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What to Do with Your License Plates

Sold, traded or no longer operate your vehicle? Moved out of Virginia?

If so, Virginia Code section 46.2-707 requires you to immediately surrender your license plates and/or vehicle registration to the nearest DMV customer service center.

How to Permanently Surrender Plates

  • Drop off your plates at a customer service center. No appointment is necessary. You may be eligible for a refund on the cost of registration fees for this vehicle.
  • Use DMV's Online Plate Surrender to report the surrender of your plates. You will not be eligible for a refund on the cost of registration fees for this vehicle.

If your registration expires in six months or later AND you have surrendered your plates at DMV, you may qualify for a partial refund.* Complete an Application for Vehicle Registration (FMS-210) and return it to DMV. Refunds generally take 30 days to process.

Partial refunds do not include all fees paid at the time of registration. Fees not refunded are Highway Use fees, one-time plate reservation fees, Virginia Road Tax for heavy trucks and any late fees.

*Does not apply if you used Online Plate Surrender.

How to Deactivate Plates

If you have cancelled your vehicle liability insurance coverage but wish to keep your license plates, you may temporarily deactivate your license plates and registration.

Not complying with this law may result in severe penalties. If you cancel your insurance and do not notify DMV, your driving and vehicle registration privileges could be suspended.

How to Transfer Plates

Complete a License Plate Application (VSA-10) and visit a customer service center to complete the transfer transaction.

What to Do with Old Plates

Once you receive your new (replacement) plates, you may destroy the old plates.