How to Dispose of Old Car License Plates

When you’re disposing of old car license plates, there are a few important steps you need to take.

First off, you need to realize that not all states allow citizens to discard their license plates outright. In some states, you can donate your plates to a charitable organization.

So, how do you dispose of old car license plates? Many people don’t know this, but it’s illegal to throw old license plates in the trash.

Instead, you can return old license plates to your state motor vehicle department, which will recycle them. Another option is to recycle them yourself.

One option is to cut out the numbers and letters on license plates and recycle the metal. Another option is to bury license plates in your yard.

However, these are no longer options for many states. If your state no longer accepts used license plates for recycling, then your best option is to donate them to a local charity.

Research Your Local Requirements

Researching local requirements ensures that your site is suitable for the local market.

There are a lot of things you need to consider when researching local requirements, such as language, currency, and payment gateways.


When researching local requirements, you must check what language your targeted customers use.

Some countries require websites to be translated into the local language, so it’s worth checking if this is the case.


When researching local requirements, check what the local currency is for that country and the conversion rates.

For example, if your site targets customers in the US, then the USD will be the currency used. If your site is targeted at China, the Renminbi (RMB) will be the currency used.

Also, check the currency conversion rates to ensure that these rates are accurate.

As an example, if a customer uses USD to buy your product and that product costs $100, then when the product is shipped to the customer, the conversion rate that will be applied will determine the product’s cost in the local currency.

Payment Gateways

When researching local requirements, check what type of payment gateways your customers use. Some payment options might be available only in some countries or regions.

What if Your State Does Not Require the Return of Old Car License Plates?

If you no longer need your car plates or if your state doesn’t require the plates to be returned at all, you can save a lot of money.

However, keep in mind that you aren’t actually allowed to keep the plates. California and other states issue fines to citizens who fail to return their plates on time.

If you fail to return the plates or report replacement plates within 10 days, you risk paying fines of up to $300. Furthermore, these fines increase over time. So even if you remove the plates, make sure you return them within the specified period.

Recycle Your Old License Plates

In all fairness, the license plate system used by most states isn’t that bad. It’s convenient and user-friendly. However, this convenience comes at a cost: A state-issued plate is very expensive. And, like everything else, these plates start to deteriorate over time, making them unattractive and ineffective as a security measure.

However, instead of throwing away your plates, you can recycle them and get a new one at a much lower cost. All you need is time and possibly some mechanical skills.

Why you should recycle old license plates:

  • It provides you low-cost security for your car. At only $25, old license plates are the cheapest form of security you can get for a car.
  • It protects old cars – Old cars that are no longer in use can serve as target points for thieves. If you have an old car, this security measure will make it less appealing to thieves.
  • It’s environmentally-friendly – Recycling old license plates is a better option than throwing them away. The license plates can be recycled to make new metal products, which, in turn, can help save the environment.
  • It’s easy – You can recycle your license plates on your own. This means you don’t have to pay a company to come remove them from your car. It’s as simple as removing them and sticking them somewhere safe.

Dispose of the License Plates in Your Recycling Bin

Many people throw away their license plates with the rest of their trash when they change cars or get rid of an old vehicle.

However, you should never do this because license plates contain personal information. This includes your name, registration information, license plate number, and vehicle identification number.

Furthermore, this information can be traced back to you by law enforcement, which can lead to identity theft, fraud, and other scams. Lastly, license plates may have magnetic strips that store personal information from unpaid tolls and tickets.

This is why it’s important to get rid of license plates in the right way by telling the police or recycling center in your area.

Recycle Your License Plates at the DMV

Did you know that you can recycle your license plates at the DMV?

In California, any vehicle owner can recycle their license plates at their local DMV office. There’s a small fee for this service, and the DMV will recycle your plates for you.

Recycling your license plates helps the environment because it takes less energy to make new ones than it does to recycle old ones.

Also, recycling your plates can save you money because you don’t have to pay for new ones.

Overall, recycling your license plates at the DMV is a great way to save the environment.

