How to Get a Car Auction License in Florida

Category: Auto Dealers News
Published: Feb 14, 2023
How to Get a Car Auction License in Florida


For anyone in the state of Florida who is looking to enter the world of vehicle sales, there are a number of considerations you must take into account before starting your business. One pathway into vehicle sales is through auctions, and within Florida they are a popular way for dealers to sell cars quickly, and customers to buy vehicles at great prices.

However, before businesses can take part in motor vehicle auctions, they must first secure a license from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). This enables businesses to legally sell cars and other vehicles within an auction format. But how can you obtain your car dealer license, and which documents do you need to start the process?

Here, we look into these topics so you can navigate the various requirements for gaining an auctioneer license in our comprehensive car auction license guide. Read on to learn more and start your auctioneer journey today with Lance Surety.

Florida Auto Auction Licenses Explained

A Florida auto auction license is a type of license issued by the State of Florida to those who want to sell vehicles at auction. Florida statutes dictate that you need to hold a valid license to operate legally in the state.

Florida issues 10 motor vehicle dealer licenses specific to different areas of vehicle sales. These include:

  • Type VI: Vehicle Independent Dealer
  • Type SD: Salvage Dealer
  • Type VF: Vehicle Franchise Dealer.
  • Type SF: Service Facility
  • Type VA: Vehicle Auction Dealer
  • Type VW: Vehicle Wholesale Dealer
  • Type DH: Mobile Home Dealer
  • Type BH: Mobile Home Broker
  • Type RV: Recreational Motor Vehicle Dealer
  • Type RU: Recreational Used Motor Vehicle Dealer

The two licenses that allow you to sell vehicles at a car auction are the Type VW and the Type VA. These licenses let you sell to other licensed dealers. If you want to sell vehicles at retail value, you’ll need to get the License Type VI as well.

Car Auction Licenses in Florida – Why are They Needed?

Car auction dealer licenses are required in Florida to regulate the industry and protect the consumer. Dealers who wish to acquire an auto auction license in the state must meet a number of set pre-licensing and licensing requirements. This ensures dealer are acting in good faith when they sell cars to consumers

Florida dealer license requirements mandate that auto auction dealers are properly registered, have undergone relevant training, and work from an approved and registered office. They also help to protect future customers from financial losses caused by fraudulent business practices by tying businesses to surety bonds as a key part of the licensure process.

Pre-Licensing Requirements for an Auction License

Before you can become a licensed dealer in Florida, you’ll need to meet the state’s pre-licensing requirements, as set out by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). The pre-licensing requirements include the following:

  • Completion of a Florida State-Approved Dealer License Class The FLHSMV requires all auction dealer license applicants to complete a 16-hour pre-licensing course. This course can be completed online and at your own pace, however, it’s important to check that your chosen course has been approved by the licensing body. Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be issued with a certificate of completion. You’ll need this when you submit your dealer license application.
  • Register Your business The next step in the process is to enter your business registration before you can apply for your license. You can do this online. Make sure you keep the paperwork you receive from the Division of Corporations as you’ll need to send it to the FLHSMV along with your application.
  • Get a Surety Bond All car auction dealers in Florida are required to purchase a $25,000 Auto Auction Surety Bond. Florida Auto Dealer Bonds are there to ensure dealers to protect customers from any financial losses that may result from fraudulent business practices. Talk to one of our experts to find out how to get a surety bond and get your application underway.
  • Get Fingerprinted The Florida Department of Law Enforcement requires anyone applying for an auto dealer license for auctions to be fingerprinted. You’ll need to use a fingerprinting service that’s approved by the department.
  • Get Liability Insurance As well as a car auction dealer bond, you’ll need to purchase liability insurance. State regulations require you to have garage liability insurance with single-limit liability coverage of at least $25,000 and personal injury protection coverage of at least $10,000.

Documents Needed for Getting a License

In order to secure a Florida car auction dealership license, you’ll need to submit your completed application to the FLHSMV. Send your application to the regional office that will oversee your business. As well as the application form, you’ll need to provide:

  • Proof of identification
  • The certificate of completion for your pre-licensing training
  • Proof of fingerprinting
  • Your original surety bond
  • Proof of your liability insurance
  • Proof of ownership or rental of an approved business location
  • A copy of your business name or fictitious business name registration
  • A copy of your business registration certification from the Division of Corporations
  • Relevant paperwork verifying your business type (this could include articles of incorporation if you registered as a corporation or articles of organization if you registered as an LLC)
  • Your sales tax number
  • Your Federal Employer Identification Number

9 Steps in the Car Auction Licensing Process

Generally speaking, there are 9 steps that individuals or businesses must complete before gaining a license. Below, we detail each step of the process so you can prepare your application in advance.

1. Complete Your Pre-licensing Course

Anyone applying for an auction auto dealer license in Florida will need to complete a recognized course before they can apply for their license. You’ll need to pass an exam and complete a DMV questionnaire to pass the course.

2. Register Your Business

All car auction businesses in Florida need to be properly registered with the Division of Corporations at the Secretary of State.

3. Rent or Buy a Location

You’ll need to lease or buy a location that’s suitable for vehicle auctions. Ensure your office has approval by the Division of Motorists Services Compliance Examiner before you sign a lease.

4. Get Bonded

Getting bonded is an essential part of the car auction license application process. In fact, you’ll need to purchase a surety bond before applying for most types of car dealer license in Florida. Take a look at our guides on how to start a used car dealership and how to get a wholesale dealer license to find out more.

5. Take Out Liability Insurance

Moving vehicles can be risky. Liability insurance will help to protect you financially if someone is injured on your premises.

6. Get Your Federal Employer Identification Number

You can obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

7. Get Your Sales Tax Number

You’ll need to apply for a sales tax number from the Florida Department of Revenue before submitting your application form.

8. Get Fingerprinted

Make sure you use an approved fingerprinting service.

9. Submit Your Application and Pay Your Application Fee

Once you’ve got all your paperwork in order, it’s time to pay your application fee and submit your application pack.

Further Information on Car Auction Licenses in Florida

For anyone budgeting for a new business, it is important to take into account that the application fee for a Florida Auto Auction License is $300 for each primary business location. After this, there is an annual renewal fee of $75, which must be paid in order to retain your license.

Once all of your pre-licensing requirements have been met, you can expect the approval process to take around four weeks. If you don’t hear anything about your application after a month, contact your regional office.

For more information on how to gain your Florida Auction License, your surety bond, and any other advice you might need to complete the process, contact Lance Surety today to discuss your specific requirements. Alternatively, explore the blog for more insights directly related to your industry here.

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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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