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How to get your license: Motor vehicle wholesaler

Things to know


  • July 1, 2017, we stopped issuing new wholesale dealer licenses. See HB 1722.
  • July 1, 2018, wholesale vehicle dealer licenses issued prior to June 30, 2012 qualify for renewal. See HB 2808.

The applicant/licensee must comply with all applicable laws and rules, even if not covered below.

Who needs a license?

Any business that buys from or sells to Washington licensed dealers any of these types of vehicles:

  • Used cars
  • Used trucks
  • Used motor homes

If you don't have a wholesaler license, it's illegal to:

  • Sell more than 4 vehicles registered to you in any 12 months.
  • Buy and sell vehicles for the purpose of making a profit.
  • Sell any number of vehicles that aren't registered to you.

Business site requirements

Your business site must:

  • Always have a telecommunications system that answers and/or relays incoming calls, such as:
    • an answering service,
    • telephone answering machine, or
    • voice or beeper pagers.
  • Have an on-site area to maintain books, records, and files.
  • Have clearly identified records, office facilities, and inventory physically separated from any other vehicle dealer sharing the same location.
  • Have a permanently affixed exterior sign on the land or building with the business name and business type (such as auto wholesaler).
  • Have an office facility in a commercial building in WA and meet local zoning and land use laws.
  • Have no more than 3 wholesale or retail dealers in one building.
  • List all storage facilities for inventory with us (DOL).

You're not required to maintain normal business hours or a phone book listing.

How to apply

Note: We issue this license, but it's processed by the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS). BLS prints it on the business license they provide. They refer to licenses issued by us as endorsements to the business license.

Apply online with the Department of Revenue

What you'll need

  • Supporting documents shown below, ready for upload.
  • Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit/debit card (transaction fee charged) or bank account information for E-check to pay:

Want to apply by mail?

  1. Complete or get the following:
  2. Mail the completed forms and supporting documents with a check/money order payable to the Department of Revenue for the BLS fees and the motor vehicle wholesaler license and plate fees to:
    State of Washington
    Business Licensing Service
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507-9034

Supporting documents for your application

Use our Dealer Checklist to make sure you're prepared to submit your application.

  • $30,000 bond - Provide Vehicle, Vessel Dealer Business Bond or form from bonding company.
    • Bonds are available through insurance companies.
    • The principal name must be exactly the same as both the business owner and business firm name.
    • Bond must be signed by the applicant and the attorney-in-fact for the bonding company.
  • Financial/Source of Funds Statement for sole proprietors, partners, or business entities. If the business is a:
    • Sole proprietor or partnership, each person must submit a separate form.
    • Corporation, LLC, or LLP, submit 1 form that includes only the assets and liabilities of the business.
  • A separate Personal Criminal History Statement for each owner, officer, or member of the business.
  • Copy of your property tax statement or the rental/lease agreement for the business site as proof of ownership.

Post your license

You must post a license at each location where you operate. You may not begin this business activity until you receive the required license.

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