Must I return license plates and cancel registration when I move out of state?

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Each state maintains different requirements regarding license plates. Some mandate that you must return license plates along with a registration cancellation notice. Others require no notification from the registered owner. See the grid below for state-by-state information. 

If you live in a state that does not require surrendering your plates, you're free to keep them as souvenirs. If you don't plan on keeping them, be sure to protect yourself against possible identity theft or criminal involvement by disposing of properly.  

Return Plates Cancel Registration
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
x
Arkansas
California
x
Colorado
Connecticut
x
x
Delaware
x
x
Florida
x
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana Required to return plates only if applying for excise tax refund.
Iowa Required to return plates only if applying for a refund.
Kansas Required to return plates only if applying for property tax refund.
Kentucky
x
Louisiana
x
Maine
x
Maryland
x
Massachusetts
x
x
Michigan
x
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
x
x
Nevada
x
x
New Hampshire Required to return plates only if applying for registration refund.
New Jersey
x
New Mexico
x
New York
x
North Carolina
x
North Dakota
Ohio
x
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
x
Rhode Island
x
South Carolina
x
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
x
Virginia Required to return plates only if applying for a registration refund.
Washington
x
Only specialty plates must be returned.
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
x
Washington DC
x
x

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