Do you know what to do with your old license plates in Florida?
If you live in the Sunshine State, congratulations for being a Floridian.
Its beaches, beautiful landscapes, and fun theme parks make Florida a desirable location to live, however, it’s not the easiest place to have a car.
Florida is among the states in the US where you cannot legally recycle your license plates with other recyclables.
Florida license plates are essentially considered state property and must be returned to the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles (the DMV) where they become property of the state.
So, what does this mean for you?
This short guide covers all that and more on what to do with old license plates in Florida.
What to do with old license plates Florida
The number of license plates issued in Florida has grown dramatically over the past decade, this includes motorcycles and mopeds.
Statista estimates that over 7 million vehicles are registered in the state of Florida with permanent license plates, and non-permanent or annual plate vehicles.
To keep up with the demand for these plates, every year the Florida DMV generates a new batch consisting of more than 20 million license plates.
This number is expected to continue growing over time.
But, what do you do with the old license plates?
Here is a short guide to what you can do with your old Florida license plates.
Transfer the license plates to another vehicle
Florida is one of only three states in the US that allows these plates to be transferred from vehicle to vehicle as long as they’re not over 10 years old when they leave a car.
In other words, if you have an old Florida plate that you want to transfer to another vehicle you need to first remove this plate from your car and ensure it is no more than 10 years old.
All tags expire after this time period and you’re required to obtain new ones.
Additionally, when you sell your vehicle it’s mandatory that you remove the plates.
You cannot transfer them from one person to another.
Instead, they remain with the current owner of the vehicle.
You will need the old plates so that they’re transferred to another vehicle registered in your name.
Consequently, you will be spared from paying the $225 registration fee.
The old license plates must be in the same condition as they were when they were first placed on the vehicle.
Surrender old license plates to the DMV
The DMV is required to take old license plates when you sell your vehicle without transferring the tags to a new one, move to another state and register your vehicle there, or cancel the insurance on the vehicle.
In all these cases, it is essential that you surrender the old license plates to the DMV.
They monitor the old plates and ensure the owner brings them to the DMV within a fixed period of time.
In other words, if you don’t return the tags after their expiration date or in the circumstances mentioned, you will be fined for illegally retaining them.
There are two ways to go about returning your Florida license plates.
You can either return them in person to any DMV office by providing the vehicle’s most recent registration or driver’s license, and you must present the license plates.
Alternatively, you’re allowed to mail the license plates to the DMV Licensing office.
Obviously, people who don’t return their plates are bound to face the consequences.
For instance, when the insurance on your vehicle is dropped or expires and you don’t surrender the license plates, the DMV will suspend your driver license.
Also, scammers and criminals might get a hold of your unreturned license plates and use them for criminal activity.
In such situations, you’ll be held responsible since it’s your name and address on file.
Recycle old license plates
It’s true that you can recycle any old and unwanted Florida plates as long as it’s done responsibly.
The state requires that you destroy the license plates by cutting or bending before disposing of them.
In addition to that, you must also remove all letters and numbers from the plates to ensure no one else will use them.
Florida has several recycling centers that accept old plates including Florida Highlands Recycling and St.
They mostly accept aluminum plates to be recycled.
You won’t be charged with a fee for recycling your old license plates.
On the contrary, you might even receive a monetary reward if your plates are worth money.
Call the recycling center first to confirm whether the plates are accepted and to get more information.
As you can see in this short guide, there are a few ways to deal with your old Florida license plates.
You can either surrender them to the DMV for safe disposal or recycle them.
These are the most popular and safest options since disposing of them in other ways is illegal.
Where do i return my Florida license plate?
You could opt to return them to the county tax collector, driver license office or other law enforcement facility.
You will have to take the plates with you to return them.
Do you get money back when you turn in a license plate in Florida?
In most instances, the initial vehicle registration fee is waived when you get another car and return the license plates.
Do I have to give my Florida license plates back when I move out of state?
Yes, especially if you want to register your vehicle in the new state.
You’ll need to surrender your Florida license plates if you’re registering your vehicle in another state.
This holds true for most if not all states in the United States.