License Minnesota

Motor Vehicle Dealers License

Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS)

Agency contact information:

Public Safety (DPS), Minnesota Department of
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 201-7000 | (651) 282-6555 (TTY)
Dealer Unit
445 Minnesota St., Suite 186, St. Paul, MN 55101-5186 | (651) 296-2977 | (651) 282-6555 (TTY)
(651) 297-1480 (fax)
Contact Info: DVS.Dealerquestion@state.mn.us

Website:

Driver & Vehicle Services

Dealership Lookup

Online Self Services


The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement, Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), Emergency Communication Networks, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Office of Justice Programs, State Fire Marshal, Pipeline Safety, State Highway Patrol, Capitol Security and Traffic Safety.

Requirements:

General Requirements & Definition of Terms

Requirements:
-$50,000 Surety bond ($5,000 for Boat/Snowmobile/small horse trailers and Motorized Bicycle dealer)
-Commercial building or commercial office space, depending on the type of license applied for.
-Zoning approval for a licensed location.
-Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance.

Terms:
~Commercial Building: is defined as a permanent, enclosed building that is on a permanent foundation and connected to local sewer and water facilities or otherwise complying with local sanitary codes, is adapted to commercial use and conforms to local governmental zoning requirements. This may include strip office malls or garages if a separate entrance and a separate address are maintained and the dealership is clearly identified as a separate business.

~Commercial Office Space: is defined as office space occupying all or part of a commercial building.

~Liability Insurance: All motor vehicle dealers must have liability insurance on all vehicles being held for resale, insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for injury and property damage sustained by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of the vehicle.
Minimum liability limits are $30,000 per person/ $60,000 per accident/ $10,000 property damage. In addition under and uninsured motorists liability protection of $25,000 per person/ $50,000 per accident and personal injury protection of $20,000 medical and $20,000 non-medical are required.

~Surety Bond: conditioned on the faithful performance by the licensee of the obligations imposed by law including the conduct required by a licensee by Minn. Stat. § 168.27 and other sections governing the sale or transfer of motor vehicles and the payment of all taxes, license fees, and penalties.
The bond shall be for the benefit of the State of Minnesota, any transferor or purchaser or seller of a motor vehicle of any monetary loss caused by failure of the licensee to meet his obligations.
Amount: $50,000 ($5,000 for boat, snowmobile, small horse trailer and moped dealers.)

~Zoning: A dealership of any type is considered to be a commercial operation. Generally, zoning authorities do not approve commercial activity in areas that are zoned residential. In agricultural and industrial areas, zoning officials may consider issuing special use permits for a commercial operation. In any case, the applicant must review their intentions with the local zoning officials and obtain their written consent of the type of business the applicant wishes to conduct.


Dealer License Types and Requirements  

New Car Dealer
-May sell, wholesale, broker, or auction new motor vehicles covered by their franchise or lease new motor vehicles at retail for consumer use or for resale to a duly licensed motor vehicle dealer.
-May sell, lease, wholesale, broker or auction used motor vehicles of any make.
-May operate as a salvage pool.

Requirements:
-Commercial Building
-Display Area for a Minimum of 5 Vehicles.
-Zoning Approval
-Surety Bond
-Liability Insurance
-Signage
-Posted hours of operation.
*A separate license is required for any location in a county other than the one listed on initial application for license.


Used Car Dealer
May buy, sell, lease, broker, wholesale or auction any make of used vehicle.

Requirements:
-Commercial Building
-Display Area for a Minimum of 5 Vehicles.
-Zoning Approval
-Surety Bond
-Liability Insurance
-Signage
-Posted hours of operation.
*A separate license is required for any location in a county other than the one listed on initial application for license.


Wholesale License
May sell vehicles to licensed dealers only.

Requirements:
-Commercial office space
-Zoning Approval
-Surety Bond
-Liability Insurance
*Locations must be listed for any location in a county other than the one listed on initial application for license.


Broker License
-May arrange for the sale or lease of new or used motor vehicles.

Requirements:
-Commercial office space.
-Zoning Approval
-Signage
-Posted hours of operation.
-Surety Bond
*Locations must be listed for any location in a county other than the one listed on initial application for license.
*If brokering in a city under 100,000 population outside the 7 county metro area a separate license is needed.


Lessor License
-May lease or rent by the hour, day or longer for a fee.
-Must title and register the vehicle in lessor's name.

