Do I keep my license plate When Selling a car in [all 50 states]?

Blog/ Do I keep my license plate When Selling a car in [all 50 states]?


AuthorSarah RobinsonCategory Car Advice

There’s always that time when you desire or need a change of car. Now that you’ve made up your mind and decided to get rid of your old car either by having it sold to a private buyer, recycling it or taken to the scrapyard, what happens to the license plate?

This is a valid question especially if you’re looking to sell your car in any state in the USA.

The rules and regulations regarding car registrations are different for each state which makes it a bit difficult when it comes to selling your car.

You won’t want to go against the law now, would you? Exactly. Following the rules and regulations of your state will remove the risk of your license being suspended.

If you’re selling the car yourself without involving a dealer, you’d need to know how to handle the license plate of your car correctly as there would be important information you’d need to have before starting or completing the process.

Here’s a breakdown of how to correctly handle license plates When Selling your car in all 50 states…

When Selling In Alabama, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to a buyer

  • you’d need to sign the title over [except your car is older than 35 years], complete a bill of sale
  • and pay the necessary fees.

When Selling in Alaska, Do I Keep The License Plates?

No, it stays with the car unless it’s personalized. To transfer the title to a buyer

  • you’d need to sign the title
  • record the mileage [if your car is less than 10 years]
  • and complete the Notice of Vehicle Sale for Transfer located at the end of the title or here.

When Selling In Arizona, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you remove the plates. To transfer the title

  • sign and notarize the title
  • make sure the buyer completes the Title Registration Agreement and submit it with the signed, notarized title to the DMV within 15 days
  • and pay all fees.

When Selling In California, Do I Keep The License Plates?

No, it stays with the car unless it’s personalized. To transfer the title

  • you’d need to sign the original car title
  • submit a Smog certification and a Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability Form
  • and submit an odometer mileage for the car
  • if your car is less than 10 years.

When Selling In Colorado, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. You’re required to submit the Release of Liability Form within 5 days to the state’s DMV. To transfer the title

  • date and sign the title
  • check the emission requirements of the county
  • and get the bill of sale for the car ready.

When Selling In Connecticut, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to provide the bill of sale for the buyer and keep your copy. You can get yours to print from the state’s DMV online.

When Selling In Delaware, Do I Keep The License Plates?

No, it stays with the car. To transfer the title to the buyer:

  • Complete the Assignment of Certificate of Title on the back of the car’s title
  • take the bill of sale from the title and take it to the DMV
  • and give the title to the buyer [keep your copy].

When Selling in the District of Columbia, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to complete and deliver the title to the buyer within 4 days.

When Selling In Florida, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to complete and sign the title and also the odometer mileage of your car in the name of your buyer.

When Selling In Georgia, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to a buyer, you’d need to complete and sign the title and odometer mileage [except your car’s older than 10 years] in the name of your buyer and you should keep a copy too.

When Selling In Hawaii, Do I Keep The License Plates?

No, it stays with the car as the state’s DMV uses it to identify the car. To transfer the title to a buyer, you’d need to provide a Notice of Transfer, sign and date the title [adding the mileage] and provide the buyer with safety inspection title and title of the car.

When Selling In Idaho, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. Within 30 days of the sale, you’d need to sign and give the title to the buyer in his/her name to transfer the title of ownership.

When Selling In Illinois, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. Within 20 days of the sale, you’d need to complete and sign the title and provide a bill of sale plus a lien release for the buyer.

When Selling In Indiana, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. Within 21 days of the sale, you’d need to complete and sign the title [including the odometer reading] and provide a lien purchase for the buyer.

When Selling In Iowa, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. Within 30 days of the sale, you’d need to complete and sign the title, give the buyer a Damage Disclosure Statement and provide a bill of sale and odometer readings for the buyer. You’d also need to complete a Notice of Sale and Delivery of Title to the state’s county.

When Selling In Kansas, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to

  • complete and sign the title including the lien purchase and Odometer Disclosure Statement
  • and notify the state through the Seller’s Notification of Sale to remove your name from the database.

When Selling In Kentucky, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you take the plates off the car. To transfer the title to a buyer, you’d need to

  • complete and sign the title
  • and
  • provide a bill of sale for the buyer.

When Selling In Louisiana, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you take the plates off the car and keep them only if they’re personalized. To transfer the title to a buyer, you’d need to

  • complete, date and sign the title including the bill of sale
  • provide a lien purchase for the buyer
  • and complete the online Notice of Transfer through the website.

When Selling In Maine, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to

  • complete the title, bill of sale and a lien purchase to give to the buyer.

When Selling In Maryland, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to

  • complete the title with the buyer and include an Odometer Disclosure Statement
  • and complete the Notice of Security Filing for the buyer to prove there are no liens.

