Backed by SSL, our online bonding process is secure. We are committed to your privacy.
We shop the top surety markets to find you the best rate.
We’ve streamlined the bonding process to make your experience as fast and easy as possible.
Why do I need a Rhode Island auto dealer bond?
The state of Rhode Island requires auto dealers who sell four or more cars in a year to be licensed. Obtaining an auto dealer bond is one step to becoming a licensed dealer. Rhode Island auto dealer bonds ensure that auto/car dealers (principals) comply with the provisions of Chapter 1499 Public Laws of 1956. Prohibited acts under this bond include:
- failing to have an established place of business for sales
- willfully defrauding any retail buyer
- employing fraudulent devices, methods, or practices
- using unfair methods of competition
- knowingly advertising any statement of fact which is untrue, misleading, or deceptive
- not displaying the appropriate license at the designated principal place of business at all times
These bonds are put in place to protect the state and consumers from financial loss that occurs if the principal conducts unlawful or unethical business. The bond covers damages up to the full bond amount, and the principal must reimburse the surety up to the full bond amount.
Ready to get bonded quickly, easily, and accurately? Apply now!
How much does an auto dealer bond cost in Rhode Island?
The Rhode Island Dealers' License and Regulations Office requires auto/car dealers to post $50,000 surety bonds prior to conducting business.
These bonds are subject to underwriting, so the price you’ll pay depends on a review of your personal credit report. Bad credit? No problem! SuretyBonds.com offers and exclusive bad credit bonding program through which we get 99% of all applicants the bonds they need quickly, easily, and accurately. Request your free bond quote now!
We can provide your free, no-obligation bond quote within one business day of submitting your application. Call 1 (800) 308-4358 or submit a bond request to get started!
How to obtain a Rhode Island auto dealer license
It is illegal for a person to act as an auto dealer in Rhode Island without being legally licensed to do so. To obtain a license, complete the following steps:
1. Establish a permanent business location with:
- 2,400 square feet of enclosed floor space (or 1,200 feet if only selling motorcycles or scooters).
- 2,400 square feet of outdoor display space.
- a business sign of at least 24 square feet.
- a functional telephone.
2. Obtain approval from the Rhode Island Dealers' License and Regulations Office for the name of the dealership, which must include the phrase “Auto Sales.”
- Note: The Rhode Island DMV is currently open by appointment only.
3. Post a surety bond in the amount of $50,000.
- The form must be notarized in the business’s DBA name.
4. Submit a completed and notarized application form, including:
- a Bureau of Criminal Identification Authorization Form for each individual owner, partner, or corporate officer.
- a financial statement prepared by a certified public accountant (CPA).
- an approved $50,000 line of credit available in the dealership’s name via a financial institution.
- the dealership’s lease agreement (including square footage and dimensions).
- a copy of the city/town license, if applicable.
- zoning approval for the city/town.
- four pictures of the business establishment.
5. Pay all required fees.
- The license fee is $302.50. Payment can be made via a money order or check made payable to "Dealers' License & Regulation Office."
Note: Corporate and franchise dealers also need to submit articles of incorporation and letters of intent, respectively.
Once the state receives your application and documentation, your application will be investigated and scheduled for a hearing before the Dealer's Hearing Board. If you are granted a license by the Rhode Island Dealers' License and Regulations Office, you will be asked to provide all additional documents and pay any remaining fees within 30 days before finalizing your licensure with a Licensing Aide.
During this time, you will also:
- Call the Licensing Aide at (401) 462-5732 to request the license and plate numbers that have been assigned to your business.
- Contact the Rhode Island Division of Taxation to order forms via (401) 574-8869 or (401) 574-8895 to receive your sales tax permit and blue forms. A copy of these forms must be submitted to this office.
- File insurance for dealer plate insurance coverage and submit the original certificate to the Financial Responsibility Office. Call (401) 462-9246 for more information.
- Fax a blank bill of sale to the Dealers' License and Regulation Office at (401) 462-5789 for approval.
Our team of experts is dedicated to getting you bonded quickly and for the lowest rate available, regardless of you credit situation. Apply for your free, personalized bond quote now!
Additional considerations for Rhode Island auto dealers
Motor vehicle dealer bonds in Rhode Island remain in full force and effect until canceled or violated. These bonds expire on December 31, so your bond premium could be prorated depending on when you buy it. Our team of surety experts works hard to get you bonded according to your specific needs.
The surety can cancel this bond by giving written notice of cancellation to the principal and the Rhode Island Dealers' License and Regulations Office at least 60 days prior to the effective termination date.
A notary’s signature must be present on the bond form.