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Auto Dealer Bonds are Needed in Illinois

If you sell more than 5 cars in one year (defined as the last 12 months) in Illinois, then you are required by the Illinois Secretary of State to have a $50,000 Designated Agent Bond. This is sometimes known as an auto dealer bond or a motor vehicle dealer bond. This requirement applies to both new and used auto dealers and is outlined in the Illinois Vehicle Code. Our team has extensive experience navigating the bonding process in Illinois and have successfully helped countless dealers obtain bonds. To get started, simply fill out our quick three-minute form, and we'll provide you with an instant quote without delay.

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.

Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond

Bond Amount: $50,000

Required By: Illinois Secretary of State

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State Acceptance Guarantee
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Refund within 30 days
1 year bond starts at:
*Based on credit and experience
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State acceptance guarantee
green checkmark
Refund within 30 days
*Based on credit and experience
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How much does it cost?

Our rates for the $50,000 Illinois Designated Agent bond starts at $240 for a 1 year bond. The Illinois Designated Agent bond expires on 12/31 each year, so we’ll prorate the price for you based on when you apply for the bond. For example, if half of the year has already passed, then we’ll reduce your rate by half. You can then renew the bond with us in the new year at the full rate.

In general, having a higher credit score will often lead to lower bond prices. Additionally, some dealers may be eligible for discounts based on their prior work experience.


Illinois Auto Dealer Bond Common FAQs

Are there other vehicle bonds in Illinois?

No. The $50,000 Designated Agent Bond listed above is the only bond you need to worry about for getting licensed as a used or new auto dealer. It is sufficient to cover all of your license bonding requirements.

Is there another name for this bond?

Yes. This is officially known as a “Designated Agent Bond” in the state of Illinois, but this is also known colloquially as an “auto dealer bond” or a “motor vehicle dealer bond”. The three are used interchangeably.

Is a credit check needed for this bond?

Yes, but it won't have any effect on your credit score. For Illinois auto dealer bonds, insurance companies will perform a soft credit check to determine eligibility and pricing. However, this type of credit inquiry is known as a "soft" credit check and does not harm your credit score.

How long does it take to get bonded?

We aim to provide same-day bonding service in most cases. After we receive a quote from our insurance partners, your pricing is final, and the process can be completed right away. We work diligently, even on weekends, to ensure a speedy bonding process. Our work hours are Monday to Saturday everyday 9:30 am to 7 pm CST, with reduced hours of 11:30am to 7pm CST on Sunday. We’re the only surety agency that provides service on weekends.

How can I avoid claims against my bond?

To reduce the likelihood of bond claims, it's crucial to follow the auto dealer guidelines outlined by the state of Illinois. This primarily involves conducting business with honesty and transparency, always keeping the customer's best interests in mind. Specifically, this means ensuring that all fees and taxes related to vehicle sales are paid properly, and providing customers with valid car titles. When you submit your bond, you are affirming your commitment to fulfilling all legal obligations associated with running an auto dealer business in Illinois.

Does the bond expire?

Yes, the bond expires on 12/31 of each year. This means that the bond needs to be renewed every year, ideally before it expires. If you bond with us, we’ll handle reminders for you so you know when to renew. Lastly, if you get the bond into the year, we will prorate your pricing according to your bond start date relative to the start of the year.

What factors go into pricing?

The price of an Illinois dealer bond is determined by various factors, including the applicant's credit score, dealer experience, and the insurance provider. Typically, the credit score is the most significant factor, followed by the insurance company. We collaborate with more than 10 insurance companies that offer competitive pricing to give our clients the best possible rates. If you happen to find a better price somewhere else, inform us, and we'll strive to match it.