A Georgia motor vehicle dealer license allows an individual or business to legally sell vehicles as a way to earn income in the state of Georgia. Its purpose is to protect the general public from potential fraud committed by the dealers and dealers’ other violations of laws and regulations. Engaging in the business of selling vehicles without a license carries significant legal ramifications; therefore, it is advisable to obtain a license.
Yes, if you are selling any vehicle with the intent to make a profit, then you need to obtain a vehicle dealer license. If you are just trading your own vehicle for another one, you don’t need a license.
TIP: sometimes, people who are not trading vehicles purely for profit may also obtain motor vehicle dealer licenses in order to access dealer only auctions. You can reference this article for details.
In Georgia, there are mainly two types of auto dealer licenses:
As listed above, there are two different types of dealer license in Georgia. You need to decide what license you are applying for based on what you plan to sell.
A 4-Hour In-Person Pre-Licensing Seminar is required of Georgia Dealers before they can obtain a dealer license. The licensing course covers topics such as the following:
An example topic is all the paperwork required of a dealer every single time he or she sells a vehicle to a customer.
There are many options for the training courses. You want to make sure that the courses have been approved by the Georgia Secretary of State.
See three examples below:
Note that this course needs to be completed in person. Note that there is no test required as long as you complete the pre-licensing seminar and receive your certificate of completion.
After finishing the course, you will receive a Certificate of Completion which needs to be submitted along with your dealer license application to the Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers. The Certificate of Completion is valid for one year. You would want to complete your application to the Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers before that one year deadline. Otherwise, you would need to retake the dealer training course.
There are many options for your business: Limited Liability Company (LLC), S Corporations, and Sole Proprietorships. We list the pros and cons of each below:
Limited Liability Corp (LLC)
There are various documents that you will need to complete based on the type of business you decide to register.
If your business is anything other than sole proprietorship or partnership, you would need to apply for a Federal Employer Identification Number. A federal EIN is an unique nine-digit tax identification number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to identify businesses operating in the United States. It is used for a variety of purposes, including filing federal tax returns, opening business bank accounts, paying payroll taxes, applying for business licenses, etc.
You can apply for a federal employer identification number on the official IRS website. The application can be completed within one session and a Federal EIN number will be provided to the applicant upon completion.
If your business is a sole proprietorship or partnership, you can submit the following identification in place of a federal EIN: A state driver’s license/person ID or a valid US passport.
You need to apply for a Georgia Sales Tax License. Essentially, the license allows the dealers to charge sales taxes on the vehicles you intend to sell.
You can obtain the license online at the Georgia Tax Center. Start by creating an account and then you can go through the steps to get your license. After successful registration, you will receive a Form ST-2 Sales Tax Certificate, which you will need to include with your Georgia dealer license application.
For details, you can visit here. You can also call the Georgia Department of Revenue at 1-877-423-6711.
We understand that it is not easy to find a office building, but you can use the following services to find an office:
You can also use a local real estate broker to find yourself an office building.
After you secure your business location and display lot, please make sure to take a photos of the office and display lot because these are required to be submitted in your application.
One other requirement is that the office needs to have a permanent sign that is visible to potential customers from the street. The name of the dealership needs to be at least 6 inches. If the sign displays a telephone number, it must be the same phone number listed on the application and in any advertisements by the dealer.
After you have finished making the sign, please take a photo of it.
The Georgia Secretary of State website is not only the leading election authority but also the leading recorder of all business entities operating in the state. On the Georgia Corporations Division of Georgia Secretary of State, you can register your business, receive filing evidence, search for business entities, and obtain entity status.
Garage liability insurance is a type of commercial insurance designed to protect businesses that operate a garage, auto dealership, or auto repair shop. This coverage provides financial protection against lawsuits or claims made by customers or third parties who suffer bodily injury or property damage while on the premises of the business or while using vehicles that are owned, maintained, or operated by the business. It typically includes coverage for liability related to operations, products, and completed operations. Additionally, garage liability insurance may also provide coverage for damage to vehicles that are in the care, custody, or control of the business. For example, garage liability insurance would cover any risks when a customer is test driving a car under coverage or when a salesperson is moving the vehicles in the lot.
The minimum insurance requirements are the following:
Once you have secured your insurance, you would need to submit your original insurance ACCORD Form as a part of the dealer application packet. The ACCORD Form would need the following information:
A surety bond is a financial guarantee made by the surety (insurance company) toward the obligee (Georgia State Board for the Registration of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers) that the principal (auto dealer) won’t violate the provisions of the Georgia Auto Dealer laws & regulations. For example, if the dealers fail to pay their fees or remit sales tax they collect from vehicle sales, a claim can be filed toward the bond.
In terms of bond amounts, Georgia used car dealers need two-year term $35,000 dealer surety bonds, which cost around $200-300 per year if you have a good credit. Georgia used parts dealers need a $10,000 dealer bond.
To get a dealer bond, generally you need to provide basic information such as business name, owner name, address as well as social security number for a soft credit check.
Note that the name on the bond must match exactly with the name you register on the Georgia Secretary of State site and the application you are sending to the Georgia Board of Used Vehicles.
In the state of Georgia, all dealers are required to obtain a local business license, also known as business license or occupational license. You may contact your city hall or county office for steps needed to obtain your license.
You will need to submit your application through the Mail to the Board of Used Motor Vehicles Dealers in Macon, Georgia. After receiving your application, the Board will evaluate your file to ensure it has all the required information. Then the Board will notify you to report to your fingerprint location.
You will need the following documents for your application:
You can apply by mail by mailing all documents to the following address:
Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers
237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, Georgia 31217
For details on submission, please check out this site here.
Georgia dealer applicants residing in Georgia are required to complete a fingerprint with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. You can pre-register for fingerprinting appointment on Georgia Applicant Processing Service (GAPS).
If the dealer applicants live in another state but intend to open a dealership in Georgia, they will need to have their fingerprints done in their home state and obtain a fingerprint card. The purpose of the fingerprint is to check your criminal record. Registration for fingerprints needs to be done prior to dealer license application. However, the actual fingerprint location will only be confirmed after the application has been received by the Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers.
After you submit your application, you can expect a call to schedule a site visit by the inspector. During the visit, the inspector will want to evaluate the following:
Applicants are generally processed within 20 business days after the board receives your application. However, note that process time will vary based on individual application. If your application did not include all the required documents, the time will be delayed.
If your application lacks documents, a deficiency letter will be mailed out and your 20 day count restarts when the Board receives your complete documentation.
No, the Georgia Motor Vehicle Dealer License expires every two years on March 31st of even numbered years (2022, 2024). For example, if you get licensed on March 13th 2023, your license will expire on March 31st 2024. If you don’t renew your license in time, you will be charged additional fees. Typical renewal cost is $150 and can be done online here.
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