Washington State auto dealers are regulated by the state Department of Licensing. Once registration is complete, however, the physical license is issued by the Department of Revenue Business Licensing Service (BLS)
Washington State defines an auto dealer as anyone who, for retail or wholesale, sales new or used car or trucks, and motor homes.
Previously, there was a separate license for wholesale dealers; however, Washington State, to prevent fraud, has chosen to phase this separate licensing out entirely. After 2019, it will no longer exist.
A Washington State resident is required to register as a dealer if he or she sells more than 4 vehicles registered to them within 12 months; or, if they sell any number of vehicles which aren’t registered to them and the goal of the sale is to make money.
With respect to locations, Washington State auto dealers are required to have a physical location which is open at least 5 days a week in an enclosed commercial setting. The minimum hours of operation are 10 am to 4 pm.
Of course, these dealerships can be open for more days and longer hours; however, this is the current minimum required by the state.
As part of the licensing requirements, dealerships will also to provide a copy of the lease or rental agreement to the state.
Besides the required application, new registrants for a motor vehicle license pay a $975 fee for their first location. The same fee applies, incidentally, to auctioneers who sell cars.
Each additional location for a dealership has a $100 fee.
Renewal fees for licensing are $325.
Applicants are also required by the state to submit an application with a declaration of any prior criminal history. In the same application, they must also be willing to undergo a background check.
New and used car dealers, and dealerships which sell motor homes are required to purchase a dealer surety bond for $30,000 in order to be licensed to sell the same in Washington State.
A surety bond is not insurance or a liability policy for the auto dealership.
The surety bond serves, rather, as a protection for the people of the state of Washington against acts of fraud, willful misrepresentation, theft or dishonest acts committed by a licensed dealership.
Any claims paid on a bond must be reimbursed fully by the respective purchaser.
The bond term will run concurrently with your Washington auto dealer license. Thereafter, it must be renewed.
While the bond amount for a Washington State auto dealer is $30,000, applicants of course, will only pay a fraction of that amount.
The amount, also known as the premium, will be determined almost entirely by your credit score.
Applicants with good credit scores may end up paying only a few hundred dollars for a Washington State auto dealer bond.
AmeriPro Surety Bonds provides auto dealer surety bonds in Washington State. We also provide all types of contract, court, license & permit, and fiduciary surety bonds for Washington.