How to Obtain a Kentucky Auto Dealer License

Posted on September 20, 2012 by Aaron

If you live in Kentucky and are looking to obtain your auto dealer license, you’re in luck! We have compiled all of the information you will need in order to get your Kentucky dealer license.

Established Place of Business

The Kentucky Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) defines an established place of business as a permanent, enclosed commercial building located within the state that is easily accessible and open to the public and all reasonable times. A dealer license requires an established place of business to have a display lot / customer parking area of at least 2,000 square feet composed of a hard surface covering (asphalt, concrete, gravel).


In order to obtain your Kentucky auto dealer license, proof-of-coverage forms included with your application must be signed and returned to the MVC by your insurance company, not the agent. Your insurance policy must contain garage liability coverage in the minimum amounts of $100,000 per person, $300,000 per occurrence, and $50,000 for property damage. You do not need to have your proof of insurance on file prior to the MVC approving your dealer license application, as the MVC will notify you when the proof of insurance is required.

Business Name

The Kentucky MVC requires that your business name incorporate the words “Used Cars,” “Auto Sales,” “Auto Mart” or other similar terms that clearly identify you as a motor vehicle dealer. It is important to note, that unless you are applying for a dealer license as a new motor vehicle dealer, you cannot use the name of any make of motor vehicle as part of your company name or in any advertisement. So, if you’re opening a used car dealership, you cannot name your company “Downtown Chevrolet.” Also important to note, unless you’re applying for a wholesale dealer license, you cannot use the word “wholesale” in your company name, nor can you use the words “broker” or “consignment” if you are a first-time dealer license applicant.

Licensed Sales Personnel

A Motor Vehicle Salesperson license is required for every person employed by a dealer to sell motor vehicles, including the owners of the business and for every person employed at a vehicle auction as an auctioneer of vehicles. If you have anyone acting for your dealership in any aspect of displaying a vehicle or negotiating on behalf of your dealership, they must possess a salesperson’s license. The Salesperson license fee is $20.00 and checks can be made out to “Kentucky State Treasurer.”


Your dealer license application form needs to be completed and received by the MVC within ten working days before the next scheduled MVC meeting (held on the second Friday of each month). Along with your completed application, you will need to provide a $40 application fee, along with a $15 fee for each person listed as the owner of the dealership to conduct a criminal background check. You can make your checks payable to “Kentucky State Treasurer.”

Bond and Fees

The Kentucky MVC may require you to furnish a bond or show assets or other reliable financial arrangements equaling at least $15,000. The MVC will notify you if this is required of you once you being your dealer license application process. In addition to a bond, the MVC charges a $100.00 fee for your dealer license on top of the $20.00 salesperson license fee. The dealer license and salesperson license fees can be paid via check to “Kentucky State Treasurer.”

If you decide not to get licensed through the state, we can help you get licensed as an independent agent for a reputable dealership, much like a real estate broker. Contact us at today to learn about your dealer license options!