How to Apply
You'll need to fill out the Secretary of State Dealer License Application (Form VSD 324). But the real meat of what exactly you need to do, question by question, is in the Instructions for Dealer License publication. To apply for a license to sell new or used cars in Illinois, you'll need to have the following in order:
A $20,000 bond or certificate of deposit.
A certificate of insurance for at least $100,000 for bodily.
injury, $300,000 for each accident, and $50,000 for property damage. The dealership should be the named insured.
A copy of your manufacturer's franchise agreement (new-vehicle dealers only).
A copy of the lease for the dealer lot, if it's leased.
Notice that your dealership is properly zoned.
Corporations must prove they're in good standing with the Secretary of State's Department of Business Services.
If you have a repair shop, you'll need to provide your hazardous waste generator number. This will be issued by the state's Environmental Protection Agency.
Application fees (see below).
Mandatory Background Check
All dealer applicants must pay for and receive a thorough criminal background check. Previously, these were conducted by the State of Illinois and covered by the application fee, but this is no longer the case.
Applicants must be fingerprinted and use one of the following FBI-approved companies to conduct the background check before applying as a dealer. Since this has to accompany your application packet, it must be done beforehand so that you can attach the "fingerprinting receipt" to your application package. To find out more about finger printing and background checks contact the Secretary of State toll free in Illinois at (800) 252-8980.