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South Carolina Motor Vehicle Dealer and Wholesaler Bond

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

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles requires motor vehicle dealers and wholesalers to post surety bonds in the amount of $15,000 or $30,000, depending on the type of license being applied for. 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.

These bonds are subject to underwriting, so the amount an applicant pays depends on an underwriter’s review. Qualified applicants could pay as little as $150 or $300 for their bond, while less qualified applicants may be quoted at a slightly higher rate.

Bond Type Bond Amount Cost*
$15,000 Motor Vehicle Dealer and Wholesaler Bond All dealers, wholesalers, or Travel Trailers $15,000 Starts at $150 Apply Now
$30,000 Motor Vehicle Dealer and Wholesaler Bond Wholesale Auto Auction, Motorcycle Dealers, or Motorcycle Wholesalers $30,000 Starts at $300 Apply Now

Why do I need this 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’s the fine print?

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 upon proper payment. 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:

  • Form DLA-1: Application for a Dealer or Wholesaler License
  • diagram of your location to include building and display area
  • surety bond in proper amount
  • original Pre-Licensing Course Certificate
  • current proof of garage liability insurance (if applying for dealer demonstration plates)
  • copy of SC Department of Revenue Retail License
  • Form AD-020-A: Affidavit of Eligibility for each owner owning 10% or more of the business
  • SLED Criminal History report for each owner owning 10% or more of the business

Additional Resources

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Dealer Licenses Types of Dealer Licenses

South Carolina Recreational Vehicle Dealer Bond Increase

South Carolina Senate Bill 321

South Carolina Code of Laws Title 56: Motor Vehicles

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