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The following is for informational purposes only

How to Transfer a License Plate from One Car to Another

License plates are crucial because they help identify your car. Once you obtain your license plate, you can use it for many years with an annual renewal. Car owners with personalized license plates are particularly interested in transferring plates to a new car. Transferring their plates helps them keep their meaningful and unique specialized plate on the new car.

Transferring a license plate is typically much cheaper than purchasing a new one. The expenses are reduced as you only have to incur the transfer charges. Car owners with standard plates also have many reasons why they might want to transfer license plates. Either way, you must figure out the ideal way to get it done.

Here are some different ways to transfer a license plate from one car to another.

#1 Transferring License Plate to a DMV Office

The most common way to transfer a license plate to a new car is through a DMV office. If you choose this method, there are several steps involved.

Step 1: Obtain Pertinent Information

The first step to transferring a license plate to a new car through the DMV office is gathering your pertinent information. Ensure you have all the details for the car from which you are transferring the license plate from, and the car receiving the plates. These details are crucial and mandatory to start the process.

You must produce evidence of a currently active registration for the vehicle you are transferring the license plate. Besides, you must produce the certificate of the new car to which you are transferring the license plate. If you obtained these details at the local DMV office you intend to make the transfer, you might not need to have all this paperwork since the office you are visiting already has your information.

Step 2: Visit the DMV office

After gathering all the pertinent information, the next step is to visit your local DMV office. Bring all the necessary documents and inform them of your intentions to transfer your license plate. The officials will check your details, and if everything checks out, they will transfer the plates to the new car.

The transfer is quick and easy, taking only a few minutes after approval. While the DMV office can install license plates on your new car, you can also do it yourself or hire a professional to do it for you.

#2 Transferring Plates at a Dealership

Local dealerships can help you transfer license plates and install them on your new car. If you choose to transfer plates at a dealership, follow these steps.

Step 1: Buy your new car

Start by obtaining your new car; whether you are getting a brand new car or a used one, head to the dealership to initiate the process. Unlike transferring license plates online, you must have physical documents when initiating the transfer at a local dealership. If you need to learn how to transfer license plates to a new car, a local dealership can have someone on their staff do it for you. It is vital to ensure that the dealership has a secure payment method.

Step 2: Ask about license plate transfers

Once you get to the dealership, ask about license plate transfers. You must complete the title information, and the dealership will handle the transfer. The process should take only a little time, especially when dealing with an authorized dealership. Ensure you provide all the details to prevent setbacks. Unlike the DMV office, where they might have your details, local dealerships have no such records, meaning you should bring all documents. If the request is approved, you can get your license plate transferred immediately.

While you can transfer plates online, most people prefer using a preferred dealer or visiting the nearest DMV offices due to their efficiency. Remember that the cost of transferring license plates varies from state to state. Therefore, check the fees first before making payments. The transfer charges don't vary significantly from state to state. There are also various payment methods you can choose from for convenience.

Cost of License Plate Transfer per State

StateCost of Transfer ($)
District of Columbia12
New Hampshire8
New Jersey4.50
New Mexico24
New York10
North Carolina7
North Dakota6
Rhode Island6.50
South Carolina7
South Dakota5
West Virginia9

Options for Transferring License Plates

There are several options for transferring license plates. Some common ones include:

  • Transferring plates between vehicles you own: You can transfer license plates between two of your vehicles. Once this is done, the local county tax collector's office will issue you a registration sticker.
  • New vehicle bought from a dealer:When transferring license plates to a new vehicle purchased from a dealer, you must prove that you own the car. Once everything is approved, you can transfer the plates to the new car.
  • New car purchased from a private party: If you transfer the license plate to a new car bought from a private party, register the plates with your local county tax assessor's office. Transferring these details helps manage your tax accounts.
  • Transferring to a leased vehicle:You can also transfer your license plate to a leased vehicle. Transferring to a leased car is ideal if you plan to use the leased car for some time.

Transfer Your License Plates With Ease

As you can see, transferring license plates to a new car is not difficult. The advancement of technology and digitization of things has also enabled transferring plates online. Check with your local DMV office to start the transfer process. Ensure you have the necessary documents to get everything done efficiently. You can transfer license plates at the DMV office or local dealership.

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