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  • Dealer Licensing in Connecticut

    Connecticut offers the following types of dealer/group licenses:

    • Dealer/Repairer: Both dealers and auto repair shops must be licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. There are separate requirements for new car dealers, used car dealers, and repair shops.
    • Auto Club License: An Auto Club License is required for any person or group that offers a membership to the public to perform, for a fee covering a certain period, any service relating to the protection and assistance of automobile owners or drivers, other than insurance. A good example of this is AAA (American Automobile Association).
    • Junkyard License: A junkyard license is required to deal in auto parts and salvaged vehicles.
    • Manufacturer's License: A manufacturer's license is required to sell cars wholesale to Connecticut dealers. Companies such as Toyota or Ford are good examples of manufacturers/franchisers that would need a special state license.
    • Renter/Leaser License: A license is required to rent or lease new vehicles in Connecticut.

    How to Obtain a Dealer/Repairer License

    To obtain a Connecticut dealer/repairer license, you must be approved by local authorities in the city or town where you plan to locate the dealership. Contact your municipal licensing authority for details. You must also make sure you meet state requirements. To be a new car dealer, you must have:

    • An area for display and storage of new and used cars.
    • A repair department able to hold 2 vehicles.
    • A parts department and an office that can be used for business with the public.
    • A contract or franchise agreement with a manufacturer.
    • At least 1 mechanic qualified to service and repair vehicles sold by the dealer.
    • A waste water retention tank with a minimum of 250 gallons on premises.

    To be a used car dealer, you must have:

    • An area for display and storage of at least 2 used cars.
    • A repair department able to hold 2 vehicles.
    • A parts department and an office that can be used for business with the public.
    • At least 1 mechanic qualified to service and repair vehicles sold by the dealer.
    • A waste water retention tank with a minimum of 250 gallons on premises.

    You must also make an application to the Connecticut DMV for a dealer/repair license. The following items must be submitted with the application:

    • Proof of insurance.
    • Sales tax permit number.
    • Surety bond of $50,000 for each dealer license and $5,000 for each repair license.
    • An examination fee of $280 (new locations only) and an application fee of $140.
    • Application for dealer plates.
    • Application for inspection.
    • Articles of incorporation/operating agreements/owner information.

    The completed application package needs to be mailed or brought in person to the following address:

    • Regulated Business Licensing Unit
    • 60 State St.
    • Wethersfield, CT 06161

    Dealer Licensing Fees

    • Examination fee (new locations only): $280.
    • Application fee (all licenses): $140.
    • New dealer license: $700.
    • Used dealer license: $560.
    • Repairer license (including limited repairer): $340.
    • Registration fee per plate (per vehicle): $140.
    • Safety fee (per plate): $5.
    • Special dealer registration plates: Same as the full commercial rate.

    State Inspection Process

    Once your dealer/repair application is approved, the DMV will make an appointment to send an inspector out to your proposed dealer location. Besides the requirements discussed above, the inspector will need demonstration of proper use of:

    • Sales orders.
    • Waiver of estimates.
    • Sales invoices.
    • Loan agreements (dealer plates).
    • Federal odometer statements.
    • Repair-orders.
    • Buyers guide stickers.
    • Supplemental I.D. card for plate use.
    • Estimate orders and provision for documenting oral authorization.

    The inspector will also look for proper use of required signs (Lemon Law and VIN etching for new car dealers; Customer rights, labor, and storage law signs for used car dealers).

    Pass the state inspection process and you will be issued a Connecticut dealer license, which will be good for 2 years.