Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Change a current retail dealer license

Business name change—notify the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Dealer & Agent Section at the mailing address or phone below, or by email at dealers.dmv@dot.wi.gov if the name of your business changes. You do not need to apply for an amended license. However, follow the procedures below if your business name changed because you changed business type, ownership or location. For example, if you changed from Bob's of Milwaukee to Bob's of Racine, or from Bob's Auto to Bob's Auto, Inc.—that's more than a name change and requires you to follow the steps below.

Location change—If you move your dealership, you will need to file an original dealer license application, complete with all zoning approval and other documentation. Your bond company will issue a bond rider showing your new location. See retail dealer license.

Ownership change—If your business ownership changes, you must file a complete original dealer license application. 

Ownership changes include:

  • Changing type of ownership. (For example, from sole proprietor to corporation)
  • Adding or deleting a partner
  • Adding someone who has 10% or more stock in the corporation

Adding a branch or sublot—A branch is a secondary location within the same municipality, which has the facilities to operate independently from the main location. A sublot is a secondary location in the same municipality which lacks indoor display and service facilities. Only used vehicles may be sold from a sublot. To add a branch or sublot to your current dealer license:

  • Complete the Motor Vehicle Dealer Two Year License Application MV2186, listing the branch or sublot address. Be sure to include the zoning and local permit signatures on the form.
  • Send in a lease for the branch or sublot real estate unless the dealership owns the property.
  • If you will be selling new vehicles from your branch location include—for each vehicle make—a manufacturer franchise listing the branch address. You may submit your franchise agreement on WisDOT's Manufacturer/Importer/Distributor Certification of Dealer Form MV2131 or on a similar form provided by the manufacturer.
  • Include fees payable to Registration Fee Trust. Fees are $40 for a branch or $2 for a sublot.

Adding a franchise—If you add a franchise to your current dealership, submit your new franchise agreement on WisDOT's Manufacturer/Importer/Distributor Certification of Dealer Form MV2131 or on a similar form provided by the manufacturer. No fee is required. WisDOT will reissue your license certificate listing the new makes you are authorized to sell.

If you have questions:

  • Email: dealers.dmv@dot.wi.gov
  • Call: (608) 266-1425
  • FAX: (608) 267-0323
  • Write to the address below:

    Wisconsin Department of Transportation
    Dealer & Agent Section
    4802 Sheboygan Avenue, Room 201
    P.O. Box 7909
    Madison, WI 53707-7909

Questions about the content of this page:
Division of Motor Vehicles, Dealer Section, dealers.dmv@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: October 11, 2005

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