Get Your Indiana Auto Dealers License

Posted on December 19, 2011 by Aaron

All vehicle dealers in Indiana must obtain a dealer license from the Indiana Secretary of State. You are a dealer if you sell twelve or more vehicles, new or used, in one year. Requirements for licensing and operating dealerships are contained in the Indiana Administrative Code (75 IAC).
The Secretary of State issues two types of dealer licenses: retail and wholesale. A wholesale license permits sales to other dealers; a retail license authorizes sales to end consumers. To get a retail license, you must have an established and insured place of business.
The first step to obtain a dealer license is to review the Indiana Secretary of State website for license requirements ( The website offers a free downloadable application (Form 13215). Fill in this two-page application completely to avoid processing delays. The application must be verified for zoning compliance. You must take it to the local zoning board or authority where your business is located and have it signed by an authorized person.
With your application, submit your federal taxpayer identification number (TIN), the addresses and Social Security numbers of the primary owners or partners, and your company’s formation documents (corporation, limited liability company, or limited liability partnership). If you are applying as a retailer, attach a copy of your retail merchant’s certificate. A new car dealer must submit a copy of the franchise or dealer contract.
Before submitting the application, get liability insurance. Proof of insurance (a Certificate of Liability) must be sent with the license application. Additionally, you must acquire an Indiana Vehicle Merchandising Certificate Bond of $25,000. A form to apply for the bond is available on the Secretary of State’s website.
The license application must be accompanied by photographs (at least 3×5 inches) of your establishment including the parking lot, storage lot, exterior advertising sign, the display floor or building, and the office building. Your signage must give hours of operation and contact numbers for unmanned hours.
Your application will be assigned to an investigator, who will visit your site, verify compliance, and approve it. You will then be sent a license. The process usually takes three to six weeks. If the application is rejected, you will be given an opportunity to correct the problem. After receiving the license, you can apply for dealer plates at the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). The BMV locations specially designated for dealer services are listed on