Dealer Licensing in Vermont

Sometimes, to sell a car you just need to put a “For Sale” sign in the window and wait for the phone to ring. Other times, like when you’re making a business of selling vehicles, you might need to apply for a car dealer license with the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Vermont Car Dealer Defined

Per Vermont law, you’re required to have a Vermont car dealer license if you’re an individual person, partnership, or corporation in the business of selling, buying, and/or exchanging various types of new or used motor vehicles*.

To qualify for a new or used car dealer license, you must:

  • Be in the business of selling at least:
    • 12 motor vehicles you own but that aren’t registered in your name.
    • 12 motor vehicles during the previous registration year that were leased or rented prior to being sold.
  • Have a dealership:
    • Open for business at least 146 days during 1 calendar year.
    • Compliant with the state’s dealership location requirements.
  • Have a franchise sales and service agreement with the manufacturer of the vehicles you sell IF you plan on selling new cars.

If you think you qualify (or can take the necessary steps to qualify) for a Vermont dealer license, you’ll be set up for success when you submit your dealer license application.

Requirements for VT Car Dealerships

Your Vermont car dealership must meet certain business location requirements, meaning your dealership must:

  • Be owned or leased by you.
    • Lease: You must have a lease agreement spanning at least 1 year.
    • Own: You must have a deed to the property.
  • Abide by local zoning standards.
  • Be used primarily for your car dealership’s business.
  • Be at least 1,200 square feet in size.
  • Have adequate facilities for maintaining records.

Most likely, an agent will inspect the property before issuing your dealer license. Contact the DMV’s Dealership Licensing at (802) 828-2038 with questions about possible additional location requirements and inspection arrangements.

Apply for VT Car Dealer License

The Vermont DMV provides a helpful New Vermont Dealer Information Packet (Form VD-122), which you should keep handy even after receiving your dealer license. The packet contains all the information and instructions you need to apply for and maintain your dealer credentials.

To apply for a VT dealer license, you need to provide:

  • A completed:
  • A Vermont Zoning Compliance Certification (Form TA-VD-165).
    • A local zoning official must inspect the location and complete this form.
  • The applicable ownership/rental document:
    • Own: Provide a copy of the deed.
    • Rent: Provide a rental or lease agreement that’s valid for a minimum of 1 year.
  • If you plan to sell new cars, a franchise agreement with the vehicle manufacturer(s) whose vehicles you’ll sell.
  • A Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond (Form TA-VD-114).
    • You must purchase an initial $35,000 surety bond, lasting at least 2 years; after that, your bond amount is based on how many vehicles you sell.
  • Proof of insurance in your name for dealer plates.
  • The applicable dealer licensing fees:
    • New car dealers: $503.
      • You’ll receive 3 dealer plates with your dealer license; any additional plates are $55 each.
    • Used car dealers: $503.
      • The DMV provides 3 dealer plates with your license; additional plates cost $55 each.

Mail everything to:

Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State St.
Montpelier, VT 05603

Once everything’s approved, you’ll be on the road to selling cars and running your own dealership!

Your dealer license expires 1 year from the 1st day of the month it was issued.

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