california motorcycle dealer license

If you are looking to start a motorcycle dealership in the state of California the first thing you need to do is get licensed and bonded.

If you are looking to sell new, used or wholesale motor vehicles, check out our other post “How to get a California Dealer License.”

How to get a California Motorcycle Dealer License

Here are the steps you need to take to get a California Motorcycle Dealer License.

Step #1: Complete an application packet 

Step #2: Undergo criminal background check

Step #3: Purchase a California Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond in the amount of $10,000

Step #4: Meet other requirements

Step #5: Submit

For more detailed steps, see below:

Step #1: Complete a California Dealer License Application packet

Be sure to complete the correct packet based on if you plan to sell new or used motorcycles:

For an overview of what forms are required, view the appropriate checklist:

Step #2: Undergo criminal background check (including Live Scan fingerprinting)

If you’re not sure whether you are eligible for a California dealer license due to a previous conviction, the DMV allows you to file an abbreviated application.

You’ll still pay a $176 application fee, but the state will let you know whether it would grant you a license before you go to the trouble of setting up your business, obtaining a surety bond, etc.

If you are considering an abbreviated application, contact the Occupational Licensing Inspector in your area for assistance.

Step #3: Purchase a California Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond

A California Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond is a type of surety bond that protects your customers from fraud or misrepresentation during a business sale.

Not sure how to get a California Auto Dealer Bond? Use this interactive tool to help you out.

Your bond amount is set at $10,000.

You will not need to pay the full bond amount to get bonded.

You might only need to pay $100 for your bond.

This is a one time payment, not a monthly payment.

To see what you’d pay, get a free quote:

Get free CA Motorcycle Dealer Bond quotes

Step #4: Meet other requirements

  • Provide proof of dealer education completion and pass written exam (only for used and wholesale dealers)
  • Provide a copy of your rental or lease agreement
  • Include signed and dated pictures of your business according to DMV requirements
  • Include copy of city and/or county business license, Certificate of Occupancy, or Tax Certificate
  • Copy of Board of Equalization Resale Permit

Step #5: Submit

Submit your paperwork to the California DMV and wait for approval.

You will need to include the following fees:

  • $175 initial license application fee
  • $1 Family Support Program fee
  • $100 Autobroker fee
  • $300 New Motor Vehicle Board fee
  • $71 / each dealer plate
It could take up to 120 days to process your CA Dealer License Application and run a background check.
The CA DMV lets you check your license status.
Your place of business will need to be inspected by an Occupational Licensing Inspector before you can be granted a California Dealer License. Information on inspection.

License Renewal and Expiration

California Dealer Licenses expire annually.

You should receive a renewal notice in the mail 90 days before your license expires. To renew your CA Dealer License, you need to complete and submit an Application for Renewal of License (Form OL 45).

Every 2 years, you must also supply proof of continuing dealer education.

Related links:

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