If you have New Jersey plates you no longer need, you are probably wondering what to do with old license plates in NJ. Well, this article contains the perfect and updated information you need to perfectly dispose of your NJ plates.
In New Jersey, you must surrender your old license plates. You can deposit your NJ plates in the ‘Drop Box’ at your local motor vehicle agency or mail it to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. If you put a new vehicle in your name, you can reuse the plates.
Do not keep your New Jersey registration plates as souvenirs, garage decor, or sell/gift them to anyone. You do not want the plates in the wrong hands.
Nonetheless, it is not mandatory to keep your New Jersey plates. However, you may not like future events regarding wrong charges if you did not surrender the NJ plates.
Every word, phrase, and sentence in this article contains the right information you need.
Do you need to return license plates in NJ?
You need to return your old license plates in NJ to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). Only return the plates if you sell your vehicle but will not transfer them to another vehicle.
Therefore, you need to turn in your NJ plates when you either sell, donate to charity, move to another state, or do not drive your vehicle for a long time.
The MVC will not force you to dispose of your old NJ plates. However, you will be responsible for anything that happens with the plates in the future.
What to Do with Old License Plates NJ
If you have New Jersey license plates you no longer use, you only have 3 options.
Below is what to do with old license plates NJ:
Surrender your plates at the NJ MVC in person
You can visit your local New Jersey motor vehicle agency to surrender your license plates. At the motor vehicle agency, deposit your NJ plates in the ‘Drop Box’ outside the agency.
You do not surrender your New Jersey registration plates at the Inspection Stations.
When you turn in your old NJ plate, the motor vehicle agency will mail you a receipt or cancelation notice showing that you duly surrendered your license.
This receipt is what you will need as proof against future events where charges on the plates are entered in your name. This keeps you from being liable for citations, parking tickets, towing charges, etc., eventually recorded on the plates.
If you want an instant receipt after surrendering your NJ plates, inform the staff on the greeter desk.
Mail NJ plates to the MVC
If you have New Jersey license plates you do not use, you can mail them to:
- New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
- O. Box 129
- Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0129
Make sure you include a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) so that you will be sent a receipt by mail to confirm your surrendered NJ license plates.
A self-addressed stamped envelope is an envelope containing your name and address and affixed paid postage.
When you receive the receipt, keep it as your proof or cancellation notice for future events where the surrendered plate is wrongfully charged to you.
You will then use the receipt to show that you surrendered your plates, so you are not liable for the charges.
Transfer NJ plates to another vehicle
If you are getting a new car or motorcycle, then you can transfer your old New Jersey license plate into it. The new car must be registered in your name.
So, when you buy a new or used car or motorcycle from a dealership or private seller, you can simply transfer your old NJ license plates. No need to dispose of them at the New Jersey MVC if the newly purchased vehicle will be registered in your name.
Nonetheless, you can surrender the plate to get a new one. But you have to pay to get a new one.
You must visit your local New Jersey motor vehicle agency to complete the transaction. You only have to submit the existing registration you want to transfer, your new vehicle title, a valid photo ID, and a bill of sale (not mandatory).
In NJ, if you sell your car or motorcycle without transferring old plates to another, you must surrender the plates according to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
Do not allow the buyer to drive off with your New Jersey plates. Otherwise, you will be liable for any charges they record with the plates in your name. Advise the buyer to obtain temporary tags to drive the vehicle home. No use of fake license plates on your vehicle.
Do you return your New Jersey license plates after moving to another state?
Yes, you return your New Jersey license plates when moving to another state. In some cases, the insurance company will request you to surrender the license plates after canceling your insurance.
There is no penalty if you do not surrender your NJ plates when moving out of state. You will still be able to register your car in another state without turning them in. Some states might require your old license plate or notice of plate cancelation for verifications. Check their DMV’s website.
What happens if you don’t turn in your license plates in NJ?
When you do not surrender New Jersey license plates that you do not use, you are liable for any charges recorded on the plates in the future.
For instance, if the plates appear on a stolen motorcycle or car, you are held responsible for it. If the person possessing the plates gets speed tickets and other citations, you are also liable for them.
Meanwhile, you might be interested in how some drivers conceal their plates to beat speed cameras.
The NJ motor vehicle agency will not come after you for not surrendering your old license plates. It is your responsibility to do so, and you are also responsible for whatever outcome accompanies the plates in the future.
So, it is true if you say it is not mandatory to turn in old NJ license plates. But you will not get the receipt to serve as proof that you surrendered your plates, and are not liable for any claims against you.
How long do you have to return license plates in NJ?
There is no time limit regarding how long you have to return your old license plates in New Jersey. You can surrender them at any time, but make sure you do not lose the plates to criminals while you delay surrendering them to the NJ MVC.
Is there a penalty for not returning license plates in NJ?
No. There is no penalty for not returning unused license plates in New Jersey. NJ asking you to surrender your old plates is for your own protection. You will be given a receipt you can present as proof in the future that you surrendered the plates, so you are not liable for the claims against you.
Note that the New Jersey MVC does not collect out-of-state license plates. You must return the plates to the DMV of that state (if they require you to return old license plates like in Florida) or keep them (if it is not mandatory to return old license plates like in Colorado).
Surrendering your NJ plates is simple, just walk into the nearest MVC or mail the plates to them. You will receive your cancelation notice in the form of a receipt.
You can book an appointment to surrender your license plates in New Jersey via https://www.nj.gov/mvc/.