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Division of Real Estate

Auction Frequently Asked Questions

The following sets forth common questions and answers involving the practice of auction in Illinois. References to the "Act" are to the "Auction License Act" and references to the "Rules" are to the "Rules for the Administration of the Auction License Act". It is strongly recommended that every licensee carefully study and review the Act and the Rules.

The Act and the Rules may be found from the Auction main page of the DFPR website. Please click here for the Auction page:

Disclaimer - the information contained in this question/answer format is intended for general reference only. In any instance where there is a discrepancy between the question/answer format and the language in the Act or Rules, the Act or Rules govern.

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Q. When do I need an Illinois auctioneer license?

As defined by the Auction License Act [225 ILCS 407/5-10] an auction license is necessary if a person or entity who, for another, for a fee, compensation, commission, or any other valuable consideration at auction or with the intention or expectation of receiving valuable consideration by the means of or process of an auction or sale at auction or providing an auction service, offers, negotiates, or attempts to negotiate an auction contract, sale, purchase, or exchange of goods, chattels, merchandise, personal property, real property, or any commodity that may be lawfully kept or offered for sale by or at auction.

Q. What kind of auction licenses are available for individuals?

DFPR issues one kind of auction license for individuals - auctioneer licenses.
An auctioneer may be self-sponsored or may be sponsored by another licensed auctioneer or auction firm. The sponsoring auctioneer or sponsoring auction firm and managing auctioneer shall be responsible for the actions of any sponsored auctioneer while conducting an auction or providing an auction service.

Q. What are the requirements for application for an auctioneer?

All applicants must be at least 18 year of age, have attained a high school diploma or equivalent (e.g. GED), have a properly completed sponsor card, personally take and pass an examination, file an application on forms provided by DPR, and pay all fees as required.

Q. How do I register to take the examination?

Register for the exam by calling AMP (Applied Measurement Professionals) at 800/345-6559 or by visiting AMP's website at The Illinois Auctioneer Licensing Examinations are administered via computer at AMP Assessment Centers by appointment only. The exam is timed, the candidates have one hour to complete the exam. The exam consists of 50 questions from the Auction License Act and the Administrative Rule. If you pass the exam you will receive a passing score report. (There is no limit to the number of times you can take the exam.)

Q. What kind of auction license is available for business entities?

DPR issues auction firm licenses to corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships that act as an auctioneer and provide an auction service. An auction firm shall be managed by a licensed auctioneer. The managing auctioneer of the auction firm shall be responsible for the actions of all licensed and unlicensed employees, agents, and representatives of said auction firm while the firm is conducting an auction or providing an auction service.
Click here for an application for an auction firm:

Q. Are there any exemptions from the license requirement?

Yes, exemptions from the licensing requirement are set forth in Section 10-1 of the Auction License Act. Included in the exemptions are:
an auction conducted solely by or for a not-for-profit organization for charitable purposes in which the individual receives no compensation;
an auction conducted by the owner of the property, real or personal;
an auction for the sale or lease of real property conducted by a licensee under the Real Estate License Act, or its successor Acts, in accordance with the terms of that Act;
an auction conducted by a business registered as a market agency under the federal Packers and Stockyards Act (7 U.S.C. 181 et seq.) or under the Livestock Auction Market Law. This exemption applies to the firm only; the market is exempt, not the individual auctioneers.
an auction conducted by an agent, officer, or employee of a federal agency in the conduct of his or her official duties;
an auction conducted by an agent, officer, or employee of the State government or any political subdivision thereof performing his or her official duties;
an auction conducted by a new or used vehicle dealer or a vehicle auctioneer licensed by the Secretary of State of Illinois, or to any employee of the licensee, who is a resident of Illinois, while the employee is acting in the regular scope of his or her employment for the licensee while conducting an auction that is not open to the public, provided that only new or used vehicle dealers, rebuilders, automotive parts recyclers, scrap processors, or out-of-state salvage vehicle buyers licensed by the Secretary of State or licensed by another jurisdiction may buy property at the auction, or to sales by or through the licensee;
an auction conducted by a person under the age of 18 who is selling property under $250 in value while under the direct supervision of a licensed auctioneer;

Q. What is an Internet Auction Listing Service (IALS)?

As defined by the Auction License Act [225 ILCS 407/10-27] an "Internet Auction Listing Service" means a website on the Internet, or other interactive computer service that is designed to allow or advertised as a means of allowing users to offer personal property or services for sale or lease to a prospective buyer or lessee through an on-line bid submission process using that website or interactive computer service and that does not examine, set the price, or prepare the description of the personal property or service to be offered, or in any way utilize the services of a natural person as an auctioneer. "Interactive computer service" means any information service, system, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides access to the Internet. Click here for the Internet Auction Listing Service registration application:

Q. When does the IALS have to register with DPR?

An Internet Auction Listing Service is required to register when the IALS is located in the State of Illinois; or the prospective seller or seller, prospective lessor or lessor, prospective purchaser or purchaser is located in the State of Illinois; or the personal property or services offered for sale or lease are located or will be provided in the State of Illinois.

