Dealer Licensing in Tennessee
If you sell more than five vehicles in a calendar year in Tennessee, you must have a dealer license. We can't train you to be a motor vehicle dealer, but in this section, along with our Dealer-related Information and Dealer Forms sections and Tennessee's Motor Vehicle Commission website, we can give you the tips and tools to get you headed in the right direction.
Literally, the first step in the application procedure is to complete a dealer application. Once you meet the following requirements, you must have an Area Field Investigator conduct an inspection of your site before a license will be issued.
Tennessee provides a detailed brochure of these requirements. Below is an outline for quick reference.
- An approved building facility physically separate from all other buildings, with office furniture and a working telephone (cell or mobile phone not acceptable as primary line).
- A vehicle display area large enough to fit 15 vehicles.
- To meet the sign requirements of a minimum letter height (per ordinance), permanently installed, and visible from the road.
- A garage facility or a service agreement with a nearby garage.
Next, you'll need to send proof of the following requirements along with your application:
- Certificate of Liability Insurance (minimum $60,000)
- Business tax license
- Sales tax identification number
- Personal and/or financial check and disclosure
- Financial statement prepared by a CPA
- Zoning compliance
- Franchise agreement letter from the manufacturer
- Two-year surety bond or letter of credit (original)
If applicable, you must also send a copy of the:
- Stockholders update
- City tax license
- Signed service agreement
- Corporate charter
- Warranty rate form
Below are the fees for each type of license. Each license is valid for two years, and renewal fees are the same as those for new licenses.
- New vehicle dealer: $400, per line make
- Used vehicle dealer: $400
- New Motorcycle dealer: $400 per line make
- Used motorcycle dealer: $400
- Salesperson or change of employer endorsement: $35
- Motor vehicle show permit: $200
- RV dealer: $400
- Manufacturer, distributor, factory branch, or distributor branch: $1600
- Factory distributor representative: $400
- Auto dismantler and recycler: $400
- Automobile auction: $400
- All duplicate licenses: $25
Checks and money orders should be made payable to the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission and should be sent along with your application to:
- Department of Commerce and Insurance
- Cashier's Office
- Davy Crockett Tower, 5th Floor
- 500 James Robertson Parkway
- Nashville, TN 37243-1153
Fees paid in cash can only be made in person.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment with a Field Investigator, call the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission at (615) 741-2711 or write to them at:
- Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission
- 500 James Robertson Parkway
- Second Floor
- Nashville, TN 37243
- Fax: (615) 741-0651
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