West Virginia Auctioneer Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

August 2, 2022

West Virginia Auctioneer Bond

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a West Virginia Auctioneer bond.

At a Glance:

  • Average Cost: Based on bond amount
    • $5,000 bond: $100 per year
    • $25,000 bond: $250 per year
  • Bond Amount: Based on license type
    • Apprentice Auctioneer: $5,000
    • Auctioneer: $25,000
  • Who Needs it: All auctioneers and apprentice auctioneers operating in West Virginia
  • Purpose: To ensure the public is compensated for damages if the auctioneer/apprentice fails to comply with licensing law
  • Who Regulates Auctioneers in West Virginia: The West Virginia Department of Agriculture

Background

West Virginia Code 19-2C-2 requires all auctioneers and apprentice auctioneers operating in the state to obtain a license from the Department of Agriculture. The state legislature enacted the licensing laws and regulations to ensure that auctioneers engage in ethical business practices. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, auctioneers/apprentices must purchase and maintain a surety bond to be eligible for licensure.

What is the Purpose of the West Virginia Auctioneer Bond?

West Virginia requires auctioneers and apprentices to purchase a surety bond as part of the application process to obtain a business license. The bond protects the public from financial harm if the auctioneer fails to comply with the regulations set forth in West Virginia Code 19-2C-4. Specifically, the bond protects the public from financial harm in the event the auctioneer does not maintain an accurate record of transactions or fails to pay all required taxes, fines, and fees. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the auctioneer violates the terms of their license.

West Virginia Apprentice Auctioneer Bond Form

West Virginia Auctioneer Bond Form

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a West Virginia Auctioneer Surety Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining a West Virginia Auctioneer surety bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “Auctioneer” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.

At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.

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Is a Credit Check Required for the West Virginia Auctioneer Bond?

No, a credit check is not required for the West Virginia Auctioneer bond. Because the bond is considered relatively low risk, the same low rate is offered to all auctioneers and apprentice auctioneers operating in the state, regardless of their credit history.

How Much Does the West Virginia Auctioneer Bond Cost?

The West Virginia Auctioneer bond costs just $100 per year for apprentice auctioneers and $250 per year for fully licensed auctioneers.

Who is Required to Purchase the Bond?

West Virginia requires auctioneers and apprentices to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a business license. To paraphrase West Virginia Code 19-2C-1, an auctioneer is a person that sells property to the highest bidder at an auction. An apprentice auctioneer is an auctioneer who is in training and operating under the supervision of a licensed auctioneer.

Exemptions to this definition include:

  • Sales conducted on the behalf of the federal or state government, or a court-appointed representative acting within the scope of their authority
  • Individuals selling their own property
  • Persons conducting sales in accordance with a deed or trust
  • Fiduciaries of estates
  • Sales conducted by a charitable or nonprofit organization
  • Licensed real estate brokers
  • Persons conducting temporary sales over the internet

How Do Auctioneers Apply for a License in West Virginia?

Auctioneers/apprentices in West Virginia must navigate several steps to secure their licenses. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the licensing statutes and the Department of Agriculture’s licensing page for details on the process.

License Period – All West Virginia Auctioneer and Apprentice Auctioneer Licenses expire on June 30 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date.

Step 1 – Become an Apprentice

To become a licensed auctioneer in West Virginia, applicants must first complete an apprenticeship under a licensed auctioneer. All apprentices must be at least 18 years old and a citizen of the United States. To apply for an apprenticeship, applicants must:

1.a – Purchase a Surety Bond

Apprentice auctioneers are required to purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.

1.b – Complete the Application

Applicants should submit their completed license applications, including a $100 application fee, to the following address:

WVDA, Executive Division
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
East Charleston, WV 25305

Auctioneers must complete the application in its entirety, and submit the following items:

    • Surety bond
    • Photocopy of driver’s license
    • A statewide and nationwide background check

1.c – Pass the Exam

Applicants are required to pass a written exam before being issued their apprentice license. After reviewing their application, the Department of Agriculture will contact the applicant and provide them with instructions on how to schedule an exam. There is a $50 examination fee that must be paid on the day of the exam.

Step 2 – Become an Auctioneer

To become a licensed auctioneer in West Virginia, applicants must:

2.a – Meet the Experience Requirements

    • Have conducted at least six auction sales under the supervision of a sponsoring auctioneer during their apprenticeship
    • Completed a two-year apprenticeship program under a licensed auctioneer or graduated from an approved auctioneering school and complete a six-month apprenticeship
    • Have not served as an apprentice auctioneer for more than three years

2.b – Purchase a Surety Bond

Auctioneers are required to purchase and maintain a $25,000 surety bond.

2.c – Complete the Application

Applicants should submit their completed license applications, including a $100 application fee, to the following address:

WVDA, Executive Division
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
East Charleston, WV 25305

Auctioneers must complete the application in its entirety, and submit the following items:

    • Surety bond
    • Photocopy of driver’s license
    • A statewide and nationwide background check

2.d – Pass the Exam

Applicants are required to pass both an oral and written exam before being issued their license. After reviewing their application, the Department of Agriculture will contact the applicant and provide them with instructions on how to schedule an exam. There is a $50 examination fee that must be paid on the day of the exam.

How do West Virginia Auctioneers Renew Their Licenses?

Auctioneers should submit their completed renewal applications, including the $50 renewal fee, to the following address:

WVDA, Executive Division
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
East Charleston, WV 25305

All West Virginia Auctioneer and Apprentice Auctioneer Licenses expire on June 30 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date. Auctioneers must submit at least 6 hours of continuing education while apprentice auctioneers must submit at least 3 hours. Renewals submitted after August 1 will be subject to late renewal fees.

What are the Insurance Requirements for Auctioneers in West Virginia?

West Virginia does not require auctioneers/apprentices to obtain any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a state license. Auctioneers/apprentices must purchase and maintain a surety bond with the following limits:

  • $5,000 bond: $100 per year
  • $25,000 bond: $250 per year

How Do West Virginia Auctioneers File Their Bonds?

Auctioneers/apprentices should mail their completed bond forms, including the power of attorney, to the following address:

WVDA, Executive Division
1900 Kanawha Boulevard
East Charleston, WV 25305

The bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the applicant. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:

  • Legal name and address of the entity/individual(s) buying the bond
  • Name and address of the surety company
  • Date the bond goes into effect
  • Date the bond is signed

What Can West Virginia Auctioneers do to Avoid Claims Made Against Their Bonds?

To avoid claims on their bond, auctioneers in West Virginia must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:

  • Maintain accurate records of all transactions
  • Pay all required taxes, fines and fees

What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Auctioneers in West Virginia?

West Virginia does not require auctioneers to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a state license. Most reputable auctioneers will purchase liability insurance. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.

How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for West Virginia Auctioneer Customers?

West Virginia unfortunately does not provide a public database of active auctioneers in the state. We suggest contacting the Department of Agriculture to obtain this information. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.

2022-08-02T14:07:28-04:00