Motor vehicle dealer
Businesses or auctioneers must have a Motor Vehicle Dealer endorsement to buy or sell the following items at wholesale or retail:
- New or used cars.
- New or used trucks.
- New or used motor homes.
If you don’t have a dealer license, it’s illegal to:
- Sell more than 4 vehicles registered to you in any 12 months.
- Buy and sell vehicles for the purpose of making a profit.
- Sell any number of vehicles that aren't registered to you.
Business site requirements
Your business site must:
- Comply with all applicable building codes, zoning, and other land-use ordinances. For more information, please contact your city or county directly.
- Be located at a commercial property with an enclosed building.
- Have a permanent sign with the business name and the type of business (such as Auto Sales).
- Have an operating telecommunications system and a phone number listed in directory assistance.
- Be open from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., five days per week. These hours are referred to as “normal business hours.” Additional hours and days of operation may be added at your discretion. You must prominently post the hours of operation at the main entrance doors.
- Have an area to maintain books, records, and files at the business site. If 2 or more vehicle dealer businesses share a location, all records, office facilities, and inventory must be physically separated and clearly identified.
- To get a Motor vehicle dealer endorsement, you must have the following:$30,000 bond. Bonds are available through many insurance companies. We recommend you research the cost of your bond before you apply for an endorsement.
- Certificate of Dealer Education, as proof you have completed at least 8 hours of approved training if selling used vehicles only. For more information about how to obtain this certificate, call our Dealers Division at 360-664-6466.
- Copy of your property tax statement, or the rental/lease agreement for the business site, as proof of ownership. The rental/lease agreement must be valid for at least 1 year.
All retail vehicle dealers are required to use the E–Permitting system. Find out more about E–Permitting.
Post your license
A license must be posted at each location where the licensee operates. You may not begin this business activity until you receive a Business License listing the required endorsement(s).
After you receive your license
- You'll need a contract with us if you want to search vehicle registration information.
How to apply
Apply by using one of the following options:
- Login using your Secure Access Washington (SAW) user ID. If you don't have a user ID or aren't sure, see if you have an account first before signing up.
- Click Get Started on the Business Licensing and Tax service.
- Follow the steps below based on your business status.
If you do not have an existing business
- Click File New Business License Application. Be sure to select the endorsements for which you wish to apply.
If you have an existing business
- If you haven't already, add access to your business. You'll need a UBI number and a letter ID.
- Click on the business you want to apply for a license/endorsement under, then click on the location.
- Click File New Business License Application.
You can pay using an E-check or a major credit card (gift cards can't be used).
Find more help for using My DOR, including video tutorials.
- Business License Application
- Vehicle, Vessel, Vehicle Manufacturer, Registered Tow Truck Operator, or Wrecker Bond
- Vehicle Dealer Manufacturer Addendum
- A separate Financial/Source of Funds Statement for each sole proprietor, partner, or business entity.
- If the business is a sole proprietor or partnership, each owner or partner must submit a separate form listing all of their personal assets and liabilities.
- If the business is a corporation, LLC, or LLP, submit one form that includes only the assets and liabilities of the business.
- A separate Personal Criminal History Statement for each owner, partner, corporate officer and member of the business.
|Motor vehicle dealer
|Plate, decal, and certificate fees
|Dealer plate—motor vehicles
|Other fees that may apply
|Registering your business name as a trade name
| Business License Application
Department of Licensing