How to Get a Dealer License in Maine

November 24, 2023

Team ACV




How to Get a Dealer License in Maine

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If you’re looking to become an auto dealer in Maine, the first step is securing your dealer license. The process requires several steps and detailed processes, so it’s important to get it right to avoid holding up your business. We’ve gathered a checklist to make the process as smooth and simple as possible. 

7 Steps to Getting a Maine Dealer License 

1. Choose the Right Dealer License Type

The Bureau of Motor Vehicles in the state has the following types of licenses to choose from1

  • New and used car dealer
  • Motorcycle dealer
  • Equipment dealer
  • Heavy trailer dealer
  • Boat or snowmobile trailer dealer
  • Recycler
  • Loaner plates
  • Transporter plates
  • Wrecker plates
  • Vehicle auction 

2. Register Your Business With the Appropriate Municipality

Business registrations happen at the town and city level in Maine, so work with your town clerk to register your business (whether it’s a corporation, an LLC, etc.). Then, obtain an Employer Identification Number from the IRS and a sales tax number from the Maine Revenue Services division2.  

3. Secure a Permanent Business Location 

Before you proceed further with the application, you will need to secure a location for your business. The business location is required to meet a handful of criteria. The business must: 

  • Be located in a permanent and enclosed building
  • Have a display area for vehicles 
  • Have an office where official documents and records are stored
  • Be open for reasonable business hours and equipped with tools
  • Include a repair facility
  • Display a sign showing the dealer’s name that is permanently fixed and is more than 12 square feet in size and legible from 200 feet away 

You must get a notarized form that proves you comply with all local zoning regulations and include this proof within your application. 

The business location must also be inspected to ensure it meets all requirements. 

4. Pass Your Background Check

All owners, officers, managers, and partners listed within your application must pass criminal background checks to prove you are in good standing. You can apply for these checks online through the Maine State Police The online application costs $6. 

5. Secure Liability Insurance and an Auto Dealer Bond

Maine requires auto dealers to have liability insurance of the following amounts: $100,000 for personal injury or death to one person and $300,000 for any number of people, plus property damage of up to $100,000. 

Furthermore, you will need an auto dealer bond. Maine does it differently than some other states and determines the amount based on sales. The amount you are required follows these guidelines: 

  • 0-50 sales: $5,000
  • 51-100 sales: $10,000
  • 101-150 sales: $15,000
  • 151-200 sales: $20,000
  • 201+ sales: $25,000

You won’t be required to pay that full amount; instead, it will be a fraction determined by your personal financial credentials. 

6. Gather All Documents 

In addition to the above, you will also need to send in:

  • A completed official questionnaire 
  • A copy of the plot plan 
  • A copy of the partner agreement or articles of incorporation
  • A sworn affidavit that outlines the ownership amounts and names of all people in the business 

7. Submit Your Dealer License Application and Fees

Once you have completed everything else, you are finally ready to submit the application. You will need to pay the following fees3

  • Initial filing fee: $150
  • License fee: $150
  • Secondary lot fee: $100. 
  • Dealer plates: $5-$200 depending on the type 

Then, submit your dealer license application and all required paperwork to: 

Secretary of State
Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Dealer and Agent Services
29 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333

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

Get Used Car Inventory in Maine With ACV Auctions 

Once you get your license in Maine and are ready to take your business to the next level, partner with ACV Auctions. We have the best used car inventory in Maine and other states. Each vehicle on our nationwide platform has been personally inspected by a knowledgeable member of our team and comes with a detailed inspection report. With us, you can always be sure about the vehicles you’re bidding on. Register today to get started. 


  1. Bureau of Motor Vehicles. “Motor Vehicle Dealer Licensing.” Department of the Secretary of the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles State of Maine. Retrieved November 13, 2023. 
  2. Bryant Surety Bonds. (2019). “How to Get a Maine Car Dealer License” Bryant Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 13, 2023. 
  3. JW Surety Bonds. “Maine Auto Dealer License Guide.” Risk Strategies: JW Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 13, 2023.