Section 40-12-264

Time limit for purchase of tags or plates; dealer plates; manufacturer plates.

(a) Any person, including a motor vehicle dealer, acquiring a new or used motor vehicle may be granted a grace period of 20 calendar days from date of acquisition to procure a license tag or plate.

(b) A new or used motor vehicle dealer who has a current dealer license as required by Section 40-12-51 or 40-12-169 and Section 40-12-391 may purchase dealer license plates from the county license plate issuing official of the county in which the business is located upon presentation of the licenses required under Section 40-12-391 and either Section 40-12-51 or Section 40-12-169 from this state and payment of the fee for a private passenger automobile as provided in subdivision (1) of Section 40-12-242 and subsection (a) of Section 40-12-273 per dealer plate. An additional $1.75 issuance fee shall also be collected, which shall be deposited into the county general fund to be used exclusively for the operation of the issuing official's office. A new or used motor vehicle dealer that has a current dealer license as required by Sections 40-12-62 and 40-12-391 may purchase motorcycle dealers' license plates from the county in which the business is located upon presentation of current licenses as provided in both Sections 40-12-62 and 40-12-391 from this state and payment of the motorcycle registration fee as provided by subdivision (2) of Section 40-12-242 and subsection (c) of Section 40-12-273 per license plate. The additional $1.75 issuance fee shall also be collected, which shall be deposited into the county general fund to be used exclusively for the operation of the issuing official's office. Dealer license plates and motorcycle dealer license plates may only be used on motor vehicles owned by the dealership and being held in the inventory of the dealer. The number of dealer license plates is limited as follows:

(1) A licensed new motor vehicle dealer may purchase a maximum combined total of 25 dealer and motorcycle dealer license plates unless the dealer qualifies for additional dealer license plates as provided for in subdivision (3).

(2) A licensed used motor vehicle dealer may purchase a maximum combined total of 10 dealer and motorcycle dealer license plates unless the dealer qualifies for additional dealer license plates as provided for in subdivision (3).

(3) Any new or used motor vehicle dealer who completes applications for certificates of title involving title transfers for 1,500 or more motor vehicles in this state during the previous dealer regulatory license year may purchase a combined total of not more than 25 additional dealer and motorcycle dealer license plates.

(c) Dealer license plates may be used by prospective purchasers, owners, partners, corporate officers, and employees of the dealership and only on vehicles owned by the dealership and being held in the inventory of the dealer. Dealer license plates shall not be used on vehicles that are utilized by the dealership as rental or lease vehicles, tow trucks, service trucks or vans, and other service vehicles. A prospective purchaser shall be limited to 72 hours of use of dealer license plates. All vehicles on temporary loan from a motor vehicle dealer to a customer whose vehicle is being serviced or repaired by the dealer or to a high school for the purpose of student driver education shall be considered dealer demonstrator vehicles and dealer license plates may be used on these vehicles provided a fee is not charged by the dealer for the use.

(d) Licensed new and used motor vehicle dealers selling trucks or truck tractors with more than two axles on the power unit or a gross weight exceeding 26,000 pounds shall allow prospective purchasers to use dealer license plates for one payload trip only, and that use shall not exceed 72 hours. The dealer shall provide the prospective purchaser a permit fully describing the vehicle by make, model, year, and vehicle identification number. The permit shall contain the complete name and address of the dealership and of the prospective customer and shall clearly indicate the date and time the permit was issued. The permit and dealer license plate shall be issued only for demonstration purposes, and shall not be issued by the dealer when a vehicle is loaned or rented to an operator for any other purpose.

(e) A licensed new or used motor vehicle dealer or wholesaler may purchase a maximum of 10 dealer transit license plates to be used on motor vehicles being offered for sale to licensed motor vehicle dealers. Dealer transit license plates may be used by the new or used motor vehicle dealer or a wholesaler to transport vehicles within the inventory of the dealer or wholesaler. Dealer transit license plates shall not be used on service vehicles including tow trucks, rental, or lease vehicles. The fees for dealer transit license plates shall be the same as the fees provided in subsection (b) for dealer license plates.

(f) A licensed motor vehicle rebuilder may purchase a maximum of 10 dealer transit license plates to be used in accordance with subsection (a) of Section 32-8-87.

(g) Any manufacturer of private passenger automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, truck tractors, or trailers who has manufacturing facilities located in this state, may procure license plates from the county license plate issuing official of the county in which the business is located upon payment of the private passenger automobile or motorcycle fees per plate, as provided in subdivision (1) or (2) of Section 40-12-242 and subsection (a) or (c) of Section 40-12-273. The additional one dollar seventy-five cents ($1.75) issuance fee shall also be collected, which shall be deposited into the county general fund to be used exclusively for the operation of the issuing official's office. The word "manufacturer" shall appear on the license plates. The license plates may be used for transporting and testing new motor vehicles owned by the manufacturer.

(h) The proceeds of the fees levied in this section shall not be subject to proration. The fees collected pursuant to this section shall be distributed by the county license plate issuing officials in the same manner as fees for private passenger automobiles and motorcycles pursuant to Sections 40-12-269, 40-12-270, and 40-12-274. No fees provided in this section may be refunded.

(i) No motor vehicle ad valorem taxes, registration fees imposed by local law, or issuance fees imposed by local law shall be collected by the county official who issues license plates pursuant to this section. In addition, motor vehicle delinquency penalties and interest fees shall not be applicable when issuing license plates pursuant to this section.

(j) Any person to whom license plates are issued under this section, upon forfeiture or revocation of his or her license under Section 40-12-390, et seq., or upon discontinuing business, shall surrender to the issuing official all license plates issued within 10 calendar days from the date of forfeiture or revocation of license or discontinuing business.

(k) Motor vehicle dealer, motorcycle dealer, manufacturer, or dealer transit license plates may not be used in lieu of regular issued license plates as a means of avoiding the registration and ad valorem tax requirements of this chapter. Any person who willfully violates this section of law shall be subject to a Department of Revenue penalty of one hundred dollars ($100) for the first violation and five hundred dollars ($500) for each subsequent violation.

(l) A licensed new or used motor vehicle dealer shall register any motor vehicle and purchase an Alabama license plate of the proper classification for any motor vehicle withdrawn from the inventory of the dealer.

(m) A motor vehicle dealer, motorcycle dealer, dealer transit, or manufacturer license plate may be replaced in accordance with Section 40-12-265.

(n) Any person who makes willful misstatements or files documents with erroneous information in order to obtain motor vehicle dealer, motorcycle dealer, dealer transit, or manufacturer license plates shall be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor subject to criminal penalties as provided by law, and may be assessed a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) by the department.

(o) A new or used motor vehicle dealer, motor vehicle rebuilder, or motor vehicle wholesaler, licensed pursuant to Section 40-12-51, 40-12-62, or 40-12-169 and Section 40-12-391 or a manufacturer of private passenger automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, truck tractors, or trailers, licensed pursuant to this section, is prohibited from renewing his or her licenses if the new or used motor vehicle dealer, motor vehicle rebuilder, motor vehicle wholesaler, or manufacturer fails to pay any outstanding liabilities resulting from the assessment of penalties provided in this section.

(Acts 1939, No. 370, p. 497; Code 1940, T. 51, §464; Acts 1953, No. 117, p. 167; Acts 1994, No. 94-584, p. 1071, §1; Acts 1995, No. 95-761, p. 1785, §1; Acts 1996, No. 96-746, p. 1307, §3; Act 2002-256, p. 537, §1; Act 2004-529, p. 1106, §1; Act 2011-554, p. 1032, §1; Act 2014-158, p. 445, §1.)