Look around and you are likely to see numerous automobiles with official-looking pieces of paper, otherwise known as temp tags (temporary tags), stuck where typical license plates should be. If they are not there, look for them in the back window. If you wonder what these temp tags are and why they are essential, this article is for you.
Definition of Temp Tags
Car owners need temporary license plates to drive vehicles that don't have standard license plates yet. That means a temp tag is essentially a legal document that proves you are the owner of a particular vehicle. It also tells relevant authorities you've applied for license plate registration, but your plates are yet to arrive. You can get a temporary plate from your dealership or local department of motor vehicles (DMV).
How Temp Tags Work
Generally, temporary tags allow you to legally use a new or used automobile for 45 calendar days. During this period, relevant authorities expect you to work toward getting the car permanently registered and titled. Your dealership is allowed to provide a single temp tag for each new vehicle. But note that a dealer can't issue temporary plates for rental cars they don't intend or aren't authorized to sell. In most cases, you need several documents to get a temporary license plate in the United States, including a certificate of title, car insurance proof, and a valid driver's license. Note that you can only use your temp tag for as long as the specified date allows.
Driving a car with an expired temp tag is inadvisable because it exposes you to hefty fines, or your vehicle can be impounded. To avoid these problems, check if your state allows you to apply for an extension.
When to Get a Temp Tag
You will need a temporary tag if:
1. You've purchased a new or used automobile
Once you have financed and acquired a new car, the next thing is registering it and obtaining a legal license plate. These come in handy when you need to prove to authorities that you own the automobile and can legally operate it. However, in most states, DMV officials can take a couple of weeks to mail license plates. Since you may need to use your car before getting the plates, a temp tag is indispensable when you need to drive in it. The same applies to a scenario where you buy a used car without a valid inspection sticker.
2. You are moving into a new state
Suppose you are moving out of state. In that case, you have to re-register any vehicle you bring with you into your new state of residence. But before acquiring and installing the new plates, a temporary tag, otherwise known as a transit registration, is necessary. The reason is, without it, you can't legally operate or drive your car in the new state.
To learn more about temp tags, contact a local service.