Dealer Services and Licensing

Motor Vehicle Dealer Licensing

Licensing Information

Regulations, Restrictions and Requirements

Definitions (ARS 28-4301, effective Jan. 1, 2006)

"Automotive Recycler" means a person who is engaged in the business of buying or acquiring a motor vehicle solely for the purpose of dismantling, selling or otherwise disposing of the parts or accessories and who dismantles six or more vehicles in a calendar year.

"Broker" means a person who for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration offers to provide, provides or represents that the person will provide a service of arranging or assisting in effecting the purchase of a motor vehicle and who is not

  • a new motor vehicle dealer or an employee or agent of a new motor vehicle dealer.
  • a used motor vehicle dealer or an employee or agent of a used motor vehicle dealer.
  • a manufacturer or an employee or agent of a manufacturer.
  • an auctioneer or engaged in the auto auction business.
  • a wholesale motor vehicle dealer.

"New Motor Vehicle Dealer" means a person who buys, sells, exchanges or offers or attempts to negotiate a sale or exchange of any interest in, or who is engaged in the business of selling, new motor vehicles or used motor vehicles taken in trade on new motor vehicles or used vehicles purchased for resale.

"Public Consignment Auction Dealer" means a person who at the public consignment auction dealer's established place of business or at an authorized off-premises location pursuant to the requirements of Section 28-4401 in the business of both of the following:

  • Conducting live auctions with a licensed auctioneer verbally calling for and accepting bids
  • Providing live auction services to the public on a consignment contract basis

"Used Motor Vehicle Dealer" means a person, other than a new motor vehicle dealer, who buys, sells, auctions, exchanges or offers or attempts to negotiate a sale or exchange of any interest in, or who is engaged in the business of selling, four or more used motor vehicles in a continuous 12 month period. Used motor vehicle dealer does not include a wholesale motor vehicle auction dealer or public consignment auction dealer.

"Wholesale Motor Vehicle Auction Dealer" means a person who is in the business of providing auction services solely in wholesale transactions to motor vehicle dealers licensed by this state or any other jurisdiction, and who neither buys, sells nor owns the motor vehicles he or she auctions in the ordinary course of business.

"Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealer" means a person who sells used motor vehicles only to licensed motor vehicle dealers.

Application (ARS 28-4361)

Application must be completed in full and must be signed by the individual, all partners, or an officer of the corporation.

Each submitted Motor Vehicle Dealer Application will be reviewed for completeness.  If the application is considered viable, the applicant will be contacted for the Additional Requirements. If the application is considered non-viable, it will be returned by US Mail for incompleteness, and the applicant may resubmit it with requested Additional Requirements.

A separate application must be submitted for each type of license, entity change, change location or name change, branch or subsequent dealer license.

Note: If there is a change in business entity, after becoming licensed, a new application must be submitted with all applicable paperwork, including a new bond and a new dealer license number will be assigned.  NOTE: dealer plates are license specific and if a new license number is assigned, new dealer plates must be ordered (if applicable).

The background check is not required if the owner is on a current dealer license

Criminal Records Check (ARS 28-4361C)

Each partner and each applicant who owns 20% or more of an entity and who seeks a new license must provide a personal history form and fingerprint card to enable the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) to conduct a criminal records check.

The criminal records check may not apply if the application is for a subsequent license, or each partner and each applicant owning 20 percent or more of an entity has completed a criminal records check through MVD during the past five years, or is currently licensed.

An applicant, as referenced above, who has been convicted of fraud or an auto-related felony within the last ten years or any other type of felony within the last five years will have his or her license application denied.

If application is denied, MVD will notify the applicant in writing of the denial and the grounds for the denial. The applicant may appeal the denial by requesting an administrative hearing and, if the denial is upheld, appeal to the Maricopa County Superior Court. See ARS 28-4365 for more information.