Requirements:
-Commercial office space
-Zoning Approval
-Hours must be posted.
-Surety Bond
-Liability Insurance if lease is less than 180 days.
*Locations must be listed for any location in a county other than the one listed on initial application for license.
*If selling in a city under 100,000 population outside the 7 county metro area a separate license is needed.


Auction License
-May sell used motor vehicles belonging to others.

Requirements:
-Commercial Building
-Zoning Approval
-Surety Bond
-Liability Insurance
*Locations must be listed for any location in a county other than the one listed on initial application for license.


Salvage Pool License
-May store/display damaged vehicles for sale.

Requirements:
-Commercial Building
-Display Area for a Minimum of 5 Vehicles.
-Zoning Approval
-Surety Bond
-Liability Insurance
-Signage
-Posted hours of operation.
*A separate license is required for any location in a county other than the one listed on initial application for license.


Used Parts License
May sell used vehicle parts only.

Requirements:
-Address


Scrap Metal License
-May acquire vehicles, other than hulks, for processing/selling the metal for remelting.

Requirements:
-Address


Limited Used Vehicle License
-For nonprofit charitable organizations who raise funds by selling donated vehicles through a licensed auctioneer.

Requirements:
-Commercial office space.
-Location for storage of vehicles.


Note: Many agencies regulate businesses in Minnesota. It is important to be aware that although you may meet the state requirements for dealer licensing, there may be other city, county, state or federal regulations governing your business (for example, you may need zoning approval or a city license in order to do business). Contact your local unit of government.


Review Motor Vehicle Dealers Documents:

Dealer License Activity Comparison and License Types

Dealer Guide

Dealer Inquiry

Dealer Items Required

Those Required to have Dealer License

Dealer Transfer Guide

Leased Vehicles

Minnesota Dealer Plate Useage - Just the Facts

Dealer ESupport - Online Access Request Instructions

Dealership Employer Agreement - Web Application Contract

Employee Access Form for online access

Complete Motor Vehicle Sales Tax Manual for 2014

Fee:

Administration fee - $100
Application fee - $150
Filing fee - $10

e-Licensing fee - $25

DSB License (Dealer of Motorized Bicycle, Boat and Snowmobile Trailer Dealer) 
Administration fee - none
Application fee - $10
Filing fee - $10

e-Licensing fee - $5

Dealer Plate Fees 
Cars, Trucks, Trailers, & Motorcycles - First 4 plates $82 - 5 or more $47 each
Boat/Snowmobile Trailers - $12 each
Mopeds and Motorbikes - $12 each
Duplicate Plates - $14.50 each
Duplicate Stickers - $11 each

Vehicle In Transit
Issued to licensed dealers to be used for transporting vehicles from dealer's source of supply to dealer's sales or storage facility, to to another dealer.

Fees 
For all motor vehicles - $12 each
Duplicate Plates - $14.50 each
Duplicate Stickers - $11 each

All fees may be subject to an additional filing fee. Contact the Dealer Unit for fee information.


Licensing surcharge to be assessed

The Minnesota Legislature passed legislation requiring a 10% surcharge of no less than $5 and no more than $150 on each business, commercial, professional or occupational license. The funding from this surcharge will go to MN.IT Services (formerly Office of Enterprise Technology (OET)), which is establishing an electronic licensing system for the state. The surcharge will be in place through June 30, 2015. See Minn. Stat. § 16E.22.

Period of Issuance:

One year starting with the month the license is issued.

Length of Determination Process:

90 to 120 days.

Other Pertinent Information:

General information regarding the need to be a licensed motor vehicle dealer:

-Anyone who advertises, offers, solicits or engages in the business of leasing, selling new or used motor vehicles or arranging the sale of motor vehicles.

-Anyone who has leased, purchased or sold more than five motor vehicles, either wholesale or retail, in a twelve month period is considered to be in the business of buying and selling motor vehicles and is required to be licensed.

-Anyone who is in the business of selling used motor vehicle parts or processing and selling scrap metals from motor vehicles is required to be licensed.

-Anyone who conducts consignment sales or arranges sales or leases must be licensed.

Refer also to Minn. Stat. § 168.011 for definitions.

City licensing and zoning permits may be required.

Corporate and assumed name fillings required by the Secretary of State office. Contact number (651) 296-2803

For additional information, contact Driver and Vehicle Services, Dealers Unit, Suite 186, 445 Minnesota St., St. Paul, MN 55101. Telephone: (651) 296-2977 | (651) 282-6555 (TTY)