Can I Use My Old License Plate on My New Car for 30 Days

Can I use my old license plate on my new car for 30 days is one of the questions new car buyers usually ask their dealers. Many individuals may find it amusing because a new car is likely to come with a new plate. However, some drivers prefer to keep their old plates because it is less expensive than getting a new one.

Dozen Of License Plate On a Wall ~ Ran When Parked

This detailed guide provides you with all the information you need regarding a new car and plate.

Can You Use Your Previous License Plate on Your New Car for 30 Days?

Yes, you can use your previous license plate for 30 days on your new car. However, this is only true if you are the original owner of the car. However, if your car is leased, you cannot use your old license plate because you are not the vehicle’s owner.

Different Old License Plates ~ Ran When Parked

While most states allow owners to transfer their license plates, not all do. Only a few jurisdictions, such as Alaska and California, require the plates to be present when the vehicle is sold unless they are specialty plates. The plates are transferred to the owner in such cases.

The meaning varies by state, and there are exceptions everywhere. Furthermore, you should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and obtain all pertinent information before proceeding.

Can You Transfer Your Old License Plate To Your New Car?

Yes, you can transfer your old license plate to your new car if you are the registered owner of both the old and new car. The automobile registration plate, often known as the license plate, is issued by the state-mandated Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

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The DMV mails a new sticker to the car’s owner each year, who must then display it on the license plate. Most states assign license plates to their owners; in a few situations, the plates are included with the vehicle.

Furthermore, the license plate should be registered in your name, not the car’s. If it’s the former, you’ll have to go through the right processes to transfer it to your new vehicle.

However, if your state registers the license plate to the car, you must return it. However, it may also be kept on the vehicle at your discretion. The preceding also differs per state. In any event, it’s less expensive than getting a new license plate.

What If Your Car Is Leased?

If your car is leased, you can’t use your old license plate because you were not the original owner of the vehicle. While many states may allow the original owner to transfer their license plate, some states, like California and Alaska, do not.

These states often require the plates to remain with the vehicle when selling them, except for specialty plates. In such cases, the specialty plates can be transferred to the owner’s other vehicle.

Note that different states have different interpretations of the license plate laws, and you will find exceptions everywhere. Therefore, you should contact your DMV to get the required information.

Do States Allow You to Transfer Licence Plates?

Yes, many states allow you to transfer license plates. They allow owners to come with their plates after they purchase a new car. This is a better alternative because it helps you avoid the high cost involved in buying a new personalized license plate.

Furthermore, changing the license plate information on all required documents will be a big hassle. Therefore, check to see if your state allows the transfer and do the necessary things to effect it.

Steps for Transferring License Plates

If you’re selling your car, it’s possible to transfer the plates to the buyer. However, it’s important to note that the exact process can vary between states, and not all the steps are consistent. To provide a general overview of the process in both scenarios, let’s delve into the details.

Step 1: Ensure You Have the Registration Paperwork

Begin by checking if you possess a copy of the vehicle registration paperwork for your current vehicle. State officials should have provided this document at the time of your vehicle purchase.

Man Filling Out The Registration Paperwork ~ Ran When Parked It contains essential details such as your name, your vehicle’s number, and the registration number.

Step 2: Confirm Title Ownership

Ensure you have the title for your newer vehicle, which is the legal document confirming your ownership. If you don’t have the original title, a copy may suffice.

Certificate Of Title Ownership ~ Ran When ParkedBe prepared to complete any additional paperwork required by your state’s DMV to validate the transfer.

Step 3: Gather Proof of Insurance

Collect proof that your new vehicle is insured, which is required to transfer plates from your old vehicle to the new one. You can use your insurance card or a paper copy of the form provided by your insurance company at the time of purchase.

Insurance Papers For A Car ~ Ran When Parked

This step is crucial to complete before visiting the DMV, as the clerk may request these documents to initiate the transfer.

Step 4: Vehicle Inspection (if required)

If your state mandates a vehicle inspection before the plate transfer, ensure you comply. Take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic to obtain a certificate of inspection, demonstrating that it’s in good condition.

