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Dealer License Plates

plp dealerFranchised (new) and Independent (used) motor vehicle dealers are eligible to buy and use metal dealer plates. The number of dealer plates that may be purchased depends on the number of sales and license type.

Motor vehicle dealers may apply for metal dealer’s license plates for all vehicle types the dealer is licensed to sell and may only use dealer plates on vehicles included in the license. For example, a dealer who is 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 not on a motorcycle or trailer.

The department also issues metal plates to other licensees including manufacturers, converters and in-transit operators.

Only one metal dealer plate is required per vehicle and is displayed in the rear license plate holder. The plate expires when the license expires. During the license renewal process, the licensee has the option to order new plates and renew existing metal plates, and the department will issue new year stickers to the renewed plates.

Licensees must cancel plates that are lost, stolen, damaged, or no longer needed in eLICENSING. From the home page, select Plates and Stickers and follow the prompts. Licensees should also report stolen plates to local law enforcement.

Damaged or no longer needed plates are to be returned to the closest Regional Service Center or to the TXDMV headquarters.

Metal Plate Uses

Dealer Uses Include:
  • On vehicles being used for demonstration or test drives
  • On vehicles used by the dealer, the dealer’s family or employees for personal use
  • On courtesy vehicles used by the dealer if there is no signage on the vehicle
Converter Uses Include:
  • On vehicles the converter is demonstrating or test-driving
  • On vehicles being driven by the converter to and from the franchised dealer that sells the vehicle
Vehicles with Dealer’s or Converter’s Plates
  • MUST have a current inspection
  • CANNOT display signs on the vehicle
  • CANNOT be used on a vehicle carrying a load or performing services for the dealer, such as carrying parts or operating as a rental unit (There is a special provision under the law for independent dealers carrying vehicles to and from the auction.)
  • MUST have the title assigned to the dealer

License
Plate Log

The law requires a dealer/converter to maintain a record of all metal plates and each vehicle assigned a license plate. The log shall consist of:

  1. the assigned plate number;
  2. the year/make of the vehicle displaying the plate;
  3. the vehicle identification number; and
  4. the name of the person in control of the vehicle.
Dealer Plate Log

Plate Allowance

Dealers are limited in the number of plates they may order depending on the type of license issued and the number of vehicles sold.

New Application

If you are ordering metal dealer plates with your application for a new license, make sure you do not order more than the number allowed by law. These numbers depend on the license type.

Exemptions to these plate limits for new applications may apply if the license applicant is:

  • a franchised dealership that has been subject to a buy-sell agreement, regardless of a change in the entity or ownership, or
  • any dealership that relocates and has been licensed for a period of one year or more.

 

Renewal

When renewing, the number of license plates you may renew includes the number of plates you received with your license.

For example, if you are a franchised motor vehicle dealer and you received five plates when you first received your license, then you may receive up to 25 additional plates upon renewal for a total of 30. If you are a franchised motor vehicle dealer and you did not receive any plates when you first received your license, then you may receive up to 30 license plates upon renewal.

Plate Allocation Summary Table
License Type New Application Allowance Total Allowed with Renewal
Independent motor vehicle dealer 2 3
Independent motorcycle dealer 2 3
Franchised motor vehicle dealer 5 30
Franchised motorcycle dealer 5 10
Franchised or independent travel trailer dealer 2 3
Utility trailer or semi-trailer dealer 2 3
Wholesale dealer 1 1
Independent mobility motor vehicle dealer 2 3
Additional Plates

If it is 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. *VIT must be submitted each time with the renewal.*

If you are a non-wholesale dealer who sold this many vehicles according to VIT or other proof of sales Then you may receive this many additional plates
Fewer than 50 1
50 to 99 vehicles 2
100 to 200 vehicles 5
More than 200 vehicles May obtain any number of metal dealer plates at dealer’s discretion.
If you are a wholesale dealer Then you may receive one (1) additional plate, regardless of how many vehicles you sell.

LP703 Number of Metal Dealer Plates Allowed with License Renewals

Personalization

A licensed motor vehicle dealer may obtain a personalized metal dealer license plate.

Cost: $85 per year/ plate

Plates are issued on a two-year basis and expire with the dealer’s license.

New applicants

Mail a completed application, documentation, and fee to your county tax office.

Renewals

Mail renewal form, documentation, and fee to your county tax office.

More Information

Dealer plate allocation rules apply and documentation must be submitted to MVD before personalized plates will be approved

Plate Return

Before returning metal plates, licensees should cancel active plates in eLICENSING. From the home page, select Plates and Stickers and follow the prompts.

Licensees should then complete a Plate Inventory Form(LF707), and mail or drop off metal plates at the closest Regional Service Center (RSC) or the TxDMV Headquarters for recycling.

Licensees with canceled licenses should also return all temporary tags, stickers, and plate receipts within 10 days of licenses closure.

Find the closest Regional Service Center (RSC) using the “Find Your RSC” locator on this page or download the pre-addressed mailing label for the TxDMV Headquarters.

LF707 Plate Inventory Form

TxDMV HQ Mailing Label

 

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