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How To Get a Car Dealer's License

By following instructions and meeting all requirements, you will be a car dealer in no time.


  • TIP: Proof and sign your car dealer's application to make sure all requirements are enclosed.
  • Step 1: Pay your license fee and plate fees with a check or money order.
  • Step 2: Mail or drop off your completed car dealer's license application and requested documents.
  • Step 3: Pass inspection during the application approval period. Then, open your dealership for business and start selling cars.
  • FACT: In 2008, domestic new vehicle dealerships generated $576.1 billion in revenues, with average revenues at each dealership reaching $28.8 million.
  • TIP: Begin filling out your car dealer's application while completing the other required forms including: a signed receipt for fingerprinting, a completed surety bond, and liability insurance for your building and lot as listed in your car dealer's application licensing requirements.
  • Step 4: Obtain your building with an adjacent lot and a registered service facility that will pass the zoning and municipal guidelines during the final inspection.
  • Step 5: Call the the state Department of Motor Vehicles to request a mailed car dealer's license application packet with instructions and guidelines.
  • TIP: Pick up the car dealer's license application packet or go online to download and print the forms for the type of dealer's license you want, keeping in mind it takes about 30 days to process your application.
  • Step 6: If it is required by your state, take and pass their car dealer's license test.
  • Step 7: Register your business or assumed name with your city's clerk's office or other appropriate agency.
  • Step 8: Decide what type of car dealer's license you want to acquire.

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