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Maryland Auto Dealer License Guide

New and used auto dealer licenses are available through the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration. Visit the pages for used vehicle dealers (download the information package), new vehicle dealers (download the information package), or wholesale vehicle dealers.

Determine Which Type of License You Need:

  • New Vehicle Dealer
  • Used Vehicle Dealer
  • Wholesale Vehicle Dealer


Obtain a Permanent Business Location

Once you have a location, a zoning official from the jurisdiction where the facility will be located must sign the form included in the application, confirming that the property is zoned appropriately for a new vehicle dealership.


Compile the Required Documents

You’ll need to provide the following documents with your application:

  • Proof of Workers' Compensation coverage or exemption from coverage requirements
  • A business registration letter obtained from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT)
  • An Automotive Repair Facility Contract to certify that you will have a repair facility within 5 miles of each dealership location (meaning the facility can be either a part of your dealership or not).
  • Franchise approval letters must be submitted separately, one from each manufacturer whose vehicles will be sold by your dealership
  • A New Vehicle Certification Form to certify that you are not functioning as both a seller of new vehicles and a manufacturer or distributor at the same time
  • A Letter of Good Standing, Use and Occupancy Permit, or Dealer Orientation Request. Ask the MVA about these requirements.


Obtain a Criminal Background Check

A Maryland criminal background check is required for all officers, partners, owners (licensees) and others who have a financial interest in the dealership. A background check from a private company will be accepted if the Maryland State Police licenses the company as a Private Investigation Agency.


Obtain a Trader’s License

You’ll need to include a copy of a trader’s license with your application. It can be obtained from the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction where your dealership is located


Obtain Proof of Liability Insurance

An insurance Information Form to certify that you have vehicle liability insurance for the vehicles you will be selling and, if required, Workers' Compensation insurance for your employees.


Obtain Your Auto Dealer Bond

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).

All dealers in Maryland must obtain an auto dealer bond and complete the bond form with their application.

Bond Amount Required: Used car and wholesale dealers: $15,000-$150,000

New car dealers: $50,000-$300,000

Note:  The amount of the bond will vary based on the number of vehicles you’ve sold or expect to sell. Check the bond requirements on the application form to determine the relevant amount.

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Arrange an Appointment for Your Site Inspection

To schedule your site inspection, please contact MVA Investigation Division at 410-768-7216. Submit the receipt of the successful inspection with your application.


Submit Your Dealer License Application

Fill out and submit your application with all supporting documentation to the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) division of the MVA.


  • Two-year license fee: $450
  • Two-year dealer tags: $100
  • Salesman’s license: $67.50

When complete, email your application to:
Motor Vehicle Administration
6601 Ritchie Highway, N. E.
Room 146
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

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