Mechanic Inspecting The Car ~ Ran When ParkedFor older models, you may also need to undergo an emissions test to ensure the vehicle doesn’t exceed established emission thresholds.

Step 5: Visit the Appropriate Agency

Find the local motor vehicle agency responsible for plate transfers and visit the nearest center with all the necessary documents. Typically, the state’s DMV handles such matters, but some dealerships may also offer this service. Check the agency’s operating hours and whether you need to make an appointment in advance.

Step 6: Verify Registration Details

When dealing with registration, double-check that your name is spelled correctly. Even a minor discrepancy, especially after a name change due to marriage, could lead to the plate transfer being denied. Ensure you take a valid identification, such as your driver’s license, to confirm your identity during the process.

Step 7: Pay the Required Fee

Be aware that a mandatory fee is necessary to complete the plate transfer process. The exact amount varies from state to state, but it’s typically below 10 dollars. Some may also include sales tax. Be prepared to make the payment using acceptable methods, which may include cash, credit cards, or checks.

Cubic Alphabet Of The Word Fees ~ Ran When Parked

These fundamental steps remain largely consistent across states. However, if you intend to transfer the plates to another individual while selling the car, the process may vary and involve additional requirements.

Can You Switch License Plates Without the DMV’s Knowledge?

No, you should not switch license plates without the DMV’s knowledge. In fact, it is against the law to change your vehicle’s license plates without informing the DMV. You might get in trouble if the police carry out a license plate check and it doesn’t match your vehicle.

Penalties for License Plate Violations

Violating license plate laws typically leads to a traffic ticket, but the consequences can vary by state. Such violations are often categorized as “fix-it” tickets in some states. Here, the driver can avoid fees by promptly rectifying the license plate issue.

Police Officer Writing A Penalty For a Car ~ Ran When Parked

In other states, breaching license plate regulations can result in fines ranging from 100 to 200 dollars. Repeated offenses may lead to more severe penalties, including higher fines or even the suspension of driving privileges.

It’s important to note that most moving violations are considered infractions rather than crimes. This means they do not carry jail time as a penalty.

Convictions for these infractions result in fines and increased car insurance rates. The offense will appear on a person’s driving record but not on their criminal record. However, there are exceptions. So, you should stay informed about local regulations as laws for moving violations can differ by state, county, and city.


How Long Will It Take To Get Your New License Plate?

It may take about two to three weeks to get your new license plate. However, the exact waiting time varies from state to state. In case you don’t get your license plate after 30 days, you need to contact your DMV on the progress of the delivery.

What Should You Do If You Don’t Get Your License Plate Within 30 Days?

If you don’t get your license plate within 30 days of enrolling, you can file a dealer complaint. A better option is to reach out to your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to find out why your plate might be taking too long.

What Should I Do to Your License Plate After a Lease?

You can submit proof of transfer or surrender to the DMV of your state after a lease. However, please note that not all states demand such documents. Some states require you to return the license plate. You can also transfer the plate if your state permits it.

Can You Throw Away Your Old License Plates?

Yes, you can throw away your old license plates. However, a better option is to surrender it to your local DMV. You can also try recycling the plates. Many metal recycling centers accept aluminum plates, so ensure to remove the screws or tags.


While it is possible to use your old license plate on your new car for 30 days, you must understand the necessary things involved. Here are some of the details we covered in this article:

  • You can only use your old license plate for 30 days if you are the original owner of the car. If your car is leased, you cannot use your old license plate.
  • While many states may allow the original owner to transfer their license plate, some states do not.
  • Before transferring license plates, ensure you have the registration paperwork and proof of insurance. Find the local motor vehicle agency responsible for plate transfers and visit the nearest center with all the necessary documents.
  • It is against the law to change your vehicle’s license plates without informing the DMV. Violating license plate laws typically leads to a traffic ticket, but the consequences can vary by state.

Ensure you don’t use your old license plates beyond 30 days because it may predispose you to legal issues. Contact your local DMV to get your new license plate as soon as possible.

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