How to Get an Arizona Auto Dealer License
To buy and sell, wholesale, auction, broker, or manufacture vehicles in the State of Arizona, you need to get an Arizona auto dealer license. There are multiple types of car dealer licenses, and all are processed by the (ADOT) and the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (AZDFI).
To find out how to become an Arizona motor vehicle dealer—license requirements, the application process, dealer surety bonds, fees— check out the step-by-step guide below.
Determine Which Type of Arizona Auto Dealer License You Need
- New Motor Vehicle Dealer: Buy/sell new and used cars and motor vehicles
- Used Motor Vehicle Dealer: Buy/sell only used motor vehicles
- Automotive Recycler: Acquire motor vehicles for dismantling, selling, or disposing of their parts
- Broker: Arrange or assist in the purchase of motor vehicles in exchange for a commission or a fee
- Public Consignment Auction Dealer: Conduct public vehicle consignment or provide related services
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Auction Dealer: Conduct vehicle auctions or provide related auction services on a wholesale basis
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealer: Sell to licensed motor vehicle dealers on a wholesale basis
- Manufacturer: Franchise an Arizona licensed motor vehicle dealer to make/sell your product
Note: Application requirements differ slightly between license types. The type of dealer license you apply for is impacted by Arizona Revised Statutes specific to the license type. You can find out specific requirements for all categories of Arizona dealer licenses here.
Submit Criminal Record Check and Fingerprinting
Arizona dealer license requirements state that individual owners and those who own 20% or more of the company must undergo a criminal record check. In addition, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) requires you to provide a statement of personal history and a fingerprint card. There are multiple in the state of Arizona.
The application for the background check can be acquired at your local MVD or a third-party office. Find your local MVD and the hours of operation.
Note: Criminal background checks may not be required of individuals applying for an additional license or who have completed a criminal record check through the MVD within the past five years.
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
Your established place of business must be a permanent enclosed building that offers sufficient space to display two or more vehicles. You also need to have a business sign that is legible for 300 feet during daylight hours.
You can use a trailer as an office if you are a:
- Used Motor Vehicle Dealer
- Public Consignment Auction Dealer
- Automotive Recycler
You may operate from a location zoned for residential use if you are a:
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealer
Visit the ADOT website for more information.
Note: You will also be required to take photos of both the location and the sign to submit with your license application.
Obtain Your Auto Dealer Bond
Bond amounts for Arizona motor vehicle dealer applications vary depending on the type of license you require. You need a separate bond for each application, and for each county where you have an established place of business.
Bond Amount Required:
- $100,000 for New Motor Vehicle Dealers, Used Motor Vehicle Dealers, and Public Consignment Auction Dealers
- $25,000 for Brokers, Wholesale Auto Auction Dealers, and Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealers
- $20,000 for Automotive Recyclers
How Much Does an Arizona Auto Dealer Bond Cost?
The cost of an Arizona 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 quote for your auto dealer license bond. 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).
Why Do I Need an Arizona Auto Dealer Bond?
Beyond being a legal requirement, a dealer surety bond ensures the public and the State of Arizona that you will fulfill your obligations as an auto dealer. It compensates customers or the state if you default on your fees, taxes, or other contractual obligations.
Compile Additional Documents
You may need to submit additional documents and certificates if you are:
- Purchasing an existing dealership — you will need a Buy/Sell Agreement
- Selling new products — you will need a Certificate of Appointment signed by an authorized agent
- Representing a corporation or a limited liability company — you may need copies of the Articles of Incorporation, Annual Report , and Certificate of Disclosure
- Represent a limited liability partnership — you will need a copy of the Partnership Agreement
Submit Your Dealer License Application & Fees
All applications are processed through ADOT. Note that motor vehicle dealer license applications must be completed online and submitted electronically through azmvdnow.gov. The previous Motor Vehicle Dealer / Sales Finance Company paper applications are no longer accepted and will be returned.
The application must contain the notarized signatures of all responsible parties. A photocopier may be required. Additionally, you will have to submit the following by mail:
- Fingerprints and technician form
- Authorization to Release Information/Statement of Personal History: Dealer
- Money Order or Cashier's Check ($22) made payable to DPS
Dealer Licensing Unit
PO Box 2100, MD 552-M
Phoenix AZ 85001
Note: You will need to submit a separate application for each type of license and for each county.
If you successfully pass the criminal records check, you will receive an invoice for your ADOT auto dealer license. Once the invoice is paid, your license will be issued. The AZDFI will send you a separate invoice for the license fees related to your AZDFI motor vehicle dealer license.
- $30 per person background check fee
- $100 to obtain or renew your license
- $50 per branch office/car dealership within the same county
- $15 initial filing fee
- $30 per dealer plate
Postage for Dealer Plates:
- $13.00 for 1-5 Plates
- $15.00 for 6-10 Plates
- $2.00 for every additional 5 Plates
- $300 for a motor vehicle dealer license
- $150 for renewal
For more information on how to get a dealer's license in Arizona, visit azdot.gov. Or contact the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) at (602) 712-7571 and ask for the Dealer Licensing Unit.