12 Steps to a Georgia Dealers License

Complete Dealer Educational Course
Fingerprint Based Background Check
Building & Display Lot
Permanent Business Sign & Photographs
Submit Original Certificate of Insurance
Dealer Surety Bond
Obtain State Sales Tax Number
Federal Employer Identification Number
Register with Secretary of State
Complete Dealer Application

1. Complete Dealer Course

The State of Georgia requires persons obtaining a dealer license for the very first time to sit through a mandated 4-hour dealer pre-license class. A Georgia dealer’s license can be VERY profitable, so the state of Georgia requires you to sit though a 4-hour dealer pre license course in order to apply for a GA dealers license. You must submit the Certificate of Completion you receive at the end of your dealer training course with your dealer license application to the Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers. This will show the State of Georgia you have completed your mandated training and are qualified to apply for a  Georgia dealer’s license. The Certificate of Completion you receive at the end of the course is good for exactly one year, so you want to make sure you complete all the pre-licensing steps and submit your dealer license application to the Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers within one year of your dealer license training course otherwise state law will require you to take the dealer training course all over again. The state of Georgia also requires dealers to take a continuing education dealer training course every 2 years before you can renew your dealers’ license.

2. Business Building and Display Lot

You must have a place of business to be used for the purpose of selling motor vehicles in order to obtain a Georgia used motor vehicle dealer license. The building must meet all local zoning requirements. You must have an office area in the building for the operation of your dealership.

Before you rent or purchase a building to operate your dealership you must contact your local planning and zoning office at your city hall or county courthouse to ensure you may operate a dealership at that location. When you submit your dealer license application in Georgia you must include a zoning verification signed by your local zoning authority.

If the business building is located at a private residence, it must be a completely separate structure from the actual residence and must meet the zoning requirements from that city or county in order to house your dealer license. Your office must include office furnishings and a file cabinet to store records. If a Georgia dealer shares their location with another business, the dealer must have their own office area.

A Georgia used motor vehicle dealer broker may operate from an office suite in an office complex, provided that the facility meets all rules and guidelines. At a minimum, the sign shall be at the entrance to the building, in a publicly displayed marquee in the lobby of the building that lists all businesses within the building, and directly outside the entrance to the office of the dealer.

The business building must also have installed and maintain a working land line telephone whose number shall be listed in the licensee's trade name, the same as that which is listed in the application and in any advertisement by the dealer made available to the consumer. The telephone of the dealer cannot be shared with another business. Cell phones and VOIP phones do not meet the dealer license phone requirements for the State of Georgia.

Retail dealers must have a display lot that has sufficient space to display the vehicle types you are selling. Those spaces must be reserved exclusively for the retail dealer's inventory and may not be shared or intermingled with another business or a public parking area, or another dealer's display area.

A retail dealer must conduct business in a building on the same property as the display lot. If the dealer is a used car broker and does not have a display lot, all the same rules apply with the exception of the display area for vehicles. Only one dealer may operate per lot. Multiple dealers may never share a lot in Georgia.

All retail sales activity by dealers must take place at the licensed location only. Wholesale vehicle dealers motor vehicle brokers are exempt from the display lot requirement.

4. Business Sign and Photographs

You will need a permanent business sign which is visible to consumers from the street in order to hold a dealer license in Georgia. The dealership name on the sign must be at least 6 inches or larger. At least one sign must be located and positioned to be clearly visible to consumers from the street. If the telephone number is listed on the sign, it must be the phone number listed on the application and in any advertisements by the dealer.

Most printing companies can produce a permanent business sign at minimal costs. Be sure the letters in the dealership name meet the minimum height requirements under Georgia law.

You must submit photographs of the dealership operations. Be sure to submit photographs of signs, sales rooms or offices, and the display lot to validate your established place of business. Do not forget to include photographs with your dealer license application as this will delay your dealer license approval by the Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers.

5. Insurance

You must obtain insurance before you apply for your dealer license. Georgia requires every motor vehicle driven on roadways to be insured. You must obtain insurance BEFORE applying for your dealer license.

