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How to Transfer License Plates

How to Transfer License Plates

Transferring a license plate is basically transferring the proof of ownership to another person. This is a very important step you need to take when you plan to sell your vehicle or you take the vehicle off the road. You can also transfer your vehicle plate if you want to use the same one for your new car.
Foram Mehta
A license plate is basically a vehicle registration plate. It can be in plastic or in metal form, attached to a motor vehicle, and is used for identification purpose. There is a code written on the license plate, which is in an alphanumeric or numeric form. This code is unique and only one person or institution can be registered under it. These plates are attached to both, the front and the rear of a vehicle.
Who Issues a License Plate
In the United States, these license plates are issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This is a state level government agency, which administers the vehicle registration and driver licensing. The U.S. Federal Government issues plates only for its own vehicles and also for vehicles owned by foreign diplomats.
Technology Used
The technology used is APLR - Automated License Plate Recognition. This technology has left the traditional practices of communicating through police radios behind . The APLR technology automates the license plate checking process. This technology basically uses hardware and software components, and enables to read images and recognize the vehicle plates of vehicles established on road. This is done using infrared, hi-speed cameras, which take pictures of the license plates of vehicles that have breached any law. The picture is automatically scanned and documented in the database.
Why Will You Need to Transfer Your License Plate
Transferring your license plate will be required to transfer the ownership of your vehicle to some other person. This could imply if you are transferring your license plate to someone else in case if you are selling your vehicle or you even if you are gifting a vehicle to someone. You will also need to transfer your vehicle plate to your new vehicle, if you want to use the same plate on the new vehicle.
How to Transfer Your License Plate
To transfer a license plate, you will first need to provide a proof of purchase price or gift. You need to use a Statement of Transaction for Sales Tax - Form DTF-802 to show the purchase price of the vehicle or that it was a gift. The seller / donor of the vehicle needs to make an affidavit on page two of the form and hand it over to the new owner. Now, the new owner needs to fill page one of the form and submit it to the DMV office. The new owner will have to pay sales tax if applicable. He can also be exempted from paying the tax in case the transfer is in the form of a gift. If the transfer is in the form of a gift, you need to use form DTF-803 for exemption. The transfer fee will cost you $10.00.
Here are a few points you should keep a note of, when you are transferring a vehicle plate.
  • You can only transfer your license plate to another vehicle of the same type. Example: trailer to trailer, car to car.
  • The new registration is valid until the expiry of the original registration.
  • In case of lien, the original documents need to be handed over to the new owner, which he needs to transfer to the DMV, and eventually the lien title on the certificate is removed and a new certificate is issued to the new owner.
  • Remove your windshield registration sticker and inspection sticker before transferring the ownership to someone else.
  • DMV does not accept a vehicle plate unless you remove frames and fasteners before you surrender your vehicle plate.
  • Always surrender your vehicle plates to NYSDMV or transfer it to another vehicle, before your liability insurance lapses. Otherwise, your driving license could be suspended.
  • The other person can also surrender the vehicle plate for you, however, remember to collect the FS-6T receipt from him.
  • You can also mail the DMV to surrender your vehicle plate. It's important to remember the date of your mail, as that will be considered as the date you actually surrendered your plate.
  • There is a pro-rated registration fee if, the vehicle you are going to register weighs more than your previous vehicle.
Refund of Registration Fee
If you are transferring or surrendering your vehicle plate in the 1st year of the two-year registration period, you can claim 50% of the registration fee as refund, and $1 will deducted as processing fee. However, this is not allowed in the 2nd year of the registration period. Your entitlement to refund is indicated in the FS-6T receipt.
You can also apply for a complete refund of registration fees in case the registration has not been used at all. That also implies that the registration sticker should not be used on the windshield at all. You only have 60 days after your registration to do this. You need to fill form MV-215 for this.
Transfer Your Vehicle Plate When its Lost or Stolen
In case your vehicle plate is lost or stolen, you can ask a police agency in NYS to complete the MV-78B form for you. You need to submit the MV-78B form or the police report to the DMV, instead of your vehicle plate.
Temporary Transfer of Vehicle Plate
You can surrender your vehicle plate and cancel liability insurance if you plan to take your vehicle off the road in winter. Remember that the DMV does not store the surrendered vehicle plates, but destroys them. You will be issued a new vehicle plate and that could cost around $15. However, if you have a customized vehicle plate, then the DMV will store it. You will need to apply for a reinstatement of the registration at the same DMV office you surrendered it to before.
You can surrender your license plate to any of the local DMV offices except for the Customer Service and the DMV Central Office.
Be careful and remember all the above mentioned points before transferring your vehicle plate. Make a checklist so that you don't miss out on anything, as the laws pertaining to vehicle plate transfers are pretty stringent. Save yourself the penalties and the fines.
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