How to Get a Motorcycle Dealer License

Instead of flipping motorcycles illegally to bypass the number you can sell a year, obtain a motorcycle dealer license for limitless sales. In this article, you’ll learn how to get a motorcycle dealer license in your state. It may be time-taking to obtain one, but it’s worth it to sell or lease motorcycles for profit in the long term.

how to get a motorcycle dealer license

The requirements to obtain a motorcycle dealer license are similar in all states. The difference is notable only in areas like the registration fees and dealer bond price.


Moreover, you will decide what motorcycle dealer license you need. Depending on your license, you may sell either used, salvaged or new motorcycles.

How to Get a Motorcycle Dealer License

Follow the steps below to get a motorcycle dealer license:

  1. Are You Sure You Want to Do This?

First, verify your thoughts and readiness to obtain motorcycle dealer insurance.

Consider the bond percentage and applicable registration charges. Get a sales tax seller permit, one licensed salesperson (it can be anybody or yourself).

  1. Get a Business Location

Prepare an office space, an adjacent lot, and a motorcycle display area indoors. Depending on your state law, it should be large enough to display at least 3 motorcycles and accommodate motorcycle repairs.

After establishing your place of business, begin the application process. Meanwhile, install a business sign and phone line in front of the motorcycle dealership to give your business identity.


You also need property damage and public liability insurance to cover your motorcycle dealership.

Lastly, have the zoning and local permit approval for your dealership location in handy.

  1. Dealer Education

Your state lists approved dealer education programs. It could be applicable for wholesale-only and used motorcycle dealers, which you need if you prefer these dealership categories.

Check the nearest program on your DMV’s website and apply. You’ll also have to present proof of continuing dealer education every 1-2 years.

  1. Visit the DMV’s Site

The website of your local department of motor vehicles will provide information regarding dealer bond fees, registration fees, and relevant documents.

  1. Complete the Application Form

From your local DMV’s website, download the motorcycle dealer license application form. Select the form suitable to your preference – used or new motorcycle dealer license.

Read also: how your employee can secure US green card without getting married

In Wisconsin, for instance, you may download the Motor Vehicle Dealer Two Year License Application form.

Meanwhile, if you need an abbreviated application, contact the Occupational Licensing Inspector in your locality for assistance.

  1. Undergo Criminal Background Check

If you were convicted previously, you could file an abbreviated application in California.

The application fee is somewhere between $170 and $200. Nonetheless, the state will inform you whether you’re eligible for the license.

  1. Purchase Vehicle Dealer Bond

In California, the dealer bond costs $10,000. Since states sell at $5,000, and you may be fortunate it’s cheaper in your state.

Typically, the bond cost is split, and you do not pay the entire amount; you may pay between 1-15 percent of the bond. For instance, if a surety bond is $10,000, and if you’re to pay 10%, the bond price will be $1,000.

What is a dealer surety bond? It is a surety bond that protects your customers from misrepresentation or fraud when you sell motorcycles.

  1. Prepare and Submit/Mail Requirements

The requirements in many states to qualify for a motorcycle dealer license is similar.

For example, you must be 18+ to apply for a motorcycle dealer license, and you are expected to present proof of insurance coverage for the business.

All requirements include:

  • Application form
  • Proof of dealer education completion and pass written exam (for used and wholesale dealers)
  • A copy of your rental or lease agreement
  • A signed and dated pictures of your business following your state’s requirements
  • A copy of the city/county business license
  • Tax certificate or Certificate of Occupancy
  • Copy of Board of Equalization Resale Permit (Wisconsin)
  • License application fee
  • Family Support Program fee (if applicable)
  • Auto broker fee
  • Criminal record
  • New Motor Vehicle Board fee
  • Dealer plate (you will pay for each)
  • Ownership statement form
  • Dealer bond form
  • Salesperson license form
  • Manufacturer license form (if you plan to sell new motorcycles)
  • Salvage buyer identification form (if you are buying salvage motorcycles

After submitting your application, wait for it to be approved. Note that it can take 120 days for your motorcycle dealer license application to process. A background check will also be performed to determine your eligibility.

While the approval process is ongoing, you can check the license status via your local DMV’s website.

Before motorcycle license approval, your business facility will be inspected.

Does Your Motorcycle Dealer License Expire?

Yes. Your dealer license expires, and it is renewable annually to be sure that your business is legit. Typically, a renewal notice arrives 90 days to the expiration date of your motorcycle license.

How many motorcycles can you sell in a year?

With a motorcycle dealer license, you can sell an unlimited number of motorcycles in a year. If you have no motorcycle dealer license, you can only sell between 3 and 10 motorcycles a year. Why are motorcycle dealers licensed? The answer is to protect consumers and ensure fair business competition.

Final Thoughts

To become a successful motorcycle dealer, learn a lot about motorcycles, including the titling/registration process, how easy it is to steal a motorcycle, how stolen motorcycles become legal, and how to find barn find motorcycles.

Additionally, improve your skills to convince buyers to pay. Understand that every buyer sees you as a liar, but you must not make it too obvious that you’re a liar indeed.

Finally, while flipping used motorcycles, be careful not to buy a stolen motorcycle; it ruins the integrity of your business, and the government might close it down.

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