How to get a Florida Motor Vehicle Dealer License
This Florida motor vehicle dealer license guide is for informational purposes only. SuretyBonds.com does not regulate or manage licensing for motor vehicle dealers in Florida. Contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for state's the latest official motor vehicle dealer license requirements.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires all entities that buy, sell, offer for sale, display for sale or deal in 3 or more motor vehicles within any 12-month period to get a Florida motor vehicle dealer license. You'll need to complete the following steps to apply for your motor vehicle dealer license.
How do I get a motor vehicle dealer license in Florida?
1. Establish your dealership’s location, display space, and office space.
Florida Administrative Code 15C-7.003 requires that your motor vehicle dealership meets the following standards for location, display space, and office space. If your dealership meets these requirements, you'll need to have a compliance examiner from your local Motorist Services Regional office to inspect the location and confirm that it complies with the standards of the Florida Administrative Code.
- The dealership location must be inspected by a Division of Motorist Services Compliance Examiner.
- The dealership must be located within a permanent structure. If the office is in a trailer, the trailer must be anchored or tied to the ground.
- The dealership office cannot be located in an individuals private residence.
- The office must have a minimum seven-foot ceiling and minimum 100-square-feet of indoor space (excluding hallways, restrooms, or closets).
- The office must be distinctly separate from any other business taking place within the same structure.
- The dealership must have a clear display space as part of the business’s location.
- There must be a sufficient amount of display space to showcase all offered vehicles (indoor space is acceptable).
- The display space must be exclusively under the control of the motor vehicle dealer and have no space set aside for general parking or a public right-of-way.
- The display space must be next to the dealership office or be in a position that is easily accessible to dealership customers.
- Display spaces must have immediate access to a public street or highway.
- Display spaces between differing dealerships must have a distinct barrier no less than three feet tall that clearly shows they are two different businesses.
2. Apply for your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
You'll need to get a Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN) for your business before you can begin the motor vehicle dealer license application. You can do this online through the Internal Revenue System's website
- Your business must be located within the United States or a U.S territory.
- As an applicant, you're limited to only one responsible party per day (a responsible party is an individual who has control over the entity).
- Complete and submit the online application. The online application can only be completed within one session and will expire after 15 minutes of inactivity.
- Your FEIN will be provided to you once you have completed the application and received approval.
3. Get your Florida sales tax number.
To apply for your Florida Motor Vehicle Dealer license, you need to provide a certificate of completion that proves you attended and passed a pre-licensing motor vehicle dealer training class. To pass the course, you need to attend a minimum of 90% of the total hours required by the school and receive a passing grade on the final exam. The training course you choose to take must be approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. According to Florida Statute 320.27, the class curriculum must include lessons on:
- statutory dealer requirements
- bookkeeping and recordkeeping
- sales and use tax collection
- vehicle titling and registration
- unfair and deceptive practices laws
- buy-here, pay-here finance laws
- any other lessons the school believes to be good practice
5. Get your fingerprints electronically documented.
You'll need to electronically document the fingerprints for all of the officers working in your dealership's office. Make sure that that the service provider you use to file the fingerprints is approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. You'll need to attach the receipt from the fingerprint documentation to your application.
6. Provide proof of your garage liability insurance.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires that you have garage liability insurance for your dealership to apply for a dealer license. Florida requires that you have a minimum of $25,000 combined single-limit liability coverage for property damage and bodily injury protection, and a minimum of $10,000 personal injury protection. All certificates must include the number of dealer license plates the insurance company has authorized for your dealership.
7. Purchase and file your Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bond.
You must purchase and file a $25,000 Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bond to comply with Florida statute 320.27. You can apply for your Florida motor vehicle dealer bond online 24/7. If you sell used vehicles, you'll need an Independent (Used) Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond with annual premiums that start at $225. If you sell new vehicles, you'll need a Franchise (New) Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond with annual premiums that start at $225
Your Florida motor vehicle dealer bond must be issued with the same business name and address used for your licensing paperwork. The independent (used vehicle) bond expires annually on April 30th, and the franchise (new vehicle) bond expires annually on December 31st.
8. Get your fictitious company name registration, if applicable.
If your business operates under a different name than the one originally registered, you'll need to file a registration form with the Florida Division of Corporations to claim a title for your motor vehicle dealership. This registration allows your business to operate under a name different from your businesses legal name and gives the public the ability to search online to find which individual operates under the business name. A fictitious name registration is valid for five years and expires on December 31 of its last year. A $50 registration fee, $30 certified copy fee, and $10 certificate of status fee must be paid at the time of submission, and failure to get a fictitious name will result in a second degree misdemeanor.
9. Provide a copy of your lease agreement.
You'll need to show a copy of your dealership's site lease agreement, and make sure that the location was inspected by a Division of Motorist Services Compliance Examiner. Your company’s name and address (or legal description of the location, if the address is not available) should be included in the agreement.
10. Apply for your motor vehicle dealer license.
Once you have completed all the above steps and gotten all the required paperwork, you can apply for your motor vehicle dealer license. Fill out the application form and attach all of the materials, including your Florida motor vehicle dealer surety bond. Submit your application and fee to your local Division of Motorist Services Regional Office where it will be processed. If everything is correct and all the materials are provided, your license will be issued.
You'll need to pay the following fees as applicable to apply for your Florida auto dealer license.
|Fictitious Name Registration||$50|
|Certificate of Status||$10|
How do I renew my Florida motor vehicle dealer license?
Your Florida auto dealer license will expire annually on April 30th for independent (used) vehicle dealers and December 31st and for franchise (new) vehicle dealers. To renew your license, you must submit a renewal application along with a $75 fee. If you fail to renew your license on time, an additional $100 fee is required. You can also pay $150 for a biennial license. Documentation showing active surety bond, garage liability insurance, and fictitious name certification must also be included in renewal applications.
Last Updated: August 11, 2023