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West Virginia Auto Dealer License: Step-by-Step Guide

  • Learn how to get licensed in a few easy steps
  • Understand the licensing requirements for your state
  • Learn how to stay compliant
  • Get a free license bond quote in minutes
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Auto dealership licenses are handled by the West Virginia Department of Transportation (DOT).

Determine Which Type of License You Need:

  • New Motor Vehicle Dealer (D): Sell new or used vehicles
  • Used Motor Vehicle Dealer (DUC): Sell used vehicles only

Note: Chapter 3 of the Dealer’s Manual gives more information about the other dealer types (Trailer Dealer, Dismantler, Wrecker, etc.)

Obtain a Permanent Business Location

Before you can start the application, you must have a business location that is in accordance with the rules and regulations of the DOT. Your location must meet these requirements:

  • A permanent structure and not a temporary stand
  • Owned or leased and occupied by the applicant or licensee.
  • Used exclusively for the purpose of selling new and/or used motor vehicles
  • Enough space under the roof to display at least one vehicle
  • Facilities and space for the servicing and repair of at least one vehicle
  • An office of at least 144 square feet
  • A vehicle display area of at least 1200 square feet
  • A permanent sign with letters at least four inches that is legible from the street
  • A telephone at the location listed in the name of the dealership
  • Maintain minimum business hours of 20 hours per week, at least 40 weeks per year. Ten hours of the 20 hours must be between 9:30 AM and 8:30 PM, Monday through Saturday.
  • Business hours must be posted
  • The dealership must notify the division in advance of the dates they intend to be closed
  • The dealership must comply with all local zoning laws

Pass Your Business Location Inspection

Once your location is ready, you are required to pass a pre-inspection of your dealership location. The inspector will also deliver your application package. Contact the dealer services office to set an appointment:

Dealer Services

PO Box 17100

Charleston, WV  25317

Phone: 304-926-0705

Obtain Proof of Liability Insurance

Applicants are required to obtain liability insurance with minimum limits of $20,000/$40,000/$10,000 ($20,000 for bodily injury to a single person in any one incident, $40,000 for two persons and any physical and bodily injuries and $10,000 for every additional person in any one accident). You will need to fill out the insurance certificate.

Obtain Your Auto Dealer Bond

You are required to obtain a surety bond that is signed by the owner or all partners (if your business is a partnership). Fill out the surety bond form with your application.

Bond Amount Required:

  • $25,000

Compile the Required Documents

In addition to your application, you will need several forms and certificates:

  • A personal property tax receipt in the name of each of the owners or corporate officers. Alternatively, you can provide an affidavit from your county stating that no taxes are owed.
  • Photos of the dealership and sign
  • Valid West Virginia business license
  • Franchise agreement (for new motor vehicle dealers only)
  • Garage agreement if required

Dealer Services will work with other state departments to obtain the following documents:

  • An inspector will be sent to fingerprint all of the owners or corporate officers as well as to obtain signatures for a release of information waiver
  • A letter of good standing in the names of all owners/corporate officers must be sent by the tax department
  • Criminal Investigation Bureau reports must be returned stating “no record.”
  • Prospective dealers must be approved through the bureau of employment programs for non-delinquency of unemployment benefits.

Submit Your Dealer License Application

Submit your application with your bond, other supporting documentation and fees to the DMV's Dealer Services at the following address:

Division of Motor Vehicles

Dealer Services

PO Box 17100

Charleston, WV  25317

Phone:  (304) 926-0705

Fees:

  • License fee: $250 for New and Used Motor Vehicle Dealers
  • $3 per temporary plate
  • $5 per additional plate
  • Dealer Recovery Fund fee: $150

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