is made when the license is issued. 

Background Check

Every applicant is required to have a criminal history record check shall be based on fingerprints submitted to the West Virginia State Police or its assigned agent for forwarding to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The applicant shall meet all requirements necessary to accomplish the state and national criminal history record check, including:

  • Submitting fingerprints for the purposes set forth in this subsection.
  • Authorizing the board, the West Virginia State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use all records submitted and produced for the purpose of screening the applicant for a license.

The commissioner may not disqualify an applicant for initial licensure, certification or registration because of a prior criminal conviction that has not been reversed unless that conviction is for a crime that bears a rational nexus to the occupation requiring licensure.

Special Revenue Fund

All fees collected under this article shall be paid into a special revenue fund in the State Treasury to be used by the Department of Agriculture for the purpose of administering and enforcing this article, and providing continuing education for auctioneers.


To qualify for a license by reciprocity, the applicant must show evidence of licensing in another state for a period of one year preceding the date of application. The licensing may have been as an apprentice auctioneer or as an auctioneer. Provided this qualification is met and the applicant meets all the other requirements as required by this article and by regulation, he or she shall be licensed either as an apprentice auctioneer or as an auctioneer, based on a nonresident license, as the case may be.

When an applicant’s resident state has no licensing law for auctioneers or the applicant’s resident state has no written or oral examination associated with its licensing requirements, the Department of Agriculture shall require proof that the applicant has been a practicing auctioneer for a period of two years preceding the date of application. The proof shall be in the form of sale bills, contracts, sale permits and other such evidence acceptable to the commissioner. Provided this qualification is met, and the applicant meets other requirements for licensing as required by the statutes and regulations, the applicant shall be admitted to the next scheduled written and oral examination for auctioneers without being required to first serve an apprenticeship.

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