Bogus temporary license plates under DMV scrutiny

Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 4:09 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - A trip around town it wasn’t hard to find legitimate temporary license plates.

Here in Nevada when a person buys a new or used car, the dealer hands over the temporary plates to the new owner. But once the temporary paper plate is issued, the clock is ticking. There’s a 30-day period for the car’s owner to get to the DMV and register the car.

According to the DMV though there are some people in Nevada who are trying to skirt the process.

“I suspect it is folks who couldn’t obtain a legal registration for whatever reason,” says James DeHaven with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles. What would one do if he or she could not obtain legal car registration?

These days they can go on the internet and buy something that looks close to a temporary plate. Or in one case here in Nevada the DMV says a dealer down in Las Vegas made it even easier.

“We were alerted to the situation at J’s Motorsports by Las Vegas Metro,” says DeHaven. “And were very easily able to trace it back the dealership. And trace it back to two unscrupulous salespeople that were printing the placards off--not attaching them to any sort of sale whatsoever, and just posting them on-line for cash,” he says. The bogus plates may appear to be temporary plates. They are not.

DeHaven says the plates are not on cars where the unsuspecting owner has no idea, he is breaking the law. Instead, the car owner makes a concerted effort to seek out these plates.

Just like with the dealers, DeHaven says they too are breaking the law. Cars can be impounded at the owner’s expense. Dealers in the meantime can have their dealer’s license revoked.

What’s unusual about this activity the D-M-V says, typically the unscrupulous car owner attempts to alter the real temporary plates, to buy himself more time and money.

The irony?

DeHaven says those who are trying to game the system or save money by getting the illegal temporary plates aren’t doing themselves any favors. By the time the car owner has renewed the bogus plates three or four times the car’s registration is already paid for.