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How Do I Get an Oregon Auto Dealer Certificate?

If you want to sell cars in the state of Oregon, you’ll need to get an auto dealer certificate from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Driver & Motor Vehicle Services division. Go through their process and you’ll get the business certificate and dealer plates/stickers you need to operate legally in the Beaver State.

The process requires a few to-dos, but don’t worry. Here are step-by-step instructions to help you complete the auto dealer application so you can open up your dealership in Oregon. 

Step #1: Complete the required pre-license education

The DMV requires you to finish eight hours of education before you can become an auto dealer. During these hours, you’ll learn what you need to know to comply with state regulation. Additionally, if you choose a good education provider, you’ll learn things to help you build a thriving dealership. 

The state has approved four providers to offer this pre-license education (scroll down to “Dealer Education” to see the list). Make sure you take your hours from one of these education sources so they can count toward your auto dealer application. You can take these hours online to learn what you need to know and meet the DMV’s pre-license education requirement from the comfort of your home or office. 

Once you finish your eight hours, your education provider gives you a certificate of completion. Hold onto that. You’ll need it in step #3.

Step #2: Get insurance and bonding

In order to submit an Oregon auto dealer certificate application, you’ll need both a surety bond and a certificate of liability insurance. You can find the forms you’ll need to submit with your application here in case you want to review the details, but they’re also a part of the larger application packet (more on that in the next step). 

The Surety Bond form (page 7 of the application) needs to be filled out by your bonding company and signed by you. Similarly, the Certificate of Insurance form (page 8 of the application) needs to be completed by your insurance company. Make sure you choose an insurer that’s licensed to do business in Oregon. 

With your certificate of completion for your continuing education hours, bond, and insurance in hand, you’re ready to apply to become a certified Oregon auto dealer.

Step #3: Submit your application

Now, it’s time to do some paperwork. To get certified to open a dealership, you’ll need to send in the DMV’s Application for Three Year Vehicle Dealer Certificate. As you’re looking at it, make sure you carefully review the checklist of items to submit on the very first page. Along with the application, you need to send in:

  • Copies of valid photo IDs for all of your dealership’s owners, partners, LLC members, or corporate officers 

  • Your certificate of completion for your pre-license education

  • Your signed surety bond

  • Your certificate of liability insurance

  • The right application fees

The application for your certificate costs $1,187 and includes one plate. You’ll pay additional fees for more locations and more plates. You can find that fee information toward the top of page 3 in the application

Double-check that you have all the pieces in place, then submit your application. You can mail it to:

DMV Business Licensing Unit

1905 Lana Ave NE

Salem, OR 97314

Or you can drop it off in person at:

DMV Business Regulation Section

East Annex Building

1965 Lana Ave NE

Salem, OR 97314

The DMV usually takes about 10 business days to process applications. Once you get approved, they’ll issue you your certificate to operate as an auto dealer in Oregon.