What to do with License Plates after Junking a Car?

What to do with License Plates after Junking a Car?

What to do with License Plates after Junking a Car?

When it’s finally time to say goodbye to your old, unreliable car and send it off to the junkyard, there are several things you need to consider. One important aspect often overlooked is what to do with your license plates.

In this blog, we’ll explore the best practices for handling license plates after junking a car, ensuring you stay compliant with the law, and making the process as smooth as possible. So, let’s dive into junk car removal and license plate disposal.

Understanding the Importance of License Plates

License plates serve as unique identifiers for vehicles and play a crucial role in tracking and regulating automobiles on the road. When you decide to part ways with your car, it’s essential to handle your license plates properly to avoid any legal complications down the line.

Despite their apparent simplicity, license plates are significant in our contemporary world, serving as more than mere letter and number combinations on a vehicle’s rear. These small, rectangular metal or plastic plates are critical to our transportation infrastructure.

Firstly, license plates are essential for law enforcement agencies to maintain public safety. They enable officers to identify and track vehicles involved in criminal activities or traffic violations. This identification system ensures that individuals are held accountable for their actions on the road, promoting a sense of responsibility among motorists. Moreover, license plates aid in locating stolen vehicles, solving crimes, and even recovering missing persons, making them a powerful tool for law enforcement.

License plates are integral to revenue generation and taxation. They facilitate the collection of road use fees, registration fees, and taxes that fund the maintenance and improvement of transportation infrastructure. By assigning unique plates to each vehicle, governments can efficiently monitor and regulate the usage of roads, ensuring that drivers contribute their fair share toward the upkeep of these vital public assets.

Procedures to Follow When Disposing of a Vehicle

Following are the steps to take for junk car removal;

Remove Your License Plates

Before handing your car over to the junkyard, the first step is to remove your license plates. It is crucial because the plates are associated with your vehicle, and you don’t want them to end up in the wrong hands, potentially leading to identity theft or misuse.

Check Your State’s Regulations

Every U.S. state has specific rules for license plate disposal when scrapping a car. Some states mandate returning plates to the DMV, while others permit keeping or surrendering them to the junkyard. To ensure compliance, visit your state’s DMV website or contact them directly to understand the specific requirements in your area.

Surrender or Retain

Once you’ve determined your state’s regulations, you have two primary options:

Surrender the Plates

If your state mandates the return of license plates to the DMV, follow the prescribed process. It often involves filling out a form and mailing or dropping off the plates at a designated location. Some states may even offer a refund or credit for any unused portion of your registration fees.

Retain the Plates

In states where it’s permissible to keep your license plates, you can hold onto them as a keepsake or transfer them to a new vehicle if applicable. Ensure you follow your state’s guidelines for retaining plates, including notifying the DMV of the transfer or keeping them safely stored if you plan to use them later.

Why Proper License Plate Handling Matters?

Ensuring the appropriate disposal or retention of your license plates is crucial for several reasons:

Legal Compliance: Not adhering to your state’s guidelines may result in fines or legal repercussions.

Identity Protection: Keeping your plates out of the wrong hands helps prevent identity theft or fraud.

Peace of Mind: Properly handling license plates allows you to conclude the process of junking your car without lingering concerns.

Also Read: Tips to Negotiate The Best Price For Your Junk Car


Junk car removal involves various steps, and taking care of your license plates is one of the essential but often overlooked aspects. By removing your plates and following your state’s regulations for disposal or retention, you can ensure a hassle-free transition for your old vehicle. Always remember that staying compliant with the law is crucial to avoid unexpected issues. So, before sending your car off to the junkyard, take a few moments to address your license plates adequately.

Upgrade your junk car experience today! Get expert advice on handling license plates after disposal. Contact Cash Your Car NJ at (888) 285-2848.

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