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South Carolina Motor Vehicle Dealer Surety Bond

A South Carolina Motor Vehicle Dealer shakes hands with customers

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The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) oversees the licensing of Motor Vehicle Dealers in the state. This includes motor vehicle dealers (also known as car dealers or auto dealers), retail dealers, travel trailer dealers, motorcycle dealers, auto auction dealers, wholesale dealers, and wholesale motorcycle dealers.

All motor vehicle dealers and wholesalers in South Carolina must provide a surety bond before a license can be issued. A surety bond protects the public from loss or damage due to fraud or fraudulent representation by a dealer, wholesaler, or their employees.

Surety Bond and License Requirements:

  1. Applicants must complete the two-page application and pay the applicable fees for licensure and dealer plates. Dealers that are applying for a non-franchise dealer license will need to complete the pre-licensing course.
  2. Complete an Affidavit of Eligibility (form AD-808A) for each owner having a 10% or more share of the business and each owner must be able to pass a criminal background check.
  3. Provide a copy of garage liability insurance (if applying for dealer plates).
  4. Provide a copy of your retail license obtained from the SC Department of Revenue and a local business license. If a business license is not required, obtain a letter from the city or county stating this.
  5. Dealers need to provide a diagram of the dealership including the display area and building. Wholesale dealers need to provide a diagram of the structure and office space where records will be kept.
  6. Surety bonds are required for the following dealer licenses:
  • Retail Dealer =$30,000 surety bond amount
  • Wholesale Dealer =$30,000 surety bond amount
  • Recreational Vehicle Dealer =$15,000 surety bond amount (effective November 19, 2017 bond amount increases to $30,000)
  • Wholesale Auto Auction =$15,000 surety bond amount
  • Travel Trailer Dealer =$15,000 surety bond amount
  • Motorcycle Dealer =$15,000 surety bond amount
  • Wholesale Motorcycle Dealer =$15,000 surety bond amount

  • A surety bond must be in effect before the Department of Motor Vehicles will issue a license, and the legal name on the surety bond must match exactly the legal name used in the application.

    How Much Will a South Carolina Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond Cost?

    The premium that you pay for a South Carolina Motor Vehicle Dealer Surety Bond will depend on credit, the bond amount needed and experience in the vehicle industry. Our rates start at 1% of the bond amount with good credit. Contact our Surety Bond Specialists for a free quote that fits your specific situation.

    Related Links:

    South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles: Dealer Licensing Information
    South Carolina Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond Form

    Did You Know?

    A DMV agent must inspect the business location to ensure that it meets state requirements.

    More Surety Bond Questions?

    Check out our FAQ page or What’s a Surety Bond? page. Should you need or choose to buy a surety bond, buy from us. SuretyGroup.com has been underwriting surety bonds throughout the U.S. for more than 35 years. When you work with us, you enjoy the unique benefit of dealing with a team of highly experienced surety agents with in-house underwriting authority. This allows you to receive competitive, low rates, quick approvals, and immediate bond delivery. In most cases, your bond will be delivered within 24 hours after you apply for it.


    For a downloadable application