How to Turn in License Plates in Louisiana

Close-Up Of License Plates
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A vehicle owner can cancel their vehicle license plate with the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) by completing an online form. The transaction may take up to 24 hours to update the owner’s information. If the owner provides their email address, which is optional, they will receive a receipt at the conclusion of the cancellation. The cancellation form requests certain information from the owner:

  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
  • Louisiana license plate number.
  • Driver’s license number (DLN).
  • Owner's name (first and last).
  • Zip code of registered owner.

Alternatively, the owner may surrender the plate to their local motor vehicle office or mail the plate to the Office of Motor Vehicles, P.O. Box 64886, Baton Rouge, LA 70896.

When to Cancel License Plates

A vehicle owner or lessee may voluntarily surrender a license plate and vehicle registration to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles within 10 days of the date of the insurance cancellation notice. If they wish to retain the license plate, they may file a written statement of non-use (DPSMV3002) with the office on or before the day that the insurance is canceled.

The effective date of the non-use statement must be on or before the cancellation date. The vehicle must be titled or registered in the name of the individual who is voluntarily surrendering the plate. There is an annual fee to renew a license plate in the state of Louisiana.

If the owner of a vehicle surrenders the license plates more than 10 days from the insurance cancellation notice, this waives any fees that come due. There is no fee simply to surrender the plates. The fees are not waived for being late with the cancelation, but because the vehicle is no longer owned by the prior party.

After Selling a Vehicle

After a vehicle owner completes the Notice of Transfer of Vehicle form, the seller should destroy their regular automobile license plate. A seller may keep special prestige or personalized plates. A truck or trailer plate can stay with the vehicle and be transferred to the new owner. There is no refund on a license plate that has remaining years of validity.

The Notice of Transfer of Vehicle form requires the seller to provide the VIN, license number, year, make, model and body style of the car. It also requests the driver's license number, name and address of the seller. The form further asks whether the seller or prior owner has sold, donated or traded the vehicle. Additionally, the form requires the date of the sale, donation or trade, and the sale price, if applicable.

The seller or prior owner must sign the transfer form. If the seller does not remove their license plates before giving the car to the buyer, they may be liable for violations of the buyer. The seller should also cancel their insurance as soon as possible after the sale.

Specialty License Plates

There are numerous codes for specialty license plates in Louisiana, including:

  • AF: Air Force Veteran.
  • AG: Agriculture.
  • BU: Quail Unlimited for quail hunters.
  • DU: Ducks Unlimited for duck hunters.
  • ED: Educator.
  • H: Handicap.
  • LM: Largemouth bass.
  • WD: White tail deer for deer hunters.

Refunds for License Plates

A party requesting a refund must complete a Request for Refund form and provide a photocopy of the computer registration showing the fees originally collected and a photocopy of the last transaction. Further, they must provide a photocopy of the front and back of their check.

In addition, they must provide a notarized affidavit from the registered owner authorizing the refund to be issued to a party other than themselves, if applicable. A handling fee or parish fee, which are fees levied by local governing authorities, will not be refunded. Credit or debit card or E-Check convenience fees cannot be refunded. The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles will not issue a refund for less than $6.00.

The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles will not issue a refund if a plate has been used. A refund is issued on a conversion from one plate type to another only when the system will not allow credit on the plate that was turned in.

Refunds for Plates Issued in Error

The Louisiana OMV will issue a refund if a plate was issued in error and was returned unused or if it issued the wrong type of plate. If the license plate is retained by an OMV office, a copy of the plate must be submitted with the refund request. When a vehicle lessee is requesting a refund, they must submit a copy of the canceled check, front and back, for payment.