Drivers Education

Do You Keep Number Plates After Selling Car?

Do you keep number plates selling car? The answer is two-way, such that it can be “Yes” and “No”. So, whether you can keep your number plates after selling a car depends on your state.

In California, for instance, plates remain with the vehicle you’re selling, and the buyer can put it in their name. The reason is that the license plate is issued to the vehicle and not the individual. Nonetheless, you can apply at your local DMV to keep the plate, especially if it’s the vanity plate.

When you release a plate in a state that registers the plate with the car, you must file a release of liability. Otherwise, the violations of the newly registered owner of the car become your liability.

Meanwhile, to be certain you can keep the plates after selling your car, make sure to leave a comment, and an expert within your state will reply.

Can You Sell a Car Without License Plates?

Yes and No. Most states do not mandate keeping the license plate after selling your can, so you can keep such a plate as a souvenir or dump it in the recommended council’s bin (not recommended). When a state does not mandate turning in the license plate, it means they are not transferable, and the new buyer can’t register it in their name. So, when the buyer gets the car, you take off your plates, except you trust them to drive home without their plates or temp tag.

In states that do not mandate turning in the license plates, the car buyer may apply for a temporary tag that typically lasts 30 days. In some states, temp tags are renewable, and it keeps the vehicle valid for formal registration to put in their name. However, when the window closes, the buyer is fined upon putting the car in their name.

As mentioned earlier, you must not allow the buyer to drive howe with your plates, except you know them. Most would promise to mail it to you, but fail to do it, and keep driving with your plates, packing loads of fines you’d be liable for. Meanwhile, you may be able to negotiate with a tow company or get the judge to reduce your ticket.

Do You Keep Number Plates After Selling Car?

You may be able to keep number plates after selling a car, depending on your state. In some states in the US, it is “Yes”. However, states that that register license plates to the vehicle are a minority, and you could belong in such a state.

If your state mandates turning in license plates after selling a car, it indicates that the registration is in the car. However, if your state does not mandate turning in your plates, then the plates are registered in your name and must be removed from the sold vehicle.

Letting the buyer keep your plates exposes you to the risk of becoming liable for their driving and parking offenses. So, you must inform your local DMV, and file a release of liability to clear your name (if you no longer want to keep the plates). But if you don’t allow the buyer to go away with your plates, you may keep them as souvenirs, hang them on the garage wall or use it for the craft.

In the UK, 99 per cent of the plates are assigned to the vehicle, so a seller must turn in the plates to conclude the deal. You’d only have to inform the motor vehicle department that the plates are no longer registered in your name.

Some exceptions apply with vanity plates, though. You may be able to transfer a typical vanity plate between different vehicles following the state’s guidelines.

Involved parties in the car transaction will sign and date it, and the DVLA gets the logbook (V5c) with information about the buyer. You’d receive a new V5c in your name.

Other countries have different laws regarding keeping or releasing the license plate after selling a car. Make sure to consult your state motor vehicle department website or refer to popular forums in the tour country. We could always help out when you leave a comment below!

Can you sell a car without taking off the license plate

Yes, you can sell a car without taking off the license plates. If your state mandates turning in the car title, then the buyer gets the license plates. Suppose you are disposing of your car, you’d still turn in the license plate to the state.

But theoretically, whether you can sell a car and let the buyer keep the license plate depends on your location. In Victoria, Australia, for example, you can keep your plates. You would have to either sell it to an LMCT (for dealers) or provide a roadworthy certificate (private sellers).

As mentioned earlier, each state has a rule, and you’d have to refer to your state’s motor vehicle agency website.

How many states allow license plates to stay with a car when it’s sold?

The following research and verifying across the DMV websites, the plates stay on the car in the following states:

  • California
  • Kentucky
  • Alaska
  • Minnesota
  • Delaware

You may request to keep the license plates but must pay a fee. Alaska, for instance, lets you transfer the plates to another vehicle that is registered in your name. In Delaware, the plate remains until it expires, but you must pay a $35 fee to retain it.

Can the Police Arrest You for Not Turning in License Plate After Selling Your Car?

Yes. If your state mandates turning in the license plates since it is registered with the car, and you refuse, the police will step in because it’s against the law.

The new owner can’t leave the license plate in your possession since it is the car’s identity, and can report you for failing to release the plates. But in a state like Alaska, you can pay to keep the plates legally. The buyer may then apply for another license plate.

But if a car buyer is interested in keeping your license plates, but your state does not mandate turning them in, you may contact your local DMV.

Final Thoughts

When selling a vehicle, do not turn in the plates if your state does not mandate it. You could be giving a reckless driver your plates to implicate and pack violation tickets in your name. Besides, some drivers deliberately would not mail tour licenses to you early, typically because they feel OK not joining the DMV queue.

Advise the buyer to obtain a temporary permit from the DMV to drive home. It is important to trade during the motor vehicle opening days and hours so that obtaining a permit is easier.

Only a few states in the US mandate turning in the plates, and it is so because the vehicle is registered in plates. Meanwhile, check out our DIY steps to create a phony license plate.

Latest posts by Bernard Juchli (see all)

Bernard Juchli

Bernard Juchli is an experienced racer, mechanic and team owner who trusts Avon Tyres.Bernard is the lead driver and force behind his Big Dog Garage Race Team. He is the General Manager and Chief Mechanic of Jay Leno’s Garage. Bernard and his crew of seven are responsible for all repairs, restoration and fabrication of Jay’s incredible automobile and motorcycle collection.

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