Dealer Licensing in Oregon

With its application packet, Oregon’s Business Licensing Unit makes it easy for you to apply for a dealer certificate. On this page, we’ll go over at the application materials, fees, and dealership requirements necessary to get the credentials you need.

Who Needs an OR Dealer Certificate?

You must have a valid Oregon car dealer certificate if you sell, display, offer for sale, trade, or exchange more than 5 motor vehicles in 1 calendar year.

Here, we explain how to apply for a standard dealer certificate, which allows you to facilitate transactions involving new and used motor vehicles.

However, Oregon’s Business Licensing Unit also issues certificates for other types of dealers, including but not limited to:

  • Rebuilders.
  • Dismantlers.
  • Salvage pool operators.
  • Motorcycle and moped dealers.
  • Snowmobile dealers.
  • All-terrain vehicle (ATV) dealers.

The Business Licensing Unit provides application packets and information for these other types of certificates on its dealer home page. Remember, going forward we’ll be focusing on the requirements to get the credentials necessary to deal with new and used motor vehicles.

Apply for a Dealer Certificate in Oregon

The Oregon Business Licensing Unit provides a car dealer certificate application packet that includes the instructions, forms, and fee information you need to apply for your dealer certificate. This packet is your friend!

To apply for your OR car dealer certificate, submit the following items to the Business Licensing Unit:

  • A completed:
    • *Application for Three Year Vehicle Dealer Certificate (Form 735-370).
      • Attach copies of driver licenses or government-issued photo identification cards for EACH owner, partner, member, and corporate officer.
      • The zoning official for your business jurisdiction must sign the application.
    • Supplemental Dealer/Rebuilder Vehicle Dealer Certificate Application (Form 735-372).
      • Complete and submit this form and the additional fee (see below) if you will have multiple locations.
      • Each location must operate under the same business name and ownership.
  • A *Surety Bond (Form 735-370B) signed by the surety agent and the dealership’s owner, partner, member, or corporate officer.
  • A Certificate of Insurance.
    • Completed by an insurance company licensed in Oregon.
    • Alternatively, complete and submit the *Liability Insurance Certificate of Exemption (Form 735-7024) ONLY IF you deal EXCLUSIVELY with antique motor vehicles; snowmobiles; Class I or Class III all-terrain vehicles; campers; travel trailers; or horse, boat, utility, or non-motorized trailers.
  • An education certificate for the completion of a dealer education course.
    • Dealer certificate applicants must complete a pre-licensing education course from an approved education provider.
    • Some applicants—namely franchised dealers selling nationally advertised new vehicles—are EXEMPT from the dealer education requirement. Read, complete, and submit the *Education Requirements Certification of Exemption (Form 735-370C) form if you qualify for exemption from the course.
  • Payment for the applicable fees:
    • Original Certificate: $1,187.
      • Includes 1 license plate.
    • Additional business location: $350.
    • Additional plates: $54.

Mail everything to:

DMV Business License Unit
1905 Lana Ave., NE
Salem, OR 97314

As part of the application process, a representative from the Business Licensing Unit will inspect your dealership to make sure it’s up to the state’s business location standards—we’ll go over those requirements next.

Putting together your dealer certificate application is a lot of work. If you need help along the way, give the Business Licensing Unit a call at (503) 945-5052.

*Form included in the application packet

Requirements for Oregon Car Dealerships

An inspector from the Oregon Business Licensing Unit will check to ensure your car dealership has:

  • Enough space to showcase at least 1 motor vehicle.
  • A way for the public to contact you or an employee during normal business hours.
  • A secure area for storing registration documents and private records.
  • Your car dealer certificate publicly displayed.
  • An exterior sign that is:
    • Permanently affixed to the building or land.
    • Shows the business name as it appears on the dealer certificate in letters visible from a main roadway.

Dealership Location Exemptions

If local zoning regulations and/or laws prevent you from being able to meet the above requirements, you can request an exemption from the dealership location requirements by:

  • Submitting the Request for DMV Location Requirement Exemption (Form 735-7178), which is included in the dealer certificate application packet.
    • Use this form to explain why you can’t meet dealership location requirements.
    • If you can’t meet requirements because of zoning ordinances, you must also include a letter from the appropriate zoning authority that supports your request.
  • Agreeing to a location inspection by a DMV investigator.
  • Complying with any alternatives the DMV investigator proposes to help your dealership come closer to meeting requirements while still following zoning regulations.

Upon exemption approval, the DMV investigator will give you a signed copy of the exemption request. Keep this at your business location at all times. Failure to do so can lead to administrative sanctions and civil penalties.

Renew Your OR Dealer Certificate

You’ll get a renewal packet 60 days before your dealer certificate expires.

If you were required to complete an education course when you applied for your initial dealer certificate, you’ll need to complete 4 hours of dealer education for every 1 year of your dealer certificate’s licensing period. (FOR EXAMPLE: If you’re renewing a 3-year dealer certificate, you will need provide proof of completion for 12 hours of dealer education when renewing your certificate.).

If you have questions about renewing your dealer certificate, contact the OR Business Licensing Unit at (503) 945-5052.

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