It is beneficial to receive a temporary tag when attempting to sell a vehicle as it allows potential customers to test-drive the car before making a purchase. Both dealerships and private parties may obtain a temporary tag for this reason, or anyone may do so when ordering permanent tags that require time to process. When obtaining a permanent tag, the individual or dealership must provide documentation of ownership, identity and fees associated with doing so.

Things You Will Need
  • Title or application for title

  • Proof of insurance

  • VIN number

  • Driver's license or purchase agreement

Gather the current title or application of title for the vehicle you wish to obtain a temporary tag for. You will also need proof of insurance, the VIN number, a valid driver’s license or paperwork showing you are obtaining the tag for a dealership, such as a purchase agreement in the business name for the vehicle.

Call the county tax collector’s office located within the county you or the dealership resides. Determine whether an emissions test for vehicles is required for your state. If so, you will need to visit an emissions test station determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles or pay and emissions exempt fee instead.

Visit the county tax collector’s office location and indicate whether you are a dealership or private party wishing to receive a temporary tag for the vehicle. If you are a private party, some states may require a specific reason for obtaining the temporary tag. For example, some states only allow you to receive a temporary tag if you have already purchased a vehicle and want to sell your old car.

Provide the title, driver’s license, insurance and VIN number to the tax collector. Pay the applicable fees associated with receiving the temporary tag as defined by the tax collector within your county.

Attach the temporary tag to the vehicle upon receiving it. It is beneficial to have the tag when allowing potential purchasers to test-drive the vehicle. The temporary tag is valid for 30 to 90 days, depending on your state, and you may not receive an extension before receiving a permanent tag.