Fees

  • $15.00 Filing Fee (check payable to Motor Vehicle Division) *
  • $22.00 Criminal Records Check Fee per individual (certified check or money order payable to Arizona Department of Public Safety)*
  • $100.00 Dealer License
  • $30.00 per dealer plate (if applicable)
  • $50.00 Branch Office*
  • $10.00 Change Location *
  • $10.00 Change Business Name *

*Note: To be paid when submitting the Motor Vehicle Dealer application or Dealer Record Amendment form. All other fees are paid at a later date by invoice.

Bonds (ARS 28-4362)

The bond must be a surety bond executed by an insurance or bonding company authorized to do business in Arizona, and must be in the amounts shown the table below.

Amount Type of Dealer
$100,000 New Motor Vehicle Dealer
Used Motor Vehicle Dealer
Public Consignment Auction Dealer
$25,000 Broker
Wholesale Auto Auction Dealer
Wholesale Motor Vehicle Dealer
$20,000 Automotive Recycler

A separate original bond must be submitted for each application and for each county in which the licensee has an established place of business.

A power of attorney for the attorney-in-fact must be attached to the bond.

The bond must be signed by the individual, all partners (if a partnership) or one corporate officer (if incorporated). Bonds may not be handwritten and must contain all required signatures and an embossed stamp, seal or sticker.

The bond is continuous and may be canceled only upon receipt of 60 days written notice from the bond company to Dealer Licensing.

Buy/Sell Agreements

A copy of the Buy/Sell Agreement must be submitted at the time of application, whenever a prospective dealer purchases an existing dealership. All parties involved must sign the agreement, including partners, directors, officers, stockholders owning 20 percent or more of a corporation, etc.

Dealers Selling New Products (ARS 28-4363)

Applicants who will be selling new products must submit submit an Authorization letter or a Certificate of Appointment signed by an authorized agent of the manufacturer or distributor licensed to conduct business in Arizona.

The Authorization letter or Certificate of Appointment must contain the following information:

  • Name of appointed dealership
  • Address where new product will be sold
  • Name of each Make/product
  • Date or effective date

Established Place of Business (ARS 28-4334)

Established place of business must be a permanent enclosed building or structure, owned either in fee or leased (6-month minimum lease), with sufficient space to display two or more vehicles of a kind and type that the dealer is licensed to sell. The established place of business must be devoted principally to the business of a dealer.

A used motor vehicle dealer, public consignment auction dealer or automotive recycler may use a trailer with the wheels removed as an office.

A wholesale motor vehicle dealer may operate from a location zoned for residential use. Applicants should contact their local city or county office to ensure compliance with local zoning ordinances.  All owners listed on a wholesale dealer license are required to be an Arizona Resident and have an Arizona Driver’s License or ID.

Business Hours (ARS 28-4361)

All dealers must post and maintain weekly business hours as indicated on their application as outlined in ARS §28-4493.7.

Business Sign (ARS 28-4406)

Each motor vehicle dealer and automotive recycler sign must be legible for 300 feet during daylight hours. The sign must be permanently erected on the ground or permanently affixed to the building. The sign must indicate that the business of a motor vehicle dealer or automotive recycler is conducted at or from the premises. NOTE: banners will not be accepted.

A public consignment auction dealer must also post at the public consignment auction dealer's established place of business, a sign indicating that the public consignment auction dealer is exempt from

  • implied warranty of merchantability described in ARS 28-4412 and 44-1267.
  • emissions inspection pursuant to ARS 49-542D.

A wholesale motor vehicle dealer or broker must erect a permanent sign (no size requirement) at the entrance of the place of business. The sign must state the business name and indicate that the business of a wholesale motor vehicle dealer or broker is conducted at or from the premises.

Corporations and Limited Liability Companies

Corporations and limited liability companies must submit these items:

  • A copy of their Articles of Incorporation on file at the Arizona Corporation Commission
  • If an out of state corporation, they must file their articles as a foreign corporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission
  • A copy of the current filing of the Annual Report and Certificate of Disclosure, if applicable

For information on filing as an Arizona corporation, contact the Arizona Corporation Commission by calling 602.542.3135 or going to azcc.gov.

