Temporary Card-Board License Plates

Let’s face it, the dealer’s’ job is to sell you a car.

Out of state dealers usually know the laws of their own state inside and out. Most of them will tell you that they will issue you a temporary (cardboard) license plate and it’s perfectly legal.. that is until you get to the Massachusetts state line.

Mass. law makes it illegal for Massachusetts residents to use a temporary plate in Mass…. Now what?

Communication between your insurance agent, the dealer and you is critical to make sure everyone is on the same page. The best way is for the dealer to send the Certificate of Origin OR Title overnight to the agency and then we will get your plates for you. This way when you go to the dealership to pick up the car you already have the plates and the car is all ready to go.

Some out of state dealers insist that they will handle the registration of the car. This usually doesn’t work for a few reasons.

  1. First and foremost you have a car in your driveway which you can’t drive because again temporary plates aren’t worth the cardboard they are printed on.
  2. The dealer usually hires a third party vendor to go to the mass RMV to get the plates. This usually adds days and sometimes weeks as the paperwork needs to be sent by Fed-Ex back and forth between the dealer and the vendor and then ultimately you.

We have situations over the years when the first payment was due on the loan before the client actually got the plates. Our suggestion is if you are going to buy a car from an out of state dealer go over the process with them getting a timeline of when you will get the plates before you sign the paperwork.

Their ultimate goal is to sell you a car, it’s a good idea to keep this in mind.

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