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South Carolina Motor Vehicle Dealer and Wholesaler Bond

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How much does a South Carolina auto dealer or wholesale dealer license bond cost?

South Carolina dealer bond applications are subject to underwriting, which means the applicant’s qualifications are reviewed before a premium is determined. The license type and bond amount needed also affect the cost. Highly qualified applicants can be approved at rates of just .5% to 1%.

Bond Type
$15,000Motor Vehicle Dealer and Wholesaler BondWholesale Auto Auction, Motorcycle Dealers, or Motorcycle Wholesalers
$30,000Motor Vehicle Dealer and Wholesaler BondAll Dealers, Wholesalers, Or Travel Trailers

Why do I need a motor vehicle dealer bond?

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles requires motor vehicle dealers and vehicle wholesalers to post surety bonds in the amount of $15,000 or $30,000. All dealers, wholesalers, or travel trailer dealers must submit a $30,000 surety bond, while wholesale auto auctions, motorcycle dealers, or motorcycle wholesalers must submit a $15,000 bond.

South Carolina auto dealer and wholesaler bonds ensure that dealers and wholesalers comply with all provisions of Title 56 of the South Carolina Code of Laws relating to motor vehicle dealers and the sale and transfer of motor vehicles. The bond protects any owner of a motor vehicle from any loss or damage suffered as a result of the principal’s actions or the actions of the principal’s salesmen or representatives. Harmed parties will be protected up to the full penal sum of the $30,000 bond, and the principal must reimburse the surety for all damages paid out.

What are the terms of a wholesale or auto dealer bond?

Motor vehicle dealer and wholesaler surety bonds in South Carolina do not automatically expire with the license for which they were initially issued, but instead continue from license year to license year for as long as the dealer pays his or her premium. The surety can cancel the bond by providing written notice of cancellation to the Department of Motor Vehicles 30 days before the effective date of termination.

Applicants must specify whether they’re a wholesale auto auction, travel trailer, and/or motorcycle dealer or wholesaler on the bond form.

How to become an auto dealer in South Carolina

To become licensed as a retail dealer, wholesale dealer, motorcycle dealer, wholesale motorcycle dealer, travel trailer dealer, or wholesale auto auction dealer in South Carolina, applicants must submit the following materials:

  • Complete the application for a dealer or wholesaler license and indicate whether you are applying for a license as a motorcycle dealer, wholesale auction dealer, wholesale-only dealer, motorcycle wholesale dealer, retail or wholesale dealer, or a recreational vehicle dealer
  • Include the $50 first-time application license fee
  • Indicate if you are a manufacturer, distributor, or franchiser of motor vehicles; if not, a SC DMV dealer license application is required, along with notification to the Dealer License and Audit Unit
  • Include basic dealership information, such as the name and address of the dealership
  • Submit your original surety bond in the required amount, and provide your surety bond information on the application
  • Indicate whether the business was licensed during the previous year(s); if yes, provide the license information

All information can be sent to the following address:

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles
Attn: Dealer License & Audit Unit
P.O. Box 1498
Blythewood, South Carolina 29016-0023

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