A temporary tag allows you to immediately drive a new or used car purchased from a dealer. The license plates, usually made of cardboard, are good for 30 days in every state of the United States. The aim of temporary tags is to allow you and the dealer time to transfer the registration. If you actually paid for the car rather than securing a loan, this process also enables the dealer to transfer the title of ownership to you. While some states do not allow you to extend a temporary tag in the event of an unexpected delay, others do permit you to do so with the dealer’s consent.
Call or visit the dealer from which you purchased the car. It’s really important to do this at least a few days before the temporary tag expires. Once the tag expires, your car is legally considered unregistered and this can lead to financial and driving-record consequences if you are pulled over by law enforcement while driving the vehicle.
Ask the dealer if you can extend the temporary tag. You may need to explain why. Sometimes people become too busy to go to their local department of motor vehicles to secure long-term license plates. Other times an unexpected financial emergency can cause a person to be unable to pay the expected taxes and fees associated with a new or used car purchase.
Your dealer may note that he or she is unable to extend the tags, due to business preference or the fact that your state does not allow this type of extension. One of the states that would not permit you or your dealer to extend the temporary license plates is Georgia.
Visit or call your local department of motor vehicles if your dealer is not cooperative or you learn that in your state only the motor vehicles agency can permit the extension. If you visit the agency, briefly explain to the clerk you need to extend your temporary tags. You will usually be expected to fill out a form and pay a one-time fee by cash or credit card.
Tips & Warnings
- Remember that some states, such as Michigan, automatically allow you to get a 60-day temporary tag for an additional nominal fee. This can help aid you in finding the time and financial resources to pursue a more long-term registration. Ask your dealer when buying a new or used car if your state permits 60-day temporary tags.
- Photo Credit David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images
How to Get a Temporary Tag When Selling a Car
It is beneficial to receive a temporary tag when attempting to sell a vehicle as it allows potential customers to test-drive the...
How to Get Temporary License Plates
When you purchase a car, your license plates may not immediately be available. In this instance, the state will issue you temporary...
How to Get Temporary License Plates in Ohio
Temporary license plates in Ohio are provided for a fee and can be used for use for up to 30 days by...
How to Check a License Plate Status
Though many private citizens believe that vehicle license plate information may only be obtained by law enforcement officials, the task of gathering...
How to Renew a Temporary Driving Permit in Ohio
Renewing a learner's permit in Ohio as a teen driver means that the initial application process must be redone.
How to Obtain a Temporary License Tag in Texas
The Texas Department of Transportation issues temporary license tags for unregistered passenger vehicles, trucks, trailers and other types of vehicles. Temporary tags...
How to Get a Transporter Tag in Florida
Florida law requires that businesses that regularly transport unregistered vehicles pay a license tax and be fitted with a special "Transporter" license...
How Do I Get a Temporary Tag in AZ?
There are two types of temporary tags for automobiles in the state of Arizona -- a three-day restricted use permit and a...
How Do I Get Temporary Plates in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for registering vehicles and issuing license plates. When you buy a new...
What Happens When You Drive on an Expired Tag?
The temptation to drive with expired tags may be great, but the consequences are potentially much greater. Standard vehicle licensing procedure requires...