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  • Plate Surrender in Connecticut

    License plates are owned by the state. This means you must surrender your plates to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) after moving out of Connecticut or selling your vehicle. Read on for additional details.

    Moving to Connecticut

    After establishing residency, register your vehicle with the DMV and obtain Connecticut license plates. Surrendering your old plates is not required, unless mandated by your former state.

    Before registering, consider the type of plate you want for your car. You can choose a standard plate at no extra charge, or opt for one of Connecticut's specialized plates.

    For more help with your move, check out our relocation guide.

    Moving from CT

    After registering in your new state, you must cancel your registration with the Connecticut DMV, which does require surrendering your license plates.

    You can do this by visiting a DMV office with your plates.

    If distance makes this impractical, send the following items:

    • Your Connecticut license plates.
    • A written request to cancel your registration (if you need a receipt, include this on your request).
    • A self-addressed, stamped envelope if a receipt is needed.

    Mail to:

    • DMV
    • 60 State Street
    • Wethersfield, CT 06161

    Registration Refunds

    You may be eligible for a refund, provided you have at least one year left on your Connecticut registration. Request a refund form electronically. The DMV will then send you a form, along with instructions on how to submit.

    Need to learn more? Visit our Moving Out of Connecticut page.

    Selling a Used Car in Connecticut

    Before handing over the car keys, remove the license plates. You then must cancel the registration by surrendering the license plates to your local DMV Office.

    Don’t delay. Your sold vehicle will be subject to property tax assessment until the plates are returned and the registration cancelled. Be sure when cancelling to request a receipt for your records.

    Disposing of your license plates is just one small part of the selling process. Learn more on our Title Transfers page.

    Buying a Used Car in CT

    Since the seller must turn in the license plates, you’ll need plates for the vehicle. You can, if needed, apply for a temporary registration with the CT DMV. This will allow you to drive the car to a safety inspection and/or emissions test, if required.

    For more insight on the steps to take when buying a new car, visit our guide on vehicle title transfers.

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