How to get an Illinois Manufactured Home Dealer License


Manufactured homes are becoming increasingly popular. As a type of house built from prefabricated parts, they are usually cheaper than building a conventional home and are often sold at discounted prices. Additionally, they offer homeowners a great opportunity to live in a home that suits their lifestyle without having to worry about constant maintenance or repairs.

If you want to make money buying and selling manufactured homes in Illinois, consider getting a Manufactured Home Dealer License. We’ve created an easy-to-follow guide on the licensing process.

Manufactured home in Illinois
Manufactured Home Dealers in Illinois must be licensed.

The 5 steps to get your Illinois Dealers License

To become a licensed dealer of new or used manufactured homes, you’ll have to meet certain requirements. These include completing the license application, having an established place of business, securing a surety bond and paying all the fees.

Step 1. Apply for a license

The first step to obtaining a license is to apply with the Vehicle Services Department Dealer Licensing Section of the Illinois Secretary of State. Complete their application and pay the required fees before submitting it.

Provide the following information on the application:

  • Name of business
  • Type of business organization
    • If applying as a corporation, include all owners with 10% or greater ownership in the business.
    • An LLC, partnership, sole proprietorship, trust or unincorporated association must include the residence address of each owner.
  • Verify none of the owners have committed any criminal activities or violations in the last three years.

Step 2. Establish a place of business

Along with your application, you must include details on where you conduct your business. If you are leasing a property, you must attach a copy of your lease agreement. This property is where you conduct your dealing in manufactured homes.

Step 3. Provide approval statement from the Department of Revenue

Submit certification of approval for registration under the Retailers’ Occupation Tax Act by the Department of Revenue. Dealers who are currently licensed with the Secretary of State and those applying for a renewal of their license are exempt from this requirement.

Step 4. Purchase a $150,000 surety bond or certificate of deposit

You must include a $150,000 surety bond or certificate of deposit with your license application. This requirement ensures your customers are protected if you don’t perform your duties as a dealer ethically and honestly.

A claim may be made against your bond and if proven valid, the surety that issued your bond may payout up to the full bond amount to the claimant. As the principal of the bond, it would be your responsibility to make the surety finically whole.

Dealers in business for over ten years may substitute the bond or certificate of deposit requirement by providing a certificate of insurance.

Step 5. Pay fee and submit application

Lastly, you will submit your dealer application and include the license fee. This fee is $1,000 if submitted before the 15th of June. Otherwise, if submitted after this date, the licensing fee is $500. Do note this fee is refundable if your application is denied by the Dealer Licensing Section.

Can I get my dealer license without leasing or owning a lot?

Illinois Dealer Licensing does require dealers of manufactured homes to have an established place of business. This location is to be occupied by the dealer for the purpose of bartering, buying, displaying, exchanging and selling of manufactured homes. If you have concerns about your eligibility to get your license, please contact the Dealer Licensing Section at (217) 782-7817.

How much does a surety bond cost for a dealer license?

The cost of the surety bond, known as the bond premium, is only a small fraction of the bond amount. Rest assured, you don’t need to pay the $150,000 bond amount to get your bond. Typically, surety bond applicants pay around 1% – 5% of the bond amount if approved with good credit. Submit an online application to get a free, no obligation quote for your bond.

Where can I buy the required bond?

It’s your choice on where to secure your surety bond. Applying for your new license is a time-consuming process, but getting your bond doesn’t have to be. At Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company, we work with leading surety providers to find you the best value for your bond. Complete our quick and easy online application to get your free quote, today.

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Do I need a license to sell manufactured homes in Illinois?

Yes, you must be licensed with the Illinois Secretary of State to legally buy and sell manufactured homes. Purchasing a manufactured home is a large investment. The Secretary of State enforces the license requirement to ensure dealers are abiding state rules and run an ethical business. However, if you don’t plan on buying or selling more than two manufactured homes within a twelve-month period, you don’t need a license.

For any licensing questions or assistance with the licensing application, please contact the Dealer Licensing Section by calling (217) 782-7817. If you would like assistance with the required surety bond or general questions about a bond, contact us here or send an email to our bond experts at

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Beau Chipman

Beau is the Marketing Content Developer at Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company. He creates content about all types of surety bonds, including mortgage, court, lost title, contractor, fidelity, ERISA and many more.

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