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Unfortunately, as harsh as it sounds, the judge was correct in that DMV is not supposed to be giving people such advice. Furthermore, what is worse for your case is getting the person in DMV who told you this to admit saying that they told you that you did not have to remove the metal plate when you placed the temporary plate on the vehicle. If you cannot prove DMV actually told you this, the court has no choice but to rule against you. If you can get the DMV person who told you this to testify in your behalf the court would have to dismiss because even though the government agent is not supposed to be giving out this advice, they did so and you were reasonable to rely upon that information.
Thus, if you are not going to be able to get the DMV agent to testify on your behalf that they told you that you could leave the metal plate on with the temporary plate, you need to reconsider taking the offer of the court, because absent that evidence the court has no real choice under the statute but to find you guilty, even though you tried to do the right thing and would have been reasonable to rely on DMV agents if you can produce them to testify in your behalf.
If you can get the DMV agent to testify that they did tell you it was permissible, then you need to continue to trial and argue your case as you did reasonably try to comply with the law and reasonably relied on the agent's advice.
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