Dealer Plate

If you buy and sell vehicles or have a garage repair shop, you will likely have a dealer plate. This license plate is for the vehicles that a car dealer buys and sells. The plate can be used on only one vehicle at a time.

The coverage is limited as declared in the policy. The minimum coverage is for public liability and property damage. Physical damage for collision and upset, comprehensive and specified perils is also available. The drivers of the vehicle who are employees must be listed on the policy.

If this is a large dealership, then customers test drive vehicles under this license plate. It is also the dealer who picks up one or two vehicles at a time, often from an auction house.

This dealer plate can also be used for a repair shop to transport vehicles to the shop or for test drives. Personally owned vehicles are specifically excluded from the coverage.

Examples of improper use of a dealer plate (provided by AMVIC):

Recently, a couple from Saskatchewan stopped by an AMVIC office with some questions about their new truck purchase. During the discussion with an investigator, the couple disclosed that the dealer had “loaned” them a dealer plate to transport the vehicle back to Saskatchewan.

The investigator quickly recognized this as an illegal use of a dealer plate. Section 74 (2) and (3) of the Alberta Operator Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulation under the Traffic Safety Act strictly limits how dealers can use this class of licence plate. Dealer plates can only be used on the dealer’s vehicles for sale and the dealer cannot lend or rent the plate to the person’s agents or to purchasers of vehicles.

The AMVIC investigator advised the couple that they could not continue their trip to Saskatchewan and sent them back to the dealership. To transport the vehicle properly, the couple needed to obtain a transit permit and insurance coverage.

This is not the first time AMVIC has dealt with complaints involving misuse of a dealer plate. Last year, a B.C. resident bought a vehicle in Alberta and was given a dealer plate to drive the vehicle home. The purchaser was stopped by the RCMP in B.C., and the vehicle was seized. The dealer plate was sent to Alberta Registries.

A proper In Transit permit would have been the proper way for the purchaser to drive the vehicle legally.

Beyond the obvious infraction of illegal use of a dealer plate, there is a very real possibility of serious liability issues if anything were to happen while the couple drove the vehicle home.

AMVIC has regulations and requirements for car dealers, garages and automobile repair shops that should be reviewed. Talk to your agent or broker about your insurance options.

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