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How to Get a Car Dealer License in Minnesota

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Getting an auto dealer license in Minnesota isn't as easy as filing an application. Once you've obtained it, though, you'll be legally able to sell vehicles in your county--both new and used cars can be sold as long as you're willing to include a franchise agreement for new cars. Be polite when dealing with your local zoning authority--you want to develop a good working relationship with your local government and the citizens in your town.

Download the Commercial Location Checklist, the Motor Vehicle Dealer License Application, the Dealer Bond Form, the Compliance Form for Worker's Compensation, the Zoning Approval Form and the Verification of Property Lease Form from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website. All these forms are linked in References.

Complete the Commercial Location Checklist by verifying that your dealership location has proper entries, exits and signs, as specified by the form. You will also have to verify you have at least a one-year lease on the property, which you can do by attaching the Verification of Property Lease Form.

Go to your local courthouse and ask to speak to the zoning official for your county. Present the Zoning Approval Form and have the official fill it out. Include this completed form with the Commercial Location Checklist.

Fill out the Verification of Compliance with Worker's Compensation Form. If you have insurance for your employees, enter the insurance information on this form. If you're exempt because you lack employees, you're self-insured or your employees are related to you and not covered by worker's compensation, indicate this on the form.

Obtain a $50,000 surety bond from an insurance company. You can locate a list of companies offering surety bonds in Minnesota in Resources. Fill out your Surety Bond Form.

Fill out your actual Motor Vehicle Dealer License Application. You'll have to include your personal information, information about your business and its location, your liability insurance information and information about the people who own the dealership with you.

Send all the forms, along with a check for $258.50 made out to DVS, to:

Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services 445 Minnesota Street St. Paul, MN 55101-5186


If you're selling new cars, you'll have to provide a franchise agreement from each company you sell for and include that with your application.