Auto dealers obtain their licenses through the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. As part of the application process, you will also be required to provide one set of fingerprints and complete a Child Support Information form, whether or not you are subject to a court order to pay child support.
Determine Which Type of License You Need:
- Dealer: Sell new or used vehicles to the public
- Distributor: Sell new vehicles to auto dealers
- Lessor (short or long term lessor): Lease vehicles to the public
- Manufacturer: If you are engaged in the business of manufacturing motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers
- Rebuilder: If you reconstruct motor vehicles by means of alteration, addition or substitution using unassembled parts
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
Your business location must meet the following requirements:
- It must be a permanent and enclosed building which is large enough to accommodate an office and keep the books and records of the business
- It must have sufficient space to display at least one vehicle
- Your business sign must be permanently affixed to a sign or the structure and have the name of the business in lettering which is eight inches high, formed by lines that must be at least one inch wide. The sign must be clearly and easily legible from the center of the nearest public street.
- Your application must include two color photographs of the exterior of the business, as well as show the display sign
Note: You may be prohibited from using certain words or terms in your business name if they are deemed misleading to your potential clients. Some of the potential words include: “finance,” “loan,” “wholesale,” “discount,” or “repossessed.” For example, you should not use the word “wholesale” in your business name if you only sell to the public and are therefore not a wholesale dealer.
You are required to provide one set of fingerprints for each principal and/or corporate officer for your company. The fingerprinting must be done at a DMV office or at a local law enforcement agency. Please note, some agencies may charge you for this service.
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).
Dealers, manufacturers, distributors, lessors and rebuilders are licensed separately. Additional types of licenses require submission of additional bonds and fees.
Bond Amount Required:
- A $10,000 bond is required for utility or boat trailers which weigh 3,500 lbs or less without any cargo.
- A $50,000 bond is required for motorcycles, utility or horse trailers (excluding mobile homes of any kind) and which weigh 3,501 lbs or more without cargo
- A bond of $100,000 is required for all other vehicle types
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Obtain Proof of Liability Insurance
Your insurance certificates must show that you have automobile liability coverage, with the DMV listed in the certificate holder section. A garage liability or automobile liability policy is acceptable for dealers. For more information, you can review the insurance requirements at the DMV’s official website. Your certificate must be included with your initial application.
Compile the Required Documents
You can obtain an application from any Occupational and Business Licensing office or you can call (775) 684-4690 to have them mail an application directly to you. Here is a complete list of the documents you’ll need to provide:
- Application for Business License (OBL237). This must be completed in full and signed by a principal of the business.
- Personal History Questionnaire (OBL242). This must be completed by each principal of the business listed on the license application.
- A DPS Civil Applicant Waiver (OBL256) must also completed and signed by each principal of the business.
- A city or county business license must be provided. You can contact your county government for more information on where to obtain this license.
- A copy of your company’s Certificate of Incorporation and Corporate filing, including the names of the officers, which has been filed with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office (if applicable).
- You must obtain a federal employer identification number (FEIN) for your business.
- For New Vehicle Dealers only: A Dealer Franchise Certification (OBL253) from the manufacturer or distributor, authorizing sale of the designated make of vehicles.
- For Manufacturers only: you will need a letter of confirmation from the SAE Strategic Alliance notifying you of your World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) assignment.
Submit Your Dealer License Application
Fill out the application form, and make sure you include your fee, surety bond, insurance certificate and other supporting documentation before you submit it.
- $126 Application Fee
- $38.25 Fingerprint Processing Fee (per principal listed on the application)
Mail your application to your local DMV Occupational and Business Licensing office:
|555 Wright Way
Carson City, Nevada
89711-0100 (775) 684-4690
|305 Galletti Way
Reno, Nevada 89512-3817
|2701 East Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada
89104-4170 (702) 486-4930
|8250 West Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89117-4111
|1399 American Pacific Drive
89074-4111 (702) 486-1371
Note: In order to be approved for a license you will need to pass a site inspection performed by the DMV. Contact your local DMV for additional information.