Auto Dealer Working With a New York Auto Dealer License

How to get a New York Auto Dealer License

This New York auto dealer license guide is for informational purposes only. does not regulate or manage licensing for auto dealers in New York. Contact the New York Department of Motor Vehicles for the state’s latest official auto dealer license requirements.

According to the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 71-4-16(3), you may only engage in dealer activities if you have been issued a certificate as a motor vehicle dealer. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles requires auto dealers to be licensed if they sell more than 5 vehicles in a 1 year period.

To become an auto dealer in New York, you must complete the following steps.

How to get a New York Auto Dealer License

How do I get an auto dealer license in New York?

Step 1: Get your certificate of authority.

A certificate of authority allows you to collect tax on your taxable sales as well as issue and accept most New York State sales tax exemption certificates. The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance will issue your certificate of authority and sales tax ID numbers. You can apply for your certificate of authority online through the New York DTF website where you can also find application instructions

If the Department of Taxation and Finance approves your application, they'll mail your certificate of authority to you. You may not make any taxable sales until you have been approved and received your certificate of authority. You'll need to provide your sales tax ID on both your certificate of authority (Form DTF-17.1) and your official application paperwork.

Step 2: File for your official business name.

If your dealership is structured as a partnership or an individual using an assumed name, you'll need to submit a copy of your completed and notarized Business Certificate of Assumed Name with your application. This can be obtained from the county clerk where your business is located. If your dealership is a corporation or an LLC, you must submit a copy of your filing receipt from the New York Department of State. You can find filing instructions on the Department of State website.

Step 3: Purchase workers compensation insurance.

Most employers who have 1 or more employees must have workers compensation insurance. This insurance protects employers against liability from on-the-job injury or illness. You'll need to indicate whether you have employees on your application. If you have any employees, including family members, you'll need to submit proof of workers compensation insurance. Visit the New York State Workers Compensation website for more guidance.

Step 4: Purchase your New York motor vehicle dealer bond in the required amount.

Licensed auto dealers and dealerships must purchase a New York auto dealer bond that guarantees they'll comply with the Motor Vehicle Dealers & Transporters Regulations. This surety bond provides consumers with a means to seek reimbursement if the dealer or dealership fails to comply with licensing laws that result in financial losses.

Your bond amount will depend on the type of dealership you operate. 

  • $20,000 if you sold 50 or fewer cars in the previous calendar year
  • $100,000 if you sold more than 50 cars in the previous calendar year
  • $50,000 if you're a franchised (new vehicle) dealer who sell trailers, motorcycles, SUVs, light trucks, etc.

You can apply for your New York motor vehicle dealer bond online 24/7. Annual costs start at $140, and your personal premium will be provided after a quick application review.

NOTE: Dealers who only sell trailers, motorcycles, vehicles over 10,000 pounds, ATVs, boats, and snowmobiles are exempt from this bond requirement.

Step 5: Submit your application and required documents.

Next you'll submit your Original Facility Application along with the following required documentation.

  • sales tax ID number and a copy of your Sales Tax Certificate of Authority
  • business certificate of assumed name or filing receipt from New York Department of State
  • proof of workers compensation insurance
  • copy of complete original signed and sealed surety bond
  • photocopy of driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID for everyone on the application
  • proof of permission to use the property (one of the following):
  • proof of ownership of business location
  • lease or rent agreement with proof of ownership from the owner
  • copy of lease and sublease
  • if lease is pending, notarized statement from the owner stating that after the license is issued, permission will be granted
  • required fees (app/license check & MV-50 check) made payable to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles

Your application, required documents, and fees must be mailed to the DMV at the following address.

NYS DMV Bureau of Consumer & Facility Services
Application Unit
P.O. Box 2700
Albany, NY 12220-0700

Review the graphic below for a visual representation of the New York used auto dealer license application process.

How to Get a Used Auto Dealer License in New York Graphic

Below find the fees required to file a New York auto dealer license application.

Fee TypeFee Dollar Amount
Non-Refundable Application Fee$37.50
Registration Fee$450
Retail Certificate of Sale (Form VS-114I) Fee$260

What is the New York auto dealer state inspection process?

Once your application is processed in Albany, it will be sent to your regional office to be reviewed. This process can take up to 4 weeks. After your application is reviewed, they will contact you to schedule an onsite investigation of your business location. The Automotive Facilities Inspector (AFI) will check 4 main aspects of your business: dealer starter kit, location requirements, sign requirements, and proof of identification.

You can purchase your dealer starter kit through vendors listed on the New York DMV website. The starter kit includes the following.

The inspector will ensure your dealership location has the following features.

  • clearly separate from any other businesses that share the location
  • display lot
  • mailbox at the address that is for the business only
  • method of locking security items (such as a safe or locking cabinet)
  • heat, electricity, desks, and chairs
  • business phone (can be a cell phone)

The inspector will confirm your dealership signage adheres to the following criteria.

  • red background with white lettering
  • at least 3 feet wide by 2 feet tall
  • displays the message “ Registered (Facility Number) State of New York Motor Vehicle Dealer” in 2 inch block lettering
  • permanently mounted and always visible from the nearest street or highway

Finally, the inspector will verify proof of identification for everyone listed on your dealership application. Valid identification includes a driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID.

If you meet all requirements, you'll be issued a certificate of registration, retail certificates of sale, and a dealer plate letter if needed. Then, you will be a licensed auto dealer!

How does a New York auto dealer renew your license?

You must renew you New York auto dealer license every 2 years. You can renew your license online or by mail. You may renew your license up to 60 days in advance and up to 6 months after it has expired. 

When you renew your license, you'll also need to renew your bond. To renew your New York motor vehicle dealer bond with, call 1(800)308-4358 to speak with a representative.

For more information on becoming a used auto dealer, please contact the Office of Vehicle Safety and Clean Air by calling 1(518)474-4653 or contact the New York DMV.

Last Updated: August 28, 2023

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