How Long Do I Need To Return My License Plates (And Why)?

How Long Do I Need To Return My License Plates (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Within 10 Days

Almost everyone likes to own a vehicle as it makes things easier for us. Some people like bikes while some love cars more. No matter which vehicle you prefer or go for, all of them come with myriads of responsibilities. And, once you buy it, you can’t run away from any of those responsibilities.

Most people think that all the tensions exist during the purchase of a vehicle. But, the truth is that there are some things that you need to keep in mind while leaving the vehicle as well. You can’t just leave it out of nowhere. You need to do a few things and one of them includes returning licence plates. 

How Long Do I Need To Return My License Plates

How Long Do I Need To Return My License Plates?

Returning License PlatesDuration
Maximum10 Days
Minimum2-3 Days

When your vehicle’s insurance is cancelled, you move out of Maryland, or you no longer need the licence plates, Maryland law requires you to surrender them to the Maryland Vehicle Administration. A partial refund of your registration money may be available under certain circumstances. You cannot drive your automobile or truck on any public road in Massachusetts once you cancel your registration. 

The RMV will issue you with a registration cancellation receipt when your registration is cancelled. You must recycle or destroy your licence plates if you cancel your registration. Plates can be sliced in half and thrown away, or they can be recycled at a local recycling centre if your municipality accepts them.

If you cancel your registration, you may be eligible for a reduction in your local motor vehicle excise. However, there are some restrictions, such as leaving the nation, reporting a stolen vehicle, or no longer owning the vehicle.

Simply cancelling your registration does not entitle you to a refund. You must provide documentation of these and any other acts required by state law for your local assessor’s office to process your abatement application. Please contact your local assessor if you have any questions. 

If your state demands the return or transfer of tags, you must return the tags as soon as you no longer want to be responsible for the car’s registration costs. As a general rule, you should do so within 10 days of your car’s title being transferred to an insurance company or a junkyard. If the tags have already expired by the time this occurs, simply do not renew them. Make sure they’re destroyed or turned in so they can’t be used illegally on another vehicle.

Why Do I Need To Return My License Plates For That Long?

You must relinquish the registration and report any plates that have been lost, stolen, or destroyed. Your concerned state’s agency can grant you a new registration and plates in certain situations. If your liability insurance coverage expires, you do not have to relinquish your motorbike plates. To drive a motorcycle, it must be covered by liability insurance. 

In most cases, liability insurance is not required for a trailer. If you neglect to submit the plate, the concerned authority will not suspend your driver licence or registration. When a car plate is not in use, the authorities suggest surrendering it to ensure that it is destroyed. If you do not return your plates, your registration will be suspended, and your driver licence may be suspended as well. 

When you live in a state, that state’s concerned authorities want you to return your licence plates to them only. If relevant, authorities will send you a plate surrender receipt as well as a refund check. These will be mailed to the address listed on the registration. Change your address on your registration before you mail your licence plates if it is out of date. 

If you’re moving, you’ll need to file a change of address with the authorities so that your mail can be appropriately forwarded to your new location. If your vehicle’s registration is in a business name or company name and the address has changed, be careful to notify the authorities of the change of address so that your receipt is given to you.


When you are planning to leave a state or discard your vehicle for some reason, you can’t just do it all of a sudden. There are strict laws that make it necessary for all vehicle owners to return their vehicle’s licence plates on time to the concerned authorities of their states.

If you are leaving a state and moving to another, you have to surrender your plate to the state you are leaving and not to the one you are moving into. Always keep in mind to return your licence plates on time so that you don’t find any issues later on. So, if you were confused about the time when you need to submit your licence plates, your doubts must be cleared now. 


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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