Idaho Dealer License: Complete Guide (2024)

Published: Dec 18, 2019

idaho dealer license


Auto dealers in Idaho have to undergo a licensing procedure with state authorities in order to launch their business operations. If you’re looking at the option to start a car sales company, you will need to get an Idaho dealer license. It is necessary for anyone who wants to sell more than 5 vehicles per calendar year. 

The process includes meeting the state licensing criteria. One of the main requirements is to obtain an auto dealer bond. It guarantees your legal compliance and thus protects your customers. 

In the guide below, you can get acquainted with the licensing steps, so that you can kickstart your business smoothly. 

1. Find out the right auto dealer license type 

The licensing authority that issues licenses for car dealers in Idaho is the Division of Motor Vehicles at the Transportation Department.

There are two main license types that you can obtain: 

  • Retail - selling to the general public
  • Wholesale - selling to dealerships only 

In addition, the Idaho auto dealers license you will obtain will also depend on the types of vehicles that you want to sell, and whether they are new or used: 

  • New Automobile/Truck
  • New Trailer
  • New Recreational Vehicle
  • New Vessel
  • New ATV, UTV, Motorcycle or Snowmobile
  • Used ATV, UTV, Motorcycle or Snowmobile Only 
  • Only Used Vehicles (Including Trailer, ATV, UTV, Motorcycle, Snowmobile, or Vessel)

2. Get to know the Idaho dealer license requirements

The main criteria set by the state DMV include:

  • Verification from the Idaho Dealer Team that your business name is not similar to an existing dealership’s name
  • Personal History form for each owner, officer, director, partner, member, and salesperson
  • Business entity information
  • Place of business requirements - display area, office area, business sign and posted hours
  • 8-hour pre-licensing class and examination (for wholesale and used vehicle dealers)
  • Liability insurance with a minimum coverage of $25,000 bodily injury to one person, $50,000 bodily injury to two persons, and $15,000 property damage or destruction
  • Letter of franchise for each vehicle type (for new vehicle dealers)
  • Idaho Consumer Asset Recovery Fund (ICAR) (for retail dealers)
  • Personal History and Salesmen Application (if you’re hiring salespersons)  
  • Surety bond 

You can find further information in the DMV’s Dealer Handbook

3. Prepare your paperwork

idaho dealer licenseThe starting point for your licensing process is the Idaho dealer license application. You have to fill it in and make sure that you obtain all the required documents detailed above. The signatures on the application form have to be notarized. 

In addition, you also have to get a list of additional documents from other authorities:

  • Seller Permit Number from the Idaho Tax Commission
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
  • A letter of zoning approval or a zoning official’s signature from local authorities
  • Proof of Corporate, LLC, or LLP Status from the Secretary of State's Office
  • Proof of fictitious or assumed name recording from the Secretary of State's Office

4. Obtain the necessary Idaho auto dealer bond 

In order to get an Idaho car dealer license, you have to post a surety bond. It is one of the indispensable requirements, whose purpose is to ensure you will follow the law. The bond provides an extra level of protection for your customers. 

The amounts of the Idaho auto dealer bond are different for the various license types:

  • $40,000 for wholesale dealers
  • $20,000 for retail dealers
  • $10,000 for motorcycle, ATV, UTV, truck campers, and snowmachine dealers

Your premium is formulated on the basis of the bond amount that you have to post. It is a small percentage of it, which is usually between 0.75% and 5% for applicants with stable finances. The main factors that determine your bond cost include your personal credit score, business finances, and fixed and liquid assets you may have. 


5. Apply with your full document set

When you have gathered all the necessary paperwork, you have to send it together with your completed application form via mail to


Idaho Transportation Department

Division of Motor Vehicles

PO Box 7129

Boise, ID 83707-1129


The licensing fees that you have to cover are the following:

  • $190 initial dealer’s license
  • $300 ICAR fee (for retail dealers only)
  • $23 for each dealer plate
  • $44 supplemental lot license

The whole process with the DMV can take up to 30 days. Once it has approved your application, you will get a visit from the Motor Vehicle Investigator from your district. They will check your location, display area, office, and sign. If you meet all requirements, you will be able to open your dealership. 

6. Renew your license yearly 

The expiration of your Idaho dealer license is one year from the issuing date. You have to renew it if you want to continue your activities as a dealer. The renewal fee is $175. You have to complete a renewal application and renew your surety bond and insurance certificates. 


Have further questions about the Idaho dealer license and bond requirements? You can speak with one of our bonding experts by calling us at 877.514.5146.

Ready to get your FREE surety bond quote? Apply with Lance Surety Bonds and get bonded in minutes.
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