Dealer has failed to register the car for 3 months

Long story short.
Leased a car from out of state dealer. He promised me to get the car registered in 4 weeks. It’s been almost 3 months, car is not registered, have a temporary plates but it is illegal to drive with such a plates in MA. Basically, I’m making payments for a car which I can not use and dealer can not provide me with date when car will get registered.
Has anyone had such a experience? Is it possible to return a leased car to the dealer and get all my money back as well, without getting lawyer involved?

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Where’d you buy it from?

Without a lawyer, after you’ve taken delivery? No.

I think the big question here is if this is the dealer refusing to do their job of the MA DMV refusing to do theirs. If it’s the DMV putting out of state transfers to the bottom of the pile, there’s not much the dealer can do about it, nor is it really their fault.

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Really? Have you read your state law or contacted the DMV? This is 99.9% of the time a question for your own in-state DMV.

I bought a car in August and still don’t have a plate due to months long DMV wait list. The Covid guideline in Michigan is that you should refrain from operating until you get a plate. Should =/ can not, shall not, may not etc.

If you are an out-of-state resident and temporary plates are allowed in your state, simply driving through the state of MA with that temporary plate is okay. However, if you have a MA driver’s license and have a temporary plate, then that is not legal. It would be equivalent to you driving without any plate at all. Your vehicle could be impounded as a result.

Dealer is using a 3rd party REGUSA for registration and looks like they are backed up.

I can’t speak to your state, but there have been lots of issues in NY/NJ with the dmv being the hold up for the 3rd party companies. Have you reached out to regusa?

Regusa does not provide any information, unless they get a permission from a dealer.

My sister is in Massachusetts, and we almost did this in November and she got another lease extension. Glad she avoided this aggravation.

The only suggestion I can make is to get it registered yourself - NOW, and then speak to an attorney. Fight the dealer and third party for what you paid later, you can’t drive this car legally without plates as you mentioned.

The dealership and captive can get you everything you need to register. How backed up are DMV appointments as of today?

Find a LEO and ask what they are enforcing regarding such

Yes I am aware of the normal laws. I find it extremely difficult to believe that MA has no Covid related guidelines to account for DMV delays. Have you seriously had your car parked for 3 months?

Yep, had to extend my other car’s lease

Grace Period for Registration Transfers after Vehicle Purchase:

From June 12 until the date of when the State of Emergency ends, an Executive Order issued by Governor Charlie Baker temporary extends this grace period requirement to 21 calendar days from the date you dispose of your previous vehicle to register your new one.

So it’s 21 days. What did the MA DMV say when you called?


In MA we don’t need to call RMV office, we can access the information online. So ar no paperwork have been submitted to the RMV.

What’s LEO?

Law enforcement officer.

I believe that refers to transferring plates from a trade to a purchased/leased car.

3 months is way too long. I do a 3-4 deals in mass each month and it has been taking longer then normal. But that 3 weeks is max 4-5 weeks now and we use a 3rd party.

Sounds like the dealer doesn’t know how to handle your state properly. I know they have to coordinate with your insurance agent for a few steps also. Have you circled back with them?

I think speaking to an attorney if the dealer won’t refund the months you’ve been without use of the car is your last resort.

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Yikes. So if the dealer hasn’t submitted the paperwork to the DMV it’s on the dealer to resolve. Have you escalated it within the dealership? GM, GSM etc?

Haven’t driven this since October but I made my own plate and got several thumbs up from cops :laughing: I was told to just keep the sales agreement/signed title and DMV appointment to register handy. They weren’t enforcing anything but it’s probably different now that the wait time here is down to <1 month.


You’re right. I don’t see anything about new registrations. Does no one buy new or used cars in MA without transferring plates?!