How to Get a Car Dealer License in Nebraska

December 7, 2023

Team ACV




How to Get a Car Dealer License in Nebraska

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If you’re looking to open a car dealership in Nebraska, you’ve come to the right place. Getting your dealer license is the first step— and it can seem complicated. We’ve put together a complete checklist for you to follow so you can fly through the process and get your business off the ground. 

6 Steps to Receiving a Nebraska Dealer License

1. Choose the Correct Type of Dealer License

Before anything else, you’ll need to choose the appropriate dealer license type. Your business intentions will determine which one best suits your needs, and the state of Nebraska breaks down their dealer license types into the following four categories :

  • Combination motor vehicle and trailer: For new and used vehicles, motorcycles, and trailers.
  • Trailers: For new and used trailers, but no other vehicles
  • Motorcycle: For new and used motorcycles only, but no other vehicles 

If more than one category is applicable, you can apply for multiple licenses.

2. Register Your Business With the State

Next, you need to register your business with the Nebraska Business Registration Portal. Within this registration, you need to indicate which kind of business you plan to open, whether you have employees, and what goods you will be selling. Then, you will need to get a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) from the IRS plus a Nebraska state tax ID number. 

3. Secure a Permanent Business Location 

Once you have identified which license type you’re applying for and registered your business, the next step is to establish a location for your business. This space will need to meet all local zoning regulations, as well as additional requirements from the state’s dealer licensing board. To meet their guidelines, ensure your location: 

  • Has a name that accurately describes the business 
  • Includes enough space for you to have 10 vehicles on display 
  • Displays a sign with letters that are at least 8 inches high and shows the same name as your application, bond, and insurance registration 
  • Has a telephone with a listed number 
  • Is open at least 40 hours each week with at least 20 of those hours falling between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
  • Includes a service facility or has a facility agreement with the county so you can execute repairs2 

4. Get Liability Insurance and an Auto Dealer Bond 

All new and used dealers must secure liability insurance. You will need to include your certificate as part of your application, and the certificate must detail the name and address of the dealership, coverage for “AnyAuto” or “All Owned Autos,” the coverage period, policy number, and the Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Board as the Certificate Holder. If you have employees, you may also choose to obtain workers’ compensation insurance.

Any applicants seeking a new or used license for trailers, vehicles, or motorcycles must get a $50,000 auto dealer bond. The amount you owe will be a fraction of the total cost.3 

5. Submit Your Dealer License Application and Accompanying Paperwork

As well as everything outlined above, you will also need to submit: 

  • A copy of your zoning permit
  • A photograph of your location including the sign
  • A copy of your lease 
  • Any franchise agreements if applicable

Fill out your dealer license application and submit it—along with all other documents—to the following address:

Nebraska Motor Vehicle Industry Licensing Board
PO Box 94697
Lincoln, NE 68509

Application fees are paid after passing a business location inspection, as described below.

6. Undergo a Site Inspection

Once you submit your application, you will be contacted to schedule a site inspection. If you pass this inspection, you will owe a $400 licensing fee to get your license. Then, you will need to renew your license annually to remain active. 

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

Secure the Best Used Car Inventory in Nebraska From ACV Auctions

Once you have your dealer license, partner ACV Auctions to find the best used car inventory in Nebraska and throughout the U.S. We have an exceptional online auctioning platform with inventory that has been inspected by a member of our team. Each vehicle includes a detailed report so you can be confident in everything you bid on. Register with us today to get started building your business. 

  1. Lance Surety Bonds. (2023). “How to Get a Nebraska Dealer License.” Risk Strategies: Lance Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 29, 2023. 
  2. JW Surety Bonds. “Nebraska Auto Dealer License Guide.” Risk Strategies: JW Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 29, 2023. 
  3. Bryant Surety Bonds. (2019). “The Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Your Nebraska Dealer License” Bryant Surety Bonds. Retrieved November 29, 2023.