The option to translate this page is provided via third party application. The ODPS/BMV cannot guarantee the accuracy of the translation made available through this service. Users accept the risk of inaccurate translations.

Dealer Licensing

Dealer Licensing
For new Ohio residents with an existing out-of-state lease: The out-of-state leasing dealer must use a transient vendor number to obtain an Ohio title for the lessor that has relocated to Ohio. Please contact the Ohio Department of Taxation for additional information.

Leasing Motor Vehicle Dealer

Any person engaged in the business of regularly making available, offering to make available or arranging for another person to use a motor vehicle pursuant to a bailment, lease, sublease or other contractual arrangement under which a charge is made for its use at a periodic rate for a term of 30 days or more, and title of the motor vehicle is in and remains in the motor vehicle leasing dealer who originally leases it, irrespective of whether or not the motor vehicle is the subject of a later sublease, and not in the user, but does not mean a manufacturer or its affiliate leasing to its employees or to dealers.

Applications shall be denied for reasons listed in Ohio Revised Code 4517.12 and Ohio Administrative Code 4501:1-3-09 which include:

  • A conviction of ANY fraudulent act (misdemeanor or felony), regardless of the conviction date, related to selling or dealing in motor vehicles.
Following the issuance of a license, violation of any provisions of section 4517.171 of the R.C. could be subject to revocation of the license by the Registrar. The licensee may appeal the action of the Registrar to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Board. Notification of an administrative hearing shall be given to the licensed holder in a timely manner upon notification to the Board of such violations.

NOTE: A subsidiary, corporation or other business entity established for the purpose of leasing back to the parent, sister or associated company, and the general public is not involved, DOES NOT qualify for a leasing dealer’s license.


Leasing Motor Vehicle Dealer Application BMV 4321 PDF Word

Physical Location Requirements

In-state motor vehicle leasing dealers who make motor vehicles available for personal, family or household use by another in the manner described in the definition above shall have an easily-recognizable established place of business and meet all of the following:

  • Verify with the local authorities the zoning regulations for the proposed facility. The Dealer Licensing Section does not preempt the enforcement by local authorities of zoning, health, safety codes or laws.
  • The leasing dealer’s established place of business must be separated by a physical barrier from any residence or unrelated business, with the exception of the business operated as a new motor vehicle dealership, a used motor vehicle dealership or a motor vehicle renting dealership, as defined in O.R.C. section 4549.65, located at the place of business.
  • An office that contains no less than 180 square feet of usable interior office area excluding restrooms, storage or utility space, shall be kept and orderly at all times, clearly identified and easily accessible.
  • The business hours must be maintained and legibly posted in a conspicuous place near the entrance of the office.
  • The office must be staffed by a person licensed under O.R.C. Chapter 4517 during the posted business hours for the entire time the license is held.
  • A permanent sign in the registered name of the business as it appears on the application, with letters of at least six inches high. The business sign shall be prominently displayed, properly maintained and permanent.
  • A business telephone must be in service at all times and answered in the dealership’s name. The business telephone number must be legibly posted in a conspicuous place in public view.
  • The business hours must be maintained and legibly posted in a conspicuous place near the entrance of the office.

NOTE (In-State Only): A physical inspection will be performed by BMV Investigations physical inspection will be performed prior to or after the issuance of the license. If the licensed location fails to meet any of the listed requirements, the license will immediately be referred to the Motor Vehicle Dealers Board for possible suspension or revocation of the license.

Optional Plates
(In-State Leasing License Only)

Special license plates may be purchased to be used in conjunction with the leasing dealer license. The license plates may only be used on motor vehicles being demonstrated for the purpose of a lease.

NOTE: A reasonable number of additional plates may be requested to support the auction business. However the plates may not be used contrary to uses as specified in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4503.31. Plates used for any other purpose may be reduced or subject to confiscation.


Ohio Revised Code: 4503.31, 4517

Ohio Administrative Code: 4501:1-3

Have Questions?

Please contact us at (614) 752-7636 or email us at Dealers Support.

Monday - Friday
8:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Fax: (614) 752-7220

Mailing Address
Ohio BMV Dealer Licensing
PO Box 16521
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6521

In Person (Drop-off Services ONLY)
Ohio Department of Public Safety
1970 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43223
Applications or paperwork may be dropped off near the security desk. All paperwork that requires payment, cash, check or money orders are accepted; however, no receipt will be available.

Stay Connected

Get the latest news and updates directly in your inbox.