Auto dealership licenses are handled by the the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). More information is available from the dealer licensing section. In order to be issued a license, your dealership needs to have a net worth of $75,000. The state of Ohio runs a background check on all parties owning more than 10% of the business.
Determine Which Type of License You Need:
- New Motor Vehicle Dealer
- Used Motor Vehicle Dealer
Download the New Motor Vehicle Dealer or Used Motor Vehicle Dealer application forms or find applications and information for licenses for specialized vehicle dealers and salvage on the dealer licensing site.
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
Your business location must meet these requirements:
- Easily accessible and identifiable as a dealership
- The display lot must be at least 3,500 square feet
- New Motor Vehicle Dealers must have space under the roof for displaying at least one vehicle
- New Motor Vehicle Dealers must have space under the roof for servicing and repairing at least one vehicle
- Permanent office of at least 180 square feet
- A sign must be visible showing the name on your application. The letters need to 123 be at least 6” in height.
- You must submit photographs showing the lot, the office (inside and outside) and the sign. Photographs may be submitted by mail or emailed to: [email protected]
- Your location must meet local zoning regulations; check the requirements with your local zoning regulator and have your location approved.
Arrange a Place of Business Inspection
You are required to pass a physical inspection of your retail location. Don’t forget to send in the pictures of your business location prior to the inspection.
Note: After your license is issued, the dealership will be subject to random inspections.
All partners, the president, owner and any partners owning more than a 10% share of the business need to be electronically fingerprinted. The results must be sent electronically as a direct copy to BMV Dealer Licensing from a WebCheck location
Compile the Required Documents
- Vendor number, obtained through your county Auditor’s Office
- Federal Tax ID Number or Employer Identification Number (FEIN), obtained through the IRS
Submit Your Dealer License Application
Submit your completed application form with all required documentation and fees.
- Permit: $50.00
- Master plate: $50.25
- Title Defect Rescission Fund: $150
- $10.25 per additional plate
- Postage for plates: $4.50 (only one postage fee applies even if multiple plates are requested)
Additional fees may apply. Contact the Dealer Licensing Section for more information.
Mail your completed application to:
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Attention: Dealer Licensing Section
P.O. Box 16521
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6521