Dealer Licensing in Maryland

Any time you open a business, you are going to face numerous procedural hurdles at all levels and a mountain of paperwork that you will need to tackle. This also holds true for those looking to establish a vehicle dealership in the state of Maryland.

Besides all of the other legal and financial materials you will need to discuss and complete with various entities, you will also need to apply for a license. The state requires dealers, manufacturers, wholesalers, and even salespeople to obtain―and keep valid―a license to do business.

The first thing you need to do before you jump into the process is establish exactly what type of license you need.

After that, you'll want to contact the MVA's Business Licensing and Consumer Services and request an application package. Most of the application packages contain documents and forms that are relatively similar. However, there are slight differences and minor paperwork detours. Thus, it is imperative to make sure you receive the correct package.

Inside the Application Package and Process for a New Dealer

Besides numerous forms there is also a list of other materials that you will need to provide to the division for review:

  • The main application form is the primary document you will deal with. It should be signed by all partners and/or owners.
  • You must provide a surety bond in the amount requested (which varies according to the number and type of vehicles you plan to sell), or show proof that you already have acquired the appropriate insurance coverage.
  • You must provide evidence of having Worker's Compensation insurance coverage, or supply the necessary documents to show your company as being exempt from having such coverage.
  • All owners and/or partners must undergo and successfully pass a background check.
  • Have your county or city zoning board sign off on the form that states that your business in properly zoned.
  • Submit a photocopy of your trader's license. You can collect this from your local county circuit court .
  • Submit a copy of your business registration number or tax identification number. You can obtain this through the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). (If you do not have one at present you will need to apply for one before moving forward in the dealer license application process.)
  • Provide a franchise letter showing evidence you have the credentials to sell the vehicles on your lot.
  • Complete a form showing the existence of a service center located within a 5-mile radius of the dealership (most, of course, will be onsite).
  • Complete the New Vehicle Certification form, which requires you to state that you are not acting as both a seller and distributor of new vehicles.

Steps and Requirements for Other Licensing

Renewing Your License

Your dealer license is valid for 2 years. You should receive a renewal packet about 60 days before your license expires. Fill out the forms and return them to the MVA, along with applicable fees.

All requested documents and fees should be submitted at least 15 days before your current license expires. Otherwise, the MVA will assume your business is no longer valid.

For further questions about dealer licensing, contact:

Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS)
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

(410) 768-7000


Find other articles of interest to dealers at Dealers & Auto Industry, Dealer Forms, and Dealer-related Information on this site.

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