Vehicle Industry Registration Procedures Manual

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Section 3 of 38

Chapter 2: General Information – Licensees

2.090 Special Dealer, Manufacturer, Remanufacturer, and Distributor License Plates

Special license plates bearing the firm’s license number are issued to licensed firms other than lessor-retailers (VC §11714).

Use of Special License Plates (VC §11715)—Special license plates may be used by licensed dealers, manufacturers, remanufacturers, and distributors to operate any vehicle owned or lawfully possessed by the licensee. A vehicle displaying a special license plate may also be used to tow or transport other vehicles. A dealer may use special license plates for delivery to the buyer, when the sale is consummated at the place of delivery.

A licensed transporter may use a vehicle with special license plates for the purpose of towing or transporting (by any lawful method) other vehicles, for delivery to the owner or for sale. Each vehicle in contact with the highway must display special
license plates issued to the transporter.

Special license plates cannot be used on:

  • A vehicle with a permit issued by DMV, being moved over the highways from a vessel, railroad depot, or warehouse to a warehouse or salesroom.
  • Work or service vehicles owned by an occupational licensee, as identified above.
  • Vehicles owned or leased by dealers, except those rented or leased to a vehicle salesperson, in the course of employment, for purposes of display or demonstration.
  • An unregistered vehicle used to transport more than one load of other vehicles for the purpose of sale.
  • A vehicle with current California registration that is owned and operated by a licensed dealer, if the former owner submitted a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability (REG 138) form to DMV, y the customer copy of the report of sale is displayed on the vehicle.

Additional Special License Plates (VC §11715)

To request one or more additional sets of special license plates, submit a complete Application for Occupational License Special Plates, Stickers, and Registration Cards, and Duplicate License (OL 22) form with the required fees to the Occupational Licensing (OL) Unit.

Replacement Special License Plates, Stickers, Registration Cards, or Firm License (VC §11715)

To request replacement special license plates, stickers, duplicate registration cards, or a duplicate firm license:

If requesting replacement license plates to OL, submit the registration card and unused sticker, if available.

Report lost or stolen license plates to the local police department or sheriff’s office.

Surrender of Special License Plates—If any special license plates are no longer needed: