Texas Metal Dealer Plates and Temporary Tags

Texas Metal Dealer Plates

As a Texas used motor vehicle dealer, you will be issued metal dealer license plates often referred to as dealer tags or metal plates. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has strict standards and guidelines that you must abide by in order to keep your dealer license plates, and you must ensure your dealer license plates are being used correctly in all times. Most, but not all dealers may receive up to two dealer plates when applying for your license. Wholesale dealers may only receive one plate when applying, and only one additional plate, regardless of vehicle sales. You must mount the plate on the rear license plate mount. You may not display the plate in a window or use a license plate magnet fix it to the trunk. It must be properly mounted like a normal license plate.

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Number of Dealer Plates Allowed

The number of dealer plates that may be purchased depends on the number of sales and your license type. Motor vehicle dealers may apply for metal dealers license plates for all vehicle types the dealer is licensed to sell, and may only use dealer plates on vehicles included in that license. For example, a dealer who was only licensed to sell cars and light trucks may use a dealer plate only on a car or light truck in the dealer's inventory, and never on a motorcycle or a trailer. When you're renewing your dealer's license, you can cancel place upon renewal. So let's say for example you have two metal dealer plates and when you renew your license you only want one, you may cancel current plates upon renewal. And by the way, GDN wholesale auction dealers are not allowed to have dealer plates.

Must Report Stolen Dealer Plates

You should never ever leave a metal plate on a vehicle on your lot overnight. They are often stolen. Thieves love dealer plates, so keep a close eye on your dealer plates.

If you ever do have a dealer plate stolen, or if it's missing or damaged, you can select the plate stickers option in e-licensing. Only one metal plate is required per vehicle and is displayed in the rear license plate holder. The dealer plate expires when the license expires. During the license renewal process, the dealer has the option to order new plates and renew existing metal plates, and the department will issue new stickers to the renewed plates. Let's go ahead and cover the guidelines for usage of metal dealer license plates.

Legal Use of a Texas Metal Dealer Plate

Texas dealers can legally display dealer license plates on the following vehicles. On a vehicle owned by the dealership titled in the dealership name, on any vehicle that is used by the dealer, the dealer's, family, or employees for personal use, on any vehicle that is being demonstrated for sale, on any vehicle being operated by the dealer with permission of the dealer, only on a vehicle that has a current inspection, only on a vehicle type the dealer is licensed to sell. So always be aware of that. You may not place a metal dealer plate on a vehicle that you are not licensed to sell. They may only be placed on vehicles that you are licensed to sell.

Learn more about using your dealer plates legally in your Texas Dealer Pre-License Course. Enroll Now!

Prohibited Use of a Dealer Plate

Now, let's go over what you may not do with a metal dealer license plate. Placing a Texas dealer license plate on the following vehicles is strictly prohibited. On any vehicle towing another vehicle or any vehicle towing a load, on any vehicle not titled in the dealership name, on any courtesy vehicle that is loaned to a customer, on any dealer that is loan to a school or any vehicle the dealer is not licensed to sell, on any vehicle with signage attached, such as large stickers that might advertise the dealership name. You may never place a dealer plate on a truck that's pulling other vehicles or like a loaded trailer. If you use a truck to transport your vehicles to and from auctions, you will need a tax title and license the truck in your dealership's inventory.

Now, let's say for example, you stack several trailers on the top of another trailer when transferring them to the dealership. You cannot place a dealer plate on the bottom trailer. In this case, the bottom trailer would need to be licensed in the dealership name because it is now a dealership service vehicle. Dealer plates must not be displayed on any motor vehicle trailer or boat that is hired for service or used as a wrecking vehicle.

Texas Dealer Plate Limits

Dealer plate limits. The following table from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles' website explains the dealer plate allowance guidelines. The number of dealer plates you are issued depends on your license type and the number of vehicles sold. Independent used motor vehicle dealers, travel trailer dealers, utility trailer and semi-trailer dealers, used motorcycle dealers and independent mobility motor vehicle dealers are limited to two the first year in business. Wholesale dealers may only have one plate. Upon renewal of your dealer license, independent used motor vehicle dealers, travel trailer dealers, utility trailer, and semi-trailer dealers, used motorcycle dealers and independent mobility motor vehicles are eligible for a total of three plates. Wholesale dealers are still only allowed one plate upon renewal of the license.

Ordering Additional Dealer Plates

Additional plates. If it's renewal time and you have already reached the maximum allowed plates, you may submit a VIT document or other proof of sales with your renewal application to receive additional plates. Proof of sales for the previous 12 month period may consist of a copy of the most recent vehicle inventory, tax declaration or monthly statements filed with the taxing authority in the county of the dealership's license location. VIT must be submitted each time with the renewal. If a dealer needs more plates than what are allowed, a dealer may request a waiver of the plate limits by submitting a statement why they need the additional plates for the applicant's business. Wholesale dealers may never apply for a waiver.

Metal Dealer Plate Log

The metal dealer license plate log. You're required by state law to keep an accurate record of your metal dealer license plates on a metal dealer plate log. The dealer plate log must contain the assigned plate number, the year make of the vehicle displaying the plate, the VIN, that's your vehicle identification number, the name of the person in control of the vehicle as well.

Here is a link to the TxDMV Metal Dealer Plate Log. Just click on License Plate Log

Always be sure to enter the plate number, the vehicle model it was placed upon, the vehicle's VIN, the date it was issued to the vehicle, the date it was returned, and the name of any drivers of that vehicle. You must keep a dealer plate log in your records at all times. This is a state law. They also must be produced upon request during any records inspection by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles' personnel during normal business hours. Any dealer metal plates that are not accounted for would be voided by the state.

Texas Metal Dealer License Plates can be obtained when you have a dealers license. Start your training now!



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