When Do You Need an Auto Dealer License?
You are required to have a license if you sell five or more vehicles in any one-year period on a retail basis. You must display three or more vehicles at all times at your dealership location.
Determine Which Type of License You Need:
- Retail Motor Vehicle Dealer, New: Sell new motor vehicles
- Retail Motor Vehicle Dealer, Other: Sell used motor vehicles, buy/sell wholesale motor vehicles, motorcycles, RVs, trailers, trucks
- Wholesale: Sell to other dealerships, but not to the general public
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
Your business location must include:
- Clear and permanent physical barrier from other businesses that may share your location (separating display areas, signs and offices)
- Display lot
- Mailbox at the business address dedicated to your business only
- Method of locking items securely (locking cabinet, safe, etc.)
- Heat, electricity, desk and chairs
- Landline business phone (cell phone is acceptable)
- Your dealership must follow the zoning rules for your jurisdiction
There are strict requirements for your business sign. It must have:
- Red background and white lettering
- At least 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall
- Must display “REGISTERED (Facility Number) STATE OF NEW YORK MOTOR VEHICLE DEALER” in 2” block lettering
- Should be permanently mounted and visible at all times from the nearest street or highway
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).
New York auto dealers are required to obtain a surety bond prior to submitting a dealership application.
- Your application must include a copy of your complete original sealed and signed surety bond form: Dealer Bond Under NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 415 (6-B) (VS-3), with power of attorney papers made out to your business name and address
Bond amount required:
- Retail and Wholesale dealers (other than New) that sold 200 or fewer vehicles in the past 12 months: $10,000
- Retail and Wholesale dealers (other than New) that sold 200 or more vehicles: $25,000
- New Retail dealers (franchised cars, SUVs, light trucks) and dealers selling vehicles over 10,000 pounds: $50,000
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Obtain Proof of Liability Insurance
You are required to have liability insurance that will cover vehicles owned or operated by the dealer and sporting dealer plates. Proof of insurance must be included with your license application.
Purchase Your Dealer’s Starter Kit
All new dealers need to purchase a Dealer’s Starter Kit. The list of vendors is available on the DMV site.This kit includes:
Compile the Required Documents
The following documents must be provided with your application:
- Official Business Certificate of Registration from the county clerk
- Federal employee ID number (FEIN), proof of worker’s compensation, and disability insurance coverage
- Sales tax number and a copy of the Certificate of Authority issued by the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance
- Proof of Workers Compensation Insurance for your employees
- Photocopies of driver’s licenses or other government-issued photo ID for everyone listed on the application
- A receipt for your purchase of the dealer’s starter kit and signs
- For a corporation or LLC: Filing Receipt from the New York Department of State
- For a partnership or an individual using an assumed name: Business Certificate from the County Clerk
Arrange for a Business Location Inspection
To arrange an inspection, you should contact the local DMV office.
Submit Your Dealer License Application
The Original Facility Application and supporting documentation must be sent to the following address:
Bureau of Consumer and Facility Services
Attention: Application Unit
P.O. Box 2700
Albany, NY 12220-0700
- Motor vehicle dealer business fee: $487.50
- MV-50 fee: $260
Note: Separate checks must be made out for the two fees