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  • Plate Surrender in Virginia

    Registering a car?

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    Do you need to return your VA license plates when you move out of state? What about if you buy or sell a car?

    We’ve got the answers for you!

    Moving to Virginia

    After you move to Virginia, you’ll register your car and receive VA license plates.

    Before chucking your old tags, though, check with your former state about its plate surrender policies. You might need to send the plate back to your old DMV, or you might be able to destroy it or keep it as a souvenir.

    Just scroll to the top of this page and choose your former state from the drop down menu to find out what to do with your old plates.

    Moving from VA

    The VA DMV suggests you to return your license plates after you move to another state. This can protect you from having the license plates misused if they are not destroyed. You can mail them to the nearest DMV office or to:

    • Department of Motor Vehicles
    • P.O. Box 27412
    • Richmond, VA 23269

    Registration Refund

    Depending on the timeline, you might be eligible for a registration refund.

    Complete and follow the instructions on the Vehicle Registration Refund Application (Form FMS 210) to find out.

    Selling a Used Car

    You’ll help the buyer complete the title transfer, but he’ll handle the car registration and license plates on his own.

    You must return your license plates when you sell your used car.

    NOTE: If you want to keep your plates but not use them, contact the DMV.

    Buying a Used Car

    Generally, you can transfer your old but valid license plates if you buy a used car; you’ll have to register the car in your name, of course, and complete the title transfer, but pending any issues you can use the same tags.

    However, because the VA DMV requires you to surrender your plates if you sell a used vehicle, the situation might get a little tricky if you sold (or want to sell) your old car before buying the other vehicle.

    If that’s your situation, contact the DMV for instructions.

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