Auto dealer licenses in Indiana are handled by the Indiana Secretary of State Auto Dealer Services Division. Details about the requirements can be found in Article 6 of the Indiana Administrative Code, and the application form can be downloaded here.
Determine Which Type of License You Need:
Indiana has a single license type for all new and used auto dealers.
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
In order to obtain your license, you must establish and maintain a physical business location (meaning it cannot be a residence, temporary stand, tent, or mobile trailer) in Indiana. It must also meet local zoning requirements. Other requirements are:
- The location must have a minimum area of 1,300 square feet and be able to accommodate at least ten vehicles of the kind and type that the dealer is licensed to sell. It must also have space for customer parking.
- The location must have and display customer parking areas, which are surfaced with asphalt, concrete, or another substance that won’t change in adverse weather conditions.
- The location must have an office of at least 100 square feet, equipped with standard office furniture such as a desk and filing cabinets; serviced with utilities including electricity, lighting, heat, operational plumbing, and a business telephone.
- The location must be accessible to the public for a minimum of 30 hours each week during normal business hours.
Compile the Required Documents
You’ll also need to acquire and fill out the following documents to submit along with your application:
- Federal Employer Identification Number
- Retail merchant's certificate number
- Photographs of the established place of business must be included with the initial application for a dealer license. These photographs must include the sales and storage lot, exterior advertising sign, display and office building, and interior of office building.
- For a new vehicle dealer, evidence of a franchise or contract agreement, if applicable, showing a sales arrangement with a manufacturer, converter manufacturer, or distributor, must be included with the initial licensing application.
Obtain Garage Liability Insurance
Garage liability insurance for your established place of business, as dictated under IC 9-32-8-6, must be obtained. The current minimum requirements are:
- One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for bodily injury to one (1) person.
- Three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) per accident
- fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for property damage
Proof of insurance must be included with your 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).
All dealers are required to obtain a bond to get licensed. You'll need to fill out State Form 53966 (R5/ 6-15).
Bond Amount Required: $25,000 for all auto dealers
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Submit Your Application
Fill out and submit your application, along with all supporting documentation to the Secretary of State’s office.
- $125 for your first two dealer plates (and $30 for each additional plate)
- $20 or 5% of the face value of the check, whichever is greater, but not to exceed $250, as a handling charge for returned checks
Submit to: Office of the Indiana Secretary of State Auto Dealer Services Division 302 W. Washington Street, Room E018 Indianapolis, IN 46204