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Efficient location management is one of the major challenges in vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs). Due to the high mobility of vehicles and the increase in their number, the location information updating and querying messages will consume the limited bandwidth of VANETs. This involves the development of a scalable and locality-aware location service management protocol. In this paper, we propose a promising solution called the modified region-based location service management protocol (MRLSMP), which utilizes the existing infrastructure on the road as a location management service entity. To evaluate the efficiency of our proposal, we compare our scheme with existing solutions using both analytical and simulation approaches. Specifically, we develop analytical models to evaluate the total control overhead. Numerical and simulation results show that our protocol scales better than existing schemes, when increasing the size of VANETs which enhances the feasibility of such large scale ad hoc networks.