By Bob Katzen

The Senate 39-0, approved and sent to the House a bill that would allow car dealers in Massachusetts to provide temporary license plates for vehicles that are purchased by out-of-state residents and allow them to use the plates until the vehicle can be driven to and registered in their home state.

The measure would direct the Registry of Motor Vehicles to design, issue and regulate the use of the license plates.

Supporters said that under current regulations, out-of-staters leave the dealership after a purchase and are forced to coordinate a complicated delivery across state lines.

Sen. Mike Rush (D-Boston), the bill’s sponsor, said the measure recognizes the growing business of online auto sales especially in New England which has a very compact set of states. He noted the legislation will bring in an estimated $75 million to the state in new sales tax revenue and noted that almost all states currently allow this.

“I [am] a proud sponsor of [the bill],” said Rush. “As state senator representing the Norfolk and Suffolk district, I have the privilege of representing the largest stretch of auto dealers in Eastern Massachusetts, the Norwood ‘Auto Mile.’ This legislation will enhance auto sales throughout our commonwealth.”

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