Auto dealer bond cost
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation requires motor vehicle dealers, motor vehicle salvage dealers, motor vehicle wholesalers, recreational vehicle dealers, motor vehicle auction dealers and moped dealers to post surety bonds to legally work within the state. The required amount of bond coverage varies on a case-by-case basis, so applicants should verify their required bond amount prior to bonding.
These bonds are subject to underwriting, so the price you’ll pay for your bond depends not only on your required bond amount but also on a review of your personal credit report. Because the price of these bonds varies so much, we suggest submitting a bond request to connect with our team of surety experts who will walk you through our fast and easy bonding process and provide you with your free, no-obligation bond quote. Surety Bonds offers an exclusive bad credit bonding program through which we approve 99% of applicants for the bonds they need regardless of financial issues.
Why this bond
By posting a Wisconsin vehicle dealer bond, principals (dealers) pledge to comply with the provisions and conditions of Chapter 218 of the Wisconsin Statutes. The following sections of legislation pertain to the various license types covered by this bond:
- s.218.0114(5)(a) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle dealers
- s.218.0114(5)(c) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle wholesalers
- s.218.0114(20)(b) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle dealers when a bond is required by the Department
- s.218.21(1m) and (4) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle salvage dealers when a bond is filed in lieu of a financial statement
- s.218.11(3) Wisconsin Statutes for recreational vehicle dealers when a bond is required by the Department
- s.218.21(6) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle salvage dealers when a bond is required by the Department
- s.218.33(1) Wisconsin Statutes for motor vehicle auction dealers
- s.218.41(2)(c) Wisconsin Statutes for moped dealers when a bond is required by the Department
If the principal violates these terms, the bond protects the state and any person that suffers damages from the principal’s unlawful business practices up to the full penal sum of the bond. The principal must then reimburse the surety for all damages paid out.
Wisconsin vehicle dealer bonds remain in full force and effect through the date listed on the bond form. If the bond is indicated as “continuous,” it will not automatically expire with the dealer’s license, but will continue from year to year as a new and separate obligation for each 12-month period.
The surety can cancel the bond by giving written notice of cancellation to the Department of Transportation 60 days prior to the effective termination date. Notice of termination must also be sent to the principal.
Applicants should be sure to indicate the correct license type on the bond form. Licenses covered by this bond include:
- motor vehicle dealer
- motor vehicle salvage dealer
- motor vehicle wholesaler
- recreational vehicle dealer
- motor vehicle auction dealer
- moped dealer
Become an auto dealer
To become a licensed dealer in Wisconsin , applicants must acquire the specific license type that matches their particular dealership. Most Wisconsin dealer licenses have the same general requirements, but each license type has a few unique nuances.
To obtain a Wisconsin dealer license, applicants must:
- own a permanent business location (not a residence) with office space
- meet all zoning and local permit requirements for the location
- have a business sign with posted hours
- be at least 18 years of age
- be of good character and not have been convicted of a serious crime directly related to the sale of motor vehicles
- and more
If you’re interested in becoming a licensed salvage dealer, you must post a Type 1, Type 2, Type 3 or Type 4 business license and pay the mandatory $150 registration fee that will last for the 2-year license. The salvage buyer identification (BID) card is an additional $12. It is possible to combine a salvage dealership license and a retail dealership license if the applicant chooses to do so.
Motor vehicle wholesale dealers must have an outdoor vehicle display lot adjacent to the business office unless all vehicles will be displayed indoors. You must also post a notice that sales are restricted to licensed dealers only and have at least one licensed representative for the dealership. The application fee is $150.
Recreational motor vehicle dealers must submit a Recreational Vehicle Business Facilities Statement as well as an RV service agreement. You must also have 1 licensed salesperson, an exterior business sign and a lease for business real estate unless you own the property. Display lots are optional. You must submit to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation inspection of the business location before the license can be issued. The registration fee for the license is $100.
Motor vehicle auction dealers must follow all general licensing requirements for motor vehicle dealers as well as pay the $100 registration fee for the 2-year license.
Apply for your surety bond
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