In order to reduce the number of vehicles avoiding toll-road fees by not attaching license plates to their cars. This also includes trucks and motorcycles. A new law requires licensed California dealers of new and used vehicles to attach temporary license plates on vehicles. This will be for all new vehicles that are sold. Unless the vehicle already has DMV-issued license plates. The temporary license plates will have their own unique numbers and expiration dates.

Currently, dealers issue drivers a numbered report-of-sale document and submit a registration application to the DMV. The DMV then issues drivers 2 license plates, one of the front and one for the back. Drivers are responsible for putting those plates on their newly purchased or leased vehicle within 90 days of their purchase date. On average, license plates are received between 14 and 30 days after the sale goes through.

Before 2011, drivers had 180 days to install a license plate. The state approved AB 1215 to cut that time down to 90 days, as a way to close the “Steve Jobs” loophole. According to IT Wire, Jobs apparently realize California allowed a driver to have no plates for up to 6 months after buying or leasing a vehicle, so he would trade in his Mercedes just as time expired – giving him another 180-day window.

In addition to allowing law enforcement to identify drivers, the new law also came about as a way to cut down on parking and toll evaders. The state estimates toll evaders who have no license plates reduce toll revenue by approximately $15 million a year.

35 other states require temporary license plates.