DON’T Break These Auto Retail License Rules!

dont break these auto retail license rules
dont break these rules concerning retail dealer licenses
You’re finally ready to sell cars to the public—congratulations!

You have a business plan in place, cars ready to be sold, and a few clients lined up who are already interested in purchasing…you’re all set, right?

Wait! You do have a retail auto dealer license?

If the answer is no and you’re still on the path to continue with your business plan, you may want to reconsider…that’s right, danger ahead. 

Heavy fines and possible jail time exist for those who do not hold an auto dealer license and sell cars to the public! But don’t panic just yet, US Dealer Licensing, a wholesale dealer licensing company with more than 30 years of experience, has your backs!

What’s a Retail Auto License?

We’re so glad you asked! A retail auto dealer license allows you to sell unlimited quantities of vehicles to both the public and auto dealerships. 

This is perfect for those looking to start their own small businesses by flipping vehicles for a higher price.

Can I Sell Cars to the Public Without a Retail Auto License?

you must have a retail dealer license to sell vehicles to the public

Yes and No. 

For most states, the amount of vehicles you can sell without a retail license ranges from 0-6 per year. However, this number does differ from state to state, so make sure to check by visiting your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

What Happens if I Sell Vehicles Without a Retail Auto License?

Let’s hypothetically say you misread the number of vehicles you can sell without a retail license…



If you are caught selling more than the allotted number of vehicles per year, you can be subject to steep fines and even jail time! 

Punishments are different for each state, but fines typically range from $200 – $10,000 depending on the specific case and number of prior offenses. Jail time is also a factor, which can range from 30 days to 2 years depending on the case and prior offenses. 

Since each state is unique, different punishments may apply.

How Do I Secure a Retail Auto License?

contact us dealer licensing to learn more about securing retail or wholesale dealer licenses

We get it—those punishments are no joke! So you may be wondering now, “How do I get a retail auto license?”

Let us offer you some assistance! 

To get started, you can visit your state’s department of transportation or begin work with a private firm to secure your license. 

In addition to completing the required paperwork, you need to meet other stipulations including: 

  • A business location with the appropriate zoning approvals
  • A surety bond or other level of credit to ensure financial responsibility
  • A seller’s permit to collect sales tax
  • You must be 18 years of age
  • You must have no prior convictions related to the sale of a motor vehicle

Are There Other Auto Licenses Available?

We’re so glad you asked! 

If you still want to sell vehicles, but not to the general public, you need a wholesale dealer license! 

With a wholesale dealer license, you sell directly to dealerships, cutting out the middleman! You also have the ability to import and export vehicles around the globe. 
For more information on obtaining a wholesale dealer license, or questions about a retail auto license, call US Dealer Licensing at (888) 344-5570.

Scroll to Top
Skip to content