Posts Tagged ‘DMVAmerica’

License Plates – Bringing the Issue of Old Plates to the Table

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Whether you’ve purchased a new vehicle or sent your old one off to the junk yard, there’s always the question about what to do with old license plates. The staff here at ABS National Auto Services encountered this situation years ago when we began managing large fleet accounts and started receiving hundreds of license plates that were no longer being used and needed to know the proper way to handle an old plate.


The question on most people’s mind is “What do we do with them?” “Can they be reused?”  “Do we surrender them to the state or can we get rid of them?” The answer is not the same for everyone because each state handles their old plates differently, but a quick call to your local DMV will clear up any question you may have.


Most states will let you reuse your old license plate. For example, transferring plates in Florida can save you money on the cost of a new license plate.  Choosing not to transfer them requires you to turn them in to the local DMV or you could face possible suspension of your driver’s license. While some states, like Texas and Utah, give the owners the go-ahead to destroy or recycle their old plates.

If your state gives the option of destroy or recycle, recycling is always best. Millions of aluminum license plates end up in landfills every year that could have been prevented. Most curbside recycling programs take scrap metal, if your unsure whether local recyclers near you accept plates you can always call and ask! Before you recycle your old plates you want to cut them in half (be careful they are sharp) or deface any stickers on them to discourage theft and fraud.


Something that will warm the hearts of the green-conscious consumers is that many of the recycled plates are finding a new life. Ingeniously, a PA based company; ‘LittleEarth’ reinvents them into novelties and sells them as items such as day planners or purses in a boutique. We’ve even heard of folks decorating their home or garage with them (please clean them first!).

How you choose to return, reuse or reinvent your old plates is entirely up to you.  Just be sure you know the state requirement before you use them to re-shingle the roof of your dog’s house!