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  • Dealer and Manufacturer Plates

FAQ Categories / Tax: Dealer and Manufacturer Plates

Dealer and motorcycle dealer plate restrictions:

  • New motor vehicle dealers may obtain a combined total of 35 dealer and motorcycle dealer license plates.
  • Used motor vehicle dealers may obtain a combined total of 5 dealer and motorcycle dealer license plates.
  • Licensed new or used dealers may purchase an additional combined total of 25 dealer and motorcycle dealer license plates if they complete applications for certificates of title for 300 or more title transfers in this state during the previous dealer regulatory license year.

There are no limitations on the number of manufacturer and motorcycle manufacturer plates that can be purchased by manufacturers. (§40-12-264, Code of Ala. 1975)

  • May be used on vehicles on temporary loan from a dealer to a customer whose vehicle is being serviced or repaired by the dealer.
  • May be used on vehicles on temporary loan to a high school for the purpose of student driver education.
  •  May only be displayed on vehicles in the dealer’s/manufacturer’s inventory.
  • May be used for one payload trip only on trucks or truck tractors in a dealer’s inventory with more than 2 axles on the power unit or a GVW exceeding 26,000 pounds. Limited to 72 hours of usage.

If the dealer charges customers a fee for the uses above, dealer plates cannot be displayed on the vehicle. Motor vehicle dealers may display standard plates on vehicles in a dealer’s inventory. Ad valorem tax is not due when this occurs. (§40-12-264, Code of Ala. 1975)

After the dealer license has been obtained, the dealer must visit the county licensing office to purchase the appropriate privilege license(s) (Sections 40-12-51, 40-12-62, or 40-12-169).

Dealer plates will be issued by the Department of Revenue, contingent upon proof of the appropriate privilege licenses.

Dealer and Manufacturer plates may be requested while the designated agent is logged in their MyDMV account.

Manufacturers must present their Section 87 license in order to purchase manufacturer license plates.

If a dealer or manufacturer license plate is lost or stolen, this fact must be reported to law enforcement and a report maintained for audit purposes.

If a plate becomes mutilated to the point that it is illegible, the plate must be returned to ALDOR, and a replacement plate will be issued upon payment of the appropriate fee (§40-12-265, Code of Ala. 1975).

If a dealer withdraws a vehicle from inventory, the licensed dealer shall purchase an Alabama license plate and register the vehicle.

Motor vehicle dealer, motorcycle dealer, and manufacturer license plates may not be used in lieu of regular issued license plates as a means of avoiding registration and ad valorem tax requirements.

• New or used dealers or wholesalers may transport vehicles within their inventory using these plates.

• Motor vehicle rebuilders may use dealer transit plates to move vehicles to and from repair points as necessary to complete the restoration, or may be moved as permitted by ALDOR for inspection.

If the dealer, rebuilder, or wholesaler license is revoked or forfeited, all dealer/dealer transit plates shall be returned to the license plate issuing official within 10 calendar days.

  • Dealer: $25
  • Dealer motorcycle: $17
  • Manufacturer: $25
  • Motorcycle manufacturer: $17

These fees cannot be refunded or prorated.

  • Rental or lease vehicles
  • Tow trucks
  • Service trucks or vans
  • Other service vehicles


  • $200 for first violation
  • $500 for each subsequent violation

Willful misstatements/documents filed with erroneous information in order to obtain license plates carry a criminal penalty of a Class A misdemeanor and a civil penalty of $1,000 to be assessed by the department. Violating the dealer license law is a Class A misdemeanor.

There is a $5,000 civil penalty for failure to maintain a blanket motor vehicle liability insurance policy.
(Section 40-12-264, Code of Alabama 1975)

  • Prospective purchasers, limited to 72 hours of use
  • Owners of the dealership
  • Partners of the dealership
  • Corporate officers of the dealership
  • Employees of the dealership
Dealer and motorcycle dealer plates may be obtained by licensed motor vehicle dealers. Manufacturer plates may be obtained by manufacturers of private passenger automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, truck tractors, or trailers, if the manufacturing facility is located in Alabama. (Section 40-12-264, Code of Alabama 1975)