How to Get a Nevada Dealer License?

Published: Jun 15, 2023
Nevada dealer license


If you plan to sell, lease or distribute vehicles in the State of Nevada, you’ll first need to obtain a valid Nevada dealer license. The licensing process is regulated by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

The state DMV sets out a number of prerequisites all applicants need to meet in order to secure their license. Checking you meet these requirements before you apply will make the process quicker, easier and more affordable.

To help you secure your Nevada dealer license, and get your new enterprise up and running, we’re taking a look at the licensing process, license requirements and everything else you need to know.

Determine License Type

There are a number of different types of motor vehicle dealer license available in Nevada. The license you apply for will depend on a number of factors including who you want to sell your vehicles to, and if you want to make any changes to the vehicles before selling.

The main car dealer licenses available in Nevada are:

Dealer License

If you plan to sell vehicles directly to the public, you’ll need to apply for a standard dealer license. Dealer licenses are required by anyone who sells more than three vehicles per year in the State of Nevada.

Distributor License

Distributor licenses are designed for those who want to sell new vehicles to other dealers.

Lessor License

You’ll require a lessor license if you plan to lease vehicles to another person under the terms of a lease agreement.

Manufacturer License

A manufacturer license allows you to manufacture vehicles for sale in the state of Nevada.

Rebuilder License

If you plan to reconstruct vehicles by adding, altering or substituting motor parts, you’ll need a rebuilder license.

Meeting the Nevada Dealer License Requirements

The requirements you will have to meet to get licensed depend on the license type you have selected.

In general, you will have to complete an application form and provide the following paperwork:

  • Completed Application for Business License
  • Personal History Questionnaire (OBL242) for owners and other listed individuals
  • Fingerprints for each principal of the business
  • DPS Civil Applicant Waiver
  • Liability insurance coverage
  • Federal identification number
  • Business entity paperwork
  • Proof of meeting the business location requirements – size and business sign
  • Proof of successfully passing the site inspection
  • Surety bond
  • Payment of applicable fees ($126 application fee, $38.25 fingerprint fee for each individual)

The license is active for one year. Afterwards, you need to undergo the renewal process in order to stay in operation.

Pay Required Fees

You’ll need to pay the required fees when submitting your application packet. Currently, the dealer license application fee is $126. You’ll also need to pay a $38.25 fingerprint processing fee for each principal listed on the application.

Getting Your Nevada Auto Dealer Bond

Posting an auto dealer bond is one of the indispensable requirements for getting your Nevada dealer license. Utility or boat trailers (less than 3,500 weight) dealers need to provide a $10,000 bond, while motorcycles, horse trailers and utility trailers (more than 3,500 weight) have to post a $50,000 bond. All other vehicle dealers are required to post a $100,000 bond.

Bonds function as a safety net both for the state and your dealership’s customers. They guarantee that you will follow all applicable rules and provide financial compensation for affected parties if you fail to do so.

Getting bonded does not mean you need to pay the whole bond amount. Instead, your surety bond price is only a fraction of it, called the bond premium. If you qualify for the standard bonding market, the typical rates are between 1% and 3%. Thus, for a $100,000 bond, you can pay as little as $1,000.

Your bond premium is set on the basis of your personal and business finances. Your surety examines your credit score, assets and liquidity and business financials. If your overall status is solid, you can expect to pay a smaller bond price.

Want to start your bonding and licensing process? Apply online today for a free bond quote from Lance Surety Bonds. Need help with your application or have questions about the bonding process? Don’t hesitate to contact us at 877.514.5146.

Submit Application

Before you submit your dealer license application, take a few minutes to go through our checklist to make sure you’ve ticked all the boxes and met all necessary requirements.

These are as follows:

Step 1. Obtain a Permanent Business Location

You’ll need to obtain a permanent business location before you can apply for your license. This location must be a permanent, enclosed building that’s large enough to accommodate your office and store your business records. You’ll need to include two color photographs of the exterior of your premises with your application.

Step 2. Submit Your Fingerprints

All principals listed on the application must submit their fingerprints at a DMV office or have them taken by a local law enforcement agency.

Step 3. Obtain a Dealer Bond

Obtaining a dealer bond is an essential part of the application process. You’ll need a $10,000 bond for utility or boat trailers, a $50,000 bond for motorcycles, utility or horse trailers, and a $100,000 bond for all other types of vehicles. The bond cost will be a percentage of the total bond amount. Contact us for a free quote or to find out more.

Step 4. Arrange Liability Insurance

Like a surety bond, liability insurance is something you need to have in place before you apply for your dealer license and begin trading.

Step 5. Fill Your Application

You can get an application pack from any Occupational and Business Licensing office. As well as your application form, you’ll also need to include:

  • Personal history questionnaire
  • A DPS Civil Applicant Waiver
  • Your city or county business license
  • A copy of your company’s Certificate of Incorporation and Corporate filing, which has been filed with the Nevada Secretary of State office (if applicable)
  • Your federal employer identification number (FEIN)
  • New vehicle dealers will also need to include dealer franchise certification from the manufacturer or distributor authorizing the sale of the designated make of vehicles
  • Manufacturers need a letter of confirmation from the SAE Strategic Alliance notifying you of your World Manufacturer Identifier (WMI) assignment

Step 6. Submit Your Application

Once you’ve double checked you have everything you need for your dealer license application, you can submit your paperwork and license fee to your local DMV business licensing office. Offices can be found in Las Vegas, Reno, Carson City and Henderson.


Do You Need a Dealer License in Nevada to Sell Cars?

If you have a family car and want to sell it on, you don’t need to apply for a dealer license. However, if you sell more than three vehicles per year, you will need to obtain a dealer license from the state of Nevada.

How Long Does it Take to Obtain a Nevada Dealer License?

Once you’ve met all of the requirements, filled in your application form and correctly submitted your documents, it should take around 30 days to receive your Nevada dealer license.

What Are the Consequences of Not Obtaining a Nevada Dealer License?

The penalty for selling, leasing or distributing vehicles in the state of Nevada without a valid license range from a fine to jail time. Avoid both by applying for a license before starting your new business.

How Often Does a Nevada Dealer License Need to Be Renewed?

Your license needs to be renewed every year. The Nevada DMV will mail or email you a reminder when it’s time to renew. If your reminder includes an access code, you should be able to complete the license renewal process online.

Can You Get a Dealer License Without a Lot in Nevada?

In order to obtain a Nevada dealer license, you need to have a permanent place of business. This location needs to have enough space to display at least one vehicle.

How Many Cars Can You Sell in Nevada Without a Dealer’s License?

You can sell up to three cars per year in Nevada without a dealer’s license.

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About Lance Surety Bonds

Lance Surety Bond Associates, Inc. is a surety bond agency based out of southeastern Pennsylvania that is able to write all surety bond types in all 50 states. We are dedicated to servicing all of our customers' surety bonding needs throughout the country and guarantee competitive rates, timely responses, and unparalleled customer service.

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