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Manufacturing (MFG) Plates

apacheguy

S Sig #255
Oct 21, 2012
5,083
1,243
So Cal
Why do they exist? Why the need to discriminate between a consumer and a manufacturer on a license plate? Do they pay different registration fees?
 

GSP

Member
Dec 28, 2007
2,573
804
I think one reason is to allow manufacturers to drive prototypes, which have not been type approved (safety, emissions, etc.) for public use yet, on public roads.

GSP
 

Max*

Charging
Apr 8, 2015
6,670
3,719
NoVa
I'm not sure that's the only reason, otherwise it'd be mostly limited to the headquarters. I saw a Model S with MFG plates (yes manufacturer; not dealer) in the Dedham, MA SC a few weeks ago.
 

JST

Active Member
May 23, 2013
1,560
225
I'm not sure that's the only reason, otherwise it'd be mostly limited to the headquarters. I saw a Model S with MFG plates (yes manufacturer; not dealer) in the Dedham, MA SC a few weeks ago.


Tesla uses them on a variety of corporate-owned cars, including service loaners. Most auto companies don't, for the simple reason that most auto companies don't directly provide service loaners. States also issue a variety of "dealer" tags, which dealers will sometimes use on service loaners.

MFG and DLR plates are transferable between cars--having these plates means that you don't have to separately title and register each vehicle. That's handy when you have a fleet of vehicles that you haven't sold yet, and which may not all need to be driven at the same time. Provides a great deal of flexibility.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,107
3,982
Central Valley
As I understand California's rules, dealers and manufacturers are licensed by the DMV. Accordingly, they receive dealer or manufacturer license plates for the autos that they use in their normal courses of business. These plates are transferable to any vehicle owned by the dealer or manufacturer. These cars have no "pink slip," as they are not registered with DMV. The plates identify the dealer/manufacturer license number, so law enforcement knows that there will be no registration or proof of insurance forthcoming should a driver be pulled over. This is also why sales of these autos qualify as "new" car sales, as the vehicles have not yet been registered with DMV.

Here is the link to the CVC: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=veh&group=11001-12000&file=11700-11740
 

CHG-ON

Still in love after all these miles
Jun 24, 2014
3,079
636
Santa Cruz Mountains, USA
They can put them on any car in their inventory. In the US, the plate for consumers is permanently attached to the VIN of the vehicle until it is officially reassigned, which means going to the DMV (ug) and officially transferring it to another vehicle. It is done so that dealers can allow people to test drive any car on their lot and the plate, if needed, can be tracked back to the dealer, who is the legal owner of the vehicle until sold and therefore liable for any damages, to an extent.

I have a plate on a car that I sold that I wanted back. I now need to find out how to not have that plate retired and put back into the mix for others to take. Because I expect to use it again at some point, so I want to continue to own it.
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,818
8,832
Distributor, Dealer, Manufacturer, Dismantler, Remanufacturer, Transporter, ...

CA Department of Motor Vehicles Occupational License Plates

I expect there are some guidelines on how the vehicle is supposed to be used when running on those plates.
Evaluating prototypes is one thing, but driving for years on a production vehicle for personal use is probably frowned upon.


Here someone actually "bought" some:
caifornia MFG license plates - Corvette Forum
I assume it wouldn't be legal for someone other than an active, registered, manufacturer to use them for business purposes.
Can they use them on vehicles from another manufacturer?

I wonder if the manufacturer has to carry some sort of blanket insurance policy to cover in case any accidents happen with their cars running on MFR plates?
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,107
3,982
Central Valley
Distributor, Dealer, Manufacturer, Dismantler, Remanufacturer, Transporter, ...

CA Department of Motor Vehicles Occupational License Plates

I expect there are some guidelines on how the vehicle is supposed to be used when running on those plates.
Evaluating prototypes is one thing, but driving for years on a production vehicle for personal use is probably frowned upon.


Here someone actually "bought" some:
caifornia MFG license plates - Corvette Forum
I assume it wouldn't be legal for someone other than an active, registered, manufacturer to use them for business purposes.
Can they use them on vehicles from another manufacturer?

I wonder if the manufacturer has to carry some sort of blanket insurance policy to cover in case any accidents happen with their cars running on MFR plates?


