12 Steps to an Ohio Dealers License

1. Complete Dealer Application

You must complete an Ohio Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Application from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). You may download the form at www.ohioautodealers.com  The application must be completed correctly and in its entirety. Mistakes on your dealer application can cause significant delays in your licensing process. We will complete a Used Motor Vehicle Dealer Application in your dealer class to ensure it is completed correctly.

2. Register Business Name with Ohio Secretary of State

Any entity planning to transact business in Ohio must register with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office. Sole Proprietors & Partnerships are excluded. The Ohio Secretary of State wants to have a record of every business that is operating the in the state including the dealership you are about to open. Registering your business with the Secretary of State is covered in greater detail in the dealer class. For additional information on registering your business you may contact the Ohio Secretary of State at 614-466-2655.

3. Apply for Ohio Vendor Number

Before you apply for your dealer’s license you must have an Ohio Vendors number. This number will be necessary for you to report the sales tax you collect on the vehicles you sell. We will show you how to apply for an Ohio Vendor Number in your dealer training course. We will take you through the entire vendor number application process.

4. Electronic Fingerprinting


Before you receive your dealer license from the registrar of motor vehicles you must be electronically fingerprinted. For a complete list of fingerprinting locations in Ohio visit the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.ohioattorneygeneral.com to find an electronic fingerprinting location near you. Some locations allow you to walk in but others required an appointment. The price varies depending on the location that conducts your fingerprinting. If you do not live in Ohio you must call the Dealer Licensing Section at 614-752-7636 to obtain your fingerprint card. Be sure to include a copy of each owners fingerprint card in your dealer application packet.

5. Federal Employee Identification Number (FEIN)

Before mailing your dealer license application packet you must create a Federal Employee Identification Number which is also known as a Federal Tax ID Number or FEIN. This is a very easy step that should only take a few minutes. This number is used to identify the new business you are starting and will be needed for tax purposes. You can easily apply at http://www.irs.gov  and have your new Federal Employee Number in a matter of moments. After you have been assigned your FEIN be sure to include it on your dealer license application which we will complete in class.

6. I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification


The Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 is a U.S. Citizenship Immigration Services form. It is used by an employer to verify an employee's identity and to establish that the worker is eligible to accept employment in the United States. You can find the form at www.uscis.gov  You must complete this form and store a copy of the form at the dealership location. Sole proprietors are exempt.

7. Business Building

You must have a place of business to be used solely for the purpose of selling motor vehicles. It must be physically separated from any other business or residence with a permanent barrier which cannot be moved. You must have a permanent office in the building that has at least 180 square feet. Your office must include, at minimum, a desk and three chairs. You must also have at least one filing cabinet. The office must have permanent lighting and heating. You must also have a working telephone that is answered in the dealership name. Be sure to check your local zoning ordinances to ensure an automotive business is allowed at the location you have chosen for your dealership. We will discuss building requirements extensively in class.

8. Display Lot

If you will only have 10 or less vehicles for retail sale you may have sufficient retail space for 10 or less vehicles. If you will have 11 or more vehicles for retail sale you must have a display lot that is at least 3500 square feet. The display lot, like your building, must be separated from any other business, repair shop, or residence with a permanent physical barrier. This is required to deter any vehicles from a neighboring business or residence from parking on the dealership display lot. You are allowed to have an additional display in addition to your main display lot which is referred to as an expanded display lot. Your expanded lot must be have at least 2000 square feet of space. The expanded display lot must be within 200 feet of your dealership right of way. All paperwork regarding the sale of any vehicle must take place at the dealership building and not at the expanded display lot. We will cover expanded display lots in detail in your class.

9. Business Sign and Photographs

You will need a permanent business sign. The dealership name must be displayed in letters on the sign that are at least 6 inches high or larger. The sign can be mounted on the exterior of the business building or erected on the display area and must be prominently displayed. Your sign must have the exact name of your dealership as it is listed on your dealer’s application. Most printing companies can produce a permanent business sign at minimal costs. Be sure the letters in the dealership name are at least 6 inches high. You must send photographs of your business. The photographs must include your display lot, both inside & outside of your office, your business sign, posted business hours, posted business telephone, and expanded display lot if applicable. You can email the photographs to dealerphotos@dps.ohio.gov  in JPG format or enclose the photographs in your dealer application packet. Business hours must be prominently displayed near the entrance to the office. You may post your business hours on the front of the building, on a window, or on the business sign. You must maintain records on all vehicles purchased, leased, and sold. Records must be stored either via paper or electronically at the dealership location. Documents for electronic titles must be kept at least 5 years. You will review an entire section on exactly what records to keep in your dealer training class.

10. Net Worth

You must have a net worth of at least $75,000 in order to apply for an Ohio dealer license. It is very easy to estimate your net worth, just add up all of your assets then subtract your liabilities. In other words, take the value of everything you own and subtract your total debt to find out your net worth. The State of Ohio wants to ensure each dealer is financially secure before being issued a dealer’s license. After you receive your Ohio Used Dealer License you should have no problem maintaining a net worth of at least $75,000.

11. Dealer Educational Class

Any person applying for an Ohio used motor vehicle dealer’s license that has not held a dealer license in the past 2 years are required to take 6 hour dealer educational course. You must attend the training within the 6 months prior to your application. You will receive a Certificate of Completion at the end of the class. Be sure to enclose the certificate in your dealer application packet. The Dealer Educational Classes are held in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo, and Akron-Canton. If you have questions about the dealer class call us at 800-369-2467 or 937-660-3978, view the Dealer Class Schedule or Sign Up For Your Ohio Dealer License Class Now!

12. Physical Lot Inspection

After you receive your Ohio used dealer license, BMV investigation personnel will conduct a lot inspection. The BMV wants to make sure that you have met all of the physical requirements which includes the office building located on the display lot, desk, chairs, filing cabinet, lighting & heating, display lot, displayed telephone number and office hours, etc.  All requirements must be met before applying for your Ohio used dealer’s license.

Then Mail or Hand Deliver Your Dealer Application Packet & License Fees

If you are mailing your application send it to:

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Dealer Licensing Section
P.O. Box 16521
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6521

If you are hand delivering your application please call the dealer licensing section at 614-752-7636 for instructions.

Ohio Department of Public Safety 1970 West Broad Street Columbus, Ohio 43223-1101

To ensure you are sending in the correct fees you may call the Dealer Licensing Section at 614-752-7636.

Congratulations, we will see you soon in your Ohio Used Dealer License Class.

Good Luck in Obtaining Your Ohio Dealer License!

 

We are here to help you start your Ohio Used Motor Vehicle Dealership!

Delus Johnson-Lead Instructor
Automobile Dealer Training Association

Ohio Dealer License Instructor