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Illinois Auto Dealer Bond

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What is an Illinois Auto Dealer Bond?

Being a licensed auto dealer in the state of Illinois comes with several responsibilities. One component of obtaining a valid license is securing an Illinois auto dealer bond. An Illinois auto dealer bond guarantees that licensed dealerships will comply with state regulations when operating their business.

Customers who are financially harmed due to illegal or fraudulent business practices when working with a dealership can file a claim against the bond.

How Does an Illinois Auto Dealer Bond Work?

An Illinois auto dealer bond is a contract between three parties.

The Obligee

The obligee requiring the bond is the Illinois Secretary of State’s Vehicle Services Department. All licensed auto dealers are required to have a valid bond for the first 36 months of operating the dealership in order to comply with the law.

The Principal

The principal is the auto dealership needing the bond to become licensed as a business in the state.

The Surety

The surety company provides the bond to the principal and pays any claims made by customers. The principal must repay the surety company for the claims over time.

Illinois Auto Dealer Bond Obligee Details

In the state of Illinois, auto dealers must hold a license to operate their business legally. Part of the licensing requirement, mandated by the Illinois Secretary of State, is to secure an Illinois auto dealer bond. The Secretary of State is the obligee of the bond and contact information is as follows:

Secretary of State

Vehicle Services Department

Dealer Licensing Section

501 S. Second Street, Rm 069

Springfield, Illinois 62756

Phone: 217-782-7817

Am I Required to Get an Illinois Auto Dealer Bond?

Illinois state law dictates who must obtain both licenses and bonds. Any person or business that engages in the sale of new motor vehicles, used vehicles, motorcycles, or trailers must secure an auto dealer bond. Manufactured home dealers must also have an Illinois auto dealer bond in place.

How Do You Get an Illinois Auto Dealer Bond?

You can submit a request for a free quote online and fill out your bond application in a matter of minutes. The surety company reviews your application details and provides you with the percentage rate you will pay for your bond and instructions for completing the process.

What Does an Illinois Auto Dealer Bond Cost?

Illinois requires an auto dealer bond of at least $20,000 for all new dealerships, but the total bond amount is not the price you pay to the surety company. Your auto dealer bond price is a percentage of the $20,000, ranging from 1 to 10 percent.

Can I Get an Illinois Auto Dealer Bond with Bad Credit?

The surety company providing your Illinois auto dealer bond determines the percentage you pay based on certain details. Your personal credit score, experience in the industry, and business financials all play a part in your bond pricing.

Bad credit won’t disqualify you from obtaining an auto dealer bond, but if you have poor credit history due to civil judgments or liens, bankruptcy, or other mismanagement of finances in the past, then you’ll likely have to pay a higher bond cost.

Auto Dealer Bond Terms and Expiration Date in Illinois

Illinois auto dealer bonds expire at the same time an auto dealer license expires. This takes place annually on December 31. Licensed Illinois auto dealers must ensure their bond is renewed before this time to stay compliant with Illinois laws.


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.