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eTags 101

eTags 101

The eTag system is designed to make processing dealer tags fast and easy for dealerships throughout the state while making temporary tag information available in almost real-time to law enforcement.

  • Works via a web-based application
  • Provides greater security by using unique numbers on every eTag
  • Replaces old style tags that are no longer legal

Make sure you have printed your allotment of Internet Down tags in case they are needed when eTags is unavailable.

Types of Tags

Dealers and Converters use the eTags system and are required by law to have Internet access at their place of business to connect to the eTags Database. 

Dealers who hold a General Distinguishing Number license may issue dealer temporary tags, buyer's temporary tags, and Internet-down temporary tags for each type of vehicle the dealer is licensed to sell.

A converter may only issue converter temporary tags. 

Dealer's and Converter's Tags

Dealer TagConverter Tag

These tags contain vehicle-specific information or agent-specific information.

  • Uses:
    • Vehicle demonstration
    • Transit from dealer to dealer
    • Auction
    • Reconditioning, etc.
    • May be used on a loaner to a customer while vehicle is being repaired
  • CANNOT be used for carrying a load UNLESS vehicle is carrying another vehicle with a temp tag from same dealer on the way to or from the auction
  • Cannot be used by dealership personnel for personal use
  • MUST be displayed and properly secured in rear plate holder
  • Does NOT need current inspection sticker
  • CANNOT display signs on vehicle
  • Valid from 1 to 60 days
  • More than one tag may be issued to any agent but only one tag may be assigned to any specific vehicle at a time.
  • TITLE must be in name of or assigned to dealership
  • Fees are not collected for these tags.

Buyer's Tags

Buyer TagThe buyer’s tag is issued with a retail sale. The dealer must enter the vehicle’s and the buyer’s information into the e-Tags System. The system then assigns a vehicle-specific number to the transaction, which can be printed out in the form of a temporary registration tag.

 

 

  • Issued to a retail purchaser
  • MUST have current inspection sticker
  • MUST be displayed and properly secured in rear plate holder
  • MUST keep Buyer’s Tag Receipt in vehicle until registered
  • If tag is stolen or lost, replacement is reprinted with original expiration date
  • CAN display signs and carry load on vehicle
  • TAG is good for 60 calendar days
  • Dealer is required to apply for title and registration within 20 working days of the date of sale or 45 calendar days if Seller financed

The law requires you to collect a $5.00 fee from each buyer that is issued a buyer's eTag. This fee will be paid to the county at the time the title and registration is filed just like the TT&L. The buyer tag is the only tag for which this fee is charged. This fee also applies to out of state transactions.

$5 Buyer Tag Fee Facts

Buyer tags are good for 60 days. Only one tag is allowed for one VIN/Buyer.

Internet-Down Tags

Internet Down BuyerIf the eTags System is unavailable at the time of a retail sale, you must use an Internet-down tag and provide a buyer's receipt. You will enter sales information into the database once the eTags System is available again. This must be no later than the close of the next business day that you have access to the Internet.

  • Used when Internet is down as an alternate Buyer’s tag. Tags and receipts are preprinted by dealer with the assigned number. Buyer and vehicle info is hand-printed by the dealer.
  • Dealer required to enter all information into eTag database within 24 hours of resuming Internet service.
  • Issued to a retail purchaser
  • MUST have current inspection sticker
  • MUST be displayed and properly secured in rear plate holder
  • MUST keep Buyer’s Tag Receipt in vehicle until registered
  • If tag is stolen or lost, replacement is reprinted with original expiration date
  • CAN display signs and carry load on vehicle
  • TAG is good for 60 calendar days
  • Dealer is required to apply for title and registration within 20 working days of the date of sale or 45 calendar days if Seller financed

All dealers should make sure they have printed their allotment of Internet Down tags in case they are needed when eTags is unavailable.

If you need more than your allotment, please send us an email at etags_allotment@TxDMV.gov to request an increase to your eTags Internet-down tags allotment.

Dealer's Metal Plate

plp dealer

Uses:

  • Vehicle demonstration
  • Personal Use
  • Only on vehicles dealer is licensed to sell
  • Only one plate is issued for display on vehicle and must be displayed and properly secured in rear plate holder.
  • MUST have current inspection sticker
  • CANNOT display signs on vehicle
  • CANNOT be displayed on vehicle carrying load
  • TITLE must be in name of or assigned to dealership

How to Use the Tags

Where They Go

eTags are to be placed on all (new, used, and trailers) vehicles sold.

  • eTags need to be placed in the rear license plate display area of the vehicle.
  • Paper tags should be secured with double sided tape or with a license plate holder to keep the tag from flapping up in the wind.
  • If the buyer wants to put their old plates on the “new” vehicle they buy, the eTag must go on top of the old plate until the registration sticker is issued by the county tax office. As a service to the customer, the temporary tag may be placed over the metal plate so the buyer can simply remove the paper tag once they receive their registration sticker from you.
Transporting Vehicles To and From Auctions

When sending a vehicle to the auction, you may issue a vehicle-specific dealer tag for the specific vehicle that will be driven to the auction to be sold. If the vehicle is not sold, it can be brought back to the lot on that same tag. If the vehicle is sold, then the buying dealer will put a dealer agent tag on the vehicle.

If you are buying vehicles from an auction, you should take agent specific dealer tags with you to the auction to put on the vehicles you buy to be transported back to your lot. If you buy through an online auction, you can fax your agent specific dealer tags to the transport company for mounting on the vehicle if it is driven back to the dealer lot.

Reprinting and Voiding Tags

The eTags System allows you to:

  • Void tags
  • Correct errors and reissue the tag
  • Replace lost or stolen tags by reprinting the same tag

Here are a few tips:

  • You do not have to print a dealer's tag every time a vehicle is demonstrated: With the Dealer eTags you can issue an agent’s tag to a particular agent to be used by that person on whatever vehicle they drive for the dealer. The dealer is still responsible for that agent’s tag and can void it at any time.
  • To reprint a specific numbered tag image: look under the “What would you like to do?” list and select “reprint tag images.” Enter the tag number to be reprinted and select “Look up Tag Number.” Follow the screen instructions to reprint the eTag.
  • To create an Agent Specific Dealer Tag: first add agent names to the list. Click on the “Activity Home” link near the top of the page, then select “Manage Agent Names” from the “What Would you like to do?” list. Click “add new” then type in the First and Last Name of the agent; then click “save”. The name will now appear on the list of agents when you create agent specific tags.

Please note: only one tag at one time can be issued for a VIN, whether it is a dealer tag or buyer tag.

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