Dealer Licensing in Rhode Island
Rhode Island classifies anyone who sells four or more cars in one calendar year to be an official motor vehicle dealer. If you meet this criteria, you are required by law to have a valid dealer's license.
Before you can apply for your dealer's license, you must meet the following criteria:
- You need to secure a building that provides at least 2,400 square feet of enclosed floor space.
- Your building must be exclusively used for the selling and repairing of vehicles. In addition, it must also contain at least 2,400 square feet of outdoor lot space.
- Your business must have a front sign that's at least 24 square feet in total size.
- Your dealership must provide repair service.
- Your dealer's license must be posted in a publicly accessible spot within your building.
- At least one phone must be in working order at your dealership's licensed address.
Once you've set up your business, you'll need to complete the following steps:
- Get your dealership's name approved by the Rhode Island Dealers' License & Regulations Office located at the DMV's Cranston location.
- Complete Rhode Island's Dealer Application as well as a financial statement and all employee forms. Notarization is also required.
- Provide proof that your dealership has an approved credit line of $50,000.
- Submit a Bureau of Criminal Identification Authorization Form for each owner, partner, and corporate officer.
- Furnish your dealership's lease agreement, which must include square feet dimensions and be valid for at least one year. This must be signed and notarized. If you own your building, bring your deed instead.
- Bring a copy of city/town license, if applicable.
- Provide zoning approval from your town/city.
- Supply four pictures of your building from different angles, including an all encompassing long shot.
After supplying all of the above information, your license bid will be evaluated by the Rhode Island DMV's Hearing Board. If they give you the thumbs up on a license, you will have 30 days to supply the following information before your application can be finalized:
- A picture of your front sign displaying your dealership's name.
- A $15,000 surety bond from your insurance company. Make sure it's signed and notarized.
- A $100 license fee.
- Your business telephone number.
- Proof of dealer plate insurance coverage.
Once round two of filing and signing is completed, you must call (401) 462-4368 to make an appointment with the secretary of the License and Regulations office.
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