Department of State GrowthTransport

Trade Plates

A trade plate and associated Trade Plate Certificate (valid for 12 months) can be obtained for a range of motor trade related purposes.  A trade plate authorises the use of a vehicle that would normally be required to be registered.

The plate is denoted with a 'M' prefix followed by four numbers and has black characters with a yellow background. A trade plate may be used for the following:

  • to demonstrate or test drive a vehicle
  • to proceed to an exhibition or show to display or trial the vehicle and return
  • to move a vehicle to or from a place where repair or maintenance work, including painting is undertaken.

Only one trade plate is required and is to be displayed at the back of a vehicle where a number plate would be or otherwise as permitted by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

When issued

A trade plates is only issued to a person who:
  • carries on a business involving the manufacture, importation, sale, modification or repair of motor vehicles or trailers
  • engages in any other business and satisfies the Registrar that a trade plate is reasonably required for the purpose of the business.

The purposes for use of a trade plate are:

  • to drive the vehicle from the place of manufacture to the place where the vehicle will be offered for sale.
  • to drive the vehicle to demonstrate its powers and qualities to a purchaser or prospective purchaser (including the testing of a vehicle while under load pursuant to a permit by the Registrar).
  • test driving of the vehicle by a purchaser or prospective purchaser.
  • to drive the vehicle in the course of its delivery before or after sale.
  • to drive the vehicle for some other purpose connected with its manufacture, repair, modification or sale
  • any other purpose permitted by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.

Conditions of use for a trade plate

  • by a person authorised by the holder of the plate
  • for no longer than 36 hours on a single vehicle at any one time
  • to be attached correctly to the rear of a vehicle (or other location as permitted) and be clearly visible.

Records must be maintained and made available for inspection detailing;


For customers applying for the first time, a Transport Inspector will view the premises to ensure they are suitable to conduct the business for which the trade plate will be issued. Second or subsequent renewals will be issued without inspection.


Renewal of a trade plate occurs at the end of each 12 month period.

Return of plates

If a trade plate is not renewed, or no longer required, the holder must return the plate within 3 months of expiry. If a plate has been lost or destroyed, the customer must complete a Statutory Declaration declaring the reason and how it occurred.

You will need to provide

You will need to undertake as appropriate the following through Service Tasmania shops or designated police stations.

For initial application

Complete an application form (MR21). Service Tasmania shops or designated police stations will forward the application to the Registration and Licensing Branch.

For renewal

Completed renewal certificate.

For returns or lost plates

  • provide existing trade plate or plates - if being returned (forward the plate(s) to the Registration and Licensing Branch)
  • provide a Statutory Declaration form (MR162) if required for a lost plate.

You will receive as appropriate

  • trade plate
  • Trade Plate Certificate detailing the conditions of use (valid for 12 months)
  • receipt (in the form of a Certificate of Registration)
  • if a plate or plates are being returned - a plate receipt.


You will need to pay the fee.