You need to get an Idaho dealer license, in order to legally sell 5 or more vehicles per year in the state. This type of license is issued by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD).
As part of applying for a license from the Department, you will need to complete a number of requirements. These include getting a suitable business location, completing a pre-licensing course, getting an Idaho auto dealer bond, and more.
For an overview of how to get your Idaho car dealer license, see the guide below!
1. Choose Your Idaho Dealer License and Vehicle Sales Type
There are two main types of dealer licenses in Idaho:
- Retail (can sell to the public)
- Wholesale (can only sell to other dealers)
In addition to these, you are also given the choice to select the types of vehicles you wish to sell:
- New Automobile/Truck, Trailer, Recreational Vehicle, or Vesssel
- New ATV, UTV, Motorcycle or Snowmobile
- Used ATV, UTV, Motorcycle or Snowmobile Only
- Only Used Vehicles (Incl. Trailer, ATV, UTV, Motorcycle, Snowmobile, or Vessel)
You can select numerous types of vehicles but they need to be either new or used.
2. Register Your Business
There are several types of business registrations you need to complete before you can apply for your license.
First, you need to register your business with the Idaho Secretary of State.
If you will be applying for a retail license, you need to to register with the Idaho State Tax Commission, to get a seller´s permit number. In addition, you may need to register with the Idaho Department of Labor, if you will have employees. To complete these two registrations, use the Idaho Business Registration System.
Further, you also need to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Finally, make sure to contact your local city or county clerk’s office to find out if you have to cover any business registration requirements there too.
Note: Before you continue with the license application it is strongly advised that you call the Idaho Dealer Team at (208) 334-8681. They will check if the name you have chosen for your dealership is not similar to another dealership’s name.
3. Cover the Idaho Dealer License Requirements
To successfully apply for your license, you must cover a number of requirements. These include the following:
- Find a suitable dealership location that meets applicable building codes and zoning ordinances
- Your place of business must further have an office, a sign, a display area for at least 5 vehicles, and posted hours of business
- A completed personal history form (ITD 3171) for every owner, partner, corporate officer, or director, as well as for every salesman you will hire
- A letter of franchise approval for every type of new vehicles or vessel you intend to sell (applies only to NEW dealers)
- Attend an 8-hour pre-licensing class and pass a written exam (applies to used-only or wholesale-only license applicants)
- For more information about the course, contact the Idaho State Independent Automobile Dealers Association
- Liability insurance and a surety bond (see next section for full details)
4. Get Liability Insurance and an Idaho Auto Dealer Bond
All applicants for a dealer license must submit liability insurance in the following amounts:
- At least $25,000 for bodily injury to one person
- $50,000 for bodily injury to two persons
- $15,000 for property damage or destruction
In addition, all license applicants must also submit an Idaho auto dealer bond in one of the following amounts:
- $40,000 for wholesale-only dealer license applicants
- $20,000 for retail dealer license applicants
- $10,000 for motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, utility type vehicle, truck campers, and snow-machine dealer license applicants
If you want to get an exact bond quote, complete the form below. It’s free and there are no obligations.
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Finally, all retail vehicle dealers must pay $300 toward the Idaho Consumer Asset Recovery Fund (ICAR).
Note: If a dealer has operated at least three consecutive years without any claims against their bond or judgments paid against them through the fund, they may choose to operate without a bond.
5. Complete and Submit Your Idaho Dealer License Application
After covering all of the above requirements, you can now fill out your application form and submit it to the ITD.
Along with all supplemental documents listed on the form, you must also attach several fees to your application papers. These are:
- $190 Initial license application fee
- $300 ICAR fee (Retail dealers only)
- $26 Salesman ID cards
- $23 Dealer license plates fee
When you have assembled everything that’s required, mail it to the ITD at the following address:
Idaho Transportation Department Division of Motor Vehicles PO Box 7129 Boise, ID 83707-1129
6. Pass a Dealership Inspection
It may take up to 30 days for the IDT to process and approve your application. Once your application is approved, you will also need to pass an inspection. A motor vehicle investigator will be assigned to inspect your dealership and verify its compliance with all state laws and rules.
You will then be eligible for a 90-day temporary license. You will be issued a permanent license after successfully passing a 90-day follow-up audit by an investigator.
7. Renewing Your Idaho Auto Dealer License
Licenses expire yearly on the date they have been issued. To renew, you will need to complete all required forms before your license runs out. You must also renew your bond and insurance.
Used-only and wholesale-only dealers must also pass at least 4 hours of education before they can renew.
For further information about the licensing and renewal process for Idaho dealers, see the Dealer Handbook or contact the ITD!