How to Get a Car Dealer License in Florida without a Lot?

Posted on Feb 23 | by William Stephen

If you are new in the state of Florida and want to sell 3 or more vehicles in a span of 12 months, you will need a car dealer license. In this regard, the biggest obstacle that you might feel is getting your lot. As every business requires a place that meets all its needs, the auto dealer business also requires a lot to showcase the vehicles.

Please don't panic, a lot for the auto dealer business doesn't mean that you need to have a place to accommodate hundreds of vehicles, but it requires some physical location that you can fill over your car dealer license application. 

If you want to have a deep dive into all the mandatory details of getting your car dealer license in Florida, it will be an informative read for you!

Types of Auto Dealer License

In Florida, the Division of Motorist Services regulates the auto dealer license under Section 320.27. Lately, there has been a range of dealer licenses in Florida. For used or new cars, there are two types of auto dealer license which are referred as

  • Independent Dealers (VI): This dealer license applies to used vehicles
  • Franchise Dealers (VF): This auto dealer license works for both used and new motor vehicles.


Determine the Type of License You Need

Among three different types of licenses, make a wise choice that reflects your needs.

  • Franchise Dealer: Such type of license enables the licensee to have an agreement with the manufacturer and sell new motor vehicles. The licensee can also sell used motor vehicles by using the same license. 
  • Service facility: This license allows the auto dealer to make the vehicles they sell.
  • Independent Dealer: This auto dealer license enables the licensee to sell or buy the used motor vehicles at the wholesale or retail level.


Steps to Get a Car Dealer License in Florida


Now, when you have decided the type of auto dealer license you need, follow these simple steps.

1. Take a pre-licensing dealer course
It is a prerequisite to take a 16-hr. course in Florida regardless of the type of license (wholesaler/ independent) you need. You can attend approved licensed dealer schools online/ offline to meet the purpose.

On the other hand, an 8 hr. course is required for a franchised dealer. Once you finish the course, you will receive your certificate.

2. Decide your Company Structure
For this matter, you will need to consult with professionals to help you decide which kind of structure best fits your company's needs. The option varies from PARTNERSHIP (working with another partner) or CORPORATION: Cor S; LLP; LLC.

3. Choose a business location
The next step involves deciding a location for your business that must be approved by the DMV compliance examiner and fulfill the requirements. (Form 86056 – Page 2)

4. Gather all the required documents
Now you need to collect all the documents you will need for the process. A brief list of essential documents is mentioned as follows:

  • Completion of application, HSMV Form 86056
  • Proof of ownership or a copy of the lease for the location.
  • Certificate of completion of the dealer training course for pre-licensing
  • Copies of business and/or fictitious trade name registrations with Florida's Secretary of State, Division of Corporations (available on the Internet at
  • Copy of corporate papers, the election of corporate directors evident by corporate meeting minutes; Articles of Incorporation based on whether the dealership is a corporation or Incorporation; Articles of Operating Agreement and Organization if the dealership is a Limited Liability Company; or a Partnership Agreement if the dealership is based on Partnership.
  • I.D. number of Federal employers.
  • Sales tax number
  • Applicable fees ($54.25 per person) and Fingerprints 
  • Garage and general liability insurance (see page 3)
  • Original surety bond

5. Apply for the license
Once you've gathered all the required documents, you can fill out the form to apply for your license.

Auto Dealer License Without a Lot

Most people are curious to know if it is possible to get your auto dealer license in Florida without a lot. Unfortunately, the quick and straightforward answer to this question is "No."

The reason lies in the fact that as you open the Application for a License as a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, or Recreational Vehicle Dealer (Form HSMV 86056), you will see that the very first pages require you to fill in the physical location of your business.

However, you can deal with it quickly as you don't need a massive parcel of land but a business address to fill out your license application. It requires:

  • Exact location: the DHSMV requires a precise business address
  • Non-residential address: You cannot mention your residential location as your business address.
  • Sufficient space for parking: You must meet the local zoning requirements.
  • At least 100 square feet of office Area: In addition to the parking area, sufficient space for books and cabinets to keep a record of your customers is required within the zoning code area.
  • Adequately equipped office: The books and the primary business documents must be well organized in the office.
  • Proof of lease or ownership: Paperwork and copies of your lease should be available to show the DHSMV that you're legally authorized to start the business at your mentioned location.


The Cost of An Auto Dealer License in Florida

In 86056 form instructions, page 16 tells you the cost of an auto dealer license, which is $300for different types of licenses, including independent, auction, wholesale, franchise, or salvage.

What are the Dealerships Charges to buy a car in Florida?

The type of fees that dealers charge has certain limits according to the law of Florida. The law ensures transparent charging. That's why if you're interested in purchasing a vehicle, you need to brush up on dealer fees in Florida.


The Final Verdict

As we've shared a handy guide about car dealer licenses in Florida with you, now you're in a suitable position to make wise decisions in terms of your license type, business location, and cost of your license. Make sure to consult with professionals at each step to avoid any inconvenience. 


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