When Do You Need an Auto Dealer License?
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
You must have an established place of business with:
- A showroom capable of showcasing a minimum of two vehicles (a leasing license is not required to maintain a display space)
- An office with a desk, chair, landline telephone and a working safe to store motor vehicle documents
- An exterior sign permanently affixed to the land or building consistent with local ordinances
Submit Your Initial Business Application
In order to comply with New Jersey tax laws, you must register your business at least 15 days prior to opening. Fill out and submit your Application for Business Registration, NJ-REG.
You’ll also need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) registration certificate. You can apply for a federal employer identification number as you fill out the online NJ-REG, or you can apply directly to the IRS online. More information can be found here.
Submit a Criminal Record Check and Fingerprints
All persons identified in the initial business application (proprietors, partners, corporate officers, applicants, providers, instructors and driving school authorized agents) must undergo a live scan criminal background check, as detailed in the Fingerprint Request Notification Form.
As soon as your initial business application is received, you’ll receive instructions via email or regular mail on how to submit fingerprints. Once you have acquired fingerprints, submit your fingerprint application and receipt to the MVC to continue with the license application process.
Compile the Required Documents
Along with your application, you’ll also need to submit the following documents:
- Copy of alternate/fictitious name filing certificate
- Photographs of the premises and signage
- Copy of driver’s license for owners/officers/members/partners
- Passport-size color photographs of owners/officers/members/partners
- Copy of certificate of authority from Department of Treasury for out-of-state corporations and LLCs
- Copy of New Jersey Sales Tax Certificate of Authority
- Proof of issuance of federal taxpayer identification number from IRS
- Copy of deed, lease or purchase agreement for the premises to be licensed
- Copy of telephone bill for landline at premises to be licensed
- A business selling new vehicles must submit the original manufacturer’s certificate with the application
Submit Your Dealer License Application
Fill out the appropriate application form and gather all supporting documentation and fees.
- License fee: $100
- Registration fee: $257.50 (includes a set of five dealer license plates)
Submit your application to:
Motor Vehicle Commission
Business Licensing Services Bureau
Dealer Licensing Unit
P.O. Box 171
225 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08666-0171
The applicant and the place of business will be fully investigated after receipt of the completed application.
Note: Do not provide proof of liability insurance and a surety bond until you receive the preliminary notice of license approval. However, you can get pre-approved for your auto dealer bond now.
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).
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