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Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer Surety Bonds

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Motor Vehicle Dealers in Wisconsin are required to have a license and a bond to operate a dealership. Dealers that are required to be licensed include: retail new / franchised and used motor vehicle dealers (includes auto dealers and car dealers), recreational vehicle dealers, moped dealers, motorcycle dealers, salvage dealers, wholesale auction dealers, and wholesale dealer, vehicle manufacturers, representatives, or buyers.

Surety Bond and License Requirements:

  1. Dealers can apply for a license through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Dealer and Agent Section. Dealer applicants must be able to pass a criminal background check and be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Complete the application and additional applicable forms (based on dealer type) and pay the license and dealer plate fees.
  3. Retail, motorcycle, and wholesale dealers are required to have a permanent business location, with either an indoor or outdoor display lot, a business office with space to store records, posted business hours, outdoor signage with the business name on it, zoning approval, a lease or rental agreement (or proof of ownership of the property), a franchise agreement (for new vehicle sales only) and at least one licensed salesperson/representative.
  4. Retail, recreational vehicle and motorcycle dealers will also need to obtain a Sales Tax Seller Permit from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue and have either a service department or a nearby service facility for warranty repairs.
  5. Dealer surety bond requirements are as follows:
  • Motor Vehicle Dealers require a $50,000 surety bond
  • Recreational Vehicle Dealers require a $25,000 surety bond or $50,000 surety bond if the dealership sells other types of motor vehicles.
  • Motor Vehicle Wholesalers require a $25,000 surety bond
  • Motor Vehicle Auction Dealers require a $25,000 surety bond
  • Motorcycle Dealers require a $5,000 surety bond
  • Motor Vehicle Salvage Dealers require a $25,000 surety bond
  • Moped Dealers require a $5,000 surety bond
  • A letter of credit can be provided to the State of equal value instead of a surety bond.
  • How Much Does a Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond Cost?

    The premium that you pay for a Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Dealer Surety Bond is dependent on credit, the bond amount required and experience in the vehicle sales industry. Our rates start at $100 for bond amounts $10,000 and under. Bonds over $10,000 start at 1% of the bond amount with good credit. Contact our Surety Bond Specialists for a free quote that fits your specific situation.

    Did You Know?

    A Wisconsin dealer license and bond are valid for a two-year term.

    Related Links:

    Wisconsin Retail Dealer License Information

    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