Dealer Licensing in Georgia

In Georgia, applying for a car dealer license will differ depending on the type of license you’d like to have:

  • Independent dealer—Also known as a used car dealer, applies for a license with the Georgia Secretary of State (SOS) AND registers their business with the Department of Revenue (DOR).
  • Franchise dealer—Also known as a new car dealer, sets up their dealer license with the car manufacturer supplying their business AND also applies for business registration with the GA DOR.  

Keep reading to learn about the steps you’ll need to take to become a licensed car dealer in Georgia.

Do You Need a GA Dealer License?

You DO need a car dealer license if you’re selling OR attempting to sell vehicles with the intent to make a profit, regardless of how many cars you’ve sold.

However, you DO NOT need a dealer license to sell your own personal vehicle titled in your name.

GA Independent (Used Car) Dealer License

Eligibility Requirements

BEFORE submitting an application for a GA independent dealer license, you’ll need to:

  • Complete a used car dealer training course—the Georgia SOS provides a list of approved education providers.
  • Already have an established a place of business, which includes a sales room/office to which any of the following apply:
    • Is in a building.
    • Is on the lot of a used car dealership.
    • In which trading, selling, or buying are conducted on a permanent basis.
    • In which business files/books/records are kept.
  • Set up a landline telephone specifically for your business.
  • Put up a permanent sign advertising your business as a used car dealership.

A representative from the Secretary of State’s Professional Licensing Boards Division will inspect your proposed business location before approving your license—DO NOT submit your application packet until your business location meets the requirements outlined above. 

Apply for Your Dealer License

Your Georgia independent dealer license application should include:

  • A completed Used Motor Vehicle Dealers License Application (REV 2017).
  • The $170 application fee.
    • Make checks payable to the Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Board.
  • A copy of a “secure and verifiable” document to prove your age and citizenship.
  • The original $35,000 surety bond with attached Power of Attorney.
  • An original certificate of garage liability insurance on an Acord Form—your insurance company provides this.
  • Your sales tax number OR a copy of your sales tax application.
  • Photographs of your building’s:
    • Interior.
    • Exterior.
    • Signage.
  • The zoning compliance certificate, to be completed by the county zoning commissioner.
    • The application packet includes the required zoning paperwork.
  • Proof of attending pre-licensing used car dealer training.
  • Your fingerprint scan required for the criminal background check.
    • See the application for instructions on scanning and registering your fingerprint at an approved service site.

Once you’ve double-checked to make sure your application’s complete, mail your independent dealer license packet to:

Georgia Secretary of State
Professional Licensing Boards Division
237 Coliseum Dr.
Macon, GA 31217

Allow at least 30 days to receive your license. You can check your license status using the Georgia Secretary of State’s online lookup/verification service.

GA independent dealer licenses expire every 2 years on March 31 of even-numbered years.

Submitting a dealer license application is a complex process—call the Professional Licensing Boards Division at (478) 207-2440 with any additional questions.

NOTE: After getting your license, you must also register your dealership with the Business Registration Unit. See GA Car Dealer Registration below for more.

Independent Dealer License Renewals

You need to renew your Georgia dealer license every 2 years ON OR BEFORE March 31 of even-numbered years. The renewal fees are:

  • Standard renewal: $150.
  • Late renewal: $250.

To renew your independent dealer license, you’ll need to complete 6 hours of continued education for used car dealers—check out the Professional Licensing Boards Division’s list of approved continued education providers.

Then, you can submit a renewal request AND the $150 renewal fee using the GA SOS’ online services portal for current license holders.

Franchise (New Car) GA Dealer License

Generally, franchise dealers (or “new car dealers”) are licensed through the vehicle manufacturers they work with, NOT through a Georgia state agency. Contact the manufacturers of the motor vehicles you plan to sell to begin your franchise agreement.

However, as a franchise dealer you must still register your dealership with the Business Registration Unit—see our section on GA Car Dealer Registration below.

Georgia Car Dealer Registration

Both independent (“used”) AND franchise (“new”) car dealers must register with Georgia’s Business Registration Unit.

The process involves completing applications, providing a variety of proofs (such as your business license, sales tax certificate, and established place of business), and paying applicable fees.

The DOR provides dealer registration instructions AND a helpful Dealer Registration Checklist to make registering your dealership as easy as possible.

If you have additional questions about this process, contact the Business Registration Unit for assistance.

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