How to get an Alabama Car Dealer License

Who needs an Alabama Car Dealer License?

Section 40-12-390 of Alabama State Code requires all new and used car dealers, motor vehicle wholesalers, rebuilders, and conditioners to obtain an Alabama car dealer license.  Additionally, motorcycle dealers and those companies selling trailers subject to titling must also register as a motor vehicle dealer in Alabama.  Each license type is summarized below:

  • Alabama used car dealer license – required of any person or entity who is engaged in advertising, selling, buying, or negotiating for sale five or more motor vehicles in one calendar year.  This does not include those companies offering rental or leased vehicles.  This license now includes motor vehicle rebuilder and wholesale dealer licensees as it relates to used motor vehicles.
  • Alabama new car dealer license – required of any person or entity who has a contract with a vehicle manufacturer or franchise and advertises, sells, buys, or negotiates for sale more than five vehicles in a calendar year.  This license now includes motor vehicle rebuilder and wholesale dealer licensees as it relates to new motor vehicles.
  • Alabama motor vehicle rebuilder license – required of any person or entity who modifies or makes repairs to any motor vehicle which then requires a new ID to be issued by the Alabama Department of Revenue.  This license is also required of those individuals or entities who refurbish motor vehicles for sale under the same ID.  This license type is now included under the Alabama used and new car dealer licenses.
  • Alabama motor vehicle reconditioner license – required of any person or entity who is in the business of refurbishing, repairing, or replacing damaged parts of a motor vehicle with the intent of selling the motor vehicle.  This license is now included in the definition of an Alabama motor vehicle rebuilder.
  • Alabama motor vehicle wholesaler – required of any person or entity who sells vehicles directly to dealers and entities other than the public.  This license type is now included under the Alabama used car dealer license and new car dealer license types.

You probably noticed that the new and used car dealer licenses now include motor vehicle rebuilders and wholesale dealers.  In 2014, Alabama included these license types which no longer made it necessary for a used car dealer to purchase and additional wholesaler license or a new car dealer to purchase a rebuilder license in additional to their new car dealer license.  The purpose of this was to eliminate multiple license types from being required by the same person or business.  The reconditioner license category was also eliminated and now falls under the motor vehicle rebuilder license.

How do I get an Alabama Car Dealer License?

Applying for you Alabama Car Dealer License is easy!  Please review the steps below:

  • Step 1 – Visit the MVTRIP website at and click on Register for New Account.
  • Step 2 – Enter your name, email, desired username and password, then click Submit.
  • Step 3 – Log into the website mentioned above using your username and password.
  • Step 4 – Click on Start New Application/Renewal
  • Step 5 – A pop up window will appear asking if you have previously been issued a license.  If this is a new license application, click No, enter your business name, and then click Continue.
  • Step 6 – Click on the appropriate Alabama car dealer license type. Note: The wholesale and rebuilder licenses are automatically selected/included when new or used motor vehicle dealer types are selected.  Click Save to save your selection.
  • Step 7 – Complete the business, contact, liability insurance, and bond information sections.  You do not need to enter your liability insurance information if you do not yet have a policy in place.  Click Save to save your information.
  • Step 8 – Add information about all owners, partners, and members in the Representative section by clicking on Add New Representative.  You must click confirm after each representative’s information has been completed.  Click Save to save your information.
  • Step 9 – Add your dealership location(s).  You must click confirm after each dealership location has been entered.  Click Save to save your information.
  • Step 10 – Enter your payment information if using a credit card.
  • Step 11 – Click the check box which indicates you have read and acknowledged the agreement.
  • Step 12 – Type your name in the electronic signature box and click Submit.
  • Step 13 – Confirm the information entered is correct by clicking Confirm in the pop up window.
  • Step 14 – Click on the link which says “Click here to print your documents”.  IMPORTANT: You still need to sign and submit your documents to the Alabama Department of Revenue before your application is considered even if you submitted the electronic application.
  • Step 15 – You will receive an email from the Department of Revenue if you have been approved or need to submit additional documentation.  New Alabama car dealers will always need to forward the additional information listed below along with the printed, signed application:
    • An original Alabama motor vehicle dealer surety bond in the amount of $25,000;
    • Completed insurance certification form;
    • A photocopy of the driver’s license or ID for each representative listed in Step 8; and
    • A picture of your lot signage and the lot itself.

What if my Alabama Motor Vehicle Dealer License application is rejected?

Most new Alabama motor vehicle license applications are rejected because any or all of the items in Step 15 above were not sent with your printed application.  You must provide this information in order to obtain your dealer license.  However, you can always visit MVTRIP website and modify your application if changes are needed to the location, representatives, etc.  You will need to reprint and send your application to the Department of Revenue if changes are made.

How long is my Alabama Dealer License active?

All Alabama dealer licenses must expire on September 30th of each year.  This is true even if your license was issued on or after October 1st of the current year.  The expiration date is set by the state and cannot be changed.

How much will my Alabama Motor Vehicle Dealer License cost?

The cost of your license will be $25 for each license type needed.  Remember, motor vehicle rebuilder and wholesaler licenses are automatically included in under new and used motor vehicle dealer license designations (i.e. no additional fee is needed).  Other costs to consider are registering your business with the state of Alabama, your surety bond cost, and other insurance costs.

What is the Alabama Motor Vehicle Dealer Surety Bond?

The Alabama motor vehicle dealer surety bond is a type of insurance product required to obtain your license.  The bond protects consumers from financial harm caused by your dealership should you be unable to reimburse the consumer for their loss.  Please visit our Alabama motor vehicle dealer bond page for more information.

How long will it take to receive my Alabama Dealer License?

This depends on the state but can be issued quickly if all of the required information is submitted.  Generally, the state will review each application in 5-10 business days and respond with either an approval or rejection of your application.  Rejected applications often cause delays which result in additional time needed to obtain your license.

Helpful Alabama Motor Vehicle Dealer links

Alabama Department of Revenue
Motor Vehicle Division – Dealer Licenses
PO Box 327643
Montgomery, AL 36132-7643
Phone: 334-242-9000