Dealer - License to Sell New Vehicles

​​​​The questions and answers provided below relate to issuing, renewing, changing and correcting a business license for a new vehicle dealer. If you are unsure about the type of license for which you should apply, please refer to the Summary of Dealer Types.

Each of the following procedures is separately discussed below in answer to a commonly asked question. Either scroll down to the appropriate question and answer, or click on the procedure in which you are interested.

  • Issuing a New License
  • Adding a New Location
  • Adding a New Franchise
  • Deleting a Franchise
  • Renewing a License
  • Changing Information on the License
  • Correcting Information on the License
  • Requesting a Duplicate License
  • Obtaining MVA Forms
  • Going Out of Business

  • Fees:


    Contact Information:

    MVA
    Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS)

    6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
    Glen Burnie, MD 21062
    Email:  BusinessLicensing@mdot.state.md.us

    MVA Warehouse
    150 Blades Lane, Suite H
    Glen Burnie, MD 21061
    Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday (8am-4pm)
    Email: mvawarehouse@mdot.state.md.us 

    For telephone questions:
    MVA Customer Service Center:     1-410-768-7000
    TTY/Hearing Impaired:                      1-301-729-4563


    How do I obtain a business license from the MVA authorizing me to establish a new dealership for selling new vehicles?

    To apply for a new dealership license, download the New Vehicle Dealer Business Licensing Packet​ which includes all the required forms and instructions. Mail the information identified below to the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) division. Incomplete applications or applications without required documents will not be accepted.

    If you need additional information you may contact Business Licensing by e-mail at mvablcsd@mva.maryland.gov.

    • Application for Vehicle Dealer’s License – this form must be fully completed and signed and dated by all dealership officers, partners, or owners (licensees). Be sure to include your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and the Social Security Numbers of all officers/partners/owners.
    • Zoning Approval Form - A zoning official from the jurisdiction where the facility will be located must sign the form confirming that the property is zoned appropriately for a new vehicle dealership.
    • Surety Bond of Vehicle or Trailer Dealer - This form is proof of your insurance coverage. It must include the full name of the dealership, including any “trading as” name. It also must include the full names and signatures of all officers, partners, or owners, exactly as shown on the application. Your bonding company must stamp the form with its Seal of Surety and a representative (usually the company’s lawyer) must sign the form.
    • Power of attorney – This form is required only when a rider or new Surety Bond is submitted.
    • Proof of Workers' Compensation coverage or exemption from coverage requirements - If you have Workers' Compensation insurance, complete information requested on the Application for Vehicle Dealers License in the appropriate section.  If you are claiming exemption from providing Workers' Compensation Insurance for your employees, please contact the Workers' Compensation Office at 410-864-5400 or visit their website at www.wcc.state.md.us to obtain information and the appropriate forms for businesses who do not provide this type of coverage.
    • Criminal background check - A Maryland criminal background check is required for all officers, partners, owners (licensees) and others who have a financial interest in the dealership. In addition, if any of the licensees or other person with a financial interest in the dealership resides outside of Maryland, or has lived in Maryland for less than 1 year, then their current/former state of residence also must conduct a criminal background check. A background check from a private company will be accepted if the Maryland State Police licenses the company as a Private Investigation Agency. The results of these other state criminal background check must be submitted.
    • Trader’s License (copy) - This license can be obtained from the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction where the dealership is located.
    • Business registration letter - This document can be obtained from the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). It verifies that your dealership is licensed to do business in the State of Maryland. All dealer applicants must register with the SDAT, even if they are based in another state. Both corporate and trading names must be registered. You may use the printout that can be obtained from the SDAT website.
    • Automotive Repair Facility Contract  This form is used to certify that you will have a repair facility within 5 miles of each dealership location.
    • Franchise Approval from the Manufacturer - A separate franchise approval letter must be submitted from each manufacturer whose vehicles will be sold by your dealership.
    • New Vehicle Certification Form  This form certifies that you are not functioning as both a seller of new vehicles and a manufacturer or distributor at the same time.
    • Insurance Information Form  This form certifies that you have vehicle liability insurance for the vehicles you will be selling and, if required, Workers' Compensation insurance for your employees.
    • Other Forms  Additional forms may be needed depending upon your situation:
      • Letter of Good Standing – If your dealership is licensed in another state and you are now applying to open a new location in Maryland, you will need to obtain this letter from the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation. The letter indicates that your business is operating in compliance with state laws and requirements.
      • Use and Occupancy Permit – This form is needed if you will be using a trailer as an office or the local zoning board requires that you obtain the Permit.
      • Dealer Orientation Request – You are urged to participate in an orientation given by the MVA.


