Surety Solutions, A Gallagher Company
Rick Marsland By Rick Marsland • December 27, 2018

How To Get An Ohio Used Car Dealer License

 In the state of Ohio, if you are planning on selling used cars for a profit you are required to get an Ohio Used Car Dealer License.  However, If your are selling up to five of your own personal vehicles registered in your name in a 12 month period you will not need a license.


Steps to Get Licensed: 


Step #1: Prepare Business Location


Before applying for your license, make sure you have a commercially zoned location for your business that meets the following requirements:

  • Display area - distinguished from any parking areas
  • Not connected to residence or an unrelated business
  • Permanent office at least 180 square feet
  • Permanent sign showing business name
  • Posted business hours and telephone number

For a full list of detailed requirements visit the Ohio BMV website.

You will need to  include photographs of the location with your application. Also, the BMV will inspect your physical location.


Step #2: Complete Training Course


You will need to complete a 6 hour course sometime within the 6 month period before your licensing.  You can register for a course from one of these authorized providers: 


Step #3: Register Business


Before you are able to get your license, you will need to make sure you register your business with the following government agencies:


Secretary of State



IRS  in order to get your FEIN 


County Auditory's Office for your Vendor Number 


Step #4: Background Check


All owners will need to complete background checks including electronic fingerprinting.  You can learn more and find how to submit your background check on the BMV website.



Step #5: Purchase A $25,000 Ohio Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond


An Ohio Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond is a type of surety bond that protects your customers. If you fail to follow rules and regulations of the industry, someone can make a claim against your bond.

Don't worry, you will not have to pay the full $25,000 for your bond!  You will just pay a small percentage, usually 1-15%, of the bond amount depending on your credit.

You can find out exactly how much you would pay for your bond here:


Get Free Bond Quotes!


Step #6: Complete An Application


You can download your application online here.  Make sure to complete your application in full to avoid delays or declination.  You will also need to include the following fees with your completed application:

Permit fee: $50

Title Defect Rescission Fund fee: $150

 You can submit your application with all additional documents, pictures, and fees to:


Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

Attention: Dealer Licensing Section

P.O Box 16521

Columbus, Ohio 43216-6521

Step #7: Purchase Dealer Plates


It is required to purchase the master plates for $50.25.  Any additional plates you choose to purchase will cost $10.25 each



Upon approval, you should receive your license from the BMV in 4-6 weeks.  

For any further questions on the licensing process, contact the BMV  Dealer Licensing Section at  (614) 752-7636


 Related Links:

Motor Vehicle Dealer License FAQ

How Much Does An Auto Dealer Bond Cost?

How Much Does A Surety Bond Cost If I Have Bad Credit?