Are you interested in starting a car dealership in “The Constitution State?” According to Connecticut State Law, auto dealers must get a Connecticut Dealer License from the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles.
Not sure if you need a dealer license? Check out this post on selling cars without a license.
How to Get a Connecticut Dealer License
To get a Connecticut Dealer License, you’ll need to be approved by the State, complete and submit a dealer license application, purchase a $50,000 surety bond, and submit all paperwork and requirements to the State.
The exact steps are listed below:
Step #1: Meet Prerequisite Approval
Before starting a Connecticut Dealer License Application, you must have your dealership location approved by the Zoning Board Chairman or Authorized Official of the town where you will host your business.
An Authorized Official is defined as the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). If there is no ZBA in your area, you may get your location inspected by a town manager, mayor of the city, or warden of the bourough.
Step #2: Meet State Requirements
The following are the state requirements to apply to get a Connecticut Car Dealer License:
- Possess the space for display and storage of at least 2 cars
- Prove that the repair department has the ability to hold 2 vehicles
- Have a parts department and an office meant for business with customers
- Have at least 1 qualified mechanic to service and repair cars sold by your dealership
- Possess a waste water retention tank with a minimum of 250 gallons at the dealership site
- Execute a contract of franchise agreement with a manufacturer (new car dealers only)
Step #3: Complete CT Dealer License Application
Fill out the CT Dealer’s License Application (K-7)
For help on how to complete the CT Dealer License Application, read the Instruction PDF.
For other license applications, please view the Connecticut License Application page
Step #4: Complete Other Requirements
Information on how to complete the below requirements be found on the Instruction PDF.
- Application for inspection
- Application for dealer plates
- Articles of incorporation/owner information
- An examination fee of $280 (new locations only)
- An application fee of $140
- Sales tax permit number
- Proof of insurance
- Criminal History Record Request Form
Worried about a previous felony on your record? Check out this post: “Can I Get a Dealer License with a Felony?”
Step #5: Purchase a $50,000 Connecticut Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond
Not sure how to get a CT Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond? Use this interactive tool to help you out.
You won’t have to pay the full bond amount to get bonded. You will only pay a small one-payment (not monthly).
About the Connecticut Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond
A CT Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond is a type of surety bond promises you will follow the rules and regulations while conducting your business.
A CT Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond protects your customers, not you.
If you fail to follow the rules of your industry, someone can make a claim on your bond.
You can purchase a CT Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond from a surety bond company.
Step #6: Submit Application Package
Applicants are encouraged to email their completed documents to email@example.com.
If you cannot email, you can mail documents to:
Regulated Business Licensing Unit
60 State St.
Wethersfield, CT 06161
Assuming your paperwork is all complete, the DMV will send a state inspector to your dealership location.
In addition to compliance with the previously listed state requirements, the inspector will also need to see correct use of Repair-orders, sales invoices, sales orders, and waivers of estimates among other things.
Step #7: Wait for a Decision
After your inspection, you will need to wait for a decision from the DMV.
Once approved, you will need to pay the remaining fees:
- New dealer license – $700
- Used dealer license – $560
- Registration Fee per plate (per vehicle) – $140
- Safety fee (per plate) – $5
- Please contact DMV’s Business Licensing Unit at (860) 263-5056.
License Expiration and Renewal
New or used CT Dealer Licenses last for a period of 2 years. You must renew your CT Car Dealer License before the expiration date on the second year to continue dealing vehicles.
You can renew your license online.
You have up to 45 days after the license expiration date to renew online.