Plate Surrender in Michigan
Registering a car?
It's a good time to check car insurance rates
Find the lowest rate among top providers.Page Overview
There’s no surrender in Michigan. Well, at least when it comes to license plates. You do not have to surrender your plates following an out-of-state move, nor during a title transfer.
Michigan’s Secretary of State (SOS) requires that you register your car immediately after establishing residency. Despite the vagueness of “immediately”, there is no vagueness with surrendering your plates. You do not have to surrender them to the SOS, but you may have to surrender them to your former state. If you’re unsure, check with your previous DMV.
When it comes time to register, you can choose from a variety of license plates ranging from standard to specialized.
For more on what to expect in Michigan, visit our relocation guide.
You do not have to surrender your license plates to the SOS after moving out of state. Keep as souvenirs or check if your new neighborhood offers license plate recycling.
Be informed before moving. Visit our Moving Out of Michigan page.
After signing over the title, remove the license plates. They belong to you. You can then transfer the plates to another car of a similar type (passenger car with passenger car) that’s under your name. You do not have to surrender the plates if you don’t transfer. Although the SOS strongly recommends destroying the plates for your own protection.
Check out our Title Transfers page for more information.
Since the license plates will be removed, it’s best if the seller accompanies you to the nearest SOS office to register the car. If this isn’t possible, you can legally drive the car home without plates provided you carry the vehicle’s signed-over title.
For more help, visit our Vehicle Title Transfers page.