How to Get a Georgia Motor Vehicle Dealer License

What is a Georgia Motor Vehicle Dealer License? 

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.

Do I need a Georgia Motor Vehicle Dealer 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.

Popular Types of Georgia Motor Dealer License

In Georgia, there are mainly two types of auto dealer licenses:

  • Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License: allow dealers to sell used cars
  • Used Motor Vehicle Parts Dealer License: allow dealers to sell car parts 

Step 1: Determine the Type of Motor Vehicle Dealer License You Need 

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.  

Step 2: Complete a 4 Hour Pre-Licensing Training Course

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:

  • All the processes and steps needed to become a Georgia Auto Dealer
  • Laws and Regulations of the Georgia Auto industry 

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. 

Step 3: Determine Your Business Corporate Structure 

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)

  • Pros: Maximum amount of flexibility in business operations
  • Cons: A lot of filings and fees to stay compliance and cost of insurance tends to be higher

S Corporation

  • Pros: Better for smaller corporations with a max of 100 shareholders
  • Cons: More admin and rules than LLC

Sole Proprietorship

  • Pros: Easiest to get started, meant for solo business owners
  • Cons: Lack of legal distinction between the individual and the business. The owner is the business. Also may need to register a fictitious name if the business is not operating under the actual name of the owner

Here is a link with more information on each business type.

Step 4: Set Up Your Business Corporate Structure and Complete the Required Documents  

There are various documents that you will need to complete based on the type of business you decide to register. 


  • Articles of Organization
  • Operating Agreement

S Corporation

  • Articles of Incorporation
  • Corporate Charter and bylaws
  • Corporate meeting minutes showing the election of corporate directors 

Sole Proprietorship

  • DBA filing with the Secretary of State if using names other than the owner name

Step 5: Obtain Federal Employer Identification number (EIN)

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. 

Step 6: Obtain Georgia Sales Tax License

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.

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Step 7: Find a Business Location with a Display Lot

  • The office building can be a private residence but it must be separate from your actual residence
  • The office building must comply with local zoning laws. It is necessary to get in touch with your local planning and zoning office at your city hall or county courthouse to ensure you can operate a dealership in your location
  • The office needs to have a working landline telephone. Cell phones and VOIP phones don’t meet the dealer license requirements
  • The office needs to have basic furnitures and a cabinet to store records
  • The office building needs to have a display lot that is located at the same address as your residence. The display lot needs to have enough space to display the vehicle types of your inventory. The display lot can’t be shared with another dealer. Broker endorsement dealers don’t need a display lot

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.

Step 8: Install a sign

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. 

Step 9: Register with the Georgia Secretary of State 

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.

Step 10: Obtain a Garage Liability Insurance 

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: 

  • Liability Limits of At Least $50,000 Per Person
  • Personal Insurance Liability Coverage of At Least $100,000 Per Accident
  • Property Damage Liability Coverage of At Least $25,000

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: 

  • Policy number 
  • Coverage Amount
  • Name and address of the principal covered
  • “Certificate Holder” must be stated as “State Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers, 237 Coliseum Drive, Macon, GA. 31217”

Step 11: Obtain a Dealer Surety Bond

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.

Step 12: Obtain Local Occupational or Business License

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. 

Step 13: Submit Application and Payment Through the Mail 

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: 

  • Application form completed, signed and notarized
  • Zoning certification 
  • Photographs of the Business, Display Lot, and Sign
  • Certificate of Completion of the Pre-Licensing Seminar
  • Fingerprint Background Check Pre-Registration
  • Secure and Verifiable Document
  • Dealer Surety Bond with Power of Attorney
  • Certificate of Insurance for the Garage Liability Insurance 
  • Submit a non-refundable application fee of $170

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.

Step 14: Fingerprint Appointment

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. 

Step 15: Schedule and Accommodate a Site Visit by Inspector

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: 

  • The existence of a permanent main office and whether it meets the requirements
  • Display area exclusively used for displaying inventory cars and is of proper size
  • Sturdy permanent signs indicating names of the dealership + hours of operations 
  • Business permits and records prominently displayed
  • Office equipment present

Step 16: Receive Your Approved Application 

  • Your application should be approved within 20 days after you submit your complete application
  • After your license has been issued, it can be verified online. This online verification system is a valuable resource that enables you to assure potential clients that your dealership conforms to the relevant state regulations and is a trustworthy provider of used vehicles.


How much time does it take to get a dealer license? 

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. 

Do I need to renew my license every year?

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

Where can I buy a Georgia Used Car Dealer Surety Bond? 

You can buy it from SuretyNow. We are a licensed surety agency nationwide and can find you the most affordable quote from over 10+ insurance partners that we closely work with.