Can You Recycle License Plates?

All expired or damaged license plates are made for good reuse.

Some people donate them to charities, while others sell them. You can recycle them through private companies or on your own.

So, can you recycle license plates? Yes, you can recycle license plates!

But keep in mind that they have to be in good condition to be accepted at the recycling center. They can be shredded and used for road construction as a base material or crushed and used for decorative purposes as gravel or mulch.

Many donations and recycling companies accept license plates for reuse or recycling.

But you can also find many communities dedicated to recycling license plates in your area and online that accept plate donations and facilitate the recycling process for free or a small donation so they can help others and make a profit.

Recycling license plates is not a big deal and you can find many non-profit organizations focused on it or groups dedicated to it in your community or online.

You can also help make them or find a recycling company near you that does it for free or at a small fee.

All you have to do is let them know that you want a recycled license plate instead of a new one.

They all ask for a small processing and shipping fee but you usually make a donation to the cause.

So, be careful and check that you are getting what you paid for in terms of plate quality and shipping fees.

Can you Recycle License Plates?

License plates may seem to be only useful to us drivers while renewing our plates or replacing a lost plate.

They’re virtually entirely constructed of aluminum, so compared to tons of other metals, they’re fairly lightweight, which can make transportation easier and less expensive.

They should be handled with care, too, so it doesn’t scratch or dent when new or during transportation.

You may also bring them to a car dealer or an auto shop that recycles old plates.

Aluminum, which is one of the main ingredients of license plates, can be recycled and reused many times.

It’s also one of those metals that come up often in the recycle bin when homes are cleaning out old papers and trash bins.

It will never ‘wear down’ after being recycled, so it’s a good bet to keep recycling it every once in a while.

Where Can You Recycle License Plates?

Because license plates are so simple, it’s very easy to recycle them without much effort.

If you can recycle aluminum cans without trouble, then you can do the same with license plates.

However, this isn’t the only metal used to make license plates.

You may be shocked to learn that you actually have to recycle paper and even plastic in order to recycle license plates.

Some localities will offer a program to collect and recycle old license plates by flocking them and taking them to the recycling center.

Finally, you might sell the plates to a local scrap yard or salvage yard and make some money from them.

How to Dispose of the License Plates Safely

If you have one, you may be interested in learning how to dispose of your license plate carefully.

Before doing so, always check with your local laws about the proper way to dispose of license plates in your state or country.

If you merely put aluminum in your trash cans, you may be fined or have to do community service for breaking the law.

It’s crucial to realize the difference between recycling and trashing license plates – and to make sure you’re doing things right.

Once again, double-checking with your local laws is the best way to ensure that you’re disposing of your license plate in a legal manner that is acceptable by officials in your location.

Also Read: Can You Recycle Wet Cardboard?

How Do You Prepare the License Plate for Recycling?

Remove the month and year tags before scrapping a license plate.

Before recycling, cut the license plate into eight separate pieces for scrap metal purposes.

These methods might assist you when recycling your license plate.

Someone might use them to make crafts or to make magnets out of them.

To prevent fraudulent usage of license plates and safeguard against identity theft, most states and countries shred or otherwise destroy the plates once the registration has expired or once a car is in junkyards.

If your plates are really filthy or grimy, you may apply heat with a hair dryer or iron to slightly soften the paint to make it easier to scrub clean.

Scratches and dents are unimportant since the plate is going to be scrapped anyway.


You’ll almost certainly wind up with old automobile license plates at your residence sooner or later in time.

It’s tempting to throw your old dishes away after use, but you might want to reconsider–there are a lot of used dishware options out there that are totally free or nearly free if you know where to look.

Overall, pay particular attention to your municipality’s restrictions, laws, and regulations around recycling license plates before sending yours to a metal recycling facility or scrap yard.

Always obey local regulations while engaging in a unique act like a salvage yard sortie.