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Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond

How much does an auto dealer bond cost in Wisconsin?

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation requires motor vehicle dealers, motor vehicle salvage dealers, motor vehicle wholesalers, recreational vehicle dealers, motor vehicle auction dealers and moped dealers to post surety bonds to legally work within the state. The required amount of bond coverage varies on a case-by-case basis, so applicants should verify their required bond amount prior to bonding.

These bonds are subject to underwriting, so the price you’ll pay for your bond depends not only on your required bond amount but also on a review of your personal credit report. Because the price of these bonds varies so much, we suggest submitting a bond request to connect with our team of surety experts who will walk you through our fast and easy bonding process and provide you with your free, no-obligation bond quote. SuretyBonds.com offers an exclusive bad credit bonding program through which we approve 99% of applicants for the bonds they need regardless of financial issues.

Bond Type Bond Amount Cost by Credit Score*
680 and up 679 - 600 599 or lower
Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond Varies Starts at 1% 2-5% 5%+ Apply Now
Motor Vehicle Salvage Dealer Bond Varies Starts at 1% 2-5% 5%+ Apply Now
Motor Vehicle Wholesaler Bond Varies Starts at 1% 2-5% 5%+ Apply Now
Recreational Vehicle Dealer Bond Varies Starts at 1% 2-5% 5%+ Apply Now
Motor Vehicle Auction Dealer Bond Varies Starts at 1% 2-5% 5%+ Apply Now
Moped Dealer Bond Varies Starts at 1% 2-5% 5%+ 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.

Call 1 (800) 308-4358, or request your free bond quote now! We can typically provide your free bond quote within 1 business day of submitting your application.

Why do I need this bond?

By posting a Wisconsin vehicle dealer bond, principals (dealers) pledge to comply with the provisions and conditions of Chapter 218 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The following sections of legislation pertain to the various license types covered by this bond:

  • s.218.0114(5)(a) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle dealers
  • s.218.0114(5)(c) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle wholesalers
  • s.218.0114(20)(b) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle dealers when a bond is required by the Department
  • ss.218.21(1m) and (4) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle salvage dealers when a bond is filed in lieu of a financial statement
  • s.218.11(3) Wisconsin Statutes for recreational vehicle dealers when a bond is required by the Department
  • s.218.21(6) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle salvage dealers when a bond is required by the Department
  • s.218.33(1) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle auction dealers
  • s.218.41(2)(c) Wisconsin Statutes for moped dealers when a bond is required by the Department

If the principal violates these terms, the bond protects the state and any person that suffers damages from the principal’s unlawful business practices up to the full penal sum of the bond. The principal must then reimburse the surety for all damages paid out.

Apply for your free bond quote now!

What’s the fine print?

Wisconsin vehicle dealer bonds remain in full force and effect through the date listed on the bond form. If the bond is indicated as “continuous,” it will not automatically expire with the dealer’s license, but will continue from year to year as a new and separate obligation for each 12-month period.

The surety can cancel the bond by giving written notice of cancellation to the Department of Transportation 60 days prior to the effective termination date. Notice of termination must also be sent to the principal.

Applicants should be sure to indicate the correct license type on the bond form. Licenses covered by this bond include:

  • motor vehicle dealer
  • motor vehicle salvage dealer
  • motor vehicle wholesaler
  • recreational vehicle dealer
  • motor vehicle auction dealer
  • moped dealer

How to become an auto dealer in Wisconsin

To become a licensed dealer in Wisconsin, applicants must acquire the specific license type that matches their particular dealership. Most Wisconsin dealer licenses have the same general requirements, but each license type has a few unique nuances.

To obtain a Wisconsin dealer license, applicants must:

  • own a permanent business location (not a residence) with office space
  • meet all zoning and local permit requirements for the location
  • have a business sign with posted hours
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • be of good character and not have been convicted of a serious crime directly related to the sale of motor vehicles
  • and more

If you’re interested in becoming a licensed salvage dealer, you must post a Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 or Type 4 business license and pay the mandatory $150 registration fee that will last for the 2-year license. The salvage buyer identification (BID) card is an additional $12. It is possible to combine a salvage dealership license and a retail dealership license if the applicant chooses to do so.

Motor vehicle wholesale dealers must have an outdoor vehicle display lot adjacent to the business office unless all vehicles will be displayed indoors. You must also post a notice that sales are restricted to licensed dealers only and have at least one licensed representative for the dealership. The application fee is $150.

Recreational motor vehicle dealers must submit a Recreational Vehicle Business Facilities Statement as well as an RV service agreement. You must also have 1 licensed salesperson, an exterior business sign and a lease for business real estate unless you own the property. Display lots are optional. You must submit to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation inspection of the business location before the license can be issued. The registration fee for the license is $100.

Motor vehicle auction dealers must follow all general licensing requirements for motor vehicle dealers as well as pay the $100 registration fee for the 2-year license.

Take the first step toward becoming a licensed dealer in Wisconsin by purchasing the surety bond you need!

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Wisconsin Department of Transportation Dealer Bond form

Wisconsin State Legislature 218.0145

Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles Dealer Forms

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