Understanding how to get a dealer's license in Arizona doesn’t have to be difficult. It comes down to being thorough and knowledgeable. Get everything right and obtaining your auto dealer license can be simple. The licensing process in Arizona is handled by both the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (AZDFI). However, bear in mind that once you complete your motor vehicle dealer license application, you’ll submit it only to ADOT. Here’s how to get started:
Determine Which Type of License You Need:
- New Motor Vehicle Dealer: Buy/sell new and used motor vehicles
- Used Motor Vehicle Dealer: Buy/sell only used motor vehicles
- Automotive Recycler: Acquire motor vehicles for dismantling, selling, or disposing of their parts
- Broker: Arrange or assist in the purchase of motor vehicles, in exchange for a commission or a fee
- Public Consignment Auction Dealer: Conduct public vehicle consignment or provide related services
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Auction Dealer: Conduct vehicle auctions or provide related auction services on a wholesale basis
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealer: Sell to licensed motor vehicle dealers on a wholesale basis
Submit Criminal Record Check and Fingerprinting
Individual owners and those who own 20% or more of the company must undergo a criminal record check. The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) requires you to provide a statement of personal history and a fingerprint card. There are multiple fingerprint locations in the state of Arizona.
Note: Criminal record checks may not be required of individuals who are applying for an additional license or who have completed a criminal record check through the MVD within the past five years.
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
Your established place of business must be a permanent enclosed building that offers sufficient space to display two or more vehicles. You also need to have a business sign.
You can use a trailer as an office if you are a:
- Used Motor Vehicle Dealer
- Public Consignment Auction Dealer
- Automotive Recycler
You may operate from a location zoned for residential use if you are a:
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealer
Visit the ADOT website for more information.
Note: You will also be required to take photos of both the location and the sign to submit with your license application.
Obtain Your Auto Dealer Bond
The cost of an auto dealer bond is a small percentage of the total bond amount. The bond cost varies depending on your financial strength, e.g. personal credit. You can also take a look at our most frequently asked surety bond questions.
- Fill out our online application form to obtain a free bond quote for your auto dealer license. It takes 5 minutes and you will be able to lock your rate for the next 90 days (in case you want to purchase the bond).
You need a separate bond for each application, and for each county where you have an established place of business.
Bond Amount Required:
- $100,000 for New Motor Vehicle Dealers, Used Motor Vehicle Dealers, and Public Consignment Auction Dealers
- $25,000 for Brokers, Wholesale Auto Auction Dealers, and Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealers
- $20,000 for Automotive Recyclers
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Compile Additional Documents
You may need to submit additional documents and certificates if you are:
- Purchasing an existing dealership — you will need a Buy/Sell Agreement
- Selling new products — you will need a Certificate of Appointment signed by an authorized agent
- Representing a corporation or a limited liability company — you may need copies of the Articles of Incorporation, Annual Report and Certificate of Disclosure
- Represent a limited liability partnership — you will need a copy of the Partnership Agreement
Submit Your Dealer License Application
The Motor Vehicle Dealer / Sales Finance Company Application is available online. To get your application, you can also contact the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) at (602) 712-7571 and ask for the Dealer Licensing Unit.
Note: The application must contain the notarized signatures of all responsible parties.
Submit your application along with your bond, fingerprint card, and all supporting documentation to:
Motor Vehicle Division
Dealer Licensing Unit
P.O. Box 2100
Phoenix, AZ 85001
Note: You will need to submit a separate application for each type of license and for each county.
If you successfully pass the criminal records check, you will receive an invoice for your ADOT auto dealer license. Once the invoice is paid, your license will be issued. The AZDFI will send you a separate invoice for the license fees related to your AZDFI motor vehicle dealer license.
- $22 per person background check fee
- $100 to obtain or renew your license
- $50 per branch office within the same county
- $15 initial filing fee
- $300 for a motor vehicle dealer license
- $150 for renewal