    As part of the Business Licensing review process prior to becoming licensed, you must schedule a site inspection with a MVA Investigator. An investigator will go to your place of business and inspect your location to ensure compliance with the Maryland Code of Regulations (COMAR). To schedule your site inspection, please contact MVA Investigation Division at 410-768-7216. Upon completion of your site inspection, the investigator will initial your application and will check that you either passed or failed the inspection and issue a Business Site Inspection Receipt. This receipt must be submitted with your application for dealer's license. Once your dealer’s license has been approved, the BL&CS will contact you about how to pay for and obtain the license, one free salesman’s license, the interchangeable (dealer’s) tags needed for customers to test drive your vehicles, and other forms and items needed to operate a new vehicle dealership.

    xHow do I obtain the MVA's authorization to expand my new vehicle dealership by adding another sales location?

    To apply for a new license, download the New Vehicle Dealer Business Licensing Packet, which includes all the required forms and instructions.  Mail the information identified below to the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) Division. Incomplete applications or applications without required documents will not be accepted.

    If you need additional information you may contact Business Licensing by email at mvablcsd@mva.maryland.gov.

    • Application for Vehicle Dealer’s License – this form must be fully completed, signed and dated by all dealership officers, partners, or owners (licensees). Be sure to include your Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) and the Social Security Numbers of all officers/partners/owners.
    • Zoning Approval Form - A zoning official from the jurisdiction where the dealership will be located must sign the form confirming that the property is zoned appropriately for a new vehicle dealership.
    • Surety Bond of Vehicle or Trailer Dealer - This form is proof of your insurance coverage. It must include the full name of the dealership, including any “trading as” name. It also must include the full names and signatures of all officers, partners, or owners, exactly as shown on the application. Your bonding company must stamp the form with its Seal of Surety and a representative (usually the company’s lawyer) must sign the form.
    • Power of attorney - the company providing the Surety Bond will provide this form.
    • Proof of Workers' Compensation coverage or exemption from coverage requirements - If you have Workers’ Compensation Insurance, complete information requested on the Application for Vehicle Dealers License in the appropriate section. If you are claiming exemption from providing Worker’s Compensation Insurance for your employees, please contact the Workers’ Compensation Office at 410-864-5400 or visit their website at www.wcc.state.md.us to obtain information and the appropriate forms for businesses who do not provide this type of coverage.
    • Trader’s License (copy) - This license can be obtained from the Circuit Court in the jurisdiction where the dealership is located.
    • Automotive Repair Facility Contract – This form is used to certify that you will have a repair facility within 5 miles of each dealership location.
    • Franchise Approval from the Manufacturer - A separate franchise approval letter must be submitted from each manufacturer whose vehicles will be sold by your dealership.
    • New Vehicle Certification Form – This form certifies that you are not functioning as both a seller of new vehicles and a manufacturer or distributor at the same time.
    • Insurance Information Form – This form certifies that you have vehicle liability insurance for the vehicles you will be selling and, if required, Workman’s Compensation insurance for your employees.
    • Other Forms – Additional forms may be needed depending upon your situation:
      o  Rider to the Surety Bond of Vehicle or Trailer Dealer – A rider to your Surety Bond (or a new bond) is needed if the bond amount or other information has changed.
      o  Power of attorney – This form is required only when a rider or new Surety Bond is submitted.
      o  Criminal background check – A new criminal background check is needed if the original background check is more than 5 years old.
      o  Business registration letter – If the added location will be operating under a different trading name, you must submit proof that the new trading name has been registered with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT). You may submit a letter from SDAT or the printout that can be obtained from the SDAT website. See Issuing a New License.
      o  Use and Occupancy Permit – This form is needed if you will be using a trailer as an office or the local zoning board requires that you obtain the Permit.

