Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Wholesale dealer license

Anyone who sells, leases, offers, or negotiates sales or leases of motor vehicles in Wisconsin must have a Wisconsin Dealer License. (Individuals can sell up to 5 of their own vehicles each year without a dealer license.) Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) licenses dealers to ensure fair business competition and protect consumers.

A motor vehicle wholesale dealer license allows you to purchase and resell used vehicles to licensed dealers only, never to the public. Motor vehicle salvage pools, which sell salvaged vehicles to licensed dealers, are also licensed as motor vehicle wholesale dealers.

If you wish to sell or lease vehicles to the general public, you will need a retail dealer license. For information about applying for a retail dealer license, see retail dealer license.

To qualify you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • A permanent business location with indoor office space.
  • An outdoor vehicle display lot adjacent to the business office, unless all vehicles will be displayed indoors.
  • A $25,000 surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit. For a list of insurance companies accepting applications for bonds, see insurance companies that accept applications for bonds.
  • Zoning and local permit approval for the location.
  • At least one licensed representative. That may be you or someone else.
  • An outdoor sign showing business name.
  • A sign with your business hours posted on or next to the entrance door.
  • Posted notice that sales are restricted to licensed dealers only.
  • A lease for the business real estate unless the license applicant owns it.
  • Fees for a two-year wholesale dealer license, dealer plate fee, and representative license fee. (More information on fees follows.)
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must be of good character, and must not have been convicted of a serious crime directly related to the sale of motor vehicles.

Apply by mail

You must complete several forms and provide additional documentation in order to apply for a wholesale dealer license. Many of the forms require your signature, or the signature of authorities and witnesses. It is not currently possible to submit your wholesale dealer license application online or by email. Some of the forms available below can be partially completed on the screen before printing. Others must be printed and completed entirely by hand. Therefore, you must apply for your wholesale dealer license by mail at the address below.

Steps in applying for a license:

  1. (See wholesale dealer license application instructions.) Print the instructions for your reference while completing application forms online.
  2. Complete and print application materials. You must submit all of the following application materials, except those listed as optional below. You may complete online forms on your screen before you print them. Some require additional handwritten information and signatures. However, you may not submit forms online or by email. You must mail completed paper copies of the required forms to the WisDOT Dealer & Agent Section at the address below.
    • Motor Vehicle Wholesaler Two Year License Application - MV2860. Print two copies.
    • Entity/Owner Statement - MV2844. If your business has more than one owner, print and submit a form for each owner, partner, LLC member or manager, corporate officer or shareholder of 10% or more.
    • Business Facilities Statement - form MV2845.
    • A Dealer Bond form - MV2511. If you will be submitting an Irrevocable Letter of Credit instead of the $25,000 bond, you will use the Wisconsin Irrevocable Letter of Credit MV1046.
    • Salesperson/Representative License Application - MV2184
    • Buyer's License Application MV2941. The Buyer's license is optional.
    • Salvage Buyer Identification (BID) Card Application - MV2651 - The Salvage Buyer Identification (BID) Card is optional.
  3. Mail your completed application materials to the address below.

If you have questions or prefer to have application materials mailed to you:

  • Email: dealers.dmv@dot.wi.gov
  • Call: (608) 266-1425
  • FAX: (608) 267-0323
  • Write to the address below:

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation
    Dealer & Agent Section
    4802 Sheboygan Avenue, Room 201
    P.O. Box 7909
    Madison, WI 53707-7909

Questions about the content of this page:
Division of Motor Vehicles, Dealer Section, dealers.dmv@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: July 15, 2008

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