Shifting Gears: Missouri Motor Vehicle Dealer Legislation Updates

Effective on August 28, 2020, Missouri House Bill 1963 modifies an existing law by introducing an increased surety bond requirement for motor vehicle dealers. Under the bill, dealers must post a $100,000 surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit before obtaining a written agreement citing a delayed delivery for a vehicle’s certificate of ownership. Essentially, licensed dealers who have entered into this agreement are required to have a $100,000 surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit, instead of the $50,000 surety bond requirement set for other licensed motor vehicle dealers. As a result, dealers have to purchase the $100,000 surety bond before selling vehicles without a certificate of ownership.

Also, the bill details regulations for personalized license plates and motorcycle operators.

What is the difference between a surety bond and an irrevocable letter of credit?

A surety bond is a contract between the surety company, the obligee, and the person or business acquiring the bond. In this case, the obligee is the Department of Revenue. The Missouri Department of Revenue oversees licensed motor vehicle dealers in the state of Missouri. With a surety bond, the obligee has a guarantee that the person obtaining the bond will act according to the law and in good faith. Therefore, a surety bond ensures the financial protection of the obligee and consumers.

An irrevocable letter of credit is similar to a surety bond in that they are both financial guarantees. However, a bank or similar financial institution backs an irrevocable letter of credit instead of a surety company.

How do I get a motor vehicle dealer surety bond in Missouri?

You can apply for a $100,000 Missouri auto dealer bond online 24/7 or call 1(800)308-4358 to speak with a surety expert about your bonding needs.

How do I get a Missouri auto dealer license?

Find our latest comprehensive Missouri Auto Dealer License Guide here.

Applicants seeking a motor vehicle dealer license are required to furnish and submit an application to the Dealer Licensing Section of the Missouri Department of Revenue.

The application requires the following information:

  • birthdates, social security numbers, full names, and addresses of owners
  • classification of type of operation and units sold
  • number of license plates requested
  • proof of surety bond purchase, inspection, and certification
  • payment of appropriate fees
  • franchise trade name information

Complete the application online or in print form. Submit all applications to the Dealer Licensing Section, Post Office Box 43, Jefferson City, MO 65105-0043.

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About the Author

Carly Levine
Carly is a senior at the University of Missouri studying Communications with an emphasis in Mass Media. She is a member of the marketing department and outreach team for, a leading provider of online bonding for clients nationwide. She loves creative writing, reading, and most importantly, sushi.