Become A Member
PHONE HOTLINE: (603) 224-2369 E-MAIL:
Become A Member
Dan Bennett, Vice President of Government Relations Jan 19, 2023 10 min read

10 Things You Should Know About Dealer Plate Requirements

As a motor vehicle retailer, you have an ongoing responsibility to identify various users of your dealer plates. As such we have developed a form fillable PDF to help you track the location and user of each plate as well as the vehicle to which it is assigned. We strongly recommend you assign the task of maintaining an up-to-date log of dealer plates to a responsible individual in the dealership.


Download our helpful form fillable PDF to help you track the location and user of each plate as well as the vehicle to which it is assigned.

Dealer Plates: Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does the State determine the number of dealer plates I can have to operate my business?
 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. 
Link to Statute [saf-c2003.02(c)]

Q: Can I use a magnetic holder to secure a dealer plate on my vehicles?
 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.
Link to Statute

Q: Do I have to conduct a safety inspection and sticker all the vehicles on my lot?
 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. Link to Statute (Section VIII)
  2. All used vehicles owned by a dealer and that will be driven over the road must be safety inspected and stickered. Link to Statute (Section IV)

Q: To whom can I assign use of dealer plates?
 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. Link to Statute

Q: Can I rent a dealer-plated vehicle?
 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. Link to Statute

Q: Could I, as a favor, allow my neighbor to use a dealer plate on his/her vehicle?
 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. Link to Statute

Q: Can I use a dealer plate on my parts delivery truck?
 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. Link to Statute

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?
 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. Link to Statute

Q: I would like to establish an annex. What are my requirements?
 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. Link to Statute

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?
 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. Link to Statute