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Do Washington Vehicle & Vessel Dealers Have a Surety Bond Requirement?

A happy customer smiles while testing a car at a Washington motor vehicle dealer

Vehicle and Vessel Dealers in the State of Washington are required to be licensed and have a bond to operate a dealership. Dealers that are required to be licensed include Wholesale dealers, motor vehicle dealers (including auto dealers and car dealers), manufactured home dealers, vessel (boat) dealers, travel trailer dealers, off-road dealers, snowmobile dealers and vehicle manufacturers. This also includes the sales of new/franchised dealers and used/retail dealers.

The State of Washington, Business Licensing Service requires vehicle dealer applicants to complete the license process which includes:

1. Complete the eight-hour dealer education course (does not apply to new/franchise dealers).

2. Complete the application and pay the license and dealer plate fees.

3. Meet the business site requirements which include permanent signage with the business name and type of business, meet building and zoning codes compliance, the property must be commercial property with an enclosed building, have a listed phone number, posted business hours that are at a minimum of five days per week from 10 am to 4 pm, have a secure place on the premises to store records and books. If more than one business shares the location, all records, office facilities and inventory must be kept seperate.

4. Complete the Financial/Source of Funds Statement and the Personal Criminal History Statement. Applicants must be able to pass the background check.

5. Apply for an E-Permit through the E-Permit system.

6. Obtain the required $30,000 surety bond for licensure from SuretyGroup.com. (Vessel dealers that sell fewer than 15 vessels per year and with a retail value of no more than $2,000 are not required to have a bond.) The business and owner name on the surety bond must match exactly as the business and owner name on the application

7. Provide a copy of the lease or rental agreement or copy of tax statement for the business property.

How Much Will This Bond Cost?

The premium that you pay for a Washington Vehicle or Vessel Dealer Surety Bond is dependent on credit and experience in the vehicle sales industry.

Have Questions?

Contact our Surety Bond Specialists at:

Phone: 1‑844‑432‑6637
Fax:     404-351-3237
Hours: 8:00-5:00 CST, Monday through Friday

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