(a) The commissioner may conduct an investigation to determine whether any provisions of this chapter have been or are about to be violated by a licensee. Any investigation shall be kept confidential by the commissioner and the division, unless and until the commissioner suspends or revokes the license certificate of the licensee involved or fines the licensee: Provided, That the commissioner may advise the Motor Vehicle Dealers Advisory Board of pending actions and may disclose to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Advisory Board any information that enables it to perform its advisory function in imposing penalties. The commissioner may suspend or revoke a license certificate, suspend a special dealer plate or plates, impose a fine or take any combination of these actions if the commissioner finds that the licensee:
(1) Has failed or refused to comply with the laws of this state relating to the registration and titling of vehicles and the giving of notices of transfers, the provisions and requirements of this article, or any reasonable rules authorized in section nine, article two of this chapter and promulgated to implement the provisions of this article by the commissioner in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code;
(2) Has given any check in the payment of any fee required under the provisions of this chapter which is dishonored;
(3) In the case of a dealer, has knowingly made or permitted any unlawful use of any dealer special plate or plates issued to him or her;
(4) In the case of a dealer, has a dealer special plate or plates to which he or she is not lawfully entitled;
(5) Has knowingly made false statement of a material fact in his or her application for the license certificate then issued and outstanding;
(6) Has habitually defaulted on financial obligations;
(7) Does not have and maintain at each place of business (subject to the qualification contained in subdivision (17), subsection (a), section one of this article with respect to a new motor vehicle dealer) an established place of business as defined for the business in question in section one of this article;
(8) Has been guilty of any fraudulent act in connection with the business of new motor vehicle dealer, used motor vehicle dealer, house trailer dealer, trailer dealer, motorcycle dealer, used parts dealer or wrecker or dismantler;
(9) Has defrauded or is attempting to defraud any buyer or any other person, to the damage of the buyer or other person, in the conduct of the licensee's business;
(10) Has defrauded or is attempting to defraud the state or any political subdivision of the state of any taxes or fees in connection with the sale or transfer of any vehicle;
(11) Has committed fraud in the registration of a vehicle;
(12) Has knowingly purchased, sold or otherwise dealt in a stolen vehicle or vehicles;
(13) Has advertised by any means, with intent to defraud, any material representation or statement of fact which is untrue, misleading or deceptive in any particular relating to the conduct of the licensed business;
(14) Has willfully failed or refused to perform any legally binding written agreement with any buyer;
(15) Has made a fraudulent sale or purchase;
(16) Has failed or refused to assign, reassign or transfer a proper certificate of title;
(17) Has a license certificate to which he or she is not lawfully entitled;
(18) Has misrepresented a customer's credit or financial status to obtain financing;
(19) Has failed to reimburse, when ordered, any claim against the dealer recovery fund as prescribed in section two-a of this article; or
(20) Has employed unlicensed salespersons in violation of article six-e of this chapter on or after January 1, 2008.
(b) The commissioner shall also suspend or revoke the license certificate of a licensee if he or she finds the existence of any ground upon which the license certificate could have been refused or any ground which would be cause for refusing a license certificate to the licensee were he or she then applying for the license certificate.
(c) Whenever a licensee fails to keep the bond, unless exempt from the requirement pursuant to section two-a of this article or liability insurance required by section four of this article, in full force and effect, or fails to provide evidence of the bond or liability insurance, the commissioner shall automatically suspend the license certificate of the licensee unless and until a bond or certificate of insurance as required by section four of this article is furnished to the commissioner. When the licensee furnishes the bond or certificate of insurance to the commissioner and pays all reinstatement fees, the commissioner shall vacate the suspension.
(d) Suspensions under this section shall continue until the cause for the suspension has been eliminated or corrected. Revocation of a license certificate does not preclude application for a new license certificate. The commissioner shall process the application for a new license certificate in the same manner and issue or refuse to issue the license certificate on the same grounds as any other application for a license certificate is processed, considered and passed upon, except that the commissioner may give any previous suspension and the revocation such weight in deciding whether to issue or refuse the license certificate as is correct and proper under all of the circumstances.