National Independent Automobile Dealers Association
Serving Quality Independent Automobile Dealers Since 1946

Certified Master Dealer

CMD Logo

The CERTIFIED MASTER DEALER®  program was developed in 2001, in collaboration with Northwood University, to help dealers manage and grow their businesses. Since then, it has grown into one of the industry's most respected training programs. Dealers who attend this training are committed to the industry, support ethical business standards and practices, and are leaders in their communities. They bring a wide range of experience to each class, and leave with new strategies for analyzing their business practices and increasing their bottom line. Instruction is provided by Joe Lescota, NIADA Director of Dealer Development and former retail automotive executive with more than 25 years of frontline dealership, selling management and training experience.

“The CMD class needs to be a top priority for any dealer who wants to thrive in the used car business.  There is no room for error anymore.  You need to know the right way to run your business or you will be out of business.” –Jason Matthews Matthews Motor Company, Covington, PA


“I encourage anyone who wants to continue in the auto sales industry to attend a CMD training. This is a whole new world we are operating in. Things that used to work--don't. This information is challenging, makes one dig into their own financials to see where improvement can be made and  profit leaks abated. I found some gold nuggets in this training to put me on a faster track to a more successful and profitable dealership.” – Debby Chesterman, World Auto Sales, Nebraska City, NE

March 24-26--Carolinas IADA Headquarters, Harrisburg, NC
May 19-21--OIADA Training Facility, Reynoldsburg, OH
July 21-23--Colorado IADA Headquarters, Lakewood, CO
October 27-29--DexMedia Hotel--Conference Center, DFW Airport, TX

Are you eligible to be a Certified Master Dealer? 

1. Only a state licensed dealer principal operating as a proprietorship, partnership, corporation or limited liability company in the business of selling or leasing motor vehicles (cars, trucks, vans, SUVs) is eligible. Dealer principal shall also mean a partner and/or officer of a licensed partnership or corporation.

2. Dealer must be an NIADA member in good standing.

3. Dealer must maintain an Established Place of Business, which meets, at a minimum, all of the following requirements:

  • Approved/licensed location as an automobile dealership by the state and/or local unit of government;
  • Continuously occupied on a regular basis by the dealer;
  • Business books and records kept at the Established Place of Business;
  • A majority of the business transacted at the Established Place of Business; and
  • Vehicle inventory kept at the Established Place of Business.

4. The dealer must post and maintain regular business hours consistent with state regulations.

5. Dealership Associates (employees) may attend CMD™ classes, however, upon completion of the class, they will receive “Certificates of Participation” only and will not receive the CMD™ designation. Employees may attend only if their dealer principal is a current CMD™ or he/she will be attending the same class.                                      

CMD™ designation and seal are awarded to an individual dealer principal in recognition of the qualifications and personal achievements of that dealer principal. The award is not granted to the dealer's business entity.

CMD™ designation and use of the CMD™ seal are awarded for a term/period 3 years.

Each CMD™ must obtain a minimum of 12 hours of NIADA approved Continuing Education during each consecutive 3 year period to retain the CMD™ designation.

CMD™ designation and the CMD™ seal remain the property of NIADA. The CMD™ designation may be revoked by NIADA if the dealer is convicted of a felony or in the case of a dealer license being revoked by the appropriate state agency. 


$995.00 (1 employee)
$1,800.00 (2 employees)
$2,500.00 (3 employees)


QUESTIONS? Contact Georgia Brown 

800-682-3837 Fax 817-640-5866 or

Click here to review the course outline, and check out these videos to learn more about the 
Certified Master Dealer® Program, and our instructor, Joe Lescota: