22.2 Permitted Uses
- The dealer may use the plates for business and pleasure.
[V.C. §11715(a)] Vehicle Code section §11715(a) does not limit the
dealer to only business use of the special plates. To see Vehicle Code section
11715(a) go to: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d05/vc11715.htm
- The following individuals are considered “the dealer” for special
plate use purposes:
- The sole owner of the dealership
- A general partner of the dealership
- The manager of a limited liability company who is actively engaged in
the management and control of the business operations.
- A corporate officer or director of a dealer if they are actively engaged
in the management and control of the business operations.
- Note: A dealer must notify the DMV within 10 days of any change
in the ownership or corporate structure of the licensee.
- Note: A general manager, business manager, or sales manager actively
engaged in the management and control of the business operations may
use the special plate if there is no other individual who meets the
first four categories above.
- A licensed representative of a manufacturer or distributor.
- Test Drives:
Any licensed driver may operate a vehicle with a special plate so long as
one of the individuals described in the preceding six categories above is
also in the vehicle.
- Spouse and family members:
An unaccompanied licensed driver who regularly resides in the immediate household
of the dealer may operate a vehicle with special plates solely to pick up
or drop off the dealer.
A licensed driver who is an employee of a dealer may drive a vehicle with
special plates so long as they are acting within the course and scope of their
- Salesperson demos:
Vehicles rented or leased to vehicle salesmen in the course of their employment
for purposes of display or demonstration may be run on dealer plates. The
lease or rental agreement must be in the vehicle at all times. [V.C. §11715(d),
and section 18.030 of the DMV Dealer Handbook] and section 18.030 of the DMV
Handbook of Registration Procedures. To see Section 18.030, click here: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/reg_hdbk_pdf/ch18.pdf
- Special Events:
Any licensed driver may operate a vehicle with special plates for special
event purposes if the operator carries a letter of authorization from the
licensee identifying the vehicle, duration, and location of operation, and
person(s) authorized to operate the vehicle.
- Prospective buyer or lessee – 7 days:
Any licensed driver who is a prospective buyer or lessee, may test drive a
vehicle with special plates for up to seven days. If a salesperson is not
present, then the operator must carry a letter of authorization from the dealer.
- Commercial drive test for employees:
Employees of a commercial vehicle dealer, who must operate a commercial vehicle
in the course of their employment, may take a commercial drive test in a commercial
vehicle displaying special plates. [V.C. §201.00(g)]
Trailers displaying special plates may be towed by a vehicle with Vehicle
Code authority to operate on the highways. [V.C. §201.00(h)]
- Towing or transporting other vehicles is permissible with a dealer plate.
- Exception: Dealer plates cannot be used to transport more than one load
of other vehicles for the purpose of sale. [V.C. §11715(d)]