how to get a wisconsin car dealer license

Interested in selling motor vehicles in the Wisconsin? First you’ll need to get your Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer License. 

Individuals can sell up to 5 vehicles a year without a dealer license as long as those vehicles are titled and registered in that individual’s name and are used for personal, family, or household use. 

Not sure if you need a dealer license? Check out this post on selling cars without a license.


How to get a Wisconsin Car Dealer License


Step #1: Determine What Kind of License You Need

Wisconsin has many different vehicle licenses. The most common is the Wisconsin Retail Dealer License which allows a dealer to sell many different forms of motor vehicles. There are separate licenses for dealers wanting to just sell one specific type of vehicle, such as just motorcycles, just mopeds, or just recreational vehicles.

License types:

Step #2: Complete Paperwork

View instructions for how to complete your license application.

You might also need to submit the following paperwork, if applicable:

Step #3: Purchase Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond

You will need to purchase a Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond before you can get your Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer License.

Free Wisconsin Dealer Bond Quotes

About the Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond:

A Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond protects your customers from fraud or misrepresentation during a business sale. It is a requirement to get licensed.

Wisconsin has set the bond amount at $50,000. You will not need to pay the full amount to get bonded. Instead, you’ll just pay a portion of it. The rate you’ll pay is based off your personal credit score.  Those with good credit might only need to pay 1-4% of the total bond amount (so $500 – $2,000). Those with bad credit will have to pay more.

Have bad credit? We can still get you bonded. Check out our bad credit options.

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

Step #4: Pay Fees

  • Dealer fees can be found here.
  • DMV customer service can accept cash, checks, or debit cards.

Step #5: Submit Paperwork

Mail your paperwork and proof of bond to the address below.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Dealer & Agent Section
4802 Sheboygan Avenue, Room 201
PO Box 7909
Madison, WI 53707-7909

Step #6: Wait

Once the Wisconsin Department of Transportation receives your Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer License Application, they will begin reviewing it for completeness. They will also conduct any necessary background checks, if applicable.

  • If your WI Dealer License Application is not complete, the Department of Transportation will contact you by phone or letter to obtain the missing information needed to finish processing your application.
  • If your WI License Application is complete, you won’t face any delays in the processing time.

Once your application is approved, you will receive your dealer and salesperson license, dealer plates, and a video tape and resource guide containing the rules and regulations involved in being a motor vehicle dealer in Wisconsin.

For further information contact:

Call: (608) 266-1425

Fax: (608) 267-0323

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

Related links:

How To Open Your Own Car Dealership [Infographic]

4 Easy Steps to Getting Your Car Dealer License

How Much Does An Auto Dealer Surety Bond Cost?

Wisconsin Auto Dealer Bond Laws Ammended

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