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Dealer Licensing in Iowa

Do you have a passion for cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles? Have you ever considered opening your own business? If you'd like to sell vehicles in the state of Iowa, there are licensing requirements you must satisfy to make your business legal.

To obtain a motor vehicle dealer's license to sell at retail in Iowa, you'll need to establish a place of business that includes an office, a repair facility, and a display area.

Before your license can be issued, you'll need to produce written evidence proving your business complies with all applicable zoning laws and requirements for incorporation. If your business will involve selling new cars rather than (or in addition to) used, you'll also need to be franchised by the manufacturer or an authorized distributor of each make you plan to sell.

You can download the Application for Motor Vehicle or Travel Trailer Dealer License (Form 417008) from the Iowa Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division. The application requires the free Adobe Reader software to print from your computer.

Mail your application, supporting paperwork, and fees to:

    Office of Vehicle Services
    Iowa Department of Transportation
    P.O. Box 10473
    Des Moines, IA 50306

Applications will not be approved without documentation of your financial liability coverage and an on-site business inspection by a motor vehicle enforcement investigator.

To learn more about selling motor vehicles in Iowa, visit the Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division.

Other Types of Licenses

After you've obtained a motor vehicle dealer's license, you may be required to carry other licenses to legally do business in Iowa. The type of licenses needed depends on the purpose of your business:

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