Dept. of Safety and Professional Services: Announces auctioneering reciprocity with Ohio

MADISON, Wis. –  The Department of Safety and Professional Services has established an auctioneer reciprocity agreement with Ohio. Under the new agreement, Wisconsin auctioneers who pursue licensure through reciprocity will be able to handle live auctions in Ohio. This is the first new reciprocity agreement for Wisconsin auctioneers in twenty years, and Ohio is just the seventh state to recognize reciprocity for Wisconsin.

The agreement, signed by DSPS Secretary-designee Dawn Crim in October, makes it easier for auctioneers credentialed in one state to obtain licensure in the other. Without reciprocity, Wisconsin auctioneers interested in overseeing or consulting on auctions in Ohio would need to apply for a one-time auction license for a single event or, for full licensure, would need to go through the initial licensure steps. These include submitting proof of attendance at an approved auction school, a year of apprenticeship, experience bid calling at 12 auctions, and passing a written and verbal exam. The reciprocity agreement vastly simplifies and expedites the process for the applicant and for DSPS.

“Like many industries, auctioneering is evolving. Online auction platforms make out-of-state work more viable and attractive. Also, our credential holders may have expertise that could benefit customers in Ohio, and now they can more easily accept that business and handle those auctions,” Crim said. “I am pleased to bring this growth opportunity to Wisconsin auctioneers.”

The agreement also opens up licensure in additional states for Wisconsin auctioneers who obtain an Ohio license. Those Wisconsin auctioneers who obtain a reciprocal Ohio license can use their Ohio license to apply for similar reciprocal credentials in the other states with which Ohio has an agreement and that also allow third-party reciprocity. Currently, Wisconsin has agreements with seven states, including Ohio, while Ohio has agreements with 17.

“I think it is important to recognize the states that have similar laws,” said Donna Potter, Ohio’s auctioneer program administrator. “Anytime we can help our licensees expand into other states, we should do that. It’s good for their business and their livelihoods.” 

Natalie Pratt, executive director of the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association, says this agreement is good for Wisconsin auctioneers, particularly those who are interested in expansion beyond Wisconsin or those with unique specializations in specific items or areas, such as coins, artwork, or even horse farms. Those specializations, Pratt says, often lead to more accurate valuations and price-setting, which is good for customers, as it increases their confidence in transactions involving rare or one-of-a-kind items.

“This agreement allows Wisconsin auctioneers to develop news lines of business,” Pratt said. “We appreciate the effort agency staff put into negotiations and their commitment to see this through despite all the challenges of the past year. It reflects Secretary Crim’s dedication to the well-being of auctioneers and the auction industry.”

Wisconsin and Ohio began reciprocity discussions more than a year ago. Crim says she is especially pleased to offer auctioneers something positive in an otherwise difficult year as pandemic-related gathering restrictions and customer reticence have reduced attendance at events or precluded them altogether.

“This agreement will expand the potential client pool for some of our credential holders,” Crim said. “That does not resolve all the challenges at hand, but it opens up avenues for new business, and that is definitely good news.”

The Department of Safety and Professional Services issues more than 240 unique licenses, administers dozens of boards and councils that regulate professions, enforces state building codes, runs the state fire prevention program, and maintains the award-winning Wisconsin Enhanced Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which is a key tool in the multi-faceted public health campaign to stem excessive opioid prescribing. A fee-based agency, the Department of Safety and Professional Services is self-sustaining and receives no general fund tax dollars for its day-to-day operations. With five offices and 250 employees throughout Wisconsin, DSPS collaborates with constituents and stakeholders across a wide range of industries to promote safety and advance the economy.


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