Getting Dealer Plates from the Mass. RMV

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will only issue dealer plates if the Registrar is satisfied that the applicant is legally entitled to possess them by under Mass. Motor Vehicle Law, Chapter 90. The holding of a license to sell automobiles from a city or town, or opening a business as a recreational, boat or trailer dealer does not automatically guarantee that the Registry will issue you dealer plates.

Instead, the Mass. RMV makes an independent assessment pursuant to G.L. c. 90 to assess an applicant’s eligibility for a Massachusetts Dealer Plate. An initial site visit by the Massachusetts State Police Compliance Unit will be made to determine compliance with legal requirements for the dealer’s facility and to evaluate the appropriate number of Dealer Plates to be recommended for issuance. The Registry of Motor Vehicles determines the actual number of license plates that will be issued, if any.

An applicant for Dealer Plates must be engaged principally and substantially in the business of buying, selling or exchanging motor vehicles or trailers and maintain a facility dedicated to carrying on that business. The Mass. RMV will not knowingly issue or re-issue Dealer Plates to an applicant if his/her business is located within residential living quarters, whether or not the dealer or someone else actually resides there, or whether no one resides there. The Registry requires that the premises must be used exclusively for the dealer’s business.

The Mass. State Police or Registry inspectors will make follow-up random “spot checks” will be made from time to time to make sure that the dealer is complying with relevant laws and policies, including maintaining certain records (if required) and using the issued Dealer Plates appropriately. The State Police and RMV investigators are allowed to conduct these inspections during normal business hours and the first thing they usually check is the “Used Vehicle Record Book.” These site visits can result in Registry hearings and the revocation of dealer plates. If this happens to you, you should contact a lawyer such as Attorney Brian E. Simoneau. Attorney Simoneau has represented dealers before the RMV in hearings involving alleged misuse of dealer plates.

If you need legal assistance getting dealer plates or if you have been issued a RMV hearing notice regarding alleged dealer plate violations, please contact  Attorney Brian E. Simoneau for a free consultation and case review.