§ 31-3-20. Operation with manufacturer's or dealer's plates.
(a) A manufacturer or dealer owning any vehicle of a type otherwise required to be registered under this chapter, or any bona fide employee of a manufacturer or dealer, or any other appropriate persons as defined by this chapter, or by regulations issued pursuant to this chapter, may operate or move the vehicle upon the highways for any purpose without registering the vehicle upon condition that the vehicle has displayed on it, in the manner prescribed in § 31-3-18, a special plate issued to the owner as provided in §§ 31-3-23 31-3-25.
(b) Any manufacturer or dealer may loan a motor vehicle, the special plates, or both to any person for the purpose of demonstration of a motor vehicle, when a motor vehicle owned by the person is undergoing repairs, or when the person has purchased a motor vehicle the registration of which by him or her is pending, and in any case for not more than twenty (20) days in any year, provided the person operating the loaned motor vehicle or a motor vehicle bearing such loaned number plate shall furnish proof to the dealer or manufacturer that he or she has liability and property damage insurance which will cover any damage to any person or property caused by the operation of the loaned vehicle for which the operator would have been liable if he or she had also been the owner. This proof of insurance shall be set forth on a form to be obtained from the division of motor vehicles and the form shall be subject to any conditions that the division of motor vehicles may impose; provided that, in the event the person loaned the vehicle does not have an insurance policy in effect, then any liability or property damage shall be covered by the dealer's insurance policy.
(c) Any manufacturer or dealer may also loan a motor vehicle, under the circumstances outlined in this section, and the vehicle may be affixed plates belonging to the person operating the loaned motor vehicle when the number plates would be of the same classification. The dealer may issue a temporary certificate of registration of the vehicle and the vehicle may be operated upon the public highways under this certificate for a period of twenty (20) days from the date of issuance. The certificate shall be issued on a form obtained from the division of motor vehicles and shall be issued under any conditions that the division of motor vehicles may impose. The certificate shall be carried in the vehicle for which it is issued and the operator or person in control of the vehicle shall display the certificate for examination upon demand of any proper officer. Any damage to any person or property caused by the operation of the loaned vehicle shall be the responsibility of the operator or person in control of the vehicle and the dealer or manufacturer shall be in no way liable for it.
(d) Every manufacturer or dealer shall keep a record of each loaned vehicle or number plate showing the date loaned, date returned, and the name and operator's license number of the person operating any loaned vehicle or vehicle with the loaned number plates. This record shall be available during business hours for examination by any police officer or inspector designated by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles. Any licensed dealer or manufacturer may operate or cause to be operated by a bona fide employee a motor vehicle for his or her personal use and for use in connection with his or her business as a dealer or repairer for any length of time, provided that the dealer's insurance policy shall at all times cover the motor vehicle while in use by the employee.
(P.L. 1951, ch. 2595, art. 6, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 31-3-20; P.L. 1964, ch. 164, § 1; P.L. 1968, ch. 103, § 2; P.L. 1984, ch. 437, § 2.)