Buying and Selling Your Vehicle - FAQ

What should I do when I buy a vehicle from a licensed dealer?

If you choose to transfer a plate to your new purchase, you must provide the dealer with the plate number. You may be eligible to apply a credit or to request a refund. The dealer will assist you with this process and provide you with a form indicating your selection. The dealer will issue a Temporary Registration Plate (TRP). You may operate the new vehicle using the TRP until the new registration arrives in the mail. Then, you will remove the TRP and attach the plate that you transferred from the previous vehicle, along with the new tabs that you received in the mail.

What should I do when I buy a vehicle from a private sale?

You have 15 days to apply for a new certificate of title. Upon sale or transfer of a vehicle, the registration for that vehicle is not valid. Therefore, any used vehicle that you purchase has an expired registration. You may not operate the vehicle until it is registered or until you purchase a Restricted Use 3-Day Permit, available at EZ Permit, or at any MVD or authorized third-party office.

When I bought my vehicle it still had a plate. Can I drive it?

No. The registration on the vehicle has expired. The previous owner should have removed the plate. Surrender the license plate to an MVD or authorized third-party office, or submit an affidavit of plate destruction (Plate Notice form).

Is my permanently registered trailer eligible for a credit or a refund?

At the time the trailer receives a permanent registration, there are 24 months of potential credit. Each month that passes, the number of creditable months is reduced by one, so that the potential credit will be reduced to zero after two years. You may be eligible to receive a credit or request a refund for fees paid within the last two years.

Where do I purchase a permit for a newly acquired vehicle?

If you bought the vehicle from a licensed dealer, the dealer will give you a Temporary Registration Plate that allows you to operate the vehicle for any purpose. If you purchased the vehicle from a private sale, you may obtain a Restricted Use 3-Day Permit, which is valid only for the purposes of vehicle inspection, emission testing, repairs needed to comply with inspection or emission rules, or to otherwise complete the registration process. The permit is available at EZ Permit or at any MVD or authorized third-party office. To operate the vehicle for any other purpose, you must first complete the registration process.

If I sell my vehicle and the plate is lost, am I still entitled to a credit or a refund?

Yes. If your plate has been lost, stolen or damaged, you are still eligible to apply your credit or request a refund. The lost plate may be replaced for $5 when you transfer the credit to another vehicle.

Can I give my credit to another person?

No. However, there are exceptions that allow the transfer of credit to another owner listed on the title of the vehicle that you sold, and from a lessor to a lessee, or in some cases of a trustee, company name, sole proprietor, court order or non-probate estate.