You must have a garage liability coverage with the policy number. Automobile liability is not acceptable to have a dealers license, you must have garage liability so your dealership inventory will be covered when your customers are test driving your vehicles. The location must match address on application and certificate holder must be Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers. You will need to submit your original insurance ACCORD Form with your dealer license application packet to show the State of Georgia you are insured.
The following are the minimum insurance requirements:

• Liability Limits of Not Less Than $50,000 Per Person
• $100,000 Per Accident, Personal Insurance Liability Coverage
• $25,000 Property Damage Liability Coverage

6. Dealer Surety Bond

You must obtain a $35,000 dealer surety bond in order to obtain a Georgia used motor vehicle dealer's license. Used parts dealers that are not selling motor vehicles must obtain a $10,000 dealer surety bond. The name on the dealer surety bond must match exactly the name on the dealer license application and the name that is registered with the Secretary of State for business entities that file with the Secretary of State. Your Georgia dealer surety bond may never expire during your dealer licensure period. The bond must remain in effect the entire time of your licensure. Your dealer surety bond pricing is dependent on your credit score.
You can purchase a dealer bond from an insurance agent or a bonding company. You may even be able to easily find an insurance agent that can sell you your bond AND your insurance in one 5-minute phone call.
You must submit the original signed bond along with the bond power of attorney with your dealer license application.

7. Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Before submitting your dealer application, you must obtain an Employer Identification Number which is also known as a Federal Employment Identification Number, an EIN, or FEIN. This number is used to identify the new business you are starting and will be needed for tax purposes.

Obtaining this number is a very quick and easy step which will only take a few minutes. You can easily apply at http://www.irs.gov  and have your new Employer Identification Number in a matter of moments. If you have any questions about your Employer Identification number you can call
800-829-4933 or visitwww.irs.gov

8. Obtain Georgia Sales Tax Number

Before you apply for a Georgia dealer license you are required to obtain a Georgia Sales Tax Number. You must have this number in order to charge and collect sales tax on the motor vehicles you sell. You can easily obtain a Georgia Sales Tax Number online at the Georgia Tax Center at https://gtc.dor.ga.gov .  You will then receive a Form ST-2 Sales Tax Certificate and must include a copy of the Form ST-2 Sales Tax Certificate with your Georgia dealer license application.

If you have questions about how to obtain a Georgia Sales Tax Number you may call 1-877-423-6711.

9. Register Business Name with Georgia Secretary of State

Most dealers in Georgia must register the business name with the Georgia Secretary of State. The Georgia Secretary of State wants to have a record of every business which is operating the in the State of Georgia. Sole Proprietors & General Partnerships are excluded; however, Sole Proprietors and General Partnerships must file with Superior Clerk in any county they operate if they are using a name other than their proper name.

It is easy do this on the Georgia Secretary of States Corporations Division website: at www.ecorp.sos.ga.gov  

For additional information on registering your business you may contact the Georgia Secretary of State Corporations division via email at corporationswebmail@sos.ga.gov  call them at 404-656-2817. Once again that website is www.ecorp.sos.ga.gov

10. Occupational or Business License

Every dealer operating in the State of Georgia must have a local business license which may be referred to as a business license or occupational license. This is also a requirement when ordering GA dealer license plates. You may contact your city hall or if you are in a non-incorporated area, you may contact your county. Every city and county have different procedures for obtaining a local business license. This local license shows the State of Georgia that you are legally operating in your city or county.

11. Fingerprint Based Background Check

You must complete a fingerprint based background check with the Georgia Bureau of Investigations or GBI. This is for GEORGIA residents only, if you live in another state and are opening a dealership in Georgia you will need to obtain a fingerprint card and have your fingerprints taken in your home state. You must pay for and register for your fingerprints then apply for your license. Once the Georgia Board of Used Motor Vehicle Dealers receives your dealer license application you will be notified to report to your fingerprint location to have you fingerprints taken. This Georgia dealer license application requirement must be completed correctly in order to obtain your dealer license from the State of Georgia in the quickest manner.

12. Dealer Application

In order to obtain a Georgia dealer’s license, you must submit a dealer license application. The application is quite extensive and must be completed correctly and in its entirety. Mistakes on your dealer application can cause significant delays in your licensing process. If you need assistance during the application process you may call 844-753-7825 or email business.registration@dor.ga.gov . We will complete a dealer license application later in your dealer training course.

Lot Inspection

After you submit your dealer license application you will be contacted for your lot inspection. The lot inspection ensures you have met the minimum requirements to obtain a dealer license. A preliminary inspection will be conducted prior to issuance of license by the Board
Do not submit your dealer application until your proposed facility is ready for inspection. A failed inspection will delay review of your application until all deficiencies are satisfied.



Good Luck in Obtaining Your Georgia Dealer License!


We are here to help you start and maintain your Georgia Used Motor Vehicle Dealership!

Delus Johnson-Lead Instructor
Automobile Dealer Training Association

Georgia Dealer License Instructor