Dealer Licensing in Utah
It’s not against the law to sell your own privately owned vehicle to a third-party buyer; however, if you’re planning on making a business of selling motor vehicles, you have to get a car dealer license in Utah.
Utah Dealer Licenses
You must obtain the appropriate UT dealer license if you’re in the business of:
- Selling, displaying for sale, or offering motor vehicles for sale.
- Exchanging or transporting motor vehicles.
- Manufacturing or distributing motor vehicles.
- Dismantling or crushing motor vehicles.
You also need a license if you:
- Work as a salesperson for a dealership.
- Represent a distributor or factory.
- Operate a body shop.
For our purposes, we’re going to explain how to apply for the most basic car dealer licenses via the Utah Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division (MVED), which are:
- New car dealer license, which allows you to:
- Sell and dismantle new and used motor vehicles AND new and used trailers weighing 2,000 lbs. or more.
- Operate a body shop.
- Used car dealer license, which allows you to:
- Sell and dismantle used motor vehicles AND used trailers weighing 2,000 lbs. or more.
- Operate a body shop.
For information on other types of dealer licenses—including licenses for transporters, dismantlers, and salvage buyers—refer to the MVED’s website.
Motor Vehicle Dealer Training
All dealership owners, partners, corporate officers, and members MUST attend a training seminar before applying for a dealer license.
Courses last 8 hours and can be completed:
- Online through Utah M.V.E.D. or MVED.org.
- In person at an:
- Independent Dealer Solutions course: Call (801) 566-3802.
- Approved law office: Call (801) 347-5405.
Once your training is over, make sure you keep track of your course completion certificate—you will need to provide it when applying for your new or used dealer license.
Apply for UT Dealer License
After you’ve completed your training course, it’s time to apply for your dealer license.
Before submitting anything, you’ll need to contact the MVED at (801) 297-2600 and get approval for your business name. Once you have approval, you must register your business name with the Utah Department of Commerce— call the department at (801) 530-4849 for details.
Next, you need to obtain the following:
- Federal Employer Identification Number with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
- The IRS provides an online application process and instructions.
- Utah Sales Tax Number with the Utah State Tax Commission.
Utah Dealer License Application
Once you’ve completed the pre-application requirements, it’s time to gather up all other dealer license application materials and fees.
You AND each owner, partner, corporate officer, and member must complete and/or sign and submit:
- A Bonded Motor Vehicle Business Application (Form TC-301).
- You’re allowed to order 5 plates initially. After that, you can order 1 plate per 25 vehicles sold.
- A FBI Fingerprint Card and Fingerprint Waiver (Form TC-465).
- Obtain a standard FBI Fingerprint Card from the law enforcement officer collecting your fingerprints, and make sure he or she signs the form.
- Typically, Fingerprint Cards are $20 each.
- Photos of each applicant that:
- Show the applicant’s head and shoulders.
- Are no smaller than a passport photo and no larger than 5 by 7 inches.
- Include the person’s name.
- A notarized Bond of Motor Vehicle Dealer, Special Equipment Dealer, Crusher or Body Shop (Form TC-450) for the $75,000 surety bond, completed by you and the bonding company.
- Photo of the dealership location, which must show its sign.
- Original signed training certificate or printout.
- A copy of your franchise agreement(s) IF you’re applying for a new car dealer license.
- A check or money order made payable to “Utah State Tax Commission” for the applicable fees:
- New car dealer license: $127.
- Used car dealer license: $127.
- Dealer plates: $12 each PLUS the $2.50 handling fee.
Mail everything to:
Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division
210 North 1950 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84134
Requirements for Car Dealerships
Once the UT MVED has received your dealer license application, they’ll send a representative to inspect your dealership, ensuring it has the proper:
- Office structure, which:
- Must be a permanent structure.
- Be able to safely store and review dealership records.
- Can’t be shared with another business.
- Must meet all local zoning and business requirements.
- Display area that:
- Has space for at least 3 vehicles.
- Is used for displaying vehicles only.
- Is designated by a chain, fence, or other approved method.
- Signage, which must:
- Be a permanent sign painted on or attached to the building or grounded with cement.
- Not be a banner, unless they’re permanently attached.
- Be at least 24 square feet.
The office structure, display area, and signage must be adjoining. No other business can hinder or block a person’s ability to get to the dealership.
If your location passes and all your application materials check out, you should receive your dealer license in the following days.
Dealer licenses expire on June 30 and are not prorated.