The California Legislature adopted Assembly Bill AB 516 to replace the paper-based Report of Sale (ROS) processes and reduce the number of vehicles operating without license plates. The bill was signed into law on July 25, 2016 and requires the DMV, on or before January 1, 2019, to develop and implement a system that allows dealers (or lessor-retailers), wholesale dealers, and auto auction organizations to report the sale of a vehicle electronically at the time of sale and provide a Temporary License Plate (TLP) — or Temp Tag — to a vehicle sold without permanent license plates. The law requires Temp Tags to be securely fastened to the vehicle and, since the sale of the vehicle is electronically recorded, prohibits a person from counterfeiting or displaying a Temp Tag that was not issued to the vehicle. Because of this instant, electronic record of the vehicle sale, the five-day notice requirement for ROS tear-off forms is eliminated.

The full text of (AB) 516 is available online, here.

This mandate affects all Franchise and non-Franchise dealerships as well as Wholesalers.

Keep in mind the following once the law goes into effect:

  • With AB 516, the document processing charge increases by $5 making the charge $85 for BPA participants (from $80) and $70 for non-participants (from $65).
  • Along with the ROS number, the dealer is responsible for transmitting the following information to the DMV prior to delivery, at the time of sale: Vehicle Identification Number, Year, Make, Model, name of dealer or lessor-retailer, purchaser name(s) and address, and any other information deemed necessary by the department.
  • The dealer no longer needs to submit a 5-day notice to DMV. The electronic transmission at the time of sale and delivery replaces this requirement.
  • Any vehicle that does not have two license plates at the time of delivery requires a Temp Tag. For example: new vehicles, non-resident vehicles, prior Environmental License Plate (Personal Plate) on vehicle, etc.
  • A laser printer is required to produce a Temp Tag.

At the moment, the potential costs that would possibly impact users that are required to participate in AB 516 include the special, non-destructive paper used for Temp Tags and the cost of laser printer(s). It’s recommended to purchase laser printers with multiple trays in order to print the Temp Tag and Virtual Report of Sale.

A laser printer and special, non-destructive paper are required to produce a Temp Tag.

While a dealer cannot charge the purchaser for any fees directly tied to the Temp Tag program, the $5 increase to the Document Processing Charge fee will more than cover the cost for the paper and toner.

Yes! Joining the BPA program now allows you to raise your Document Processing Charge from $65 to $80. As of January 1, 2019, all BPA participants will be able to raise their Document Processing Charge to $85.

The Temp Tags are required to be printed on special non-destructive paper. It’s not to be printed on “regular” printer paper. More details to follow.

Any vehicle that does not have 2 license plates at the time of delivery will need Temp Tags. For example: new vehicles, non-resident vehicles, prior Environmental License Plate (Personal Plate) on vehicle, etc.

Temp Tags are generally issued for all “hard-plated” vehicle registrations:

  • Auto
  • Commercial
  • Exempt
  • Trailer
  • PTI (Permanent Trailer Identification)
  • Motorcycle

By contrast, vehicles issued stickers instead of plates are excluded from the Temp Tag program:

  • OHV (Off-Highway Vehicles)
  • Vessel

Once issued on the date of sale, Temp Tags are valid for 90 days or until registration card is received by the purchaser. The expiration date is printed on the Temp Tag — Section 3, 4456. (c).

The purchaser may operate the vehicle past 90 days as long as they can show proof they have submitted an application to DMV and it has not been more than 14 days since plates were issued to the vehicle. — Section 3, 4456 (d).

Temp Tags are meant to be displayed on the vehicle where license plates are currently placed. The Temp Tags must be securely fastened, upright, clearly visible and legible. The front plate shall be mounted no more than 60 inches from the ground. The rear plate is to be mounted not less than 12 inches and no more than 60 inches from the ground.

Please note that exceptions apply for specialized trucks. Tow trucks, tractor trailers, livestock trailers, etc. may display the Temp Tag 90 inches from the ground while dump trucks with a trailing, load bearing swing axle up to 107 inches from the ground.— Section 16, 5201 (a).

The purchaser is responsible for destroying the Temp Tags once they receive their plates and registration in the mail. — Section 16, 5201 (b).

No. The disabled plates should not be displayed on the vehicle until they have been assigned to the vehicle and registration is received by purchaser confirming this. The customer may use their placard until it is received.