    As part of the Business Licensing review process prior to becoming licensed, an investigator will go to your place of business and inspect your location to ensure compliance with the Maryland Code of Regulations (COMAR). To schedule your site inspection, please contact MVA Investigation Division at 410-768-7216. Upon completion of your site inspection, the investigator will initial your application and will check that you either passed or failed the inspection and issue a Business Site Inspection Receipt. This receipt must be submitted with your application. Once your dealer’s license has been approved, the BL&CS will contact you about how to pay for and obtain the license, one free salesman’s license, the interchangeable (dealer’s) tags needed for customers to test drive your vehicles, and other forms and items needed to operate a new vehicle dealership.

    How do I obtain the MVA's authorization to expand my new vehicle dealership by selling an additional type of new vehicle (i.e., adding a new franchise)?

    To apply, download the Add a Franchise Packet​ which includes all required forms.  Mail the information identified below to the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) division.  Incomplete applications or applications without required documents will not be accepted.

    If you need additional information you may contact BL&CS.

    • Application for Vehicle Dealer’s License  The  new franchise name must be included and the form must be fully completed and signed and dated by all dealership officers, partners, or owners (licensees).
    • Franchise Approval from the Manufacturer - A letter must be submitted from the manufacturer whose vehicles now will be sold through your dealership.
    • New Vehicle Dealer License (existing) - This is your current license, often referred to as a "wall license".
    • Other Forms  Additional forms may be needed depending upon your situation:
      • Rider to the Surety Bond of Vehicle or Trailer Dealer  A rider to your Surety Bond (or a new bond) is needed if the bond amount or other information has changed.
      • Power of attorney  This form is required only when a rider or new Surety Bond is submitted.
      • Criminal background check  A new criminal background check is needed if the original background check is more than 5 years old.

    Once the addition of a franchise has been approved, the BL&CS will mail a new dealer’s license to you. 

    Return to Top 

    What do I have to do when my new vehicle dealership stops selling a type of vehicle (i.e., deleting a franchise)?

    To apply, download the Add a Franchise Packet which includes the required forms.  Mail the information identified below to the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) division.  Incomplete applications or applications without required documents will not be accepted.

    If you need additional information you may contact BL&CS.

    • Application for Vehicle Dealer’s License  The franchise name must be deleted.
    • New Vehicle Dealer License(existing) - This is your current license, often referred to as a "wall license".
    • Other Forms  Additional forms may be needed depending upon your situation:
      • Rider to the Surety Bond of Vehicle or Trailer Dealer  A rider to your Surety Bond (or a new bond) is needed if the bond amount or other information has changed.
      • Power of attorney  This form is required only when a rider or new Surety Bond is submitted.
      • Criminal background check  A new criminal background check is needed if the original background check is more than 5 years old.

    Once the deletion of a franchise has been approved, the BL&CS will mail a new dealer’s license to you.

    How do I renew my new vehicle dealer’s license and the interchangeable tags (dealer tags) issued to the dealership?

    The Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) Unit will mail you a renewal packet about 60 days prior to the expiration date of your licenses. If you do not receive a renewal packet, please contact the BL&CS.

    Complete the Business License Renewal form and submit it to the BL&CS, along with all applicable fees​ and, as applicable, the documents listed below. You must submit these items at least 15 working days prior to your license expiration date. Note that the MVA will assume your dealership is going out of business if you do not request renewal before your expiration date.

