How to Return License Plates to the New Jersey DMV

By Nancy Chen - Updated June 05, 2017
License plate word on vintage car plates

Drivers who are not using their license plates are required by New Jersey state law to surrender them. License plates must be returned to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) when a car is sold but plates aren't transferred, when a car is donated to charity, when moving out of state and when the car is not driven for a significant amount of time. Damaged license plates also must be surrendered to the MVC, and new ones must then be obtained.

Locate an MVC office or a Regional Service Center at state.nj.us/mvc/index.htm. Click on a county, and select an office location within the county that is chosen. The State of New Jersey MVC website provides addresses, services offered and hours of operation of any given location.

Bring the plates to the MVC or mail them to: Motor Vehicle Commission P.O. Box 129 Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0129

Retain the receipt from surrendering the plates for record-keeping purposes or in case a ticket is linked to the inactive plates after they have been canceled. The receipt serves as evidence that the plates have been surrendered.

Tip

Use a mail service that provides tracking information in case the license plates get lost in transit.

Warning

The New Jersey MVC only accepts surrendered New Jersey license plates. Return out-of-state license plates to the state where the car was registered.

About the Author

Nancy Chen is a professional writer and owner of a pet care business. She is also certified to teach English to middle and secondary school students. Chen holds a bachelor's degree in English and comparative religions from Tufts University, as well as a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard University.

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