Surety bonds gives peace of mind to the customer, as the bond shows that the dealer has taken legal actions to protect the customer if the dealer acts in a fraudulent way while conducting business. Carrying a bond is just one requirement put in place for auto dealers by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Motor Vehicles Regulated Client Services. If they do not follow these laws, their bond is in place to reimburse the customer for any monetary loss incurred.
Although similar to insurance, bonds are different in the fact that the dealer must pay the surety company back for any payments made on the claim as well as legal fees incurred during the process.
A number of Pennsylvania auto-related businesses must carry a bond. Car manufacturers and dealers are required to have a $20,000 bond, full agents and recreational dealers must have a $30,000 bond, and a messenger service must carry a $50,000 bond. These types of bonds must have a separate bond for each business location. Salvors need a bond in the amount of $10,000 and it will cover all places of business.
The price is dependent on the license classification, but also dealership owner’s personal credit, number of years in business, and other factors.
|Bond Limit||Bond Cost*|
|Monthly | Annual|
|$20,000||$12 | $120|
|$30,000||$13 | $125|
Pennsylvania aligned the expiration date for manufacturers, distributors, and dealers. These licenses expire on May 31st of odd-numbered years. Salvor licenses, however, expire on December 31st each year.
Bonds are not connected to license expiration and shall be continuous unless cancelled by the surety or not renewed by the principal.
The Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS) has been put in place largely to make it easier, faster and more eco-friendly to apply or renew licenses or submit other documentation. PALS supports the State Board of Vehicle Dealers, Manufacturers and Salespersons as well as 28 other licensing boards.
All licensing will take place through the website.