How to get a Washington Car Dealer License [5 simple steps]

How to get a Washington Car Dealer License [5 simple steps]

In order to legally sell cars in the
state of Washington, you will need to get a Washington dealer license. Washington
residents are legally allowed to sell up to four vehicles per year without a
license as long as those vehicles are titled in your name. To sell any number
of vehicles that are not titled in your name is a criminal felony. As of July 1st
2019 there is no more option to become a wholesale dealer. As of 2019 the
wholesale dealer license type will be eliminated from law entirely. Follow the
next steps to get your license. Step one is to establish your business location. Your business site must meet all building codes and zoning and be located
at a commercial property. There are other various location requirements that
you can find on the Washington State website. Step two is to complete the licensing paperwork. You will need to complete a
business license application, a vehicle dealer manufacturer addendum, a personal financial statement, a personal criminal history background check, and a
fingerprint card. If you are selling used vehicles only, you will also need to submit a certificate of dealer education. You can get that certificate by
contacting one of the following providers. The next step is to sign up for e-permitting. E-permitting allows you to issue, revoke, and reprint dealer
temporary permits electronically. Step 4 is to purchase your Washington motor
vehicle dealer bond. You can purchase a bond from a surety bond company. This
bond protects your customers. If one of your customers feels that you aren’t
following rules and regulations, they can make a claim against your bond. Be sure
to apply for the correct bond amount for the license you need. The last step is to
pay your licensing fees and submit your paperwork. You can submit by mail or
online. Be sure to check the dealer checklist which is on the state website
to make sure that you’ve met all the requirements. Upon approval you will be
issued your license. It is valid for one year.

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. Hello i have a question about the exterior sign. How big does it have to be and does a directory count? If I’m renting office space in commercial zoning it’s really tough to get someone to let you put up a big sign. Please let me know. Also do they inspect your office as well or no? Thank you!

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