Dealer Licensing in Nevada

So, you want to sell motor vehicles in Nevada? Depending on your plans, you might need to obtain a car dealer license from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.

Do You Need a Nevada Dealer License?

In Nevada, you’ll need a vehicle dealer license if you do any of the following with vehicles that are subject to registration, for compensation (commission, brokerage fees, financial profit, etc.):

  • Sell, negotiate, or attempt to negotiate sales.
  • Display vehicles for sale.
  • Exchange, trade, and/or buy cars with the intention to sell them.

If you meet the above definitions, you must apply for a dealer license and set up an approved place of business

Exemptions

You do not need to obtain a dealer license in Nevada if:

  • You sell 3 personally owned vehicles at most over a period of 12 months. For example, you sell your own car to a private third-party buyer.
  • You come into possession of a vehicle as a result of a legal contract.
  • You sell or deliver vehicles outside the United States and make under 5% of vehicles’ total gross revenue.
  • You work for a licensed car dealer (e.g. as a salesperson).
  • Sell only kit trailers.

Other Types of Vehicle Dealers

There are other kinds of businesses that deal with motor vehicles but may not meet the above criteria for a dealer; these include:

  • Manufacturers: Manufactures motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers.
  • Distributor: Sells new motor vehicles to dealers, like a wholesaler.
  • Lessor: Oversees car leasing options and processes.
    • Short-term lessor: Leases vehicles to people for up to 31 days OR by the day OR by the trip.
    • Long-term lessor: Leases vehicles to people for a fixed time period lasting more than 31 days.
  • Rebuilder: Reconstructs cars by altering, adding, or substituting essential parts (e.g. a salvaged car repairer) OR assembles replicas and specially constructed vehicles from unassembled parts.

Mark which business and dealer type applies to you when completing the DMV’s dealer application

Apply for Car Dealer License in NV

The NV DMV provides a Business License Application Packet (Form OBL335) for dealers, lessors, manufacturers, distributors, and rebuilders. Within this packet are the forms and other application requirements you must complete and submit to your nearest business license office:

  • An Application for Business License and Garage Registration (Form OBL237).
  • A Personal History Questionnaire (Form OBL242).
  • A Fingerprint Background Waiver (Form OBL 256).
    • You must provide 1 set of fingerprints from each principal applicant.
    • Obtain your fingerprints from an authorized NV DMV representative or law enforcement agency—always call ahead to confirm availability and fees.
  • A Vehicle Industry Business License Bond (Form OBL210) OR a deposit (in lieu of a bond) in the amount applicable to the type of vehicles you’ll sell:
    • Utility trailers or boat trailers that weigh up to 3,500 lbs.: $10,000.
    • Motorcycles, horse trailers (without living quarters), and utility trailers that weigh 3,501 lbs. or more: $50,000.
    • All other types of vehicles: $100,000.
  • Proof of insurance showing you have the required amount of liability coverage.
  • Your business license from the city or county in which your dealership is located.
  • Your fictitious firm name filing (if applicable).
  • A copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and Corporate that you filed with the Nevada Secretary of State (if applicable). >
  • Your business’ federal identification number (FEIN).
  • Your business’ email address.
  • 2 color photographs that show the exterior of the business and its signage.
  • A Dealer Franchise Certification (Form OBL253) IF you’re applying to be a New vehicle dealer.
  • Payment for the applicable fees:
    • Fingerprint processing: $36.25 per principal.
    • Dealer license application: $126.

Once everything checks out, an authorized representative from the NV Department of Motor Vehicles will inspect your business location.

Requirements for NV Car Dealerships

Your car dealership must adhere to the state’s guidelines for an established place of business, meaning you need:

  • To own or lease a permanent enclosed building that has sufficient space for an office and an area where you can safely keep your business records and books. 
  • Space to display at least 1 motor vehicle.
  • A permanently attached display sign that:
    • Shows your business name in letters measuring 8 inches high, written with lines that are at least 1 inch wide.
    • Can be read from the center of the closest street.

Before the DMV approves your dealer application, an agent will inspect your business location. Even after you have your NV dealer license, your place of business can be inspected at any time

Renew Your NV Dealer License

You must renew your dealer license annually. The Nevada DMV will mail your renewal notice to the mailing or email address on file.

Generally, you can renew your license online if your notice includes an access code, using the state’s DMV Business License Renewal. You can renew online up to 45 days before your license’s expiration date. 

You can’t renew online if your notice doesn’t provide an access code or you’re renewing late. If this is the case, follow the instructions on your renewal notice.

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