This complete guide will take you through every detail of the auto dealer licensing process in Connecticut. All applications for dealer and repairer license are processed by the Regulated Business Licensing Unit of the Department of Motor Vehicles at 60 State Street in Wethersfield, Room 322, 860-263-5056. They will be your point of contact throughout the licensing process. Here’s how to get started.
Determine Which Type of License You Need:
- Dealer/Repairer: Within this license type, there are separate requirements for new car dealers, used car dealers, and repair shops.
- Renter/Leaser: If you also intend to rent or lease vehicles, a separate license is needed.
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
Begin the process by checking your municipal requirements for a license and ensuring your location is compliant. After this, you may begin the process of obtaining your state license.
The state requires your location to have:
- An area for display and storage of new and used cars
- A repair department able to hold two vehicles
- A parts department and an office that can be used for business with the public
- A posted customer rights sign
- Labor and storage price sign
- At least one mechanic qualified to service and repair vehicles sold by the dealer. If the mechanic is an employee, they must be employed at the licensed location for at least 35 hours in each 7-day week.
New car dealers must additionally have:
- A contract or franchise agreement with a manufacturer
- A wastewater retention tank with a minimum of 250 gallons on the premises
- Lemon Law (Auto Dispute Program) signs posted in the service area
- V.I.N. etching cost signs posted
Compile the Required Documents
You will need the following documents:
- K7 Application: This must be signed by the Zoning Board, and a signature from the local chief of police may also be required (see the application for details)
- Class B (or better) Survey Map (this must be signed by the Zoning Board and applicant, and also have an official seal)
- Trade Name Certificate (you can obtain this at the town clerk’s office)
- K89 Storage Rates
- K6 Marker Plate Request
- K8 Application (your license inspection application)
- R1325D Financial Responsibility Certificate (listing insurance coverage for all dealer plates)
- DEEP Referral Sheet
- K200 VIN Etching Form
- K193/K193A Financial Statement (this form is only requried for used auto dealers or repairers)
- Clear copy of driver's license
- Sales Tax Permit (obtained from the Connecticut Revenue Service)
If you are an LLC, you’ll also need:
- Certificate of Existence (this should have been previously filed with the Secretary of State)
- K198 Agent for Service
- Operating Agreement (only needed if there is more than one member of your LLC)
- Articles of Organization
If you are a corporation, you’ll also need:
- Certificate of Existence (this should have been filed already with the Secretary of State)
- K198 Agent for Service
If you are opening a new car dealership, you’ll also need:
- Franchise Certificate
- Dealer Agreement & Standard Provisions
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).
In order to get a license and operate legally, you’ll need to get an auto dealer bond. The form required is a K158 Surety Bond.
Bond Amount Required:
- $50,000 for new or used dealers
- $5,000 for general or limited repairers
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Submit Your Dealer License Application
To submit the completed application to the DMV, simply call 860-263-5056 for an appointment. Alternatively, you can just mail your application package to the following address:
Department of Motor Vehicles 60 State St. Wethersfield, CT 06109
All of these fees may be paid after your application has been submitted and are valid for two years.
- Basic application fee for all licenses: $140.00
- New dealer license: $700.00
- Used dealer license: $560.00
- Repairer license (this includes limited repairers): $340.00
- Registration fee per plate (one required per vehicle): $140.00
- Safety fee (per plate): $5.00
- Special dealer registration plates: full commercial rate applies
Arrange and Pass a State Inspection
Once your application has been approved and you have paid all the required fees, the DMV will make an appointment to send an inspector to your proposed location to confirm that you’ve met all the requirements listed above. This inspection is valid for two years.
For more information, see the DMV page on obtaining a Connecticut Auto Dealer’s or Repairer’s License.