ACV facts & figures
If you are planning to open a dealership in Montana, you’ve come to the right place. The dealer license application process has many steps and requires detailed compliance. We’ve gathered everything you need to know to get your application right the first time and launch your business as soon as possible.
7 Steps to Earning Your Montana Dealer License
1. Select Your Dealer License Type
In Montana, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is in charge of licensing dealers, and they offer several types of licenses depending on how you plan to run your business. Before you even get started with the application, you will need to choose which application to complete. The license types are1:
- New or franchise dealer (D)
- Used dealer (U)
- Wholesale dealer (W)
- Auto auction dealer (A)
- Broker dealer (B)
2. Register Your Business With the State
You must obtain a business registration from the Secretary of State to legally operate in Montana. You will also need a Federal Employer Identification Number from the IRS. These documents will allow you to set up a business in the state and are needed to secure your license.
3. Secure a Dealership Location
As part of the application process, you have to rent a location that will house your business. This location is required to meet several regulations and criteria in order to be eligible to serve as a functioning dealership. When you are choosing a location, ensure that it:
- Is a permanent building that is not residential
- Houses all business documents and records
- Adheres to all local zoning laws and provides proof of compliance.
- Has a landline telephone that is listed in the directory
- Displays the hours of operation
- Features a sign that states the name of the business with letters that are at least 6 inches high and legible from at least 150 feet away (excluding broker dealers)
- Contains a lot to display vehicles
- Has a computer, printer, and internet access that enables you to issue TRPs (for new, used, and auction dealers)
- Contains a service department (for all franchise dealers)
4. Get Liability Insurance and an Auto Dealer Bond
Except for broker dealers, all other dealerships must get general liability insurance and have the option of adding garage liability insurance . Your policy must be valid for at least one year.2
Every type of dealer needs to get a dealer bond. The amounts vary depending on the type of business, so choose accordingly from the list below:
- $50,000 for new, used, wholesale, auto auction, and broker dealers
- $15,000 for new and used who only plan to sell motorcycles and quads
- $5,000 for new and used who only plan to sell snowmobiles and non-street legal motorcycles, quads, and boats
5. Pass a Location Inspection
Your business location must pass an inspection. This can be arranged through the Montana Highway Patrol or a local law enforcement agency. The officer who verifies your compliance with all rules will fill out an inspection form that you include with your application as proof.
6. Gather Your Paperwork and Fees
In addition to the above requirements, you will also need to include a Dealer Plate Order MV35P. Then, you need to get your payment ready. The fees are:
- $30.90 for the license application (new, used, wholesale, and broker dealers)
- $515 for auto auction dealers
- $35 for dealer plates
- $15 for demonstrator plates
7. Submit Your Dealer License Application
Attach all of the forms and paperwork and send it to the MVD:
Title and Registration Bureau
Motor Vehicle Division
1003 Buckskin Dr.
Deer Lodge, MT 59722
You can expect to hear back within three weeks.
This is not intended as legal advice. If you have questions about dealer licensing requirements, please seek the assistance of legal counsel.
Secure Used Car Inventory in Montana With ACV Auctions
Once you have your auto dealer license in Montana, fill your lot with top-of-the-line vehicles by partnering with ACV Auctions. We offer the best used car inventory in Montana and other states, thanks to our nationwide auction system. Each vehicle on our platform has been inspected by an expert member of our team and includes a detailed report so you know exactly what you’re bidding on. Register with us as a licensed dealer and start today.
- Bryant Surety Bonds. (2019). “How to get a Montana dealer license.” Bryant Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 14, 2023. https://www.bryantsuretybonds.com/blog/montana-dealer-license-guide
- JW Surety Bonds. “Montana Auto Dealer License Guide.” Risk Strategies: JW Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 14, 2023. https://www.jwsuretybonds.com/states/montana/auto-dealer-license
Aug 30, 2023