Can You Keep an Old Car Tag If You Move to Another State?


The U.S. values states' right to sovereignty, with individual laws and regulations governing all aspects of daily living. When moving from one place to another, it is important to become educated on the individual state's laws, including those pertaining to vehicle registration.

State Requirements

  • Each state has different laws determining how long new residents have before they must update their driver's license and register their vehicle. Texas allows 30 days, New Jersey allows 60 and Michigan demands that the information be updated immediately after relocation. See Resources for a chart with links to each state's Department of Licensing website for state-specific information.

Registration Requirements

  • Just as the deadline varies, so do the requirements to obtain a license and to register a vehicle. Some states require new residents to provide proof of insurance and show an in-state license before registering a new vehicle. Others, such as Arizona, require a trip to an emissions testing location.

Canceling Prior Registration

  • Residents leaving a state should also refer to that state's registration laws. You may need to send a letter canceling registration and return your license plates. More than half of the states, including Washington, Nevada, and Florida, require plates to be returned, though fewer require the written cancellation notice.


  • Photo Credit license plates image by timur1970 from
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

Read Article

How to Clean Your Car Headlights

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!