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  • Plate Surrender in West Virginia

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    West Virginians can hang on to their license plates until the cows come home, but there are situations when they just won’t need them anymore.

    Here’s what to do when that happens.

    Moving to West Virginia

    After you move to West Virginia, you don’t have to surrender your old plates to the WV DMV. When you register your car in the Mountain State, you’ll receive WV license plates.

    Your old state might want theirs back, though, so scroll to the top of this page, choose your former state from the drop down menu, and check your old state’s policies.

    Moving From WV

    When you move to another state, you can either:

    • Destroy your old WV license plates after you register your vehicle with your new state.
    • Send your old plates to the WV DMV. They don’t require you do this, but some folks feel safer relinquishing them.

    Selling a Used Car

    Remove your license plates once you sell your used car; in WV, the plates stay with you, not the vehicle.

    So, this means you can either transfer them to another vehicle you own or destroy them.

    Don’t worry about how the new owner will get along; he’ll get new plates (or transfer his own old plates) when he completes the title transfer and registers the vehicle in his name.

    Buying a Used Car

    When you buy a used car, the tags don’t come with it. The former owner will keep the license plate to destroy or move to another vehicle.

    Unless you already have valid tags you want to transfer, you’ll get your own plate when you complete the title transfer process and register the car in your name.

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