Limited Liability Partnerships

Limited liability partnerships must submit a copy of the Partnership Agreement on file at the Arizona Secretary of State's office.

For information on filing as a limited liability partnership in Arizona, contact the Secretary of State's office by calling 602.542.6187.

Dealer Plates (Optional)

Automotive recyclers, public consignment auction dealer, wholesale auctions and brokers are not eligible to obtain dealer plates.

The dealer license types that are eligible for dealer plates are; New, Used and Wholesale

  • Motor Vehicle Dealer Plate (DL): $ 30
  • Trailer Dealer Plate (TR) $30
  • Dealer Motorcycle Plate (MD) $10

The right to use a dealer plate expires upon license expiration. The fee to continue the right to use a dealer plate must be submitted on or before license expiration date through secure.servicearizona.com.

Every dealer who applies for and obtains dealer plates must comply with ARS 28-4532, 28-4533, 28 4534, 28-4535, 28-4536, 28-4538 and all applicable provisions of the Uniform Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act (proof of insurance).

Expiration of Permanent License (ARS 28-4405)

A permanent license will expire when the licensee fails, neglects or refuses to pay the required fee for the ensuing year. If a licensee fails, neglects or refuses to pay the required fee for the ensuing year on or before license expiration, the fee must be deemed delinquent and penalty equal to the fee will be added and collected at the time of renewal.

Renewal of any motor vehicle license type must be completed at secure.servicearizona.com. To establish a username and password, please contact the ServiceArizona Assistance Desk by calling 866.436.9533 or email ezhelp@us.ibm.com. Renewal fees will not be accepted by the Dealer Licensing Unit.

Note: It is the motor vehicle dealer's responsibility to update all contact information through either secure.servicearizona.com or the Dealer Licensing Unit.

Electronic Access Requirement

All licensees are required to have computer and Internet access. Electronic access is required to accomplish various business functions related to your license to include renewing licenses and plates, issuing TRP's, 30-Day General Use permits and corresponding with MVD.

Questions?

Please contact the Dealer Licensing Unit by emailing mvdlu@azdot.gov or calling 602.712.7571.

The following information is provided as a courtesy, and does not represent all agencies through which you must or may conduct business.

Title and Registration

For questions regarding title and registration, contact MVD:

Phoenix: 602.255.0072
Tucson: 520.629.9808
Elsewhere in Arizona: 800.251.5866

Selling on a Noncash Basis

Dealers selling on a non-cash basis and have an agreement with a financial institution or bank are required to complete and submit the Contract with a Third Party form and a one-time fee of $300.00 fee will be accessed on the dealer license invoice.  A $150.00 fee will be assessed each license renewal cycle thereafter.

If your dealership is a buy-here, pay-here business, you will be required to contact the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions at 602.255.4421 for license information.

Emissions

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Phone: 877.692.9227
azdeq.gov

State Sales Tax

Arizona Department of Revenue
Phoenix: 602.255.3381
Elsewhere in Arizona: 800.352.4090
azdor.gov

The Arizona Ombudsman – Citizens Aide helps you resolve ongoing issues with State Agencies.

Civil Rights

Pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other nondiscrimination laws and authorities, ADOT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Persons that require a reasonable accommodation based on language or disability should contact ADOT’s Civil Rights Office at civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Requests should be made as early as possible to ensure the State has an opportunity to address the accommodation.

De acuerdo con el Título VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, la Ley de Estadounidenses con Discapacidades (ADA por sus siglas en inglés) y otras normas y leyes antidiscriminatorias, el Departamento de Transporte de Arizona (ADOT) no discrimina por motivos de raza, color, origen nacional, sexo, edad o discapacidad. Las personas que requieran asistencia (dentro de lo razonable) ya sea por el idioma o discapacidad deben ponerse en contacto con la Oficina de Derechos Civiles de ADOT en civilrightsoffice@azdot.gov. Las solicitudes deben hacerse lo más antes posible para asegurar que el Estado tenga la oportunidad de hacer los arreglos necesarios.