Dealer Licensing in North Dakota

Occasionally selling a car to a private third-party buyer is one thing, but if you’re in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging motor vehicles, you must apply for a car dealer license with the North Dakota Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), under the Department of Transportation (NDDOT). Keep reading to find out how to get the credentials you need to sell cars in the Peace Garden State. 

Do You Need an ND Dealer License?

You need a North Dakota dealer license if you are in the business of:

  • Buying, selling, and/or exchanging motor vehicles.
  • Advertising the buying, selling, and/or exchanging of motor vehicles.
  • Buying motor vehicles for resale.

This applies whether you’re an individual, partnership, corporation, or limited liability company.

Other Types of Dealer Licenses

Here, we explain how to get a license for dealing with new and/or used motor vehicles; however, North Dakota requires dealer licenses for buying and selling other types of vehicles, too. Refer to the links below for more information on the different types of dealer credentials:

Apply for ND Car Dealer License

You’ll need to provide the following items to the MVD to apply for your North Dakota dealer license:

  • A completed Application for Dealer’s License (Form SFN 2932).
  • Proof of garage liability insurance.
  • A notarized Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond (Form SFN 2933) in the amount of $25,000.
  • If you’ll sell new cars, the franchise agreement from the car manufacturer whose vehicle’s you plan to sell.
  • The applicable fees for a new or used car dealer license:
    • Dealer license:
      • New motor vehicles: $100.
      • Used motor vehicles: $100.
    • *Dealership inspection:
      • New motor vehicles: $100.
      • Used motor vehicles: $100.
    • Dealer license plates:
      • New motor vehicles: 1 plate included with license, $20 per plate afterwards.
      • Used motor vehicles: 1 plate included with license, $20 per plate thereafter.

Mail everything to:

Motor Vehicle Division
ND Department of Transportation
608 E Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505

Once the MVD at least completes the required inspection of your business location, you’ll be closer to getting your dealer license!

If you need help putting together your dealer license application, you can contact the MVD’s Dealer Services online or call the MVD directly at (701) 328-2725.

NOTE: If you’re renewing your dealer license, you DO NOT have to pay the dealership inspection fee.

Requirements for ND Car Dealerships

Before the North Dakota MVD will issue your car dealer license, you must have an established place of business and it must pass an inspection, during which a MVD representative will check to make sure your dealership:

  • Covers at least 2,500 square feet (including the display lot).
    • The permanent enclosed building must make up at least 250 square feet of this space.
  • Is owned, leased, or rented by you (the business owner).
  • Is the permanent location where buying, selling, and/or trading motor vehicles is done AND is not a residence.
  • Provides adequate heating and lighting for employees and customers.
  • Has standard office equipment for conducting business.
  • Houses all business records.
  • Has a publicly listed business telephone number.
  • Is open to the public during normal business hours.
  • Has garage liability insurance.
  • Displays a sign that:
    • Is at least 32 square feet in size.
    • Shows the business name in letters at least 10 inches high.
    • Is visible from the street.
  • Complies with local zoning codes.

Once your dealership passes inspection, you’ll receive your North Dakota dealer license! 

*NOTE: If your dealership has secondary lots, those lots must be located within 5 miles of the initial established place of business.

ND Dealer License Renewal

North Dakota car dealer licenses expire annually on December 31. You can renew your car dealer license using the standard application process

Note that:

  • The NDDOT won’t renew your license if you sold fewer than 4 motor vehicles during the previous year.
  • The NDDOT might limit the number of dealer plates you can get based on your sales history.
  • You must pay a $100 penalty if you fail to renew on time.
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