ONTARIO — The Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario recently reminded its members that it has been more than a year since the new white dealer plates with red lettering were introduced and that the old plates should be phased out by February 2007.

According to association officials, the old yellow plate should only be used as a service plate for repairing or transporting vehicles not owned by a dealer.

UCDA offers these tips to keep in mind: 

— Dealer plates may be used only on vehicles in a dealer's inventory (vehicles a dealer owns that are available for sale).  

— Dealer plates may be used for private or personal use on passenger class, but not on commercial class vehicles (a commercial class is any vehicle on which a truck or delivery body is permanently attached, including cargo vans, pickups, buses, ambulances and hearses).

— Dealer plates may not be used on vehicles for hauling, transporting or delivering items, such as auto parts or any other goods, where it's for personal or dealer purposes.

When using dealer plates, the UCDA reminds that dealership employees need three documents in their possession. 

— The dealer plate permit, which must be registered in the dealer's name

— The dealer's pink insurance slip for the plate

— The vehicle permit or true copy of it (if the vehicle has just been purchased and not yet registered in your dealership's name, carry a copy of the bill of sale as a proof of purchase)