    • Business License Renewal form
    • Trader’s License (copy) – Be sure that the current year’s license is copied.
    • Copies of flag releases  You will be notified of any outstanding flags with the renewal packet.
    • Surety Bond rider  This is required only if changes in your Surety Bond have been made.
    • Power of attorney - This form is required only when a rider or a new Surety Bond is submitted.
    • Explanation of MVA administrative actions – If any administrative actions have been taken or are pending against your dealership, you will be asked to submit a written statement.
    • Notice of criminal convictions  If any officers, partners, or owners (licensees), or other persons with a financial interest in your dealership have been convicted of a criminal offense, you will be asked to submit a written statement explaining the situation.

    Once your renewal request has been approved, the BL&CS will mail a new dealer’s license to you.

    What do I have to do if the name or address of my new vehicle dealership has changed, or if there has been a change in the officers, partners or owners (licensees) associated with the dealership?

    Maryland law requires that you report all changes affecting your dealership license to the MVA within 30 days after the change occurs. If the change occurs during your license renewal period, you may indicate the change on the Business License Renewal form that will be sent to you prior to the license expiration date. Otherwise, co​ntact the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) Unit either by phone or by mail to report the changes.

    The BL&CS will send you a packet of forms to be completed, as well as instructions for other actions that you must take in order to request the change. The documents required vary by the type of change involved.

    Once your change request has been approved, the BL&CS will mail you a new dealer’s license, a new salesman license and/or corrected registration cards for your interchangeable tags.

    How do I correct information that appears on my new vehicle dealer’s license and/or interchangeable tag registration cards?

    Contact the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) Unit, as soon as possible, and report the corrections needed. The unit will send you a packet of forms to be completed, as well as instructions for other actions, if any, that you must take in order to request the corrections.

    Once your correction request has been approved, the BL&CS will mail you a new dealer’s license and/or corrected registration cards for your interchangeable tags, if these items needed correction. Some corrections will not require the reprinting of these documents (e.g., your dealership phone number).

    How do I obtain a duplicate dealer’s license?

    Contact the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) Unit and request an Application for Duplicate Vehicle Dealer’s and/or Salesperson’s License. Written requests for duplicate dealer’s licenses will be accepted when submitted on company letterhead and accompanied by the appropriate fee.

    Once your duplicate request has been approved, the BL&CS will mail you a new dealer’s license.

    How do I obtain MVA forms for use in my dealership?

    You may obtain a variety of forms needed to operate your dealership from the MVA’s Warehouse. The forms should be ordered in advance. The request may be submitted by email or fax and must be on company letterhead and include the following information:

    • Company address
    • Phone number
    • Contact person
    • Dealer license number
    • Form number requesting
    • Form title
    • Quantity requested
    • Pick up or delivery

    If you will be picking up your request, please indicate the date and time for the pick up. The deliveries will be made by UPS and will not be made to P.O. boxes.

    If the forms are not available when you place the order, the MVA Warehouse will notify you as to when they will be available. You will not have to resubmit the order. It will be filled when the forms are available.

    What do I have to do if my new vehicle dealership is going out of business?

    If your dealership is forced out of business, the Business Licensing and Consumer Services (BL&CS) Unit will contact you. Otherwise, contact the BL&CS and indicate that you are going out of business. The BL&CS will advise you which materials must be returned to the MVA. Typically, you must return the following items which are considered State properties:

    • New Vehicle Dealer License (existing) - This document is often referred to as a “wall license”.
    • Vehicle Sales License – Owner (existing) - This document is often referred to as a “gratis salesman license”.
    • Interchangeable tags - All tags must be returned to an MVA branch office. The receipts showing that you returned the tags then must be submitted to the BL&CS.
    • Unused Temporary Registration Permits (form #CS-124) - If some of these items are not returned, the dealer must submit a statement indicating which items are missing.
    • Unused MVA Odometer Disclosure forms (form #VR-197) - If some of these items are not returned, the dealer must submit a statement indicating which items are missing.
    • Unused Dealer’s Bill of Sale and/or Reassignment for New and Used Vehicles (form #VR-182) - If some of these items are not returned, the dealer must submit a statement indicating which items are missing.
    • Paid Salesman Licenses – If you employed salesmen, then their licenses, issued by the MVA, must be returned.
    ​​​​​
​​​​​​​​​​