Minnesota Auto Dealer License Guide
Auto dealership licenses are handled by the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Compared to many other states, the process in Minnesota is straightforward and simple. Consult the Motor Vehicle Dealer Guide for licensing requirement details.
Determine Which Type of License You Need:
- New Motor Vehicle Dealer
- Used Motor Vehicle Dealer
- Motor Vehicle Wholesaler
- Motor Vehicle Broker
Note: There are also Motor Vehicle Lessor, Motor Vehicle Auctioneer and Limited Used Dealer licences. Find more information about them here.
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Obtain a Permanent Business Location
Make sure you have the Commercial Location Checklist and you comply with the requirements.
You will need:
- Zoning approval. You need to acquire your zoning approval from your local zoning authority.
- Commercial building (New Motor Vehicle Dealer and Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Only)
- Display Area for a Minimum of 5 Vehicles (New Motor Vehicle Dealer and Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Only)
- Commercial office space (Wholesale and Broker only)
- Easily legible signage identifying the business (Wholesale excluded)
- Posted hours of operations (Wholesale excluded)
Obtain Proof of Liability Insurance
You are required to obtain liability insurance for all vehicles in your lot. The minimum liability limits are $30,000 per person / $60,000 per accident / $10,000 property damage.
Obtain Your Auto Dealer Bond
The cost of a Minnesota 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 Minnesota must obtain a surety bond before applying for a license. After obtaining your bond, make sure to fill out the Surety Bond form and attach it to your application.
Bond Amount Required:
- $50,000 for most dealers
- $5,000 for boat, snowmobile, small horse trailer and moped dealers.
Compile the Required Documents
Your application must also Include:
- Certification of Compliance With Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Law
- Verification of Property Lease
- Franchise Agreement (New Dealer applicants only)
Submit Your Dealer License Application
Fill out the application form and gather all supporting documentation.
- $100 Administration fee
- $150 Application fee
- $12.00 per motor vehicle
- $14.50 per duplicate plate
- $11.00 per duplicate sticker
Note: All fees may be subject to an additional filing fee. Contact the Dealer Unit for exact fee information.
Mail Your Application to:
Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Driver and Vehicle Services
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101-5186