What Do I Do With My California License Plates When I Move Out of State

What Do I Do With My California License Plates When I Move Out of State?

Moving out of state is an exciting and challenging process. Whether you’re relocating for work, family, or any other reason, there are several essential tasks you need to complete before settling into your new home. One such task is dealing with your California license plates. In this article, we will guide you through the process of what to do with your California license plates when you move out of state.

1. Remove the License Plates: Before you move, you must remove the license plates from your vehicle. This step is crucial to avoid any legal complications or potential misuse of your plates. Use a screwdriver or a wrench to unscrew the plates from the front and rear of your vehicle.

2. Return the Plates to the DMV: Once you have removed the license plates, you have two options for dealing with them. The first option is to return the plates to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This ensures that your plates are properly accounted for and prevents any misuse. You can either drop off the plates at a local DMV office or mail them to the DMV headquarters.

3. Transfer the Plates: The second option is to transfer your California license plates to your new state. However, not all states allow this transfer, so it is essential to research the specific regulations in your new state. If transferring the plates is an option, you will likely need to provide proof of residency, vehicle registration, and insurance in your new state.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I keep my California license plates if I move out of state?
A: No, it is not recommended to keep your California license plates if you move out of state. It is important to either return them to the DMV or transfer them to your new state.

Q: Can I return my license plates by mail?
A: Yes, you can mail your license plates to the California DMV headquarters. Make sure to include a written request to cancel your vehicle registration and provide your new out-of-state address.

Q: What if I have personalized or specialty plates?
A: If you have personalized or specialty plates, you should consider transferring them to your new state. Check with your new state’s DMV to understand the procedure and requirements for transferring personalized or specialty plates.

Q: What if I don’t return or transfer my California license plates?
A: Failing to return or transfer your California license plates can lead to various issues. You may continue to be responsible for registration fees and other liabilities associated with the plates. Additionally, if the plates are used for illegal activities, you may be held accountable.

Q: How do I register my vehicle in my new state?
A: Registering your vehicle in your new state typically involves providing proof of residency, vehicle title, insurance, and passing any required inspections. Contact the DMV in your new state for specific instructions and forms.

Q: Can I cancel my vehicle registration with the California DMV online?
A: Yes, you can cancel your vehicle registration with the California DMV online. Visit the official DMV website and follow the instructions for canceling your registration.

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In conclusion, when you move out of state from California, it is essential to properly handle your license plates. Remove them from your vehicle and either return them to the DMV or transfer them to your new state, depending on the regulations. Failing to do so may result in legal complications or ongoing responsibilities related to your California plates. Follow the steps outlined in this article to ensure a smooth transition and compliance with the law.