If you’re interested in a motor vehicle dealership, you need to have a license to perform that function. Luckily, the steps to get a motor vehicle dealer license are fairly straightforward and most of the time and energy goes into gathering documents and completing the necessary educational requirements.
However, the steps to becoming a motor vehicle dealer can vary slightly from state to state. Here, we’ll focus on what you need to know to earn your motor vehicle dealer license in Florida, including details about the 16-hour course required for a Florida motor vehicle dealer license.
Florida Vehicle Dealer 16-Hour Pre-License Class
The Florida Vehicle Dealer 16-hour pre-license class will prepare you for a variety of motor vehicle licenses. This includes;
- Franchised motor vehicle dealer or VF,
- Wholesale or VW,
- Independent motor vehicle dealer or VI,
- Motor vehicle auction or VA, and;
- Salvage motor vehicle dealer or SD.
As the name suggests, this course is a total of 16 hours. At the end of the course, aside from the information that you’ve learned, you’ll also have a certificate as proof of completion of the course. In all, the course will cover the following information;
- Licensing and operations information for automotive dealers,
- Details on compliance requirements,
- Regulations and laws surrounding automotive dealing in Florida,
- Information on license types,
- Information on modifications to and replacements of franchise agreements,
- Information on discontinuations, non-renewals, and cancellations of franchise agreements, and;
- Information on problems such as license denial, suspensions of vehicle dealer licenses, and revocations of vehicle dealer licenses.
At the end of the 16-hour course, you’ll have to pass a final test to prove your knowledge. This is a 50-question test covering all of the knowledge covered in the course. You’ll also be required to take a mandatory questionnaire for the DMV. Granted that you pass the final test, you’ll receive your certificate of completion, proving that you completed the motor vehicle dealer license course in Florida.
Remember, this course is specific to Florida, so the license received at the end of the entire process will only license you as a motor vehicle dealer in the state of Florida. You’ll need the following as well:
- A completed copy of the Florida DMV Auto Dealer Application alongside a fee of $300. The application is often provided in classrooms as well as through the Florida DMV.
- Bonding and insurance are also required for motor vehicle dealing.
- Approval for the location of your motor vehicle business.
Gathering the Documentation
When you’re getting ready to apply for a vehicle dealer license in Florida, you need to make sure that you have the right documentation ready. You will need the following documents to apply for a vehicle dealer’s license in Florida:
- Registration copy for either your business or trade name. You must register this with Florida’s Secretary of State in the Division of Corporations.
- Corporations will also need additional documentation. This includes documents detailing information on the elected corporate directors as well as corporate meeting minutes and the Articles of Incorporation.
- Partnership Agreements documentation, if you are part of a partnership.
- Your sales tax number which you can obtain through the Department of Revenue for the State of Florida.
- Your federal employer ID number. This is issued through the Florida IRS.
- Proof of fingerprint checking.
- Payment for fees of $54.25 for every person who is applying.
You’ll also need to pay the course fees for pre-licensing. This will come out to about $140 with an additional $20 for the continuing education course. These courses receive approval from the Floridian Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
These licenses are issued each year and renewal of existing licenses as well, once again through the FLHSMV. If you want your license to be renewed, you’ll need to take the 8-hour course once per two years. As an automotive dealer, you’re required to renew your license every April 30th.
Classes and COVID-19
With the threat of COVID-19, 16-hour class for Florida Used, Wholesale, Auction, and Salvage dealer license providers are taking the following precautions:
- In-person classrooms and session areas are disinfected every day.
- All class and study materials are regularly sanitized.
- Class sizes are restricted to 10 students at a time.
- Each student has a completely separate desk.
- Touch-free temperature readings are conducted.
- Hand sanitizer is kept accessible for regular use.
- Instructors and students must follow social distancing guidelines.
- Instructors and students must wear face masks.
This, of course, covers in-person licensing classes. Alternatively, anyone seeking a license has the option to enroll in an online class instead. That being said, there are providers who prefer online courses only for students who are already familiar with the auto industry.
All instructors for these classes are approved by the State of Florida before they start teaching. Classes sometimes also consist of guest instructors to delve into subjects they’re specialized in.