How To Get a Dealer License in New Jersey

September 19, 2023

Team ACV




How To Get a Dealer License in New Jersey

ACV facts & figures

No items found.
New Jersey State Flag

Opening a dealership means launching a business in an industry with specific requirements and legal guidelines. Before getting started in New Jersey, it’s important to fully understand the process and what’s required to avoid issues down the road. In this article, we will outline everything you need to know to complete the process so that you can get your dealership up and running. 

Getting Your New Jersey Dealer License 

1. Check the requirements

Each state varies in how it classifies and sets up requirements for auto dealer licenses. In New Jersey, it’s important to remember that they provide a range of licenses1

  • New and used motor vehicle dealer 
  • Used motor vehicle dealer 
  • Moped dealer 
  • Auto body repair facility
  • Fleet inspection facility 
  • Private inspection facility 
  • Leasing company 
  • Driving school

Get familiar with exactly which license you’ll need so you can be sure to file for the correct process. In this article, we’ll assume you’re registering as either a new and used motor vehicle dealer or a used motor vehicle dealer. 

2. Register your business

According New Jersey law, you’re required to register your business at least 15 days before opening the business. You’ll also need to get a Federal Employer Identification Number, which you can apply for directly with the IRS online. 

3. Get a business location

In order to have a dealer license, you are required to have a permanent location in the state of New Jersey. The location must house all permanent records and documents, like payroll records, W4/W2 files, etc. 

You’ll need to have this location in order to apply for the license. Be sure that the location itself meets some standard requirements. A dealership has to be: 

  • Proven to be a place of business with a desk, chair, telephone, and working safe to store important documents. 
  • At least 8 x 9 feet in area. 
  • Composed of an area that’s a designated display space that can show at least two vehicles. 
  • An exterior sign that is permanently attached to the building or property with legible lettering. 
  • Compliant with all other local ordinances. 

4. Get a fingerprint-based background check

Before  submitting your application for a license, you will need to undergo a criminal background check—specifically one that is fingerprint-based. The check doesn’t have to be completed before you proceed, but you will need to prove that you have filed for a background check. Once you submit your business application, you’ll receive instructions on obtaining the fingerprints2

5. Get your documents together 

New Jersey requires a long list of documents to be submitted with your application. Use this as a checklist for reference when you prepare your forms and always double-check with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles in case of any updates or changes. You’ll need the following3:

  • If you have an alternative name, you need a copy of the filing certificate.
  • Photographs of the business location and signs.
  • Copy of driver's licenses for the owners, partners, and office members.
  • Passport-sized color photos of those aforementioned individuals.
  • Copy of certificate of authority from the Treasury Department for any out-of-state businesses (LLCs and Corporations).
  • Copy of your New Jersey Sales Tax Certificate of Authority. 
  • Proof of issuance of your Federal Taxpayer Identification Number. 
  • Copy of the deed or purchase agreement for the premise. 
  • Copy of the telephone bill for the location. 
  • If you’re selling new vehicles, you must submit the original manufacturer’s certificate. 

6. It’s time to submit the application and pay your fees

Fill out the DMV application form and pay the fees: 

  • License fee of $100. 
  • Registration fee of $257.50, which includes five sets of dealer plates. 

You can send your application to: 

Motor Vehicle Commission
Business Licensing Services Bureau
Dealer Licensing Unit
P.O. Box 171
225 East State Street
Trenton, NJ 08666-0171

7. Schedule and pass your inspection 

After they have received your full application, you will schedule an inspection. 

8. Insurance requirements 

You don’t need to show proof of insurance until you’ve received preliminary approval. The surety bond amount you’ll need requires many personal and business factors. 

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

Become an ACV Auctions member 

Once you become a dealer in New Jersey, ACV Auctions can partner with you to help you get inventory. We are an online auction exclusively for dealers, so we have inventory from all over the country. It’s easy to sign up with ACV.  We have no membership fees and transparent vehicle condition reports, we give dealers everything they need to bid confidently and acquire inventory. 


  1. “The Complete New Jersey Dealer License Guide (2023).” Retrieved September 5, 2023. 
  2. “New Jersey Used Motor Vehicle Dealer License Guide.” Retrieved September 5, 2023. 
  3. JW Surety Bonds. “New Jersey Auto Dealer License Guide.” Retrieved September 5, 2023.