Reminder: D.C. Auto Dealer Bonds Expire End of October

David Stanley Chevrolet of Norman
It seems that September was a busy month for US auto dealers, so we understand if you may have forgotten about the approaching deadline of your DC auto dealer bond renewal. We have compiled this short guide to remind you of it, as well as to give you a few quick tips on how to streamline the process and even reduce costs a bit.

Who needs to renew their auto dealer bond?

October 31 - DC Auto Dealer Bond RenewalThe District of Columbia mandates that all auto dealer bonds licenses on Oct. 31 each year. As the auto dealer bond is an inseparable part of the license, this means bond renewal should take place before that date as well.

This requirement is valid for the following types of auto dealers in D.C.:

  • New Car Dealers;
  • Used Car Dealers;
  • Auto Repair Shops.

So what happens if you miss the deadline? This is highly undesirable as your license will be revoked and you may get into trouble for operating without one. Remember: regardless of which time of the year you obtained your bond and license, they will expire on Oct. 31.

What do I need to do to renew my auto dealer bond?

The bond renewal process is simple – you will be sent an invoice with a quote for your new premium. Once you pay, you surety will file the bond with the Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs and it will be considered renewed.

Keep in mind that bond quotes can also depend on what surety bond agency your work with, so consider Lance Surety Bonds before you re-apply. We send reminding emails ahead of renewal ahead of time, making sure you never miss a deadline.

How much will I pay this year?

The total bond amount that the District of Columbia will require you to pay will depend on what type of dealer you are: both new and used car dealers post a $25,000 bond, while if you only do auto repairs you will have to pay either $2,000 (for less than 5 employees) or $5,000 (for more than 5 employees).

As you know, you only pay a premium that is a fraction of the total bond amount. Rates can vary between 0.75% and 10%. You will most likely get a similar premium as last year but if you understand how surety bond costs work you may manage to get a lower one.

How can I lower my bond rates?

As always, your credit report will be evaluated as this is what sureties consider the most important. But it’s possible to reduce your costs if you disclose further information about you. Are you a dealer with many years in the industry? Point it out, it will work in your favor. Do you have liquid assets or strong financial statements? Do not hesitate to show it, sureties will respond by lowering the quote.

The best strategy is to discuss all of these with your surety agent – a good agent will have the know-how to help reduce costs for even the highest risk applicants.

How can I choose the right surety agency?

We have said it many times – the choice of the right agency can make a tremendous difference, so we have built our business to reflect that difference.

Here at Lance Surety Bonds, our auto dealer bond experts will be more than willing to work with your on getting your dealer bond. We can even help you reduce your bond premium, regardless of your credit score.

We have established a network of only the most trusted sureties in the U.S., guaranteeing your bond will always be accepted. Finally, the deadline is approaching, so we offer electronic submission of your bond, meaning you don’t have to worry about staying compliant or losing your license.

We advise you not to wait until the very last moment as all D.C. dealers will be submitting their applications, which may delay the processing time.

You can begin your application now by getting a free bond quote. If you are not satisfied with it or have any questions, feel free to call us at (877)-514-5146 or contact us online. We are looking forward to working with you!

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Victor Lance is the founder and president of Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. He began his career as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving two combat tours. As president of Lance Surety, he now focuses on educating and assisting small businesses throughout the country with various license and bond requirements. Victor graduated from Villanova University with a degree in Business Administration and holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business.