How to Get a Dealer License in Nevada

October 8, 2023

Team ACV




How to Get a Dealer License in Nevada

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The first step to opening your new Nevada dealership is getting the appropriate license. Doing so requires completing a few technical details through the DMV that are essential to the process. The licensing application varies from state to state, so even if you already own a dealership in another state, you will still need to complete these steps to begin operations in Nevada. We have compiled a complete guide covering everything you need to know about putting together your dealership application so you get approved on the first attempt. 

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

1. Determine the Type of License You Need

In the state of Nevada, there are different licenses based on the types of vehicles you plan to sell. Your first step is to determine the specialty of your dealership and proceed accordingly. Here are the license types1

  • Dealer: If you want to sell used or new vehicles. 
  • Distributor: If you want to sell new vehicles to auto dealers. 
  • Lessor: Leasing vehicles to members of the public. 
  • Manufacturer: If you build or produce cars or trailers. 
  • Rebuilder: If you alter or reconstruct motor vehicles. 

Note that in Nevada, there is no distinction between auto dealers engaged in used or new vehicle sales—both are covered by the same license. 

2. Establish a Permanent Business Location 

New Nevada auto dealers are required to have a location before submitting a license application. There are a handful of attributes you will need to ensure you meet in order to have a qualifying location. These include: 

  • A permanent enclosed building that contains an office where all books and business records are kept 
  • Enough space for at least one vehicle to be on display 
  • A sign with the business name that is permanently on the building. The lettering on the sign must have words that are at least 8 inches tall with lines that are at least 1 inch wide. The sign must be clearly legible from the street. 
  • Two color images of the exterior of the business and the sign attached to your application 

3. Name the business

Unlike many other states, Nevada has  naming rules for dealerships, including some words that are not allowed to be included in the business name since they could be misleading. Words to be mindful of include wholesale (unless it is truly wholesale), loan, finance, and discount.

4. Submit Fingerprints

Anyone who is a principal or corporate officer of the dealership needs to submit one set of fingerprints taken at either the DMV or a law enforcement agency.2 

5. Get an Auto Dealer Bond and Liability Insurance

The amount you need will vary depending on what vehicles you are selling. For most new and used vehicles, the bond amount is $100,000. The cost of this bond will be a percentage of its total value and will largely depend on your personal financial history, including your credit score. 

You’ll also need to get liability insurance and have the DMV listed as the holder. The DMV website outlines all insurance requirements, and the certificate has to be included with the materials you submit with your application. 

6. File the Application and Fees

Here’s your checklist of the items you’ll need to include with your application: 

  • Your completed Application for Business License (OBL237) signed by the principal of the business. 
  • A Personal History Questionnaire (OBL242) filled out by each principal. 
  • DPS Civil Applicant Waiver (OBL256) signed by each principal. 
  • City/county business license. 
  • Copy of your Certificate of Incorporation. 
  • Federal Employer Identification Number. 
  • Dealer Franchise Certification (for new dealers only) from the distributor.
  • Letter of confirmation from SAE Strategic Alliance (for manufacturers only). 

For Nevada applications, the fee is $126, plus a $38.25 fingerprint processing fee. 

You can send your application to the nearest DMV Occupational Business Licensing Office: 

555 Wright Way
Carson City, Nevada
(775) 684-4690

305 Galletti Way
Reno, Nevada 89512-3817
(775) 684-3564

2701 East Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 486-4930

8250 West Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89117-4111
(702) 486-8620

1399 American Pacific Drive
Henderson, Nevada
(702) 486-1371

7. Pass the Site Inspection

Once your application is submitted and being processed, the DMV will arrange to inspect your site to ensure it meets all requirements.

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 Nevada with ACV Auctions

Get in touch with the ACV Auctions team once you have your dealer license approved in Nevada. We are an online auctioning platform exclusively for car dealers. With interior and exterior photos, paint readings, OBD-II scans, and more, our platform will help you fill your lot with high-quality used vehicles sourced from Nevada or across the country. Sign up today to get started


  1. JW Surety Bonds. “Nevada Auto Dealer License Guide.” Retrieved October 2, 2023. 
  2. Risk Strategies Lance Surety Bonds. “How to Get a Nevada Auto Dealer License?” Retrieved October 2, 2023.