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California Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond

How much does a motor vehicle dealer bond cost in California?

The price you will pay for your California dealer bond depends on the type of license for which you are applying. However, highly qualified applicants are typically approved for just 1-3% of the total bond amount.

Although applicants with lower credit may not qualify for a 1% rate, SuretyBonds.com works with several of the largest surety providers in the country, meaning we shop until we are certain we have obtained the lowest available rate.

Find out how much you can save on your California auto dealer bond by applying today!

Please note that this page is for vehicle dealer licensing. Click here for information regarding a California motor vehicle bond for title.

Bond Type Bond Amount Cost by Credit Score*
680 and up 679 - 600 599 or lower
Dealer Surety Bond Motor Vehicle Dealer $50,000 Starts at $500 $750-2,500 $2,500+ Apply Now
Dealer Surety Bond Motorcycle Dealer, Motorcycle Lessor-retailer, All-terrain Vehicle Dealer or Wholesale-Only Dealer $10,000 Starts at $100 $100-500 $300+ Apply Now
*The bond premium rate quotes provided to you through this website are for pricing comparisons and quotation estimate purposes only. The bond rate quotes provided are based on general assumptions that may or may not be applicable to you and are subject to change at any time. These rate quotes do not constitute an offer of insurance, nor is any contract, agreement, or bond coverage implied, formed or bound by the provision of rate quotes. Bondability, final bond premium rate quotes and an offer of insurance, if any, will be determined by the insurance company providing your bond. You must contact us directly to obtain a quote for binding purposes.

We can provide your free, no-obligation surety bond quote within one business day of submitting your application. Call 1 (800) 308-4358 or click here to get started!

Why do I need a surety bond to sell cars and other vehicles?

The California Department of Motor Vehicles requires motor vehicle dealers to post surety bonds prior to conducting business within the state. The required bond amount depends on the type of license needed:

  • Motorcycle dealers, motorcycle lessor-retailers, ATV dealers and wholesale-only dealers (Less than 25 vehicles/year) = $10,000 surety bond
  • New motor vehicle dealers (25 or more vehicles/year) = $50,000 surety bond

By posting a California dealer surety bond, principals (dealers) are guaranteeing to the Department they will conduct business in compliance with all conditions listed in section 11711, which is also referred to as the Vehicle Code.

If the principal fails to comply with these terms, the surety will cover damages to harmed parties up to the full penal sum of the bond, and the principal must reimburse the surety for all damages paid out.

Purchasing the California auto dealer bond you need is fast and easy when you work with the experts at SuretyBonds.com! Request your free bond quote now.

What’s the fine print?

Auto dealer bonds in California are issued to run concurrently with the dealer’s license. They must be renewed annually for as long as the dealer wishes to continue operating within the state.

The surety has the right to cancel the bond for any reason with 30 days’ notice, pursuant to the California Code of Civil Procedure.

How to become a motor vehicle dealer in California

To become a licensed vehicle dealer in California, applicants must complete and submit the following forms:

  • OL 248A New Dealer Application Check List OR OL 248B Used, Dealer, Dealer-Wholesale Only, and Autobroker Application Check List
  • OL 12 Application for Original Occupational License, (Part C)
  • OL 21A Original Application for Occupational License, (Part A)
  • OL 25 Surety Bond of Dealer
  • OL 53 Authorization to Release Financial Information
  • OL 124 Certificate of Proposed Franchise
  • OL 902 Property Use Verification for Vehicle Dealer’s License

The following fees must also be paid by the applicant prior to receiving a license:

  • $175 nonrefundable original application fee
  • $1 Family Support Program fee
  • $100 Autobroker fee
  • $70 per branch location
  • $300 New Motor Vehicle Board Fee
  • $70 per dealer plate
  • $72 per motorcycle plate

Take the first step toward becoming licensed in California by purchasing your motor vehicle dealer bond now!

Ready to get started?

Get a FREE Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond Quote Today!

Additional Resources

California Department of Motor Vehicles Application Requirements For Vehicle Dealers Auto Commercial

California Code, Vehicle Code - VEH § 11711

California Department of Motor Vehicles Surety Bond OL 25

California Department of Motor Vehicles Surety Bond OL 25B

ARTICLE 13. Cancellation of Bond or Withdrawal of Sureties [996.310 - 996.360]

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