Dealer Licensing in Maryland

The MD Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Business Licensing and Compliance Unit processes and issues car dealer licenses in Maryland. On this page, we’ll give you the basic requirements for obtaining a dealer license in the Old Line State. 

Types of MD Motor Vehicle Licenses

The Maryland BLCS provides several kinds of motor vehicle licenses, including (but not limited to) licenses for:

  • Selling new or used cars.
  • Buying or selling new or used motorcycles.
  • Selling emergency vehicles.
  • Buying, selling, and/or exchanging vehicles to other dealers on wholesale terms.
  • Dismantling, destroying, and/or scrapping vehicles to sell their parts.

Here, we’re focusing on used and new car dealer licenses. For more information about other types of licenses, refer to the state’s summary of dealer types.

Applying for a MD Dealer License

The requirements for dealer license applications vary depending on the type of license. Some (not all) of the general requirements include:

  • A completed dealer license application.
  • A zoning approval completed by a county zoning board official where your dealership is located.
  • A letter from the MD Department of Assessments and Taxation certifying that you’re registered to do business in the state under the name(s) on your application.
  • A completed car dealership inspection.
    • The packet includes a site inspection checklist explaining everything you need for your business to pass.
  • Your:
    • Dealer orientation request.
    • Contract with an Electronic Registration and Titling (ERT) provider.

Criminal background check.

  • A surety bond.
  • Proof of worker’s compensation, if applicable.
  • A copy of your trader’s license from the circuit court where your dealership is located.
  • Your permit for use and occupancy if you’re using a trailer as an office.
  • If you’re applying for a new car dealer license, the franchise agreements from each vehicle manufacturer.
  • Payment for any applicable dealer license fees.

The process of applying for your Maryland dealer license is extensive and can get overwhelming—don’t hesitate to contact the Motor Vehicle Administration at (410) 768-7000 with any questions or concerns you have. 

Maryland Dealer Application Packets

Applying for a dealer license involves several steps and forms. If you’re not careful, you risk having your application denied.

To help ensure that applications are complete, the MVA offers the following dealer packets which include detailed instructions, and required forms:

If you are applying for a dismantler, recycler, or scrap processor license, you can contact the Business Licensing and Compliance Unit for a license packet. 

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