What to Do with old Licence Plates Illinois

After selling your motor vehicle, do you return or keep your Illinois license plates? This brief article discloses what to do with old license plates in Illinois after selling a motor vehicle such as a motorcycle.

what to do with old license plates I

I’m not a lawyer, though. However, if you do not turn in your license plate in some states, you are penalized, or you maintain your insurance. Make sure to inform the insurance company that you no longer possess the motorcycle or car.


In Illinois, you can do whatever you like with expired license plates; the state does not mandate you to turn them in.

Do I need to return license plates in Illinois?

No. the Illinois Secretary of State does not require you to return license plates. When a license plate is old, you can keep it in Illinois. Even you receive the renewal paperwork, complete the form and specify that you no longer have the plate or motor vehicle.


What to Do with old Licence Plates Illinois

This section suggests what you can do when your Illinois license plate is no longer in use, old or expired.

Below is what to do with old license plates in Illinois:

  1. Dump in the States Recycling Bin

how to dispose of old license plates illinois

In IL, you can recycle obsolete or expired license plates at the Secretary of State’s office.

It’s simple; take your old license plate to a Secretary of State’s facility and dispose of it in the tamper-proof bin.


The recycle bins are placed at about 136 Secretary of State motor vehicle facilities to make it convenient for getting rid of license plates in Illinois.

Meanwhile, license plates were initially made of galvanized steel but are now being designed with recyclable aluminum to save resources.

I recommend cutting license plates into pieces before you disposing of them. The reason is that if you do not drop the plate properly, you might start receiving notices of non-payment with pictures of the plate on another motor vehicle after some time.

  1. Keep as Souvenir

Old Illinois motorcycle license plate

You can keep Illinois license plates as souvenirs. The older steel plates were changed to aluminum in 2004. So, the current license plates may be changed some other year, and yours becomes a vintage plate.

It’s optional to cancel your registration and keep specialty or personalized plates as souvenirs.

  1. Hang It in Your Garage

How do I get rid of old license plates in Illinois

You can hang old IL plates in the garage. Of course, most families leave it hanging in their garages for fancy.

It makes the plate some sculpted gift presented to you by your state.

If you run a mechanic shop, old plates hanging around adds beauty to the shop, especially when they make dangling sounds.

  1. Be Creative with Your License Plate

how to recycle old Illinois license plates

Some Illinois residents use old license plates for creative purposes, including making birdhouses and cages.

You can also use Illinois license plates as a picture frame to hold pictures for memories.

What do I do with my license plates after I sell my motor vehicle in Illinois?

It is not mandatory to turn in your Illinois license plate after selling your motor vehicle. Nevertheless, you can drop it in the bin at any Secretary of State facility. Do not give your license plates to the buyer; advise them to obtain the temporary tag to drive/ride their motorcycle or vehicle home.

Final Thoughts

If you do not want to transfer your Illinois license plates to another motor vehicle such as a motorcycle, you can remove and destroy them.

I recommend keeping the license plate since Illinois does not mandate returning it.

Ultimately, there may no need to inform the state that you no longer use the license plates.

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