How To Get a Car Dealer License in Florida Without a Lot

If you’re thinking about getting your car dealer license in Florida, one obstacle might feel bigger than the rest: getting your lot. Even establishing your business structure just requires some paperwork. Getting a lot set up, on the other hand, means finding a physical location that can meet your needs — and the requirements laid out by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). 

To get your Florida car dealer license, the lot requirement is something you’ll need to navigate. But don’t worry. We can show you how to handle getting a car dealer license if you currently don’t have a lot.

Can you get a Florida car dealer license without a lot?

It all depends on how you define lot. 

You don’t need a sprawling parcel of land that can accommodate hundreds of cars to get your Florida car dealer license. But you do need a physical location to fill out your car dealer application. 

In fact, if you open up the Application for a License as a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, or Recreational Vehicle Dealer, you’ll see that the very first page asks for your “Dealership Physical Address.” This can’t just be your home address. You need a verifiable business location in order to get your dealer license.

But, as we mentioned before, this doesn’t mean you have to buy or lease a giant car lot. As long as you tick the DHSMV’s boxes as far as location requirements, you should be able to get your Florida car dealer license. 

Florida car dealer license location requirements

So what, exactly, does the DHSMV require as far as your dealership location? Here are the parameters per section 320.27 of the 2020 Florida Statutes:

  • A precise address: You can’t just list cross-streets on your application. You’ll need to give the DHSMV a precise business address.
  • Not a residential address: Your dealership location can’t be your place of residence. 
  • An adequately equipped office: Your dealership location can’t just be a parking lot. It also needs to have an office where you can maintain the necessary records and keep your books in order. 
  • Sufficient vehicle storage space: Additionally, the DHSMV requires that your dealership location has sufficient unoccupied space to store all vehicles you’re offering for sale. That’s the kicker. If you plan to start with just a few vehicles for sale, you can get away with a small location. But as you sell more vehicles, you’ll need a bigger space to accommodate them. 
  • Proof of ownership or a lease: You’ll need to include either proof of ownership or a true copy of your lease for your physical dealership location with your application. Make sure you have the paperwork in order to show the DHSMV that you can legally operate a business at your location. 

The DHMSV can pay a visit to your dealership to check everything out, so don’t fudge anything here. Get your physical location in order so you won’t have any problems getting or maintaining your Florida car dealer license. The good news? As long as it can fit all the vehicles you have for sale, your dealership location can be a small property. 

This is just one piece of the process required to get a Florida car dealer license. To learn more about getting your license and to find easy-to-complete online courses to meet the pre-license education requirements, visit our Florida dealership training program page.