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Becoming an Idaho Dealership
A dealer license is required when any person
sells five or more vehicles/vessels (that are required to be titled)
per calendar year. This fact sheet provides basic information to help
you determine if the activities you are involved in require an Idaho
dealer license. Information is also provided on how to secure a license.
ACTIVITIES THAT REQUIRE A DEALER LICENSE:
- Soliciting the sale, exchange, or consignment of a vehicle/vessel not titled in the name of the person making the solicitation.
- Selling, displaying for sale, exchanging, or consigning a vehicle/vessel not titled in the displayer´s name.
- Selling, displaying for sale, exchanging, or consigning five or
more vehicles/vessels in any one calendar year even though the
vehicles/vessels are titled in the seller´s name.
- Engaging in the business of selling, exchanging, or consigning
vehicles/vessels, or engaging in any other acts customarily associated
with the business of selling or exchanging vehicles/vessels.
- Displaying vehicles/vessels for sale, exchange, or consignment on
property not legally controlled by the owner of the vehicle/vessels.
ACTIVITIES THAT DO NOT REQUIRE A DEALER LICENSE:
- Selling less than five vehicles/vessels (titled in your name) in a calendar year.
- Insurance companies, financial institutions, or public utility
companies disposing of any vehicle/vessel incidental to primary
- Manufacturing or selling specialty vehicles (fire trucks, fire
engines, urban transit buses, ambulances, street sweepers, and
hazardous material response vehicles).
SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A DEALER LICENSE:
- Education Requirements:
At least one active owner from a prospective used only and, effective July 1, 2013, wholesale dealership must attend an 8-hour pre-licensing class and pass a closed-book written examination prior to applying. The owner of a used-vehicle-only and wholesale dealership renewing a license must complete at least four hours of annual education that is recognized by the department before a license can be issued. The owners or members of a corporation, limited liability corporation, or limited liability partnership who are not active in a dealership may designate a corporate substitute (a manager or employee) to attend class. If that designated individual leaves the dealership, another manager or employee must be assigned as a corporate substitute and complete the dealership's annual education requirements. Note: An individual serving as a corporate substitute must be a licensed Idaho salesperson. Franchised dealers are exempt. Contact Idaho State Independent Automobile Dealer's Association at 208-463-7709 or 800-950-8227.
- Dealership name: Prior to applying as a dealer or obtaining a
dealer bond, you should call the Dealer Team at (208) 334-8681 to make
sure that the proposed name of the dealership is not deceptively
similar to an existing dealership´s name. According to Section 53-504,
Idaho Code, any dealership name which has a D.B.A. (doing business as)
must be filed as an assumed name with the Secretary of State´s office.
If the dealership is owned by a corporation, limited-liability company,
or a limited-liability partnership, you must submit verification from
the Secretary of State at (208) 334-2300.
- Vehicle dealer performance bond required: Idaho Code requires all
vehicle/vessel dealers to file a performance bond with the department.
The bond shall be in the amount of $20,000 for all dealers except
motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, utility type vehicle, truck campers, and snow machine
dealers, who shall have a $10,000
bond. All bonds must be issued by a corporate surety licensed to do
business within the state of Idaho. A bond may also be posted in the
form of cash or a certificate of deposit, which remains on deposit until
five years after the dealership has gone out of business. The bond must
remain in effect for the full licensing period or until the license
becomes invalid. The bond must reflect the exact ownership, D.B.A.s,
and dealership location that is listed on the application for dealer license.
- ICAR Fund: In addition to maintaining a vehicle dealer performance bond, effective July 1, 2013, all vehicle dealers will be required to pay $300 toward the Idaho Consumer Asset Recovery Fund (ICAR) as a condition for initial license issuance or license renewal (Idaho Code 49-1608B, C, D, E, and F). Beginning July 1, 2014, dealers who have operated for at least three consecutive years without any claims against their vehicle dealer performance bond or judgments paid against them through the ICAR fund, have the option to operate without a bond. The ICAR fund’s fees are subject to annual evaluation; the fee may be suspended upon reaching a maximum threshold.
- Building and zoning required: An enclosed commercial structure built to meet applicable building codes. Such structure shall be located in an area zoned by local authorities for the type of business in which the dealer is licensed. A letter of zoning approval or a zoning official´s signature on the dealer application must be submitted. Zoning approval is also required for off-site sales, changes of location, and supplemental lots.
