85B-4. Licenses required.

(a) No person who is not exempt under G.S. 85B-2, shall sell, or offer to sell, goods or real estate at auction in this State or perform any act for which an auction firm license is required unless the person holds a currently valid license issued under this Chapter.

(b) No person shall be licensed as an apprentice auctioneer, auctioneer, or receive an auction firm license if the person:

(1) Is under 18 years of age.

(1a) Is not a high school graduate or the equivalent. However, a person licensed under this Chapter prior to July 1, 1999, does not need to meet this requirement.

(2) Repealed by Session Laws 1983, c. 751, s. 6.

(3) Has within the preceding five years pleaded guilty to, entered a plea of nolo contendere or been convicted of any felony, or committed or been convicted of any act involving fraud or moral turpitude.

(4) Has had an auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer or auction firm license revoked.

(5) Has, within the preceding five years, committed any act that constitutes grounds for license suspension or revocation under this Chapter or a Commission rule.

(c) Each applicant for an apprentice auctioneer license shall submit a written application in a form approved by the Commission and containing at least two statements by residents of the community in which the applicant resides attesting to the applicant's good moral character.

(c1) Each apprentice auctioneer application and license shall name a licensed auctioneer to serve as the supervisor of the apprentice. No apprentice auctioneer may enter into an agreement to conduct an auction, or conduct an auction, without the express approval of his supervisor. The supervisor shall review all contracts before approving them and shall regularly review the records his apprentice is required to maintain under G.S. 85B-7 to see that they are accurate and current, and shall perform such other supervisory duties as may be required by the Commission.

(d) No person shall be licensed as an auctioneer unless the person has held an apprentice auctioneer license and served as an apprentice auctioneer for the two preceding years, accumulated sufficient knowledge and experience in such areas of the auctioneer profession as the Commission may deem appropriate, and has taken an examination approved by the Commission and performed on it to the satisfaction of the Commission. The examination shall test the applicant's understanding of the law relating to auctioneers and auctions, ethical practices for auctioneers, the mathematics applicable to the auctioneer business, and such other matters relating to auctions as the Commission considers appropriate. The examination shall be given at least twice each year in North Carolina, and at other times and places the Commission designates, but no person shall be allowed to take the examination within six months after having failed it a second time.

Any person who has successfully completed the equivalent of at least 80 hours of classroom instruction in a course in auctioneering at an institution whose curriculum and instructors meet the qualifications approved or established by the Commission may be licensed as an auctioneer without holding an apprentice license and serving as an apprentice for two years, but shall take the examination required by this subsection and perform on it to the satisfaction of the Commission.

Each applicant for an auctioneer license shall submit a written application in a form approved by the Commission, pay all applicable fees, and consent in writing to a criminal history check as required by G.S. 85B-3.2. If the applicant has been previously licensed as an apprentice auctioneer, the application shall contain an evaluation by the applicant's supervisor of the applicant's performance as an apprentice auctioneer and the applicant's performance in specific areas as required by the Commission. If the applicant is exempted from apprenticeship after completion of the equivalent of at least 80 hours of classroom instruction in auctioneering, the application shall contain a transcript of the applicant's course work in auctioneering. Each application shall be accompanied by statements of at least two residents of the community in which the applicant resides attesting to the applicant's good moral character. The Commission may require verification of any information included in an application for an auctioneer license and may request other information or verification of information provided to determine whether the applicant possesses the good moral character or other qualifications for licensure.

(e) Each license issued under this Chapter shall be valid from July 1 of the year issued, or from the date issued, whichever is later, to the following June 30 unless sooner revoked or suspended pursuant to this Chapter or a rule of the Commission. A license may be renewed for one year at a time, except an apprentice auctioneer license may not be renewed for more than three times. No examination shall be required for renewal of an auctioneer license if the application for renewal is made within 24 months of the expiration of the previous license.

(e1) The Commission may require licensees to complete annually not more than six hours of Commission-approved continuing education courses prior to license renewal. The Commission may impose different continuing education requirements, including no such requirements, upon the classes of licensees under this Chapter. The Commission may waive any or all continuing education requirements in cases of hardship, disability, or illness, or under other circumstances as the Commission deems appropriate. The Commission may adopt rules not inconsistent with the provisions of this Chapter to establish continuing education requirements, including rules that govern any of the following:

(1) The content and subject matter of continuing education courses.

(2) The curriculum of required continuing education courses.

(3) The criteria, standards, and procedures for the approval of courses, course sponsors, and course instructors.

(4) The methods of instruction for continuing education courses.

(5) The computation of course credit.

(6) The number of credit hours needed annually.

(7) The ability to carry forward course credit from one year to another.

(8) The waiver of the continuing education requirement for hardship or other reasons to be determined by the Commission.

(9) The procedures for compliance and noncompliance with continuing education requirements.

(f) No person shall be issued an auctioneer or apprentice auctioneer license until the person has made the contribution to the Fund as required by G.S. 85B-4.1.

(g) An auction firm must be licensed by the Board even though no owner or officer of the firm acts as an auctioneer. To be licensed an auction firm must make the contribution to the Fund as required by G.S. 85B-4.1 and must pay the proper fees as set out in G.S. 85B-6. Auction firms are covered by the provisions of G.S. 85B-8.

An auction firm license issued by the Commission is restricted to the persons named in the license and does not inure to the benefit of any other person. Where a license is issued to an auction firm, authority to transact business under the license is limited to the person or persons designated in the application and named in the license.

The designated person or persons, prior to being licensed, shall be required to take a written examination, approved by the Commission, and demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission a thorough understanding of the law relating to the conduct of the auction business and other matters the Commission deems appropriate. An individual who is licensed as an auctioneer and who is the designated person applying for an auction firm license is not required to take the auction firm examination. Licensed real estate brokers and real estate firms may be exempt from the auction firm examination provided they employ or associate themselves with a licensed auctioneer to handle those aspects of the transactions peculiar to the auctioneer profession. Any person or entity, on the effective date of this Chapter, duly licensed as an auction firm in good standing is not required to take any examination in order to maintain or to renew an auction firm license provided that the license does not otherwise expire or lapse and is not suspended or revoked by the Commission.

(h) The Commission shall publish at least once a year a list of names and addresses of all persons, sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations holding valid apprentice auctioneer, auctioneer, or auction firm licenses.

(i) The Commission may investigate as it deems necessary the ethical background of any applicant for licensure under this Chapter. (1973, c. 552, s. 4; c. 1195, ss. 1, 2; 1975, c. 648, ss. 2-4; 1983, c. 603, s. 4; c. 751, ss. 6-8; 1989, c. 732, s. 1; 1991 (Reg. Sess., 1992), c. 819, s. 4; c. 1030, s. 51.5; 1993, c. 421, s. 3; 1999-142, s. 4; 2001-198, s. 2; 2005-330, s. 4.)