How to Get a Dealer License in Idaho

November 24, 2023

Team ACV




How to Get a Dealer License in Idaho

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Are you looking to open a car dealership in Idaho? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a step-by-step guide to help you through the dealer licensing process. It is a detailed application, so it’s important to get it right. The checklist below will help you get your business licensed and running efficiently. 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Your Idaho Dealer License

1. Pick a Dealer License Type 

Idaho dealer licenses are processed through the DMV as part of the Department of Transportation, and there are two main categories of license types: retail or wholesale. The former allows you to sell to the public, while the latter is only for selling to other dealerships. 

Once you have chosen whether you will be a retail or wholesale dealer, you must choose which kind of vehicles you will be offering. License are available in the following categories1

  • New automobiles and trucks 
  • New trailer 
  • New RV 
  • New vessel
  • New ATV, UTV, motorcycle, or snowmobile 
  • Used ATV, UTV, motorcycle, or snowmobile (no other vehicles)
  • All used vehicles (including ATVs, etc. but no new vehicles of any kind)

Selecting the right license is the first step in the process and is essential to setting up the rest of your application. 

2. Register Your Dealership Name

Call the Idaho Dealer Team to verify the business name you will be using for the dealership. This ensures you have chosen an option that is not too similar to another existing business, as that could be seen as deceptive and confusing for customers. 

3. Find a Permanent Business Location 

Before submitting your application, you will have to prove that you have secured a location to operate your business. This is essential, as there are numerous specifications you have to meet when choosing a location. You will have to provide proof and documentation to show that your dealership location meets the following criteria. It must2

  • Be a closed structure that is up to all buildings. 
  • Have a letter of zoning approval with sign-off from a zoning official that you include with your application 
  • Identify the hours of operation, which must add up to at least 20 per week Monday through Friday between 8 am and 5 pm. 
  • Have an exterior sign that is legible from the main road and includes the name of the dealership, the street address, and the dealer number
  • Contain an office with a lock where the business’ books are stored in a filing cabinet, with a desk and a publicly listed landline phone number 
  • Have a display area with enough space to show five or more vehicles 

4. Complete the Dealer Training Course

If you are applying for a used or wholesale dealer license, at least one of your owners must attend an 8-hour course and pass an exam before applying for the license. These courses are offered through the Idaho State Independent Automobile Dealers Association. This requirement  does not apply to those looking to open a franchise dealership. 

5. Get Liability Insurance and an Auto Dealer Bond

You will need to include a certificate proving your liability insurance when you submit your application. The coverage amounts are $25,000 for bodily injury to one person; $50,000 for bodily injury to two people; and $15,000 for property damage/destruction. 

For the auto dealer bond, you will need to secure one of the following amounts: 

  • $20,000 for retail dealers
  • $40,000 for wholesale-only dealers
  • $10,000 for the ATV, snowmobile, and motorcycle dealers

You won’t have to pay that full amount, just a portion determined by your financial standing. 

6. Gather Your Paperwork 

In addition to the above, you will need to submit a list of items with your application to prove all credentials. Prepare the following: 

  • Personal history form for each owner, partner, and salesperson
  • Business entity information 
  • Letter of franchise for each type of vehicle if you’re a new dealer 
  • Idaho Consumer Asset Recovery Fund for retail dealers (ICAR) 
  • Personal history and salesman application if you will be hiring salespeople 
  • Seller permit number that you obtain from the Idaho Tax Commission 
  • Employer Identification Number from the IRS 
  • Proof of Corporate, LLC, or LLP status from the Idaho Secretary of State
  • Proof of fictitious or assumed name also from the Secretary of State 

7. Submit Your Dealer License Application and Fees 

Once you’ve reached this final step, you are ready to pay the fees and finish the application. The licensing fees are: 

  • $190 for the dealer’s license
  • $300 for the ICAR if you’re a retail dealer 
  • $23 per dealer plate
  • $44 supplemental lot license 

Then, you can send all of your supporting documents along with your application to: 

Idaho Transportation Department
Division of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 7129
Boise, ID 83707

This is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions about dealer licensing requirements, please seek the assistance of legal counsel.

Find Used Car Inventory in Idaho With ACV Auctions 

Once you have secured your Idaho dealer license, it’s time to get your business off the ground. Work ACV Auctions to get used car inventory in Idaho or  across the country. Our online auctioning platform features top-of-the-line vehicles that are ready for your bid. Our diligent team inspects each one and includes a detailed report, so you can be sure you’re bidding on the right vehicles for your customers. Register with us to work with a trustworthy team who can take your business to the next level. 


  1. Lance Surety Bonds. (2023). “Idaho Dealer License: Complete Guide.” Risk Strategies: Lance Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 9, 2023. 
  2. JW Surety Bonds. “Idaho Auto Dealer License Guide.” Risk Strategies: JW Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 9, 2023.