Q. What are the Continuing Education Requirements?

A licensee is required to complete a total of 12 hours of approved continuing education (CE) every two years. Of these 12 hours, six hours shall be from the mandatory course category. The remaining six hours may be satisfied by successfully completing six more hours of mandatory courses or by completing courses from the elective course category. Continuing education may be obtained anytime during the pre-renewal period. The CE must be taken from an Illinois licensed education provider and the courses must also be Illinois licensed. If this is the licensee's first renewal, he or she is exempt from the continuing education requirement.
Click here for a list of IL approved CE providers:

Q. How do I renew my license?

Renewal forms will be mailed to each licensee 60 - 90 days prior to the expiration of the license. The licensee must accurately complete the renewal application and send the renewal application, together with the required fee, to DFPR's Springfield office postmarked prior to the expiration of the license. If a renewal form is not received in the mail, it remains the responsibility of the licensee to file the renewal application. The auctioneer and the auction firm licenses expire December 31, 2010 and thereafter a license shall expire every 2 years on December 31 of each even-numbered year. The licensee will also have the option to renew via Internet and telephone using a credit card. There is a surcharge for using a credit card to renew either online or by phone.
If the license has lapsed or expired for a period of more than 2 years, the licensee will be required to submit a restoration application, meet the requirements of licensure of an auctioneer, take and pass the auctioneer examination, provide proof of successful completion of 12 hours of Illinois approved CE, and pay the fee pursuant to Section 1440.170 of the Administrative Rule.

Q. Does Illinois offer license Reciprocity with any other states?

Yes. Illinois has reciprocal agreements with several states. For a list of these states, click on this link:
The auctioneer will need to complete the Reciprocal application, obtain a certificate of good standing from the state by which the applicant is applying by reciprocity, and pay the required fee. Click here for the Application for Licensure by Reciprocity:

Q. Can I auction real estate with my auctioneer license?

An auctioneer is only licensed to auction personal property. A real estate license is necessary in order to auction real property. However, the exceptions are those auctioneers who were licensed prior to July 1, 2000 who had been selling real estate at auction for a period of five years prior to licensure as an auctioneer. These individuals, who have auction license numbers that begin with 440, are able to auction real property as they are exempt from holding a broker's or salesperson's license pursuant to the Illinois Real Estate License Act of 2000, Section 5-20 (13).

Q. What are the requirements if I have an auction license that begins with 440 and I also have an active real estate license?

In Illinois, licensed auctioneers who have a license number that begins with the number 440, are exempt from having to hold a real estate license to sell real estate at auction under the Real Estate License Act. If a 440 auctioneer has an active real estate license, and that individual sells real estate at auction, he or she must do so under his or her sponsoring broker in accordance with the Real Estate License Act.

Q. What are the requirements for auction advertisements?

The licensee shall clearly disclose on any advertisement the licensee's name; if a licensee uses an assumed name or d/b/a/, the licensee shall register that name with DPR; and the terms and conditions of the auction to the best knowledge of the licensee at the time of printing, taping, or production of the advertisement, and if there is a buyer premium charged and the terms and conditions of the buyer premium. See Rule 1440.230.

Q. When do I need to register my business under an Assumed Business Name?

Registration for an assumed business name is required any time an auction business is marketed to the public under a name that is in any way different than the name appearing on the auctioneer or auction firms license. The licensee shall submit to DPR a certified copy of his or her registration under the Assumed Business Name Act [805 ILCS 405] at the time of application or within 30 days after the registration.

Q. What are the requirements regarding Unlicensed Assistants?

An unlicensed assistant may not engage in licensed activities. A list of examples of what an unlicensed assistant may and may not do appears in the Rule, Section 1440.240. Some examples of unlicensed assistants are clerks, cashiers, ring assistants and laborers.

Q. Is my money safe (monies entrusted to the auctioneer or auction firm)?

Per the Act and the Rule, Section 1440.270 escrow monies means all monies, promissory notes, legal tender or financial consideration entrusted to, held by, and deposited with an auctioneer or auction firm in consideration of property sold or leased by the auctioneer or auction firm for the benefit of the parties to the transaction. Licensees who accept escrow monies shall maintain and deposit in a special account, separate and apart from any personal or ordinary business accounts, all monies entrusted to the licensee while acting as an auctioneer, while conducting an auction or providing an auction service. A licensee who accepts escrow monies shall maintain a bookkeeping system in his or her office or place of business. The system shall consist of a record book, called a journal, for each special account, a deal file for each auction, a record or account ledger, bank statements which shall be reconciled monthly within 10 days after the receipt of the bank statement. A licensee who maintains any special account shall notify DPR in writing of the name and location of the depository in which such special accounts are held, and shall execute a written consent giving DPR the authority to examine and/or audit any or all such special accounts. See Rule 1440.270.

Q. Do I have to have a special license to sell guns, titled vehicles or liquor?

There are no specific requirements in the Act concerning the sale of these items, but there are other laws which may require an auctioneer to have a special license or handle the sale differently than other property. When selling guns, you may contact the Illinois State Police at or by contacting your local Illinois State Police District, or your local sheriff for more specific information. For information concerning the sale of titled vehicles, you may contact the Illinois Secretary of State at or by calling vehicle services at (800) 252-8980. For more information concerning the sale of liquor, you may contact the Illinois Liquor Control Commission at or by calling (217) 782-2136.

Q. Do I have to charge sales tax at my auction for the items purchased?

If the name of the seller is known and fully disclosed to the buying public, then no sales tax is required to be charged, unless the seller is registered as a retailer with the Illinois Department of Revenue. However, if the seller is not disclosed, or if the merchandise is yours (in essence, you are acting as a retailer and an auctioneer), you are liable for collecting, reporting and paying sales tax. You may also contact the Illinois Department of Revenue at (800) 732-8866.

Q. How can I obtain a complete listing of all licensed Auctioneers?

You may find out the roster fee by sending an email to or by calling 217-785-7222.

Q. How can I find out if an auctioneer is licensed?

To find out if a particular auctioneer is licensed, use the License Lookup feature on the DFPR website at:

Q. How can I file a complaint against an auctioneer?

DFPR has a formal complaint intake process for members of the public. To file a complaint against a licensee of the Auction profession, please download the Consumer Services Inquiry form at:

Q. How can I lookup the continuing education that I have completed?

Your list of completed continuing education courses may be found at: