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:
PO Box 17100
Charleston, WV 25317
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:
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
PO Box 17100
Charleston, WV 25317
Phone: (304) 926-0705
- License fee: $250 for New and Used Motor Vehicle Dealers
- $3 per temporary plate
- $5 per additional plate
- Dealer Recovery Fund fee: $150