Dealer Licensing in New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, if you sell a certain number of vehicles within a specific time period, you must apply for a car dealer license and set up shop.

Let’s find out how.

Who Needs an NH Dealer License?

The New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires you to have a retail dealer license if you’re in the business of selling 5 motor vehicles or more to the public during a period of 12 months.

You CANNOT enter this business UNTIL you have an established place of business and obtain a dealer license.

Other Types of Motor Vehicle Dealers

On this page, we’ll focus on applying for a retail dealer license. However, depending on your business, you might need another type of motor vehicle dealer license, such as one of the following:

  • Auto recycling dealer.
    • You buy secondhand motor vehicles to remodel, rebuild, dismantle, and/or sell for parts.
  • Auto wholesale dealer.
    • You buy motor vehicles and sell them to other licensed dealers; you DO NOT sell them to the public.
  • Motorcycle dealer.
    • You sell 5 motorcycles or more to the general public within a period of 12 months.
  • Repair dealer.
    • Your principal business is repairing motor vehicles for someone else.
  • Transporter.
    • You’re in the business of moving other people’s motor vehicles for hire.
  • Utility dealer.
    • You sell or exchange:
      • Trailers (travel, camp, utility, boat, and semi).
      • Tractors.
      • Farm equipment.
      • Construction equipment.
      • Modular and/or manufactured housing and other buildings.

If you’re having trouble deciding which type(s) of license you’ll need, call the NH DMV at (603) 227-4120.

Apply for a Car Dealer License in NH

Once you have an established place of business, submit the following to the NH DMV:

  • A completed Application for Retail Dealer License and Registration (Form RDMV 735).
  • Copy of the Good Standing from the NH Secretary of State (SOS) Corporate Division, stating your trade/business name is “Active.”
    • Visit the SOS website for more information on obtaining the Good Standing.
  • Copy of the lease (in good standing) if you don’t own the premises.
  • Approval from the New Hampshire State Police.
    • Contact your local troop for details on dealership inspections and approvals by the State Police.
  • An original criminal background check.
  • An original Service Agreement (Form RDMV 996) with a state-approved inspection station IF your business doesn’t have its own on site.
  • An original Surety Bond for $25,000 in the name of your business.
  • Payment for the $125 retail dealer license fee.
    • The DMV will likely charge additional fees related to the license and dealer license plates. See the license application for details.

Mail everything to:

Division of Motor Vehicles
Dealer Desk
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

Once your application’s received and approved, the Division of Motor Vehicles will send an agent to inspect your business location.

*NOTE: You’re responsible for renewing your license by March 31 each year.

Location Requirements for NH Car Dealerships

Before you receive your New Hampshire retail dealer license, an inspector from the DMV will come to your dealership to ensure it meets the criteria for an established place of business, meaning it must:

  • Be a permanent business location measuring at least 750 square feet.
  • Be open for at least 37.5 hours per week.
  • Have a permanent heating system.
  • Have electrical outlets that meet state code.
  • Have signage with letters 10 inches tall and visible from the closest public streets.

NOTE: Dirt floors are acceptable for heavy equipment and farm equipment.

Once your dealership passes inspection, you just need to complete the required dealer education and then you’ll receive your license!

Dealer License Instructional Class

You must complete an online instructional class before receiving a NH retail dealer license. You can request access by sending an email to the Title Bureau with the following information:

  • Business name, address, telephone number, and fax number.
  • Your full name, email address, and job title.

Once the Title Bureau processes your request, an account will be created specifically for your business. You’ll receive a password to log into your account and take the course. Follow the system’s prompts for notifying the DMV after you complete the course.

When the DMV is notified of your dealer instructional class completion, you’ll get your retail dealer license!

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