Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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Recreational vehicle dealer license

Recreational vehicle dealer license plate
Recreational vehicle dealer license plate

The recreational vehicle dealer license allows a business to sell, offer to sell, negotiate the sale or lease with an option to buy recreational vehicles. For purposes of dealer licensing, a recreational vehicle is a trailer (no engine), less than 45 feet long, designed to be towed by a motor vehicle and equipped and intended to be used for temporary human habitation.

If your business will sell motor homes (self-propelled by an engine) or other motor vehicles, in addition to recreational vehicles, you will also need a Retail dealer license.

If your business will be selling mobile homes (travel trailers 45 feet long or longer) you will not need a motor vehicle dealer license. However, sale of mobile homes is regulated by the Wisconsin Department of Commerce (608) 266-8577.

You must meet all of the following requirements to qualify:

  • A building with a business office to maintain books, records, files.
  • A display lot is optional, but if one is provided, it must be within the same block or directly across the street from the office.
  • A sales tax seller permit is required. To obtain one, contact the Department of Revenue at (608) 266-2776 or on their Web site under Sales and Use Tax.
  • Local zoning and permit approval.
  • A service department or written agreement with a nearby service facility.
  • A financial statement showing a minimum required ratio of total assets to total liabilities of 1.4. If you are already licensed as a motor vehicle retail dealer at the same location, the $50,000 surety bond you provided as a requirement for that license will also cover the recreational vehicle dealer license, and you will not be required to submit a financial statement. For a list of insurance companies accepting applications for bonds, see Insurance companies that accept applications for bonds.
  • At least one licensed salesperson. That could be you or someone else. Note: A salesperson license exam is not required for recreational vehicle salespeople.
  • An exterior business sign.
  • A lease for the business real estate unless the license applicant owns it.
  • Fees payable to Registration Fee Trust for a two-year license: $100 for the RV dealer license, $150 for the first two dealer plates, $10 for each additional plate, $8 for each salesperson license, $12 for each Salvage Buyer Identification (BID) Card.
  • You must be at least 18 years old.
  • You must submit to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) inspection of the business location before the license is issued.

Apply by mail

You must complete several forms and provide additional documentation to apply for a recreational vehicle dealer license. Many of the forms require your signature, or the signature of authorities and witnesses. Therefore, it is not possible currently to submit your RV dealer license application online. Instead, you must apply for your license by mail at the address below. 

For more information or to request application materials for the recreational vehicle dealer license:

  • 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: August 18, 2008

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