What to Do With Your Plates When Selling Your Junk Car

So, you’re ready to sell your junk car. You have everything ready to go: you’ve got your title, your registration, your bill of sale, and you’re even calling around to local junkyards to see how much they’ll pay for your junk car. You feel like things are proceeding smoothly, and you’re looking forward to finally being rid of that old clunker. We want this process to be as easy as possible, even in Mississippi we can give you cash for your junk car. 


Then, it suddenly hits you: what do you do with your license plate (or plates) when you sell your junk car? Do you keep them? Do you hand them over to whichever junk car buyer ends up coming to haul away your vehicle? Does it even matter, or are you just overthinking things?


License Plate Laws


The laws surrounding your license plates vary from state to state. Generally speaking, though, a license plate number tends to be connected to a specific registration — and, therefore, to a particular vehicle owner.


What does this mean for you as the soon to be former owner of the vehicle? Well, simply put, leaving your license plates on a vehicle could open you up to liability. If your vehicle is involved in any sort of illegal activity after you sell it and your plates are still on it, that activity could be linked back to you.


Here’s how this works. When it comes to cars, there’s something that we refer to as “owner liability.” This term essentially means that the owner of a vehicle is the party who will be held responsible if the vehicle is involved in any sort of dangerous or illegal activity. This isn’t limited to serious crimes or car accidents: it can also apply to things like parking tickets, towing fees, and so on.


If you’re unsure of the laws in your state, it’s probably a good idea to contact your local DMV and find out the specifics. They can typically tell you right away what the rules are regarding license plates in your state.


Turning In Your Plates


Assuming that you live in a state where the registration of a vehicle (and therefore its license plates) are connected with owner liability, you’ll want to remove the license plates from your junk car before you sell it.


When a junk car buyer shows up to haul away your junk car, be sure to take your plates off ahead of time. Then, you’ll need to go to your local DMV office and turn in the plates. When you do so, they should issue you a receipt as proof that you handed in the plates. This also serves as proof that the vehicle is no longer registered in your name. It’s a good idea to hold onto this receipt as future evidence in case anything should go wrong.

Of course, it always helps if you work with a junk car buyer who understands the rules and regulations in your particular state. At Junk Car Traders, our customer service experts are well versed in the laws surrounding the purchase and sale of junk cars in every state nationwide! If you’re ready to sell your junk car, visit our website and contact us today.

2 Replies to “What to Do With Your Plates When Selling Your Junk Car”

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