How Do You Prepare the License Plate for Recycling?

Car recycling programs in many states require car owners to properly prepare their license plates before handing them over for recycling. Proper preparation ensures that valuable metals can be extracted from license plates.

To properly prepare your license plate for recycling, follow these steps:

  • Remove any stickers or decals from the license plate.
  • Remove any magnetic elements from the license plate.
  • Remove any plastic covers or plastic covers with clear windows that are on the license plate.
  • Remove any metal objects attached to the license plate.
  • Remove any license plate fasteners, such as nuts and bolts, that are attached to the plate.

Check to See if Your Old Car License Plate Has Value

Sell License Plates

If you want to sell your license plates, you can do so online.

Many websites specialize in selling license plates. These websites collect all the license plates in the country and sell them to people who want to acquire them.

If you want to sell your license plates online, you have two options. First, you can list them on a website and pay a commission for each sale.

However, this takes a lot of time and effort. Alternatively, you can sell your license plates to a website that offers to buy them from you.

These websites usually pay a commission of about 30% of the resale value of your license plates. However, they collect your plates, handle all the paperwork, and sell the plates for you.

Determine the Value of Your Plate

If you throw away your old license plate without getting a new one, it will keep going around the world as scrap metal or trash.

The license plate is worthless to you as scrap and can be sold for only $2 to $5 at most, depending on the state. However, if your car’s license plate is stolen, you may incur the loss.

The loss value depends on a number of factors, such as the type of car you own and the type of plate it has.

Many people hold on to their old license plates after they stop driving their car.

However, if you still have your old license plate, there’s an easy way to get rid of it. You can donate your license plate to a charity, and they will give you a tax receipt for it.

If your license plate is worth money, the charity will give you money, and you can use the receipt for a tax deduction.

For example, if an old license plate is worth $200, the charity will give you $200, and you can use the receipt for a tax deduction of $200. Also, the charity will usually auction off your license plate and give you a percentage of the proceeds.

Either way, donating your old license plate is an easy way to get rid of it and make money at the same time.

Upcycle Your Old License Plates

If you have an old car with an old license plate, you may be interested in selling that license plate because it may have value.

You can try to sell it on eBay or Craigslist, but you may have trouble finding someone to buy it. Instead, consider upcycling your old car license plate into something useful.

For instance, you can turn it into a magnet or a clock. You can also upcycle it into a cool piece of jewelry, such as a ring or a bracelet.

Upcycling your old license plate into something more functional is a good way to make use of it while also showing your creativity and resourcefulness.

What Do I Do With My License Plates When I Sell My Car in Virginia?

If you acquire a new car, you should remove your old vehicle’s license plates from it before you sell it because the new owner will need to know where you live to register the car in their name.

If the plates are not transferred to another vehicle, they will be invalid after a certain amount of time has passed.

Do You Have to Return License Plates in Tn?

Drivers in Tennessee may be interested to know that, in most cases, they do not have to return their license plates when they sell a car.

The good news is that you are not obligated to return them and can keep them for yourself or use them on another car if you want.

Do I Have to Surrender My License Plate in VA?

Even though it’s not required, we recommend that drivers turn in their license plates when they sell a car in the state. If they don’t, they may have to pay fines.

This will keep other people from using the old plates without permission and make it easy for the new owner to register the car in their own name.

You may also return the plates to the local DMV office in person if you are unable to bring them with you when the vehicle is sold, but this is not a requirement.

Also Read: How to Dispose of Fireplace Ashes Safely

Final Words

You will almost certainly wind up with old automobile license plates at a certain point in your life as cars naturally wear out over time and need replacing.

It’s simple to throw away old dishes and other household objects when they are no longer useful, but it may be more difficult to dispose of used car plates if you are no longer using them on your car.

Overall, pay careful attention to your municipality’s rules since they may dictate what you should do with your license plates and what to do with them when you finally decide to get rid of your vehicle.

Always follow the rules in your area and do what you need to do to safely and responsibly get rid of old car tags.