Obtaining Alabama Dealer and Manufacturer License Plates
After the dealer regulatory 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 ALDOR, contingent upon proof of the appropriate privilege licenses. Dealer plates may be requested through the Motor Vehicle License portal.
Who qualifies for each type of license plate?
Dealer (D) 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.
Are there any restrictions on the number of dealer, dealer transit and manufacturer plates that can be obtained?
Dealer (D) 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 10 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 Alabama 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.
What are the fees associated with the plates?
- Dealer: $25
- Dealer motorcycle: $17
- Manufacturer: $25
- Motorcycle manufacturer: $17
These fees cannot be refunded or prorated.
Who may legally operate vehicles displaying dealer (D) plates?
- 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
Are there limitations on the types of vehicles the plates may be used upon?
- 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 listed 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.
If the dealer license is revoked or forfeited, all dealer plates shall be returned to ALDOR within 10 calendar days.
Prohibited uses of dealer (D) plates:
- Rental or lease vehicles
- Tow trucks
- Service trucks or vans
- Other service vehicles
- $200 for first violation
- $500 for each subsequent violation
- Willful misstatements or documents filed with erroneous information in order to obtain dealer 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.
- $5,000 civil penalty for failure to maintain a blanket motor vehicle liability insurance policy.
If a dealer or manufacturer license plate is lost or stolen, it must be reported to law enforcement and a police 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 (Section 40-12-265, Code of Alabama 1975).
When a motor vehicle is withdrawn 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.
Michael Square (Main Office)
Alabama Legislative Act #2010-268