How to Get a New Jersey Dealer License

Published: Feb 07, 2024
new jersey dealer license


If you're planning to start a car dealership in New Jersey, your first step is securing a dealer license issued by the state's Motor Vehicle Commission.

This involves a straightforward procedure where you need to complete the necessary application forms, pay the specified fees, and, upon receiving preliminary approval, provide proof of insurance and an auto dealer bond.

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For a detailed breakdown of the licensing process in New Jersey, follow the guide below. 

1. Choose the right auto dealer license type

In order to obtain a New Jersey dealer license, you have to apply with the Motor Vehicle Commission, The following license types are available:

  • New & Used Motor Vehicle Dealer
  • Used Motor Vehicle Dealer
  • Moped Dealer
  • Auto Body Repair Facility
  • Fleet Inspection Facility
  • Private Inspection Facility 
  • Leasing Company
  • Driving School
  • Junkyard
  • Fleet DEIC
  • DEIC

In this guide we’ll cover the New & Used Motor Vehicle Dealer license.

2. Complete Business Registration

To adhere to New Jersey's tax regulations, it's necessary to register your business at least 15 days before you start operating.

Additionally, obtaining a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) registration certificate is essential. This number can be requested from the NJ Treasury online, or you can apply for it directly through the IRS' online platform. 
You can find more information here.

3. Business Location Requirements

Your business location must meet some standards:

  • You must have an office with a desk, chair, landline telephone and a working safe to store motor vehicle documents.
  • The office size must be a minimum 8 X 9 square feet.
  • Maintain a display space capable of showcasing a minimum of two vehicles.
  • Your business must also have an exterior sign permanently affixed to the land or building consistent with local ordinances. The lettering must be legible from the roadway.

Note: The local municipality must approve the location and complete the municipal approval form.

4. Collect the Required Documents

Submission of the following documents is mandatory:

  • Copy of alternate/fictitious name filing certificate
  • Copy of formation papers or corporate resolution
  • Copy of driver's license for owners/officers/members/partners
  • Copy of certificate of authority from Department of Treasury for out-of-state corporations and LLCs
  • Copy of New Jersey Sales Tax Certificate of Authority
  • Proof of issuance of federal taxpayer identification number from IRS
  • Copy of deed, lease or purchase agreement for the premises to be licensed
  • Copy of telephone bill for landline at premises to be licensed

**NEW:** Download our FREE e-book guide containing comprehensive information on how to start your own dealership, from getting licensed and bonded to securing financing and cars for your lot!

5. License Application Process

The business registration and supplementary applications must be completed and signed. One of those documents is the Fingerprint Request Notification Form, where every individual listed in the initial business application is required to complete a live scan criminal background check.

The supplementary applications include but are not limited to:

  • Child support
  • MVC Dealer Certification/Signature card
  • Business hours of operation
  • Dealer Certification of licensed location type and proper walls

New car dealers are also required to obtain a Franchise Agreement from the manufacturer. This document must be submitted with the application.

6. Submit Application

Complete the necessary application form and submit all required supporting documents. The fee for the license is $100 and a set of five dealer license plates is $257.50.

You can submit your application to: 

Business Licensing Services Bureau
225 E. State St.
P.O. Box 170
Trenton, NJ 08666-0170

7. Obtain the Necessary New Jersey Auto Dealer Bond 

All applicants for a NJ dealer license have to obtain a surety bond. It guarantees their legal compliance and thus protects the interests of the state and of their customers.

The required amount for New Jersey auto dealer bonds is currently $10,000. The cost of your bond, however, is a fraction of the full amount. It depends on your credit score, as well as on your business financial statements and fixed and liquid assets. Typically, applicants who have stable finances get lower rates - between 1% and 5%.

In our experience as a surety bond company, we encountered a client who had just obtained his New Jersey auto dealer license and was unsure of the state's surety bond requirement. We informed him that licensed auto dealers must obtain a $10,000 surety bond. Our team then provided comprehensive guidance and support to help him navigate the process of securing the needed bond, ensuring he met all bonding requirements for his dealership venture in New Jersey.

Note: Wait to submit proof of liability insurance and a surety bond until after receiving the initial notice of license approval. 

Need further information about getting your New Jersey auto dealer license and bonding? You can reach us by calling at 877.514.5146.

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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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