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Proper and Improper Use of Dealer Plates
The Department of State is often asked by law enforcement or licensed dealers to explain the proper and improper use of dealer plates. The following guidance is based on both state law and opinions previously published by the Office of the Attorney General.
The statute governing the use of dealer plates is Section 244 of the Michigan Vehicle Code (MCL 257.244; MSA 9.1944). The relevant sections of the statute are as follows:
Sec. 244(1). "A dealer owning any vehicle of a type otherwise required to be registered under this act may operate or move the vehicle upon the highways without registering each such vehicle if the vehicle displays, in the manner prescribed in section 225, 1 special plate issued to the owner by the secretary of state. For the purposes of this subsection, "dealer" shall include any employee, servant or agent of the dealer."
Sec. 244(3). "The plates described in this section shall not be used on service cars or wreckers which are being operated as an adjunct of a licensee's business. . ."
Proper Uses of Vehicles Bearing Dealer Plates Include:
Improper Uses of Vehicles Bearing Dealer Plates Include:
Law enforcement personnel are encouraged to verify dealer plate ownership through LEIN (Law Enforcement Information Network). The plate record contains the name and address of the dealer who owns the dealer plate.
Vehicle and Driver Identification
Dealers may assist law enforcement agencies by providing certain documents to persons operating vehicles with dealer plates.
New Vehicles---A copy of the manufacturer's certificate of origin or a copy of that portion of the invoice showing the dealer's identification and the vehicle identification number of the vehicle being driven.
A copy of the certificate of fleet insurance for any and all dealer-owned vehicles.
Customer Purchase of Vehicle
A signed and dated copy of the RD-108 showing the new owner's name and address.
A certificate of no-fault insurance for the vehicle.
We hope this information is helpful to dealers and law enforcement agencies. We recommend and encourage copies of this document be provided to patrol officers and dealer employees.
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