Return or turn in (surrender) plates to the DMV

When do I need to surrender my plates to the DMV?

New York State law requires you to surrender your vehicle plates to the DMV before you end the vehicle's liability insurance coverage. If you do not turn in your plates, the DMV will suspend your registration and can suspend your driver license.

If you want to register your vehicle in another state, you must surrender your New York State vehicle and plates to the New York DMV.

You can surrender plates by mail or in person at a DMV office.

There are special procedures to surrender plates for a season (temporary surrender of plates)

Do I need to surrender motorcycle plates?

It’s not necessary to surrender motorcycle plates, but your motorcycle must be insured if you operate it. 1

Do I need to surrender trailer plates?

Even though some trailers are not required to have liability insurance, you must surrender the plate if the trailer does not have a valid registration. 2

Do I need to surrender the registration if the plates are lost, destroyed or stolen?

Yes. You need to report plates that are lost, stolen or destroyed and surrender the registration.  In these cases the DMV can issue you a new registration and plates. 


How do I surrender my registration and plates?


  • remove plate frames and fasteners - we will not accept plates with them attached
  • remove the registration and inspection stickers from your windshield and destroy them

Do not give your plates to another person unless that person will surrender the plates for you.

By mail

Complete the Plate Surrender Application (PD-7) for each set of plates you are surrendering.  Send the Plate Surrender Application(s) with your plates to

6 Empire State Plaza
Room B240
Albany, NY 12228

We will use the mail postmark date as the date that you surrendered your plates.  To be notified by the US Postal Service that your vehicle plates were received, send them by registered or certified mail, and request a return receipt. 

In person

Find a DMV office near you.  County motor vehicle offices will charge you a $1 fee to process the surrender. If another person surrenders your plates for you, make sure that the person gives you the FS-6T receipt.

Will I receive a refund when I surrender my plates?

It depends.  See registrations refunds for surrendered plates for more information. 

  • 1. Motorcycles: You do not need to surrender motorcycle plates if there is a lapse in the liability insurance coverage. A motorcycle must have liability insurance to be operated.
  • 2. Trailers: Normally a trailer does not need liability insurance. The DMV will not suspend your driver license or registration if you fail to surrender the plate. The DMV recommends that you surrender any type of vehicle plate when the plate is not used to make sure that the plate is destroyed.