How to Get a Missouri Dealer License [2023 Guide]
In order to launch an auto dealership in Missouri, you need to undergo a licensing procedure with state authorities. The Missouri dealer license is required from anyone who wants to sell more than 6 vehicles per year.
There is a list of licensing requirements that you have to fulfill so that you are allowed to launch your operations as a dealer in the state. One of the most important ones is to post a Missouri auto dealer bond, which guarantees you will follow the law.
To learn the essential details about the licensing process, you can read on in the sections below.
1. Choose the auto dealer license type you need
The authority issuing Missouri car dealer licenses is the Motor Vehicle Bureau at the state Department of Revenue. The possible license types that you can obtain from it are the following, according to the kind of vehicles that you can sell under each of them:
- Franchise Motor Vehicle (MV) Dealer – new vehicles under a franchise agreement
- Franchise Powersport Dealer – new powersport vehicles under a franchise agreement
- Public Motor Vehicle Auctions – making public auctions
- Recreational Motor Vehicle Dealer – RV vehicles
- Trailer Dealer – trailers
- Used Motor Vehicle (MV) and Powersport Dealer – used vehicles and powersport vehicles
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Auctions – making wholesale auctions
- Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealer – selling wholesale
- Boat Dealer – boats
2. Get acquainted with the Missouri dealer license requirements
The Motor Vehicle Bureau requires applicants to meet a list of criteria that guarantee their legal compliance. They include:
- Information about the dealership’s owners
- Factory franchise agreement and franchise trade names (for franchise dealers only)
- Photos of your business location (building, lot, and sign)
- Garage liability policy (not required for auctions and trailer dealers)
- Dealer education seminar certificate (only for Missouri used car dealer license – first time applicants)
- Inspection and certification by an authorized law enforcement officer (for Boone, Buchanan, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Clay, Cole, Franklin, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Jefferson, Platte, St. Charles, Taney – by a police offer; for St. Louis County or St. Louis City – by the City Auto Theft Division; for all other counties – by the Missouri Highway Patrol)
- Surety bond
You also need to obtain dealer plates together with your license. You can get one plate for every 10 sales.
The Bureau also requires dealers to operate during regular business hours (20 hours per week). They have to be spread out across four work days, between 6 am and 10 pm.
Further details about the state requirements are available in the Bureau’s Dealer Operating Manual.
3. Prepare your paperwork
The starting point for your licensing process is the Missouri dealer license application (Form 4682). You have to complete it fully, providing information and proof for meeting the requirements described in the previous section.
Together with that paperwork, you also have to obtain:
- Business name registration with the Missouri Secretary of State (registration cost is $7)
- Criminal records for each owner, partner, or principal officer from the Missouri State Highway Patrol (the fee per person is $13)
4. Get a Missouri auto dealer bond
Among the requirements that you have to fulfill in order to get your Missouri dealer license is posting a Missouri auto dealer bond. The purpose of the surety bond is to ensure you will follow state laws in your operations as a dealer. The bond amount is currently set at $50,000. It was increased from $25,000 in August 2018.
In order to get bonded, you have to pay a small fraction of the required amount. It is referred to as the bond premium and is based on the strength of your personal and business finances. The percentages are between 0.75% and 5% for applicants with solid profiles. Thus, for a $50,000 bond, your premium may be as low as $375 to $2,500.
5. Submit your full application
Once you have collected all necessary documents and completed the state application, you can submit the form and additional paperwork online, or by sending it via mail to:
Motor Vehicle Bureau
Dealer Licensing Section
Post Office Box 43
Jefferson City, Missouri 65105-0043
The licensing fees that you have to cover are:
- $150 annual license fee (all license types but boat dealers)
- $80 annual license fee for boat dealers
- $50 dealer plate fee (first one)
- $10.50 for each additional dealer plate
6. Undergo the Missouri dealer license renewal every year
The licensing period for auto dealers runs from January 1st to December 31st. Thus, you have to renew your license every year. You have to submit your renewal application before October 30th to avoid a $25 penalty fee. If you send it after December 31st, the penalty is $50. Learn more about the license and bond renewal here.
Do you need further information about the Missouri auto dealer license and bond requirements? Get in touch with our bonding experts by calling us at 877.514.5146.
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