When Selling In Massachusetts, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates although you’ve got just seven days to transfer to another car or handover to the state’s DMV. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to

  • complete the title and get a lien release to transfer to the buyer.
  • If there’s no title, get a bill of sale for the buyer.

When Selling In Michigan, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates but you can leave it on the car if you’re selling to a family member. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to

  • complete the title including the mileage and your signature
  • and give the buyer a lien release if the title isn’t clear.
  • The state’s SOS office requires you and the buyer to appear at the same time.

When Selling In Minnesota, Do I Keep The License Plates?

No, it stays with the car unless the plates are personalized then you can have it transferred to your new car through the state’s DMV. To transfer the title, you’d need to

  • complete the title, odometer reading, and damage disclosure [if the car is less than six years].

When Selling In Mississippi, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you remove the plates but can’t transfer it to a new car. To transfer the title, you’d need to

  • complete the title and if not enough space, give a bill of sale to the buyer.
  • If selling to a family member, complete an Affidavit of Relationship.

When Selling In Missouri, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You can transfer to a new car through the state’s DMV. To transfer the title, you’d need to

  • complete the necessary fields on the title
  • provide a lien release and certificate of safety testing for the buyer.

When Selling In Montana, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you can keep your plates. Within 20 days of the sale, you’d need to

  • complete the title and get it notarized before giving to the buyer
  • have a bill of the sale completed and notarized with your signature and that of your buyer.
  • Also, provide a lien release for the buyer.

When Selling In Nebraska, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you remove the plates but can’t transfer to another car. You’d need to fill the title, give the buyer a lien release and complete the bill of sale with the buyer.

When Selling In Nevada, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. After completing the necessary documents, notify the government for the transfer of the car through the Online Vehicle Resale Notification website.

When Selling In New Hampshire, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you can keep the plates. You can transfer the title to the buyer by completing and signing the title.

When Selling In New Jersey, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep your plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to sign the title and provide the buyer with a lien release.

When Selling In New Mexico, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title, complete the title and give the buyer a lien release.

When Selling In New York, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to a buyer, you’d need to complete the title, provide a lien release and bill of sale for the buyer and complete the Sale of Motor Vehicle form with the buyer.

When Selling In North Carolina, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You’d need to complete the title, provide the buyer with a lien release and complete the Odometer Disclosure Statement and Eligible Risk Statement for Registration and Certificate of Title for the buyer.

When Selling In North Dakota, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. If your car is under 9 years old, you’d need to provide a Salvage Disclosure Statement for the buyer. To transfer the title. Give the buyer a lien release and complete the title.

When Selling In Ohio, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to complete and notarize the tile, allow the buyer to sign on the odometer reading and give him/her a lien release.

When Selling In Oklahoma, Do I Keep The License Plates?

You keep the plates. To transfer the title to the buyer, you’d need to complete the title and give the buyer a lien release plus any other required documents.

When Selling In Oregon, Do I Keep The Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. To transfer title to the buyer, you’d need to sign over the title to the buyer and give the buyer a lien release.

When Selling In Pennsylvania, Do I Keep The Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You’d need to complete and sign the title with the buyer at the state’s DMV.

When Selling In Rhode Island, Do I Keep the Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You’d need to complete the title and provide the buyer with a bill of sale and lien of release.

When Selling In South Carolina, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You’d need to notify the state’s DMV with the Notice of Vehicle Sold form ## When Selling your car to a buyer.

When Selling In South Dakota, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. To transfer the title to a buyer, you’d need to complete the title and provide the bill of sale and lien release for the buyer.

When Selling In Tennessee, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. Complete the title, provide a bill of sale and lien release for the buyer.

When Selling In Texas, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. To transfer the title to a buyer, you’d need to notify the state’s DMV, complete the title and give a lien purchase to the buyer.

When Selling In Utah, Do I keep The License Plates?

Yes, remove the plates. To transfer the title, you’d need to complete the title and provide a lien release for the buyer. Also, write to your state’s DMV to notify the change of ownership.

When Selling In Vermont, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. You’d need to sign the title over, complete the bill of purchase and Odometer Disclosure Statement with the buyer and provide a lien release.

When Selling In Virginia, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, you keep the plates. You’d need to sign over the title and give your buyer a lien release.

When Selling In Washington, Do I keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You’d need to work with the buyer on completing the title, bill of sale and give him/her a lien release.

When Selling In West Virginia, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You’d need to complete the title and give the buyer a lien release.

When Selling In Wisconsin, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You’d need to complete the title and give the buyer a lien release.

When Selling In Wyoming, Do I Keep The License Plates?

Yes, keep the plates. You’d need to sign over the title, give them a lien release and an Affidavit of Ownership.

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