DEALER PLATES/REGISTRATION

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Q: When does the State determine the number of dealer plates I can have to operate my business?
A:
The key determinant factors are the number of motor vehicles that you sell and the number of full-time sales employees you have. NHADA recommends that, if you request additional plates, you must have a solid business reason why. www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/saf-c2000.html [saf-c2003.02(c)]

Q: What are my responsibilities in identifying the various users of my dealer plates?
A:
It is real simple -- dealers must know the location and user of each dealer plate as well as the vehicle to which it is assigned. NHADA strongly recommends you assign the task of maintaining an up-to-date log of dealer plates to a responsible individual in the dealership. www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/saf-c2000.html [saf-c2003.03(a)]

Q: Can I use a magnetic holder to secure a dealer plate on my vehicles?
A:
Yes, but, at all times, the dealer plate must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle specifically in the place that is provided by the manufacturer. www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rules/saf-c2000.html [saf-c2003.03(b)]

Q: Do I have to conduct a safety inspection and sticker all the vehicles on my lot?
A:
There is a two-part answer to this question:

  1. All new vehicles that have not yet been titled are exempt from inspection requirements and need not receive an inspection sticker. NHADA suggests dealers inspect and sticker dealer-plated vehicles that will be on the road for more than demo rides. This is a safety mechanism to insure local police do not pull you over only to find out you are in compliance. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/266/266-1.htm (Section VIII)
  2. All used vehicles owned by a dealer and that will be driven over the road must be safety inspected and stickered. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/266/266-1.htm (Section IV)

Q: To whom can I assign use of dealer plates?
A:
For business purposes, excluding delivery of parts, anyone in the dealership. For personal use, only members of the dealer's family who are domiciled in the dealer's household. Also, full-time dealership employees may use dealer plates. Remember, this is only for full-time employees and not for any of their families or friends. At all times, you must insure that the vehicle is in a saleable condition and all legally required window stickers are in view. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/261/261-111.htm

Q: Can I rent a dealer-plated vehicle?
A:
The only instance that you can charge a fee for use of a dealer-plated vehicle is when a renter's/customer's vehicle is being serviced in your business. Off-the-street rentals are specifically prohibited. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/261/261-111.htm

Q: Could I, as a favor, allow my neighbor to use a dealer plate on his/her vehicle?
A:
Absolutely not. Dealer plates can only be used on vehicles owned by the dealer or when the dealer has a valid, written consignment agreement. In no case can dealer plates ever be loaned to another individual. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/261/261-111.htm

Q: Can I use a dealer plate on my parts delivery truck?
A:
If a portion of your business consists of selling and delivering parts, you must specifically register that vehicle. If you do not have an active portion of your business selling and delivering parts, it is permissible to use a dealer plate for this occasional activity. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/261/261-111.htm

Q: I have a tow truck/wrecker, and I only use my tow truck to service my own customers. Can I use a dealer plate on this truck?
A:
The answer is, yes, but you must have on the vehicle a sign stating "Not for Hire" with lettering 3 inches high or greater. It is illegal to use a dealer-plated service/tow truck for business if you are actually towing for hire and it is not incidental to the business of your dealership. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/261/261-111.htm

Q: I would like to establish an annex. What are my requirements?
A:
If you have an annex (same corporation) that is located in the town or city in which you are properly registered and licensed, all you need to do is notify the Department of Safety of this second address. Of course, your town/city must approve of this address. You may use the same dealer plates at both locations. If you choose to have a location outside of your town/city, you must secure a separate license and registration through the Department of Safety. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/261/261-106.htm

Q: What is your best advice if I am called in for a hearing with the Department of Safety, and what are the potential penalties?
A:
The first thing you should do is call the Association for personalized advice. Recognize that if the Department alleges you have violated any provisions of the laws that allow you the privilege of becoming a dealer, you may lose your right to remain a dealer. Any time you receive a notice to attend a hearing, there could be very serious consequences. First rule: Avoid getting that notice by fully complying with all aspects of your dealer privileges. http://gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/XXI/261/261-177.htm

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