How to Get a Dealer License in Indiana

November 24, 2023

Team ACV




How to Get a Dealer License in Indiana

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Are you looking to open a dealership in Indiana? Don’t be intimidated by the dealer licensing application process. It has many detailed steps, but we’ve gathered a checklist for you to ensure the process is smooth and simple. Always remember to check the state’s website for any updates to their policies and follow this guide to complete your application accurately. 

6 Steps in the Indiana Dealer License Application Process

1. Select the Appropriate Type of Dealer License 

Indiana has three broad categories of licenses: dealer licenses for those looking to sell used and/or new vehicles, distributor licenses for those looking to sell to other dealerships, and auto auctions for those who are arranging or managing auctions1

2. Set Up a Business Location 

Before completing any further steps in the application process, you will need to establish a business location. This  business location has to meet several requirements in order to be approved within your application. Ensure that your business: 

  • Is in a permanent location that is not a residence, temporary structure, or mobile unit 
  • Meets all local zoning requirements 
  • Is at least 1,300 square feet and can fit at least 10 vehicles 
  • Includes spaces for customer parking
  • Contains an office space of at least 100 square feet, furnished as an office with a desk and chair
  • Has electricity, lighting, heat, plumbing, and a landline 
  • Is open to the public at least 30 hours per week during standard business hours 
  • Shows a clearly legible sign with the name of the business 

You will need to include photographs of the business when you submit your application showing the lot, sign, display area, and office space to prove you meet all requirements. 

3. Register Your Business

You will need to obtain a Federal Identification Number (FIN) from the IRS, as well as a Retail Merchant’s Certificate Number from Indiana. Each of these will have to be included with your application. 

4. Secure an Auto Dealer Bond and Liability Insurance 

You are required to obtain garage liability insurance for the following amounts: $100,000 for bodily injury to one person, $300,000 per accident, and $50,000 for property damage. 

Indiana also requires dealers to secure a $25,000 auto dealer bond, regardless of the type of vehicles they will be selling. The cost of the bond is not the full amount; it is calculated by your personal financial factors and will only be a portion of the total2

5. Gather Additional Paperwork

In addition to the above, there are some forms and documents you will have to submit to prove your eligibility: 

  • A background check for the owner 
  • A zoning affidavit 
  • A copy of your photo ID
  • A franchise agreement (if you are a new dealer)
  • The ID for your sales tax registration 
  1. Submit the Dealer License Application and Fees

There are some fees associated with the application process, including: 

  • $30 fee 
  • $125 for the first two dealer plates
  • $30 for each additional plate3 

Once you have these payments ready, as well as all of your documents, you can submit your dealer license application to: 

Office of the Indiana Secretary of State
Auto Dealer Services Division
302 W. Washington Street, Room E018
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Secure Your Used Car Inventory From Indiana with ACV Auctions

Once you have been licensed as an Indiana dealer, you will need to fill your lot with top-of-the-line vehicles in order to generate sales. Work with ACV Auctions to find used car inventory in Indiana and other states. Our detail-oriented team inspects each car before it gets added to our site and provides a detailed report so you can feel confident that you are making informed bids. Register with us to get started today. 

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


  1. Bryant Surety Bonds. (2023). “How to get an Indiana dealer license.” Bryant Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 10, 2023. 
  2. JW Surety Bonds. “Indiana Auto Dealer License Guide.” Risk Strategies: JW Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 10, 2023. 
  3. Lance Surety Bonds. (2022). “Indiana Auto Dealer License Guide.” Risk Strategies: Lance Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 10, 2023.