New Hampshire Auto Dealer Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

October 2nd, 2020

New Hampshire Auto Dealer Bond

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help new and pre-owned car dealership owners on New Hampshire Auto Dealer bonds

At a Glance:

  • Average Cost: $150 – $1,250 per year based on the business owner’s credit
  • Bond Amount: $25,000
  • Who Needs It: All individuals and businesses that sell or deal in 5 or more motor vehicles in a consecutive 12 month period
  • Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for any damages should the auto dealer fail to comply with dealer licensing law
  • Who Regulates Dealers in New Hampshire: The New Hampshire Department of Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV)

Background

New Hampshire Revised Statutes Chapter 261 mandates auto dealers operating in the state to obtain a motor vehicle dealer license with the DMV. The New Hampshire legislature enacted the license and regulations to ensure that dealers engage in ethical business practices and remit required taxes and fees. In order to provide financial security for the enforcement of the license law, dealers must purchase and maintain a $25,000 motor vehicle dealer surety bond to be eligible for licensure.

What is the Purpose of the New Hampshire Auto Dealer Bond?

New Hampshire requires dealers to purchase the $25,000 Vehicle Dealer Bond as part of the application process for the Motor Vehicle Dealer License. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the auto dealer fails to comply with the licensing regulations and that the dealer will pay all required taxes and fees to the State of New Hampshire. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the dealer breaks licensing laws.

new hampshire auto dealer bond

New Hampshire Vehicle Dealer’s Bond Form

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a New Hampshire Auto Dealer Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining a New Hampshire Auto Dealer Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “auto dealer” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.

At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.

How Much Does the New Hampshire Auto Dealer Bond Cost?

The $25,000 New Hampshire Motor Vehicle Dealer surety bond can cost anywhere between $150 to $1,250 per year. Insurance companies determine the rate based on a number of factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. We also offer easy interest-free financing for premiums over $500. The chart below offers a quick reference for the approximate bond cost on the $25,000 bond requirement.


$25,000 New Hampshire Auto Dealer Bond Cost

Credit Score* Bond Cost (1 year)
699+ $150
660 – 698 $170
649 – 659 $195
630 – 648 $250
620 – 629 $325
600 – 619 $500
550 – 600 $1,000
500 – 549 $1,250

*The credit score ranges do not include other factors that may result in a change to the annual premium offered to your customers, including but not limited to, years of experience and underlying credit factors contained within the business owner’s credit report.

How Does New Hampshire Define “Motor Vehicle Dealer”?

New Hampshire Revised Statutes 259.18 defines a motor vehicle dealer as “a retail vehicle dealer or wholesale auto dealer”. This definition also applies to recyclers, repairers and transporters.

How Do Auto Dealers Apply for a License in New Hampshire?

Dealers in New Hampshire must navigate several steps to secure their motor vehicle dealer license. Below are the general guidelines, but dealers should refer to the DMV’s Dealer Page for details on the process.

License Period – All New Hampshire dealer licenses expire on March 31 of each year regardless of the date of issuance. The license must be renewed prior to the expiration date for dealers to continue operations.

Step 1 – Determine the License Type

New Hampshire requires dealers to obtain specific licenses corresponding to the nature in which the dealer’s business operates. Keep in mind that dealers will need to acquire a license for each type of business they wish to operate. Below are the different types of the New Hampshire Dealer License.

    • Retail – Sells new or used motor vehicles to the public
    • Wholesale – Sells motor vehicles to other licensed dealers only
    • Recycling – Remodels or dismantles used motor vehicles and resells them or their parts
    • Motorcycle – Sells motorcycles to the public
    • Repair – Repairs motor vehicles
    • Transporter – Moves/transports motor vehicles for someone else
    • Utility – Sells utility vehicles

***The Retail License is the most common dealer license. The following steps will focus specifically on completing the Retail License Application.***

Step 2 – Establish a Location

Dealers are required to establish a permanent place of business that meets the following minimum requirements:

    • Enclosed structure at least 750 square feet
    • Devoted primarily to the purpose of selling
    • Contain a sign with the business’s name in 10 inch letters that is visible from a public street
    • Have a permanent heating system
    • Electrical outlets that satisfy state code
    • Be open at least 37.5 hours per week during regular business hours

Step 3 – Obtain Zoning Approval

Dealers must obtain approval from their local zoning official that their business location is in compliance with all zoning regulations.

Step 4 – Purchase and File a Surety Bond

Dealers must purchase and maintain a $25,000 motor vehicle dealer bond.

Step 5 – Complete a Background Check

All dealers must submit to a criminal background check from the New Hampshire Department of Safety. Dealers can request a background check here.

Step 6 – Execute a Service Agreement

Dealers who do not have an inspection station at their business location must have an original service agreement with an approved inspector station and submit the Service Agreement Form as part of their application.

Step 7 – Submit the Application

All new dealer regulatory license applications and dealer regulatory license renewal applications should be mailed to:

New Hampshire department of Safety
Division of Motor Vehicles
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

The Retail Dealer Application can be found here. Dealers can request dealer plates on their application.

Step 8 – Complete Dealer Education Course

All licensed dealers in New Hampshire must complete a 95 minute dealer/title training course after submitting their application. Dealers can register for the training course here.

Step 9 – Pay Fees

There is a $125 fee due when submitting the retail dealer application. Dealers may be subject to additional fees once their application is approved depending on the number of dealer plates requested

How Does a New Hampshire Auto Vehicle Dealer Renew Their License?

All New Hampshire dealer licenses expire on March 31 of each year regardless of the date of issuance. The renewal application form is the same as the initial application form. Dealers can determine the total amount of renewal fees required on their renewal application. Dealers should mail the renewal application and fees, along with proof of their surety bond continuation to the following address:

New Hampshire department of Safety
Division of Motor Vehicles
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

How Do New Hampshire Auto Dealers File Their Bond?

The $25,000 surety bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the auto dealer. The bond form will require the following items:

  • Legal name of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
  • Physical address where the business will operate
  • Type of dealer license the buyer is issued
  • Surety company’s name, address and signature
  • Date bond will be executed and its term length

Dealers should mail the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, to the following address:

New Hampshire department of Safety
Division of Motor Vehicles
23 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03305

How Can New Hampshire Auto Dealers Avoid Bond Claims?

To avoid claims on the Motor Vehicle Dealer Bond, dealers must follow all dealer regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:

  • Do not engage, or allow representatives of the business to engage, in any acts of fraud
  • Pay sellers of vehicles promptly and in full
  • Transfer all vehicle titles when sold
  • Pay taxes on time and in full. Dealers should consider setting aside tax obligations as they accrue.
  • Do not engage in any illegal selling practices

What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Dealers in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire does not require dealers to obtain comprehensive liability insurance on all vehicles with dealer plates. However, most reputable dealers will obtain liability insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any form of liability insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.

How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for New Hampshire Auto Dealer Customers?

New Hampshire unfortunately does not display motor vehicle dealer information to the public. We suggest contacting a list service company or the New Hampshire Secretary of State for a list of active motor vehicle dealers. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.

What Other States Require Auto Dealer Bonds?

All 50 states and the District of Columbia require auto dealers to obtain an Auto Dealer Bond as a prerequisite for licensure. Insurance agents should utilize our Main MVD Page for a detailed analysis of the Auto Dealer Bond requirements nationwide.

2022-01-17T16:32:01-05:00