north carolina car dealer license

Are you thinking about opening a car dealership in North Carolina? 
The state of North Carolina requires you to acquire a North Carolina Dealer License before you can start buying and selling cars. 

Wondering how much this is going to cost? See what you’d pay for a North Carolina Dealer Bond.

North Carolina residents are legally allowed to sell five vehicles per year without being licensed, as long as the vehicles are registered in your name. To sell any number of vehicles that aren’t registered to you is a criminal felony. 

How to get a North Carolina Car Dealer License

Step #1: Requirements and Application

Read the North Carolina Dealer License requirements.

Then, complete a North Carolina Dealer License application which can be received by contacting North Carolina License and Theft Bureau at 919-715-7000 or by downloading online.

Step #2: Dealership Inspection

Make an appointment to have your lot inspected by an agent at the North Carolina License and Theft Bureau. 

  • Location requirements for retail: Have an established salesroom containing at least 96 square feet of space in a permanent, enclosed building that is separate from a residence, living quarters, or other business. Must have a separate entrance.
  • Location requirements for wholesale: Have an established office which contains at least 96 square feet of floor space in a permanent, enclosed building which is accessible to Division personnel and has space for books, records, and files.

Step #3: Purchase North Carolina Dealer Bond

A North Carolina Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond is a type of surety bond that promises you will follow rules and regulations. If someone feels you are not following the law, they can make a claim against your bond. 

This is separate from the garage liability insurance that you need to purchase.

The NC Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond amount is set at $50,000.

You do not need to pay the full bond amount. You only need to pay a small, one-time payment (not monthly).

The payment will be anywhere from 1-15% ($500 – $7,500) based on your personal credit.

The best way to see what you’d pay for a NC Dealer Bond is to get a free quote:

NC Dealer Bond Quotes – New Cars

NC Dealer Bond Quotes – Used Cars


Step #4: Complete Licensing Course (used dealers only)

This step is only required if you wish to sell used vehicles.

You must pass a licensing course before you can get a North Carolina dealer license. Course must be passed within the 12 months before receiving your license.

Here is a list of Approved Dealer Education Courses.

Step #5: Pay fees

  • Dealer license certificate: $90
  • Salesperson certificate: $20
  • Dealer registration plate: $36 for the first 5 plates; $18 for each additional plate
  • Dealer transporter plates: $18
  • Temporary markers: $25 per set of 25 markers

North Carolina dealer license

Step #6: Submit Application

Mail your completed application, with supporting certificates, forms, and fees, to the address below:

North Carolina Department of Transportation
Division of Motor Vehicles
License and Theft Bureau Dealer Unit
3129 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-3129


Contact the North Carolina License and Theft Bureau by visiting their Contact Page.

View our FREE EBOOK: “The Ultimate Guide To Car Dealer Licensing”

Related Posts:

How To Get An Auto Dealer Bond

How Much Does An Auto Dealer Bond Cost?

How To Get a Used Motor Vehicle Dealer and Bond

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