The Do’s and Don’ts of Removing Your License Plate Before Selling Your Car


When you are ready to sell your car, there are a few important things to consider before handing over the keys to the new owner. One of the most crucial steps in the selling process is removing your license plates. While it may seem like a simple task, there are some do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind to ensure a smooth transition.

The Do’s:

1. Do Remove the License Plate Yourself:

It is your responsibility to remove the license plate from your vehicle before selling it. This prevents any liability issues that may arise if the new owner fails to register the car in their name.

2. Do Keep a Record of the Plate Removal:

Take a photo or make a note of the license plate removal date to keep a record of the transaction. This can help protect you in case any issues arise in the future.

3. Do Check with Your Local DMV:

Each state has different regulations regarding license plate removal. Before taking off your plates, check with your local DMV to ensure you are following the correct procedures.

4. Do Dispose of the Plates Properly:

Once you have removed your license plates, make sure to dispose of them properly. Some states require you to surrender the plates to the DMV, while others may allow you to keep them or recycle them.

The Don’ts:

1. Don’t Leave the Plates on the Car:

Leaving your license plates on the car when selling it can lead to potential issues such as parking tickets, toll violations, or even criminal activity using your plates.

2. Don’t Forget to Notify Your Insurance Company:

Once you have removed your license plates, don’t forget to notify your insurance company that you have sold the vehicle. This will prevent any confusion or potential liability issues in the future.

3. Don’t Sell the Car with the Plates:

Never sell your car with the license plates still attached. This can create legal and financial issues if the new owner fails to register the vehicle properly.

4. Don’t Assume the New Owner Will Take Care of It:

While the new owner is responsible for registering the car in their name, it is your responsibility to remove the license plates and protect yourself from any potential issues down the road.


Removing your license plates before selling your car is a crucial step in the process that should not be overlooked. By following the do’s and don’ts outlined in this article, you can ensure a smooth transition and protect yourself from any potential liabilities or issues. Always remember to check with your local DMV for specific regulations and dispose of the plates properly to avoid any complications. Taking the proper steps to remove your license plates can help make the selling process go more smoothly for both you and the new owner.


Leave a Comment