Frequently Asked Questions for Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors

Manufacturers, Importers and Distributors of Motor Vehicles, Motorcycles, and Low Speed Vehicles FAQs

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  • What type of license is required to distribute new Fs in Florida?

    A manufacturer, distributor or importer license is required to sell new line-makes in Florida. An applicant must submit a completed form 84256 to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Please see section 320.60, Florida Statutes, for additional information.

  • Are manufacturers that build a vehicle in two stages required to be licensed by the DHSMV?

     Yes. Final stage manufacturers who assemble or install, on a previously assembled truck chassis, special bodies or equipment which, when installed, form an integral part of the motor vehicle and constitute a major manufacturing alteration, are required to be licensed by the DHSMV. Please see section 320.60(9), Florida Statutes, for additional information.

  • What is a line-make? Who assigns it?

    Line-make vehicles are motor vehicles which are offered for sale, lease or distribution under a common name, trademark, service mark or brand name of the manufacturer. The line-make is assigned by the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Please see section 320.60(14), Florida Statutes, for additional information.

  • Are licensed manufacturers, importers or distributors required to renew their license annually with the DHSMV?

    Yes. In order to conduct business in the state of Florida, licensed manufacturers, importers and distributors must renew their license annually with the DHSMV. Licenses may also be renewed bi-annually. Please see section 320.62, Florida Statutes, for additional information.

  • Are manufacturers, importers or distributors of motorcycles required to be licensed by the DHSMV?

    Yes. Manufacturers, importers or distributors of motorcycles are required to be licensed by the DHSMV, regardless of the engine displacement. Please see section 320.60, Florida Statutes, for additional information.

  • Can a licensed manufacturer, importer or distributor retail and wholesale motor vehicles at the same time?

    No. Florida law does not permit a licensed manufacturer, distributor or importer to engage in both retail and wholesale at the same time. Therefore, a licensee may only retail motor vehicles by applying for their own franchised dealer license or sell motor vehicles on a wholesale basis through a network of authorized franchised dealers. Please see section 320.645, Florida Statutes, for additional information.

  • Is a dealer license required to sell motorcycles with an engine displacement greater than 50 cc’s, greater than 1492 watts or greater than 2 bhp?

    Yes. Dealers must be licensed as franchised dealers to sell motorcycles with an engine displacement greater than 50 cc’s, greater than 1492 watts or greater than 2 bhp.

  • Is a dealer license required to sell motorcycles with an engine displacement of 50 cc’s or less, 1492 watts or less or 2bhp or less?

    No. A dealer license is not required to sell motorcycles with an engine displacement of 50 cc’s or less, 1492 watts or less or 2bhp or less; however, the manufacturer, importer or distributor must be licensed by the DHSMV regardless of engine displacement. Please see section 320.27(1)(b), Florida Statutes, for additional information.

  • Are manufacturers required to be registered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)?

    Yes. All manufacturers are required to be registered with NHTSA per Code of Federal Regulations, title 49 CFR parts 565, 566 and 567. Title 49 CFR part 565 is for Vehicle Identification Number registration; Title 49 CFR part 566 is for Manufacturer Identification registration; and Title 49 CFR part 567 is for the label that is affixed on a vehicle that states that the vehicle meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

  • When can a licensed manufacturer, importer or distributor start shipping and selling to dealers?

    A licensed manufacturer, importer or distributor can start shipping and selling to dealers ONLY after the dealers have met licensing requirements and have been approved and licensed by the DHSMV to sell their line-make(s). If they opt to sell retail, they must first apply for a franchised dealer license before displaying units for sale. Selling prior to the dealers meeting licensing requirements is a violation of section 320.642, Florida Statutes.

  • Does a manufacturer, importer or distributor license allow the sale of any line-make?

    A manufacturer, importer or distributor license allows the licensee to sell only the line-make(s) that they have been approved. Therefore, each time they add a line-make to a license they must submit the required documents to the DHSMV for approval. A new license application and fee is not required for this purpose. Please see section 320.61, Florida Statutes, for additional information. Form 84256 has a checklist of required documents to add a line-make to an existing license.

  • Are persons who convert golf carts to low speed vehicles (LSV) required to be licensed by the DHSMV as manufacturers?

    Yes. A person, who buys new golf carts, converts them to LSVs and sells them as new, is required to be licensed by the DHSMV as a manufacturer. Please see section 316.2126 Florida Statutes, and Code of Federal Regulations, title 49 CFR Part 571.500 for additional information.

  • Are trailer manufacturers required to be licensed?

    No. The DHSMV does not license manufacturers, importers or distributors of trailers unless it is a trailer with living quarters, which is classified as a recreational vehicle. Please see section 320.27 (1)(c)(5), Florida Statutes, for additional information.

  • Is a dealer license required to sell trailers?

    An independent motor vehicle dealer license is required if a person sells more than 25 trailers per year, with each trailer weighing more than 2,000 pounds. Please see sections 320.27 (1)(c)(5) and 319.20, Florida Statutes, for additional information.