How to Get a Maine Auto Dealer License [2020 Guide]

Published: Jan 2, 2020
maine auto dealer license

 

Car dealerships in Maine have to get licensed with state authorities. You need to obtain a Maine auto dealer license if you want to sell more than 5 vehicles per year, or display for sale on your premises more than 3 vehicles per month. 

The licensing process is elaborate and entails meeting a list of requirements. Among them is to post an auto dealer bond, which serves as a guarantee for your legal compliance. 

To get started with your licensing, you can consult the guide below for a full overview of the criteria you have to satisfy. 

1. Pick the right auto dealer license type 

Maine auto dealers have to apply for a license with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles at the Department of the Secretary of State. There are a few different license types that you can choose from: 

  • New and Used Vehicle Dealer (there is no separate Maine used car dealer license)
  • Motorcycle Dealer
  • Equipment Dealer
  • Heavy Trailer Dealer (over 3000 lbs.)
  • Boat/Snowmobile Trailer Dealer (under 3000 lbs.)
  • Recycler
  • Vehicle Auction
  • Transporter
  • Loaner

2. Get to know the Maine dealer license requirements

You have to fulfill the criteria set by the Bureau in order to qualify for a Maine dealer license. They include providing the following:

  • Personal information about owners
  • Business entity information
  • Applicant questionnaire
  • Proof of ownership or notarized lease agreement for your business location
  • Business location requirements (display area of at least 5,000 sq. ft., plot plan, and business sign)
  • Dealer training class (for first-time dealer applicants – you should complete the class as the final step of your licensing) 
  • Liability insurance (for personal injury or death of any one person in the sum of $100,000 and for any number of persons in the sum of $300,000 and against property damage in the sum of $100,000)
  • Surety bond

You can consult the Complete Dealer Packet prepared by the Bureau for further information. 

3. Prepare your paperwork

maine auto dealer licenseThe starting point for your licensing process is to fill in the Application for a Dealer License form

In addition to complying with all requirements detailed above, you also have to obtain the following documents:

  • General business license from your town or city (if applicable)
  • Registration with the State of Maine Bureau of Corporations (for corporations)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS
  • Sales Tax Registration from the Maine Revenue Services
  • Building Code, Zoning and Land Use Regulatory Ordinance Clearance (MVD-363) from your local authorities (notarized)
  • Criminal background check (for every owner, officer, director, shareholder, member, manager, and partner) from the Maine State Police

4. Obtain the necessary Maine auto dealer bond 

One of the main criteria for getting licensed is to obtain a surety bond. It works as a safety mechanism that guarantees you will follow the law in your dealer operations. 

The required amounts of the Maine auto dealer bond are the following:

  • $25,000 – up to 50 vehicles
  • $50,000 – 51-100 vehicles
  • $75,000 – 101-150 vehicles
  • $100,000 – more than 151 vehicles

The bonding process entails that you pay a small percentage of the bond amount. This is the premium. It is between 0.75% and 5% for applicants with stable finances. Your exact premium depends on the strength of your credit score, business finances and fixed and liquid assets. 

5. Apply with your full document set

Once you have collected all the necessary paperwork, mail the application form and documents to:

 

Department of the Secretary of State 

Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Dealer and Agent Services

29 State House Station

Augusta, Maine 04333-0029

 

You also have to cover the applicable license fees:

  • $150 filing fee
  • $150 license fee (for most license types)
  • $50 license fee (for motorcycle and light trailer dealers) 
  • Plate fees (between $5 and $200 depending on the license type) 

After you’ve submitted your completed packet to the Bureau, you will receive an inspection from a Motor Vehicle Investigator. If you meet all requirements, you will be issued a Maine auto dealer license. 

6. Renew your license annually

The licensing period for Maine auto dealers runs for one year. You have to renew your license before the last day of the month in which you received your license the previous year. The renewal fees are the same as the licensing ones. If you want to continue your operations without a break, you have to make sure to conduct the renewal before your license’s expiration date. 

 

Have further questions about the Maine auto dealer license and bonding process? Don’t hesitate to contact us at 877.514.5146.

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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.

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