What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

‏What to do with old Arizona license plates? You’re generally free to keep it. There are a few exceptions, though, so let’s get into the details. Meanwhile, if you have recently sold or transferred your vehicle in Arizona, or you have upgraded to a personalized or specialty plate, you need to be careful with handling your old registration plate. If the new vehicle owner accumulates any fines or parking tickets, they could be traced back to you through the license plate. This is something you definitely want to avoid.

Do I Need to Return My Arizona License Plate?

The answer from the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is no. If you have a collectible or personalized plate, you can keep it. The only time you need to return a plate is if it’s damaged or unreadable while your vehicle is still in use, as Arizona law requires a replacement in such cases.

For standard plates, Arizona doesn’t require them back. Once your plate is expired, it’s no longer of any use to the state. So, what can you do with it? You could even include it in your Will, although this might seem a bit far-fetched and might leave your heirs wondering about your judgment.

In reality, it’s better to save yourself the time and effort of going to the DMV just to return the plate. The Arizona MVD even suggests not bothering with returning these old plates. So, you’re free to repurpose or keep your old Arizona plate as you see fit.

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

When you have an old Arizona license plate that you no longer need, below is what to do with old Arizona license plates:

1. Recycle Your Old Arizona Plate

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

You might be fond of your old license plate, but if it’s time to let go, consider recycling it. The Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (AZ MVD) recommends recycling old plates rather than just throwing them away. Before you recycle, cut up the plate to prevent anyone from using it illegally.

2. Transfer It to a New Vehicle

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

If you are getting a new car, you might be able to transfer your current license plate to it. This is a good option if you have a standard plate that you don’t particularly care about keeping.

3. Sell Your Arizona Plate

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

If you think your Arizona license plate might have some value, especially if it’s an antique, consider selling it. Websites like eBay, Craigslist, and Etsy are great platforms for this. You might be surprised at how much someone is willing to pay for it.

4. Use as Garage Decor

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

An old AZ license plate can be a great addition to your garage wall. It adds a bit of character and serves as a nostalgic reminder of your past experiences with the vehicle that the plate was once attached to.

5. Keep as a Souvenir

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

Instead of going through the hassle of returning your plate to the AZ MVD, why not keep it as a souvenir? It’s a simple yet meaningful way to remember your vehicle. You could even pass it down to a loved one as a unique heirloom.

6. Sell to an Antique Shop

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

If your old license plate has some historical or aesthetic value, you might be able to sell it to an antique shop. This is a great way to make some extra cash while ensuring your plate finds a new home.

7. Gift It

What to Do with Old Arizona License Plates

Gifting your old Arizona license plate can be a thoughtful gesture, especially for vehicle enthusiasts. It can be a unique gift for special occasions, adding a personal touch that’s hard to find in regular store-bought items.

These options offer a simple and responsible way to handle your old license plates in Arizona, without causing any inconvenience to the AZ MVD or yourself.

When Can You Return Your License Plate in Arizona?

In Arizona, you can hand over your license plate to the authorities when it becomes hard to read or gets damaged. Simply take it off your car and ask for a new one.

Why Doesn’t Arizona Accept Old License Plates for Return?

Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) doesn’t collect old license plates. This is to save you from the hassle of making an extra trip and to keep their offices from getting too crowded.

Canbm You Transfer an Old License Plate to a New Vehicle in Arizona?

In Arizona, you’re allowed to move your current license plate to a new car if you get one. It’s a straightforward process.

What Happens When You Surrender Your Old Plate to the Arizona MVD?

If you decide to return your old license plate to Arizona’s MVD, they’ll accept it and recycle it. While they’re happy to see you, it’s generally more convenient to avoid the lines and handle things from home when possible.


So, what to do with old Arizona license plates is to keep them. You can use it for decor or give it out to out of state visitors for a keepsake.

Read alsoHow to Register a Car with No VIN Number

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