How to Get a Florida Auto Dealer License
According to the DMV, you must obtain a Florida auto dealer license if within a 12-month period you are:
- Buying, selling, leasing, or dealing 3 motor vehicles or more and/or
- Displaying 3 motor vehicles or more for sale or lease
The license requirements for obtaining a motor vehicle dealer license are outlined below.
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Аttend a Pre-Licensing Dealer Training Course
All Florida auto dealers are required to complete a training course approved by The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). You will need to submit a copy of a completion certificate from a department-approved dealer training school with your dealership application.
Obtain a Permanent Business Location
You’ll need to obtain a business location before you become an approved Florida motor vehicle dealer. When your location is ready, contact the regional office responsible for dealerships to make an inspection appointment with a compliance examiner.
- The office must be in a permanent structure
- The office cannot be in a residence
- The office must have at least 100 square feet of interior floor space, not including hallways, closets, or restrooms. Additionally, the area must have at least a seven-foot ceiling height.
Compile the Required Documents
You’ll need to supply the following completed documents:
- A copy of registration of business and/or fictitious trade name(s) with Florida's Secretary of State, Division of Corporations (available online at www.sunbiz.org)
- If the dealership is a corporation, the Articles of Incorporation, copies of corporate papers and corporate meeting minutes showing the election of corporate directors
- If the dealership is a limited liability company, the Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement
- If the dealership is a partnership, the Partnership Agreement
- A sales tax number, available through the State of Florida, Department of Revenue
- A federal employer identification number, available from the IRS.
- Fingerprints collected from a fingerprinting service approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As well as applicable fees ($54.25 per person)
- Proof or ownership or lease of your business location
Note: Franchise dealers must meet additional requirements.
Obtain Proof of Liability Insurance
Independent, Wholesale, Salvage, and Auction dealers all have the option to submit a copy of a certificate for garage liability insurance or, alternatively, an insurance policy for general liability along with a business automobile policy. That policy must cover:
- $25,000 in combined single-limit liability coverage. This must include bodily injury and property damage protection
- $10,000 in personal injury protection
Note: Franchise dealers (VF) can only submit the garage liability insurance certificate.
Obtain Your Auto Dealer Bond
Florida auto dealer licensing requirements state that a bond must be submitted at the time of application.
How Much Does a Florida Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond Cost?
Bond Amount Required: $25,000
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).
Why Do I Need a Florida Auto Dealer Bond?
This bond guarantees that you will fulfill your obligations as an auto dealer. It is a form of insurance required by the Florida statutes to protect the public.
Florida Dealer License Types
There are various license types for Florida motor vehicle dealers. Before you start the process to become a licensed dealer, you must determine which car dealer license or auction license you need. Take a look at the license types that are required for various kinds of dealers below:
- Franchise Dealer: Allows the licensee to sell new motor vehicles under an agreement with a manufacturer. It also permits the licensee to sell used motor vehicles.
- Service facility: Allows licensed franchise dealers to service the makes of vehicle that they sell.
- Independent Dealer: Allows the licensee to buy and sell used motor vehicles at the retail or wholesale level.
- Auction Dealer License / Wholesale Distributor: Allows licensees to buy, sell and deal in motor vehicles exclusively wholesale or with motor vehicle auctions.
Submit Your Dealer License Application
Fill out and submit your application—the form is called a HSMV 86056 with all required additional documents. Fees (all checks must be payable to DHSMV):
- For motor vehicle dealers, the fee is $300
- For mobile home or recreational vehicle dealers, the fee is $340
If all documents are in order, the license will be submitted to and issued by the Motor Vehicle Field Operations, Regional Office. At the same time, the electronic fingerprints submitted with the application will be processed through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Normal processing time is five business days.