Dealer Licensing in New Mexico
You can only sell a certain number of cars each year before you go from being a vehicle owner who’s looking to get rid of your car to a person who needs a motor vehicle dealer license. So, when do you need one, and how do you apply? Let’s find out.
Do You Need an NM Dealer License?
If you’re in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, or otherwise dealing with more than 4 vehicles over the course of 1 year, you must obtain a motor vehicle dealer license from the Dealer Licensing Bureau of the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
Apply for a Car Dealer License in NM
Conveniently, you can apply for your car dealer license online using the state’s MyMVD Online Services portal (under “Partner Services”). Naturally, there are quite a few steps to complete the application, but the NM MVD provides an instruction document to guide you along every step of the way.
To complete your dealer license application online, you’ll need to scan/upload the following documents to your computer:
- The Certificate and Articles of Organization (LLC) or Incorporation.
- Visit the Secretary of State (SOS) website for details on obtaining copies of these.
- The following documents from the planning and zoning office in the city/county where your dealership is located:
- Zoning inspection documents and any other related zoning paperwork.
- Your business license.
- Business identification numbers (and any supporting documents, if applicable):
- A property lease valid for a minimum of 6 months.
- A dealer bond in the amount of $50,000.
- The following pictures of your business:
- Overall dealership site/location.
- Motor vehicle display area.
- Exterior of the office building.
- Inside the office.
- Office equipment.
- Indoor office space layout.
- Diagram of the property (including signage location).
- If you sell:
- New cars: Franchise agreement from the manufacturer.
- Used cars: Pre-Licensing Education Certificate.
- You must take a Pre-Licensing Education (PLE) class through the New Mexico Independent Auto Dealers Association (NMIADA) to get your dealer license. Head to NMIADA’s site for their class schedule, fees, and general information.
At the end, you’ll need to pay the $50 application fee with a credit card or e-check.
Once the Dealer Licensing Bureau processes your application, you’ll receive information regarding a site inspection for your dealership.
If you need help applying for your NM dealer license, contact the MVD at (888) 683-4636.
New Mexico Dealership Inspection
Your car dealership must meet the following requirements – and is subject to inspection – for the MVD to issue your NM dealer license:
- Has a permanent enclosed office on a permanent foundation that’s big enough to house the dealer’s office.
- Is owned or leased by you and used ONLY for your dealership’s business.
- The business property CANNOT be a residence.
- Has area(s) to safely store books and records.
- Has adequate utilities and facilities including electricity, gas, and bathrooms.
- Enough space to display cars for sale (or to store vehicles being dismantled, if applicable) and for employee and customer parking.
- Has a permanent sign meeting the following requirements:
- Displays the licensed business name in letters at least 6 inches high.
- Is visible from at least 50 feet away.
- Has a sign that displays days and hours of operation.
- Complies with local fire regulations.
- You must have documentation from your local fire marshal.
- Complies with local zoning laws.
- You’ll want to have your zoning approval documents handy in case the inspector asks for proof.
If you have questions or concerns about whether your dealership meets the above requirements, call the NM MVD at (888) 683-4636.
NM Dealer License Renewal
When completing your dealer license renewal, be prepared to:
- Enter the number of vehicles you sold in the last year.
- Scan and attach:
- Your current business license.
- Bond documents (new bond, rider bond, or receipt of payment).
- New car dealers: Franchise agreement(s) if there are new franchises or changes to existing agreements.
- *Used car dealers: Your Pre-Licensing Education Certificate, if applicable.
- Pay the $50 renewal fee with a credit card or e-check.
The system will then process your request. If approved, you’ll be able to print your new license.
*NOTE: Used car dealers must take and present proof of completion for the pre-licensing education course every 2 years.