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West Virginia Auto Dealer License Guide

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:

Dealer Services

PO Box 17100

Charleston, WV  25317

Phone: 304-926-0705

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

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).

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:

  • $25,000
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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

Dealer Services

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

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