What to do with your license plate when you sell your car

license plateYou’re ready to sell your car, and you can’t wait for the process to be over with. We don’t blame you! Selling a car can be an incredibly stressful experience. The sooner it’s over, the better. Right?

Fair enough. But, there’s one thing to keep in mind: whether you sell a junk car or a newer vehicle, you want to make sure that you do things properly. It’s easy to rush through the process and make a mistake, and that’s the last thing you want to do.

There are a number of things to think about when selling your vehicle: the title, the registration, the bill of sale, and more. On top of all of that, you might be wondering about what to do with your license plates. Do you remove them at the time of sale? If so, where do you put them? Should you take them somewhere, or give them to the new buyer?

Keep reading to find out what to do with your license plates when you sell your car.

Selling your vehicle and removing your plates

All across the U.S., virtually every state uses the license plate number of a vehicle to associate that car to a particular owner. This is how a vehicle can be traced back to its owner in the event of theft, an accident, and so on. By the same token, a vehicle that’s still registered to you — even after you’ve sold it — will continue to be connected to you when it comes to owner liability.

Every state is different. Generally speaking, though, owner liability is associated with a vehicle’s registration, and that’s how the responsibility for a vehicle is determined. In other words, if your vehicle is still registered in your name and it’s involved in an accident, a crime, or something similar, you could be held liable.

The difference between title transfer and registration

When you sign a title over to a new owner, they have the ability to go to the state DMV and register the vehicle in their name. When they do, a new title will generally be issued in their name as well. But, what if they don’t take the title to the DMV and complete the necessary steps? If the vehicle is still registered in your name, you’re still considered the liable owner in the vast majority of states.

Return your plates to the DMV

Overall, one of the best options for ensuring that the transfer of vehicle ownership goes smoothly is to simply meet the buyer of your vehicle at a local DMV office. There, you can sign over the title of your vehicle and they can register it on the spot.

On top of this, you can do one more very important thing: return your license plates to the DMV. Whenever you sell a vehicle, it’s important to remove your plates and turn them in at your local DMV office. This removes registration of the vehicle from your name, which in most places also means that you won’t be liable for it in the future

If you’re looking to sell your junk car, make sure you work with a junk car buyer who understands the rules and regulations involved in purchasing a vehicle. Rusty’s Auto Salvage is a nationwide company, and we’ve worked with thousands of satisfied customers. Sell your junk car today: visit our website to get started.


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