Good questions, TEG! One would hope that Tesla's in-house counsel has weighed in on the matter, and has established the lawful use of these plates. Service vehicles are likely those cars that are driven by management or on Tesla business, and those must be registered and receive the customary 7-digit license plate, since the loaner I received had manufacturer plates. Doubtless Tesla has a broadly-written liability policy, (and I am neither lawyer nor insurance expert) but I would presume that vehicles with manufacturer plates would be covered by their liability policies, and not automobile insurance policies that registered owners are required to have.

The vehicle code definition of manufacturer also includes representatives from the manufacturer that are based in California, even though they do not actually manufacture automobiles here. So, perhaps the Corvette with manufacturer plates in the link you shared belongs to one of the GM executives. (I recall years ago that GM had a corporate office in Van Nuys or thereabouts.)

I could be wrong about all the above. Perhaps we should find a friendly Chippie and offer to buy him/her lunch to get the true answers to these questions!
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,024
1,013
I suspect that Tesla would apply for self-insurance in California.

In IL, DL plates are used for service loaners, test drive vehicles, and dealer demonstrators (including those driven by the owners/managers when not "on duty"). While I do believe that IL has a set of MFG plates, all the Tesla cars I've seen based in Chicago use DL plates. Cost per year is $45 for the master set and $13 for each duplicate set, per year (in addition to the $1,000 business license cost for dealers in Illinois).
 

wayner

Active Member
Oct 29, 2014
3,816
1,387
Toronto
Are cars with MFG plates allowed to be driven outside of the state, or outside of the country? There has been a Model 3 with MFG plates from Cali spotted driving around Montreal and Ottawa in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
 

ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
10,534
7,691
Maine
They can put them on any car in their inventory. In the US, the plate for consumers is permanently attached to the VIN of the vehicle until it is officially reassigned, which means going to the DMV (ug) and officially transferring it to another vehicle. It is done so that dealers can allow people to test drive any car on their lot and the plate, if needed, can be tracked back to the dealer, who is the legal owner of the vehicle until sold and therefore liable for any damages, to an extent.

I have a plate on a car that I sold that I wanted back. I now need to find out how to not have that plate retired and put back into the mix for others to take. Because I expect to use it again at some point, so I want to continue to own it.

How To: Obtain Personalized and Special Interest License Plates (HTVR 24)

The California Man said:
How Do I Reassign to Another Vehicle, Retain for Future Use, or Release Interest in a License Plate?

Complete a Special Interest License Plate Application (REG 17) (PDF) form indicating that you want to reassign the license plates to another vehicle, hold the license plates for future use, or release interest in the license plates. If you are retaining license plates for future use, most have an annual retention fee. The retention fees vary by type of license plate and are listed on the second page of the REG 17. Failure to pay the annual retention fee will result in cancellation of the license plate and possible reassignment of the configuration.

The form REG 17 refer to form FFVR11 that lists the fee. A search on FFVR11 leads to the following page:

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr11#type

It lists all the fees, including the retention fees.
It has _annual_ retention fees for some plates of $20, $38, $40 or $43.

(It's $15 per year here, mostly 2 years, with 4 years for antiques).
 

TEG

Teslafanatic
Aug 20, 2006
21,818
8,832
Are cars with MFG plates allowed to be driven outside of the state, or outside of the country? There has been a Model 3 with MFG plates from Cali spotted driving around Montreal and Ottawa in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

In other states - sure seems like it - I see Michigan manufacturer plates in California quite a lot. And Tesla definitely uses theirs on test cars driven cross country. Not sure what happens in other countries.
 

cpa

Active Member
May 17, 2014
3,107
3,982
Central Valley
Are cars with MFG plates allowed to be driven outside of the state, or outside of the country? There has been a Model 3 with MFG plates from Cali spotted driving around Montreal and Ottawa in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

Yes. Generally, if a lawful, non-criminal act is appropriate in one state (i.e., vehicle registration) another state cannot litigate against that first state's law. But to be absolutely certain, better contact a lawyer, and not an accountant.
 

wayner

Active Member
Oct 29, 2014
3,816
1,387
Toronto
I am not personally legally liable, I just thought that plates like these would have more restrictions on them than a typical license plate.
 

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