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  • Plate Surrender in North Dakota

    North Dakota doesn’t require you to return your license plates when you move to another state, and when you sell or buy a vehicle, your plates stay with you.

    Still, there are times when you might want to surrender your plates.

    Moving to North Dakota

    After you move to North Dakota, you’ll register your vehicle here. That means you’ll replace your old state plates with new ND license plates.

    How you handle your old plates depends on your former state. You might need to return them, or that state might allow you to discard or recycle them.

    For more information, scroll to the top of this page and select your old state from the drop down menu.

    Moving from ND

    You don’t have to return your ND plates when you move to another state.

    You might want to, though―at the least, you might want to destroy or recycle them. If those plates become lost or stolen, you could be held responsible for any damages or financial burden caused by their use.

    Selling a Used Car

    Remove your license plates when you transfer sell your used car. You can either cancel your registration and surrender the plates, or you can transfer them to another vehicle you own or plan to buy.

    If you decide to transfer them, you could have remaining credit to apply toward your registration fees. The credit is based on the number of months you didn’t use the license plate on the vehicle you donated or sold.

    When you handle the title transfer and registration processes, ask the DOT agent about your available credit.

    Buying a Used Car

    After you buy a used car, the previous owner will remove the license plates. It’s up to you to get new plates on the vehicle.

    When you title and register the car in your name, you might transfer other valid plates you already have, or you might apply for new plates.

    Understand you can legally operate the vehicle without visible registration (i.e. license plates) for five days. After that, you must either register the vehicle and get the plates on there, or obtain a Self-Issuing Temporary Registration Permit from the MVD.

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