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Wisconsin Auto Dealer Bond

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What is a Wisconsin Auto Dealer Bond?

As in many other states, auto dealers operating in Wisconsin are required to have a license before opening their doors. This license comes with a requirement to obtain a Wisconsin auto dealer bond as well, as a way to protect customers interacting with a licensed dealership. If fraud or other illegal activities take place when transacting business, customers who are harmed financially in the process can make a claim against a Wisconsin auto dealer bond.

Auto dealer bonds are a three-party agreement involving a surety company, a principal (the auto dealer), and the obligee (the state authority requiring the bond, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation). The Wisconsin auto dealer bond guarantees that auto dealers will comply with rules set by the Department of Transportation, and that the surety company will pay claims on behalf of the dealer. When a claim is successful, though, the auto dealer is responsible for repaying the claim amount.

Do I Need a Wisconsin Auto Dealer Bond?

Any individual or business that plans to sell a motor vehicle for profit must hold a valid license as an auto dealer in the state of Wisconsin. Securing a surety bond as an auto dealer is part of the licensing requirements mandated by state law. Wisconsin auto dealer bonds are necessary for those selling retail new or used vehicles, wholesale dealers, and motorcycle dealers.

Obligee Details for Wisconsin Auto Dealer Bonds

In Wisconsin, the obligee for an auto dealer bond is the Department of Transportation. The Dealer and Agent division of the department manages the licensing process, as well as receives information on Wisconsin auto dealer bonds and their renewals. Auto dealers in Wisconsin submit applications and bond details to the department at the following address:

Department of Transportation

Dealer and Agent Section

PO Box 7907

Madison, Wisconsin 53707

Phone: 608-266-1425

What Does a Wisconsin Auto Dealer Bond Cost?

Both new and used auto dealers are required to post a Wisconsin auto dealer bond of $50,000. However, dealers do not have to pay the full bond amount in order to meet this requirement. A Wisconsin auto dealer bond costs a small percentage, between 1 and 10%.

An auto dealer bond rate depends heavily on personal credit score and the business financials of the dealership. Credit history plays a part because the surety company wants to feel confident that the dealer is a low risk for a future bond claim. Poor credit indicates otherwise, and so the cost of a Wisconsin auto dealer bond will be higher if a dealer’s credit history is below standard.

How Do You Get a Wisconsin Auto Dealer Bond?

You can secure a Wisconsin auto dealer bond by applying online. In the process, you receive a free quote based on the factors mentioned above, and the surety company will guide you through the steps for completing the bonding requirement for your auto dealer license.

Renewal of a Wisconsin Auto Dealer Bond

Each auto dealer license issued in the state of Wisconsin expires 12 months after it is issued. While there is no specific expiration date for an auto dealer license or its corresponding bond, renewals need to be completed before the 12-month term ends. The surety company issuing a Wisconsin auto dealer bond provides renewal details in the few months prior to the end of the term.


Frequent Questions

What does an auto dealer bond cost?

Costs are a percentage of the auto dealer bond amount that's required of you, which is based on your personal credit. Use our bond pricing tool to get a quick ballpark estimate.

Can I get a bond with bad credit?

Yes. You can get you approved for a bond regardless of your credit situation. However, the price will increase. You can apply to get an instant approval. As the largest writer of surety bonds in the U.S., we have access to high risk markets that many other agencies do not.

How long does the application take?

It only takes minutes, as we can approve you for your bond instantly online. You can get a no obligation quote on our website at any time.

Can I get auto dealer bond insurance to protect myself?

No. An auto dealer bond does not protect you, it protects the public. However, you can protect yourself or your customers by getting fidelity bonds.


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Jennifer Henson
Our company has been with JW Surety for several years now so when we needed to obtain a bond for a new company, we immediately went to them for help. Our rep, Melissa, was extremely helpful and prompt which made the process extremely easy for me.
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Trying to get a local Surety Bond was like driving a car on three tires. I searched Surety Bonds and found JW Surety Bonds. I got online and filled out the information and with in 30 minutes received a response from Melissa. She was informative, friendly and helpful. One more super satisfied customer.

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About JW Surety Bonds
We are a family owned and operated agency established in 2003. We started with just two people, and grew to become the largest volume bond producer in the nation with 50+ employees. Since day one, our team focus has been on providing real-time online quotes, an easy process, and the best in claims defense. Learn more about our company.