No Lot, No Problem: What You Need to Know About Your Car Dealer’s License

Car dealer licenses are required by law for most car dealers who sell over a certain number of cars.

However, you may be wondering how to get an auto dealer’s license without a storage lot. This is generally possible, but laws and regulations vary from state to state. For example, you’ll need an NC car dealership license if you sell at least five motor vehicles in a 12-month period in North Carolina. 

So it’s essential to look over your state’s laws before applying for a car dealer’s license.

Who Needs Car Dealer Licenses?

If you sell more than a few cars within 12 months, you may be required to have one of the following licenses:

  • Independent dealer
  • Franchise dealer
  • Service facility
  • Wholesale dealer
  • Auctions and salvage

State laws don’t require car dealers to have a storage lot, but they do require car dealers that fall into one of the categories above to get an auto dealer license.

Do You Need a Dealer’s License?

If you’re just selling a personal vehicle, you don’t need to acquire a license. Most states allow private citizens to sell a few cars per year without a license.

However, if you want to sell cars frequently, you’ll need a car dealer’s license. Selling vehicles without a license is illegal and could have severe penalties when you get caught.

Luckily, it’s possible to get a dealer’s license even if you don’t own a car lot.

Obtaining a License: Tips from Your NC Car Dealership License Experts

Getting a dealer’s license without a car lot is similar to obtaining a dealer’s license with one.

However, the application process can be lengthy and elaborate. To get a car dealer’s license in NC, you must wait for one to two weeks as your application is processed. 

4 Steps to a Car Dealer’s License in NC

Because the process can be long, you should know the following steps to take to get your car dealer license in NC:

1. Contact Your Local DMV

First, contact your local DMV to determine which type of license you need. Then, you can ask for all of the forms and information you need to get your license.

2. Fill Out the Application 

Next, you’ll need to fill out your application packet. 

This packet typically includes the following information:

  • Paperwork for creating a DBA
  • Business license for your municipality
  • Background check and financial history
  • Proof of surety bond
  • Detailed business plan

3. File the Application

Once the application is completed, you can send it in with the appropriate fees and notarizations.

4. Apply for a Surety Bond

Obtaining a surety bond is essential for all car dealers. A surety bond serves as a guarantee that your dealership won’t engage in unethical conduct. Your state’s law will determine how much the bond needs to cover. However, amounts can range from $10,000 to $100,000.