There’s always a question about what to do with your old license plates when you move.

And that’s because states have different laws — while most states require you to surrender your plates before you leave, not everyone does.

Most people who live here have noticed that we have an influx of people moving from New York to New Jersey, especially during the pandemic.

And many don’t realize that New York is one of those states that requires you to surrender your plates.

New Jersey the garden State, view of license plates in a flower garden
Kathleen Gail GettyImages

So a lot of people think you can just move here, trash those old plates and start over again, registering your car in New Jersey.

And New York is getting strict about it, according to an article on

With an unprecedented amount of drivers leaving New York and moving to New Jersey, NY has apparently, according to the article, made an agreement with NJ to crack down on plate scofflaws and suspend driver’s licenses of those who don’t give plates back.

The article also states that a source, referred to as an "expediter of the New York DMV," is warning people that they could be in trouble with the NJ MVC if they don’t return the plates before they move.

Photo credit: Holland with Boston.
Photo credit: Holland with Boston.

According to the article, the source said,

“In the last week alone, I have had nine clients who have had their New Jersey driver’s license suspended for failure to return their New York license plates to the NYS DMV.”

The New York DMV website states clearly that plates must be surrendered before you move to another state and register your vehicle there — but for some reason many who move don’t realize and just toss the plates thinking that no one cares.

With all of the people who have moved from New York to New Jersey, this little-known rule may affect many people who don’t even realize it exists.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.

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