How To Cancel License Plates?
The most common reason for canceling license plates: you sell your vehicle. While Minnesota and California mandate that you leave your license plates on the vehicle, 48 states require you to remove them.
Of the 48 states that mandate license plate removal, some allow you to transfer your license plates to another vehicle you own. Some don’t.
Read our complete guide about what to do with your license plates after selling your vehicle. It goes into a lot more detail.
Step 1 Identify Your State’s Motor Vehicle Authority
To complicate matters further, some states delegate license plate authority to another department. In Kentucky, for example, you’d surrender your license plates at your county clerk’s office. In Missouri, you’d go to an office of the Department of Revenue. In Illinois, the Secretary of State's Vehicle Services Department handles plates. In Louisiana, you’d go to the Office of Motor Vehicles.
Step 2 Complete the Proper Form
Here are a few examples of official state request forms:
1. Colorado: lost or stolen license plate/permit affidavit form (DR 2283)
2. Florida: application of voluntary registration cancellation (Form MV-18J)
3. Massachusetts: affidavit for cancellation of registration (REG100-0922)
4. New York: plate surrender application (Form PD-7)
Most states make their forms available for download as PDFs. They’re usually formatted so that you can fill them out on your computer or device before you print them. You can usually find your state’s form by Googling your state’s name plus “license plate cancellation form.” If that fails, contact your state’s DMV and ask them where you can find the form.
Step 3 Submit the Form and Pay the Fee
Cancellation fees vary considerably from one state to the next. Here are a few examples.
Which States Require You to Surrender Your License Plates After Selling Your Vehicle?
Different states have different rules for what to do with old license plates after you remove them from a car you're selling. Some states require you to return them to the DMV (or equivalent motor vehicle registry department).
Returning your license plate can potentially save you money. Many states will give you a credit towards your next vehicle registration if you turn in your old plate.
Here are the states that require license plates to be returned to the DMV: