Sometimes, you have to give up things in life.
When you have a goal, you have to let go of distractions. When you have a job, you have to give up your time. And when you have a motor vehicle, you have to surrender your license plates in certain situations.
Whether you have vintage license plates or regular ones, there are specific times in your life when you’ll have to return them. And when this happens, it’s easy to wonder how to surrender your license plates. After all, no one really talks about it.
Are you supposed to go through a specific process? Or, can you throw the plates in the trash? Depending on the circumstance, both of these answers are actually correct. But to truly understand which route to take, this article will explain everything you need to know about how to surrender license plates.
When to surrender your license plates
As previously mentioned, there are certain times when you need to surrender your license plates. Specific rules will vary depending on the state. However, usually, there are a handful of reasons you might have to return your plates:
- You sell or get rid of your vehicle, and you don’t plan to use the license plates again
- You drop the liability insurance for your vehicle for whatever reason
- You’re getting repairs or storing your vehicle for a lengthy period of time, and you prefer not to maintain your liability insurance
- You move to a different state and register your vehicle in that state
- You transfer your vehicle’s ownership to someone else
Again, the rules will vary depending on the state, so make you check your state’s guidelines. Additionally, it’s important to know if your state even requires you to surrender license plates. Currently, only the following places ask for old plates:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- Washington D.C.
If you live in one of these states, make sure to turn in your license plates at the proper time. But if you don’t call one of these states home, you don’t have to worry about surrendering your license plates, although you still need to render them useless.
How to dispose of old license plates
When you live in a state that doesn’t require you to return your license plates, it’s still in your best interest to destroy them when necessary. If you keep old, unused plates, they could fall into the wrong hands, and someone could use them to commit a crime. This situation can create a significant problem since you’re the original owner of the plates, so make sure to destroy them when you’re done using them.
You can easily do this by recycling the plates at a local cycling center. Just make sure you remove all insurance and registration stickers in advance. Also, another option is to deface the license plates so that you obscure the letters and numbers. Then, you can put these damaged plates into the trash or recycling bin.
Can you surrender license plates temporarily?
When you live in a state that requires you to surrender your license plates, you don’t always have to take a permanent approach. For example, perhaps you want to stop driving for a while. In that case, you can cancel your insurance and surrender your plates until you want to start driving again.
However, maybe you’re not in a position to choose whether you keep your plates. Perhaps you’re getting forced to surrender your license plates because you’ve lost your driving privileges. This situation can happen if you’ve been driving recklessly or have received a DUI. And in these cases, you have to give up your plates for a specific amount of days or months.
What happens if your license plates are stolen, lost, or destroyed?
Inconvenient things always happen, and that’s true no matter what you’re doing. If your license plates are stolen, destroyed, or lost before you turn them in, the best step is to file a police report. That way, someone doesn’t use your plates to commit a crime.
Once you’ve completed that step, you need to decide whether or not you want new plates. If you do, you’ll have to show the DMV or transportation agency the police report to prove your license plates are no longer in great condition or even in your possession. Additionally, you’ll likely need to pay a small fee and provide the following information:
- Driver’s license
- Proof of insurance
- Vehicle registration
If you have no intentions of getting new license plates, you don’t have to do anything but file a police report. After that, you can wipe your hands clean and call it a day.
How to surrender license plates
When it’s time to surrender your plates, there are two ways you can go about it. The first one is to use the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If you take this route, you can return your license plates through the mail or in person.
For example, in New York, you can surrender your plates through the mail by following the specific steps:
- Updating your address if necessary
- Removing plates and stickers
- Completing the PD-7 application
- Mail the application with your plates in an envelope
If you’d prefer to visit a local DMV office in New York, you’ll complete steps 2-4. But instead of mailing in your application and plates, you’ll just bring them into the office.
While these options sound straightforward, the DMV is never as straightforward as it seems. The long wait times and constant back-and-forth can leave you feeling drained and frustrated, so if you want an easier process, you should consider the second way to surrender your plates: use a transportation agency.
Not every agency is great, but the best ones will speed up the process to make it as simple as possible for you to return your license plates. You just need to find a good transportation agency that you can trust.
Why you should use Barry Risk Management
Barry Risk Management is the best transportation agency that you can use to surrender your license plates. Not only does the company have over 30 years of experience in the industry, but it also allows you to do everything online.
Most transportation agencies are like the DMV. They require you to come in person or mail things in to complete your tasks. But with Barry Risk Management, you can surrender your plates using a completely online process. There’s no reason to leave the comfort of your own home.
What’s even better is that Barry Risk Management can help you no matter where you live. The representatives can tell you if your state requires plate surrender and help you do it successfully and efficiently. That way, you’re not stuck doing the research and process all by yourself.
To surrender your license plates in your state, contact Barry Risk Management at 1-888-995-TAGS(8247).