Obtain a Georgia Used Car Dealer License Using This 7-Step Guide
Georgia’s economy is showing signs of picking up and forecasts predict we can expect growth there in the coming year, as well. Such news always bodes well for local businesses such as car dealerships. If you have been thinking of opening a used car dealership in this state, you need to be well aware of Georgia’s DMV requirements, such as how to apply for a license and an auto dealer bond. To make it easier for you, here are the main steps, which you can later use as a guide.
Where to Apply
It’s important to note that the application for used car dealers and new car dealers is different. The business of used car dealers in Georgia is regulated by the Georgia State Board of Registration of Used Car Motor Vehicles and this is where you need to file your application. The application form is available online and it contains the paperwork that needs to accompany it. Keep in mind, this way of applying for a license is only valid for used car dealers. If you are a dealer of new cars who also wants to sell used cars, you need to apply for a local business license and a dealer registration number from the Department of Revenue.
#1 Pay Licensing Fees
Your used car dealer license application requires a fee of $170 for your first lot. If you wish to have additional lots, each one of them will cost you another $170. Your license expires on March 31 of even years, so every other year you will also have to renew your license, providing the same $170 fee. If, however, you are late with your renewal application, you can still apply until from April 1 to May 31, but the fee will jump to $220. If you miss that deadline too, after June 1 your license will be administratively revoked, which means you need to start your application all over again and pay a reinstatement fee of $420.
#2 Get a Georgia Used Car Dealer Bond
According to state law, all used cars dealers need to post a Georgia used car dealer bond to the amount of $35,000. A used car dealer bond is a type of surety bond. It is the government’s way of making sure you will run your business in compliance with state laws. It also acts as protection to your customers, and makes sure a dealer will not deceive them in any way. The used car dealer bond is obtained through a surety bond agency such as Lance Surety Bonds, and just like your license, it needs to be renewed by March 31 every other year. When you contact the agency, you will receive instruction about how to apply along with information about the premium you have to pay.
#3 Attach Original Certificate of Insurance
While used car dealer bonds do not offer protection to you, insurance does, and you are required to have some. There are a few important things to remember here. In the application form you need to put the policy number and not the binder number. You also need to specify the amounts of your limits, such as $25,000, $50,000 or $100,000. Alternatively, you can have a singles limits of $125,000. Keep in mind that liability-only insurance will not be accepted.
#4 Get a Place of Business
In your application you need to show you have a valid place of business, which includes “a sales room or sales office in a building or on an open lot of a retail used car dealership or at which a permanent business of bartering, trading, offering, displaying, selling, or buying is carried on, or at a place of business at which the books, records and files necessary to conduct such business are kept.” Each of your locations must have a land line telephone, registered under the name of the license holder. Finally, you need to attach photos of the location clearly displaying the sign.
#5 Apply for a State Sales Tax Number
As part of the application process you need to obtain a State Sales Tax Number from Georgia’s Department of Revenue. Afterwards, you have to attach either the number you obtained or a copy of your application. Once you receive a dealer license, you also need to contact the Master Dealers Tag office.
#6 Get a Criminal Background Check
The final part of the application requires you to be fingerprinted at a service site approved by the Georgia Applicant Processing Service (GAPS). The easiest way to register for a criminal background check is at the Cogent Systems website.
#7 Attend a Seminar
You need to attach a pre-licensing seminar at a board-approved location. Currently there are two of them – the Georgia Independent Auto Dealers Association and the Ron Widener Used Motor Vehicle Dealers School. Contact information is available in the application form, so you can get in touch with the providers about details such as date and fees. Seminar attendance is required even when you are applying for a license renewal, not just for a first-time license.
After you submit your license application, processing time should take about 3 weeks. During the waiting period, you can check the status of your application online. And if you have any questions regarding your used car dealer bond, just contact us and we would be more than happy to help!