Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 13, Chapter 1, any person who sells more than five vehicles for profit in California must obtain the relevant auto dealer license from the California Department of Motor Vehicles Occupational Licensing. In order to obtain the license, you need a California motor vehicle surety bond. The most common bond is a $50,000 motor vehicle dealer bond, which starts at $300 per year.
Please note this page is for car dealer licensing. If you're trying to register a vehicle with a missing title, a separate Lost Title Bond is required.
Bond Amount: $50,000
Required by: California department of Motor Vehicles Occupational Licensing
California auto dealer bond is a three party contract where the surety company (the surety) guarantees the California auto dealer (principal of the bond) will comply with California Code Section 11711 required by the Department of Motor Vehicle (the obligee). In the event that the dealer fails to comply with the terms in the California Code Section 11711, i.e., not remitting sales taxes to the government, committing title fraud or error, a claim can be filed against the bond to provide financial compensation to affected parties. The surety company will investigate if the claim is valid. If the claim is valid, then the surety company will pay up to the maximum bond mount. Then the principal of the bond (the dealer) will be required to reimburse the surety for all the money paid out, including attorney fees.
Under the California Code of Regulations, Title 13, Chapter 1, any person that sells more than five vehicles for profit in California must obtain the relevant auto dealer license from the California Department of Motor Vehicles Occupational Licensing. In order to obtain the license, you need a California motor vehicle surety bond. The most common bond is a $50,000 motor vehicle dealer bond, which starts at $300 per year.
There are three types of dealer bonds in California, corresponding to the three main types of dealer licenses
If anything is unclear, please feel free to give us a call at (888) 236-8589 and we’ll help you figure out the right bond to get.
Simply start by filling out the form and provide the following information
Then we will use the information you provided to find the most affordable quotes among 10+ insurance partners we work with. If you are satisfied with the quote, we will send you a payment link. Once paid, we will email you the bond.
You can get your surety bond within 4 business hours from the time you finish filling out your information on the form, as long as you make the necessary payment once we send you the payment link.
Once you have made a payment on your bond, we will send you a PDF copy of the bond via email as proof that you are bonded. You will simply need to print out the bond and sign at the appropriate spot. That signed hard copy would be your official bond.
Yes, when evaluating applicants for the California auto dealer bonds, insurance companies perform a "soft credit check" to evaluate eligibility and pricing. It is important to note that this form of credit check does not negatively impact your credit score.
A credit score below 600 is typically regarded as "sub-standard." However, we have established partnerships with insurance companies that specialize in serving this market segment. If your credit score is less than ideal, please fill out the form as usual. The only thing to note is that if you have a bad credit, the price of your bond will be more expensive. We will still help you find the most affordable insurance quote by shopping around 10+ insurance providers on your behalf.
Note that as long as your California auto dealer license is active and in force, your California auto dealer bond needs to be in force as well. The California auto dealer bond only has a minimum 1-year term so you would need to renew every year if you choose the 1-year bond term. We will send you a renewal invoice 60 days before your renewal is due. Note that you can also choose to pay for more than 1-year term and you will get additional discount on the bond price per year.
Step 1: Determine the Type of Motor Vehicle Dealer License You Need
Step 2: Complete a 6 Hour Pre-Licensing Training Course
Step 3: Pass the Dealer License Test at Your Nearest DMV Licensing Office
Step 4: Determine Your Business Corporate Structure
Step 5: Set Up Your Business Corporate Structure and Complete the Required Documents
Step 6: Obtain Your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
Step 7: Apply for a Business Bank Account
Step 8: Obtain Seller’s Permit from the California Department of Tax & Fee Administration
Step 9: Register with the California Secretary of State or County
Step 10: Find a Dealership Location and Display Lot
Step 11: Install a sign
Step 12: City Business License
Step 13: Obtain a Dealer Surety Bond
Step 14: Submit Application Through the Online Form
Step 15: Complete Live Scan Fingerprinting
Step 16: Schedule and Accommodate a Site Visit by the DMV Inspector
Step 17: Receive your approved application in your mail. Now time to celebrate!
Occupational Licensing - California DMV
New Dealer Application Checklist