- Application for Idaho Vehicle Dealer License (retail or
wholesale): The application for dealer´s license must be completed in
FULL. All owners/corporate officers must be listed. A personal history for each owner, partner, corporate officer, or director must be
completed, but inactive corporate officers are not required to obtain
identification cards. The name of the dealership and location must be
accurate and match the information on the bond that is submitted with
the application. All owners, partners, officers, or directors must sign
the application in the appropriate area and their signatures must be
notarized. Please allow 30 days for processing.
- Seller Permit Number: A copy of the seller´s
permit number issued in the name of the dealership by the Idaho Tax
Commission must be submitted with any retail dealer application. The
Idaho Tax Commission can be reached by phone at (208) 334-7660 or (800)
- Employer Identification Number: Submit EIN issued by Federal Government. (see www.irs.gov/businesses/small)
- Liability Insurance (effective 7-1-06): Submit liability insurance certificate. Minimum coverage amount is $25,000 bodily injury to one person, $50,000 bodily injury to two persons, and $15,000 property damage or destruction. The certificate needs to be issued with "any auto" or it needs to state that it complies with Idaho Code 49-1608A.
- Dealership Location Inspection: After the application is
approved, the Motor Vehicle Investigator for your district will be
contacted by the Dealer Licensing Team and the investigator will call
you for an appointment to inspect your dealership location. The
Investigator will verify the location, display area, office, sign, and
give instructions on how to complete documents for titling purposes.
- Franchises: If your dealership will be selling NEW
vehicles/vessels, a letter of franchise approval from the manufacturer
is required for each type of new vehicles/vessels sold.
- Personal History and Salesmen Application: If you will be hiring
salesmen, an application (ITD-3171) must be completed for each person
hired. The NCR copy or photocopy of this form will serve as a 30-day temporary
license for the salesman but is not valid until submitted to ITD with fees. All owners must complete this form.
PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS:
- Place of Business: This is the location where the dealer and his
salesmen conduct the dealer´s business. Other locations belonging to
the same dealership and operating under the same name are called
"supplemental lots." Supplemental lots must be located in the same or
an adjacent county of the principal location.
- Declared hours: Dealers must declare the business hours that the principal place of business will
be open and staffed by a licensed salesperson. Retail dealers are required to be open to the
public a minimum of 20 hours per week; wholesale dealers are required to have their
licensed business office open 4 hours per week. A portion of these hours must be within
traditional business hours (M-F 8-5).
- Dealership Sign: An exterior sign must be permanently affixed
to the land or building, have letters that are clearly visible and
readable from the main road, and meet local zoning requirements. The
recommended size for an exterior sign is at least 24 square
feet (3´ x 8´, 4´ x 6´, etc.) with 4-inch-square minimum lettering. The
sign should include the trade name of the dealership, street address,
and dealer number. For a wholesale dealer, and for ease of reading by
prospective customers, the sign may be painted on the office window
next to the entrance door.
- Dealership office: Must be a clearly defined area including a locking
office to keep books; a desk; filing cabinet; and a phone for the business. The telephone number must be listed in the
general directory. The telephone must be answered in the name of the
dealership and may be forwarded to another location or an answering
- Display area: The display area must be large enough to display
five or more vehicles/vessels of the type the retail dealer is licensed
to sell. The “improved display area" should be adjacent to the
dealership office, owned or leased by the dealer, and separated from
other business property by visual boundaries or signing. If two
separate dealerships are located adjacent to one another, there shall
be a physical divider made to separate the display areas. (Ropes,
chains, barriers, etc., shall meet the definition of physical
dividers.) This requirement is not for a wholesale-only dealership.
- Restrictions of dealership use: The principal place of business
must be devoted mainly to the business for which the vehicle dealer is
licensed. In addition, the office cannot be a room or rooms in a hotel,
rooming house, apartment building, or a part of any single- or
multiple-unit dwelling house unless the entire ground floor is
principally occupied for commercial purposes and the office of the
dealership is located on the ground floor.
|Initial Dealer's License
||(Effective July 1, 2013)
|Renewal Dealer's License
||(Additional $10 when the picture is taken)
|Salesman ID Cards
||(Additional $10 when the picture is taken)
||(includes $2 mailing fee $3.00 ISP Fee)
|Temporary 30-day registrations (out-of-state residents only)
||(books of 20 each)
|Supplemental Lot License (each dealer location)
|Temporary Supplemental Lots License (Off-site)
||($88 for 2 or more dealers)
This fact sheet has been provided by:
Idaho Transportation Department, Division of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 7129, Boise, ID 83707-1129
For additional DMV information, contact Vehicle Services via e-mail at: