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West Virginia Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond

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Getting a West Virginia motor vehicle dealer bond is a key step to becoming a licensed car dealer in the state. The motor vehicle dealer bond serves as an extra guarantee that your dealership will follow all rules and regulations that govern motor vehicle dealers in the state of West Virginia.

Just like all surety bonds, the West Virginia motor vehicle dealer bond serves as protection for the general public, and not as insurance for your business. In case you don't follow the rules and your obligations under the bond, a claim can be made against you. If proven to be a legitimate claim, the penal sum of the bond is used to compensate the affected parties. The surety covers the costs of claims up front, which you’ll be required to reimburse in full. This means you should avoided having any claims, as they can cause serious harm to your business and finances.

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West Virginia Motor Vehicle / Auto Dealer Bond Cost

While $25,000 might seem like a large amount to pay, in reality, you only need to pay a percentage of it to get bonded, which is called the bond annual premium. The surety company will look at several factors to determine your motor vehicle dealer bond cost, most importantly, your credit score. Factors such as years licensed and years of industry experience will also play a factor in your dealer bond cost.

  • If your credit score is above 650, you’ll likely have to pay between .75% and 2% of the bond amount.

  • For applicants with credit scores between 600 and 649, the rates range between 2.5% and 4%.

Dealer Licensing Requirements

Minimum requirements can be mailed upon request of the dealer by calling (304) 926-0705 or by emailing​.

Upon receiving the minimum requirement handout, follow these steps:

  • Contact the office of dealer services to set an appointment for a pre- inspection of the dealership location.

  • The inspector will deliver the application package.

Dealer licensing requirements *(unless otherwise indicated)

  • Completed application

  • $25,000 surety bond--bond not required for repo-financial institution, mfg-manufacturer and trs-transporter.

  • 20/40/10 Dealer Liability Insurance *(insurance not required for ls-license service)

  • Personal property tax receipt in the name of each owner/corporate officer or an affidavit from the county in which the dealership will be located stating that no taxes are owed

  • Pictures of dealership and sign with letters no less than 4” in height

  • A valid business license in the state of W.V.

  • Garage agreement if required

  • Franchise agreement if required


What are the insurance recommendations?

It is required that all motor vehicle dealers in the state of West Virginia obtain liability insurance coverage. Some examples include:

  • Garage Liability Policy with a minimum of $50,000 Premises and Auto Liability Coverage

  • Dealer Inventory Physical Damage Coverage

  • Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage

  • Garage Keepers Coverage - (if you do repairs, or paint & body work)

  • Property Coverage for any buildings or tools

  • Medical Payments of $1,000, $2,000, or $5,000

Background Check

When dealer services receives your application, an inspector will be sent to fingerprint all owners/corporate officers and to get signatures on a release of information waiver. After the waiver is completed and signed by all owners/corporate officers, Dealer Services checks with various agencies to be sure:

  • Prospective dealers are approved through the bureau of employment programs for non-delinquency of unemployment benefits.

  • Criminal investigation bureau reports return stating “no record”.

  • The tax department states all owners/corporate officers are in good standing.


Upon receipt and approval of all the above, a license certificate will be issued and dealer plates will be sent to the dealer.

Hassle Free Guarantee Dealer Bond

Whether applying for your first auto dealer license in West Virginia, or renewing an existing one, you have to submit a dealer application form, together with all necessary documents that prove you meet the requirements.

When you renew your license, you’ll have to renew your West Virginia auto dealer bond as well. As your business finances and personal credit score can change, make sure you work on improving those stats, so that you can reduce your surety bond cost over the years.

Request a FREE Bond or Insurance Quote today!


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