How to Acquire a Kentucky Auto Dealer License?

Motor vehicle dealers in Kentucky are licensed by the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). Operating without a license is a crime. For a Dealer Handbook, see the Commission’s website

A dealer license is mandatory for anyone “engaged in the business” of selling, offering to sell, or advertising to sell one or more vehicles or of possessing one or more vehicles for resale. “Engaged in the business” means purchasing a vehicle with intent to resell it.

Ten license endorsements are available: new, used, leasing, wholesale, restricted, mobility, recycling, supplemental, motorcycle, and auction. A dealer’s operations are limited to the endorsement. A dealer may hold several endorsements, but there is a license fee of $100 each.

The application form can be downloaded free at or obtained by writing to MCV, 105 Sea Hero Road, Suite 1, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601. Great care should be used when completing it. An incomplete or illegible application will be returned to you.

The application asks for a sales tax permit number, the names, addresses, and photographs of the primary owners, partners, or corporate officers, and your company’s formation documents. If you operate under an assumed name, include proof of registration. The application sets out a fill-able financial statement of assets and liabilities. The MVC may require a bond of at least $15,000.

Proof of insurance must be submitted with the application. Coverage for public liability and property damage must be at minimums of $100,000 personal, $300,000 per occurrence, and $50,000 property damage.
The application must be accompanied by photographs (3×5 inches) of your facility, including the main sign, exterior and interior office views, and property views from the front, back, and both sides at 100 feet out.

The application must be notarized, then mailed to MVC with fees, payable to “Kentucky State Treasurer,” of $100 per license, a $40.00 processing fee, plus $15.00 per owner, partner, or officer listed in the application. Your application will be considered at a monthly meeting of the MVC.

Once the license issues, you must register locally at the County Clerk in the county of the dealership. Present your state license and an affidavit listing all salespersons and others authorized to operate a vehicle with the dealer’s plates. For under $40.00, the Clerk will issue a dealer plate. Thank you for reading our article on: “How to Acquire a Kentucky Auto Dealer License?”