Dealer Licensing in New Mexico

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The process for obtaining an automobile dealer's license in New Mexico may seem as complicated as the Manhattan Project. You may even be tempted to camp out in front of the National Laboratory in Los Alamos in the hope that some brainy scientist will give you the secrets to break down the complicated code that seems to surround the licensing process.

More realistically, you may opt to turn to the various third-party outlets that offer to help guide you through all of the details―for a fee. These businesses, which you will find all over the Internet, usually sell handbooks to help you with all the nuts and bolts of meeting the state requirements, down to finding the right location to set up shop.

But usually these handbooks are intended for the smaller dealers or wreckers, even though the seemingly mammoth dealerships ultimately go through the same procedures, and every owner must prepare all of the same paperwork.

So regardless whether you are doing this on your own or have some type of consultant, it is still important not to miss any of the fine print anywhere. That is where the third-party businesses can come in handy.

Or you can just hunker down and make sure you are familiar with the applicable state statutes and read over all of the application material with an editor's eye.

Who Needs a Dealer License

A wide swath of businesses in New Mexico fall under the dealer licensing umbrella, including:

  • New and used vehicle dealers
  • Wreckers, dismantlers, and auto recyclers
  • Manufacturers
  • Wholesalers and distributors
  • Motorcycle dealers

The license also requires that you establish a permanent place of business that is not also your residence. This location must meet the necessary zoning standards set by the local authorities.

Applying for a Dealer License

Before the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will even look at an application, some sort of security money needs to be put up.

This needs to come in the form of a surety bond. Complete and submit the Vehicle Dealer or Auto Recycler Bond (Form MVD-10175).

Establishing a Place of Business

As mentioned earlier, you will need to conduct your business in an appropriate setting that adheres to recognized zoning ordinances. This establishment cannot be a residence. And importantly, it must have an area where the vehicles can be displayed.

The place of business needs to also conform to the guidelines set in the Place of Business Affidavit (Form MVD-10038).

A comprehensive inspection of the structure will be completed by a law enforcement officer or an authorized representative from the MVD to ensure the provisions are met.

You will also be required to complete an Inspection Certificate of Dealer/Dismantler Place of Business (MVD-10178). This entails taking photographs of your business, supplying a county or city license, and showing certification from the local zoning board.

The Basic Application Forms

  • Applicant Information (Form MVD-10036) : Everyone involved in the enterprise will need to be listed on this form along with all of their basic info, including address, Social Security number, title, and date of birth.
  • Applicant Affidavit (Form MVD-10037): A basic questionnaire allowing you to come clean on any past dealer license revocations or felonies. This form needs to be filled out by every member of the organization. The form also authorizes the MVD to conduct a background check on all of the members. BBB Business Review