How to Get a Car Dealer License in North Dakota

December 7, 2023

Team ACV




How to Get a Car Dealer License in North Dakota

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Before you start a car dealership in North Dakota, you will need to get licensed from the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). This process involves many steps, and it is essential to get it right to prevent delays and complications with your business. We’ve put together this guide to help you through the application process and get your business up and running. 

5 Steps to Getting Your North Dakota Dealer License 

1. Choose the Type of Dealer License You Need

Each state categorizes their license types differently, and North Dakota provides a handful of options based on what vehicles you intend to sell. Make a business plan and choose the license type from the list below that matches the vehicles you plan to sell1

  • New motor vehicles (this license type will also give you permission to sell used vehicles)
  • Used motor vehicles 
  • Motor powered recreational vehicles (including motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, and more)
  • Trailers 
  • Mobile/manufactured homes 

2. Register Your Business

Before submitting your dealer license application, you need to register your business entity with North Dakota’s Secretary of State online. You will also need to get a tax permit from the State Tax Commissioner and an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS. 

3. Establish a Business Location 

You will need to show your business location as part of your licensing application, so completing this process is the next step. If you’re applying as a new or used vehicle dealer, you have to comply with a number of rules and regulations that outline requirements for your location. Ensure that your business: 

  • Adheres to all local zoning rules and has specific zoning approval 
  • Is an enclosed building of 250 square feet or more 
  • Has an office that is heated and lit with all standard equipment, like a desk and chair 
  • Has a publicly listed telephone number
  • Includes business records that are stored in the office 
  • Has a vehicle display lot that is at least 2,500 square feet 
  • Displays a business sign that is at least 32 square feet with letters that are at least 10 inches tall 

Before getting your license, your location will be subject to inspection from the MVD. 

4. Get an Auto Dealer Bond and Proof of Liability Insurance 

You are required to show proof of a bond and insurance as part of your application. For insurance, you will need garage liability insurance. For the bond, you will need to get the right amount according to the following list2:

  • New and used dealers: $25,000
  • Mobile/manufactured homes: $50,000
  • Trailers and MPRs: $10,000

When you secure the bond, you will not need to pay the full amount. Instead, it will be a fraction of the total based on your personal financial details. 

5. Submit Your Documents and Fees

Now that you have completed all of the above steps, you are ready to submit your dealer license application to the North Dakota MVD. In addition to all of the documents listed above, send your license fee3

  • New and used dealers: $100
  • MPR vehicle dealers: $25
  • Trailer dealers: $30
  • Mobile/manufactured home dealers: $35

You will also have to submit the fees for the on-site inspection of your dealership location. Those fees are:

  • New/used vehicles and trailers: $100
  • MPR vehicles: $450
  • Mobile/manufactured home dealers: $0

Then, you must pay $20 for each dealer license plate (for new and used dealers), or $10 for other vehicle license types. 

Finally, you can submit your full application, fees, and documents to: 

Motor Vehicle Division 
Dealer Services
608 E. Boulevard Ave. 
Bismarck, ND 58505

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 North Dakota From ACV Auctions

Once you are licensed to sell vehicles, your priority will be launching your business with a full lot. Work with ACV Auctions to secure the best used car inventory, whether you’re buying in North Dakota or from other states. Our platform provides unmatched detail on each vehicle because our cars are inspected by a trusted team member and come with a full inspection report. Now you can know everything about each vehicle before you place a bid. Register with us today to get started. 


  1. Bryant Surety Bonds. (2022). “How to get a North Dakota Dealer License” Bryant Surety Bonds. Retrieved December 1, 2023. 
  2. JW Surety Bonds. “North Dakota Auto dealer License Guide.” Risk Strategies: JW Surety Bonds. Retrieved December 1, 2023. 
  3. Lance Surety Bonds. (2019). “The Full North Dakota Dealer License Guide.” Risk Strategies: Lance Surety Bonds. Retrieved December 1, 2023.