So, you moved to a new state and just updated your registration and received new tags in your new state. Now, do you have to turn in your FL tags? Well, in this post, I will share with you what to do with old license plates Florida. However, if your plates are still active without insurance, that’s a different situation. You will get to learn about all that here, as well as what will happen if you don’t turn in your FL license plates while they are still active, and without insurance.
Does Florida Require You to Return Your License Plates?
In Florida, the state owns your license plates. Therefore, you are required to return them if you have a valid sticker but no insurance.
However, if your vehicle is registered in a different state, this usually leads to the cancellation of your Florida registration. To verify this, visit flhsmv.gov and select “Go Renew”. Although you’re not actually renewing, you can enter your details to check the status of your plate number.
It should display as “Inactive”. If, for some reason, the registration is still active but uninsured, Florida will put a “stop” on your driver’s license. This restriction means you won’t be able to register or renew any vehicle plates in Florida using your driver’s license number.
What to Do with Old License Plates Florida
The scenarios here include an old license plate that is no longer active and has no insurance, and license plates that are active but no insurance. That said, here are the things to do with old license plates in Florida.
Return Your FL License Plates!
As mentioned earlier, the state owns your license plates, and you need to return them if you have a valid sticker but no insurance. Here are the ways you can turn in your FL license plates:
- Go to a motor vehicle service center and hand them in.
- Send them by mail to a motor vehicle service center. Don’t forget to include a note asking them to cancel and recycle the plate.
- If your plate is lost, destroyed, or stolen, fill out an affidavit form and mail it to a motor vehicle service center.
Reasons You Need to Turn In Your Florida License Plates
To Avoid Penalties
If your car insurance ends but the license plate is still registered to your vehicle, you might face legal consequences. Not giving back a valid license plate when your insurance expires can lead to your driver’s license being suspended.
Receipt for Future Use
When you return your plate to a tax collector’s office, they give you a receipt. This receipt is useful because if you paid the initial registration fee for the vehicle linked to that plate, you can use the receipt to get a credit. This credit can help you avoid paying the registration fee again when you buy a new vehicle.
Prevent Fraud and Misuse
If you don’t return your plate, it could end up in the wrong hands. Scammers might attach your plate to their vehicle and use it for illegal activities like passing through tolls without paying, running red lights, or even committing crimes.
If this happens, the vehicle will be traced back to you because your name and address are on the license plate’s records. Returning your plate helps protect you from these risks.
Do You Get Money Back When You Turn In a License Plate in Florida?
If you sell or get rid of your car within 3 months of registering it, you might get your registration fee back. However, you need to give back the license plate of the car you no longer own, according to the FLHSMV Division of Motorist Services.
Can I Reuse My Florida License Plate?
If you’ve ever had a car registered in Florida, you can hang onto your plate tag. It could save you a good chunk of money, like a few hundred dollars, if you move back to the state. Even if you don’t have the plate anymore, you might still be able to use a $225 credit linked to it. This works through a “transfer/replace” process. Basically, you get a new plate but can apply the credit from your old one.
Let’s say you’re in Florida and need to register a new car. That can cost over $300, which is quite a bit. If you’ve had a Florida plate in the past, even decades ago, it could help reduce this cost. I’ve seen people who thought their old Florida plate was long gone, but it turned out they could still use it to save money. When you find your old plate number and transfer it, you could save $225. However, not all DMV employees might be willing to dig this deep to help you out.
You can check this yourself too. Visit flhsmv.gov, click on GoRenew, and put in your information. You’ll see a list of plates linked to your driver’s license. There’s a column titled “credit” – if it says yes next to a plate number, you can transfer/replace that plate and use the credit. If it says no, it means you never paid the $225 impact fee for that plate. In that case, you’d need to pay the fee when transferring or replacing it. This fee usually doesn’t apply to motorcycles or trucks over 5,000 lbs.
Read also: Can I Get My License Sent to a PO Box?