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How to Get an Auto Dealer License in Illinois (IL)

We’ll show you everything you need to know about getting your used car dealer license in IL.

Find a location
Incorporate your business
Apply even with Felony Convictions
and lots more..

Watch the Video!


Get Your Dealer License in Illinois

NOTE: If any links give you trouble, report them to Email me at [email protected]

Step 1: Dealer Training Class

All applicants for a used car license are required to attend an eight (8) hour dealer training class prior to applying for an initial license.

Step 2: Location - Lot or Showroom/Warehouse (need 1st and last month to secure)

To find a location, read the requirements in Illinois Administrative Code, Section 1020.10. Additional resources include the commercial real estate section on Craigslist, real estate agents experienced in commercial property & zoning and other auto dealers. Here is how you find out where other dealers have leased space.

Step 1: Search cars for sale on Craigslist by dealers.

Step 2: Take the phone number from the Craigslist listing and search it on the internet.

Step 3: Take the address of the dealer and search to find the office complex or warehouse that allows auto dealers.

Step 4: Last step is to contact the landlord for any vacancies.

Step 3: Incorporation & EIN 

Incorporate online at the Illinois Secretary of State 

The filing fee is $150 plus an initial franchise tax payment assessed at rate of $1.50 per $1,000 of paid-in capital represented in Illinois. The minimum initial franchise tax is $25. So roughly about $175 to incorporate.

To apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN), visit the IRS website. It's FREE to apply.

 You may need these numbers: NAICS Code for Used Car Dealers 441120 and SIC Code 5521.

Step 4: Bond - $20,000

I describe a Bond as an insurance policy for your customers. You only pay a percentage of the Bond amount. That percentage is based on your credit score with the most favorable rates for those with 680 score or higher in my experience. 

Step 5: Liability Insurance

A certificate of insurance in a solvent company authorized to do business in the State of Illinois must be included with your application. The policy must provide liability coverage in the minimum amounts of $100,000 for bodily injury to, or death of, any person, $300,000 for bodily injury to, or death of, two or more persons in any one accident, and $50,000 for damage to property. Trailer and mobile home dealers are exempt from this requirement.

Step 6: Obtain  Retailers' Occupation Tax Act Registration

You can get more information through the Illinois Department of Revenue. Call or visit the nearest location to you.

Step 7: Submit your Dealer License Application - $500 to $1000

Complete your application form, along with all other necessary documentation, to the Illinois Vehicle Services Department.


  • Certificate of Authority annual fee: $1,000 ($500 for a first application between June 15 and December 31)
  • Master plates annual fee: $45
  • Duplicate plates: $13

Additional fees can be found on page 4 of the dealer application.

 Mail your application to:

 Vehicle Services Department
Dealer Licensing Section
501 S. Second St., Rm. 069
Springfield, IL 62756

You can expect your application to be reviewed in 2 to 4 weeks.

Step 8: Get a Mentor!

Take the shortcut and get licensed faster!

The licensing process can cost you time and money without a winning strategy. Join Drama Free Licensing to get the help you need to get licensed without any setbacks.


Kendra is an Auto Dealer in Georgia. She is a member of the Auto Dealer Business School.


Christian is an Auto Dealer in California. He is a member of the Auto Dealer Business School.


Ira is an Auto Dealer Apprentice in New Jersey. He is a member of the Auto Dealer Business School.

Dream Dealership Group

This group is dedicated to CEO practices for Auto Dealers and aspiring Auto Dealers. Get support with anything for your business from Licensing to Management!


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