How to Report a Lost License Plate in New York State

By Sarah Jackson

Whether license plates are lost or stolen, the state of New York requires that reports are filed through the proper channels. While the process is relatively simple, knowing the correct forms and order of proceeding can save a lot of unnecessary stress and time. Here are the basic steps for reporting a license plate lost in New York State.

Police Report

Go to your local police station and fill out an MV-78B, also known as a "Report of Lost, Stolen or Confiscated Motor Vehicle Items." This is necessary if your plates were lost or stolen and the registration on the vehicle is not expired. Be sure to get a copy of this report to show the Department of Motor Vehicles.

If an MV-78B is unattainable, another acceptable option is an official report on police agency letterhead from the state where the plates were lost or stolen. If a police report cannot be obtained, write a letter explaining what happened to the plates and get it notarized.

Go to your local DMV office and take your police report or notarized letter along. At the DMV, you will fill out a Certification of Lost License, Permit or Plates. This form will include your license plate number and an explanation of the loss. Once the form is completed and turned in, the lost license plates will no longer be valid.

Turn in any plates that were not lost or stolen (this applies to cars with more than one plate). Note that any plates found at a future date should be returned to the DMV.

About the Author

Sarah Jackson has been writing freelance for almost four years, the majority of her work being featured on Adventure Journey, an online travel publication. She is currently in her final year of her M.S.W. degree at Temple University, with a B.S. degree from BYU.

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