How to transfer license plates

Written by nathaniel miller
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If you have just purchased a new car or are trading in your old one, you may have the opportunity to simply transfer your current number plates from one car to another. This is a perfectly legal transaction, but there is a specific procedure to follow in order to make sure everything is transferred properly. Take the proper steps to alert both the authorities and the state to the transfer of your plates and avoid any legal hassle in the future.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Title or other proof of ownership of both cars

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles office and explain to the clerk that you are interested in transferring your number plates. As long as both vehicles are registered in your name and you are transferring from the same type of vehicle (i.e., passenger vehicle to passenger vehicle), you will be able to quickly process the transfer.

  2. 2

    Fill out the License/Registration Transfer worksheet provided by the clerk. Indicate on the sheet the registration numbers of both vehicles and include the number plate numbers exactly as they appear on the plates to be transferred.

  3. 3

    Pay the number plate transfer fee (which varies by state) and your new registration fee (if applicable). In most instances, you can simply renew the vehicle registration at the same time and save a few dollars.

  4. 4

    Install the transferred plates on the vehicle and place the new registration sticker on the lower right corner of the plates (if applicable).

Tips and warnings

  • It is a good idea to carry the registration and license transfer documents in your glove compartment as legal proof of the transfer.

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