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What Do I Do With Old License Plates In California?

May 23, 2021

Are you trying to get rid of an old car in California? You may only be getting new plates and wondering what you can do with the old ones. Don't fret! California drivers don't have to do much when disposing of old license plates.

1.) Mail Or Drop Off Your Old California License Plates At Your Local DMV

  • For the most part, it is not required to return your license plates in the state of California. If you'd like to return your license plates, go to the DMV in person.
  • Mailing is also an option, just make sure to send it to the proper DMV licensing office.
  • If you just registered your car, see if you can just leave the old plates with the DMV clerk.

2.) Sell Your Plates Online On A Marketplace

  • Your California license plate might be a collectors edition. All kinds of vintage, custom and other different plates can be highly valued.
  • Internet marketplace hubs like eBay, craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace are great places to find the value of your plates and sell them with ease.
  • Walk into a consignment shop or a second hand stop for a physical interaction for a sale.

3.) Recycle Your California Plates

4.) Other Options? Try Upcycling Your West Coast Plates

  • Upcycling is an easy way to reuse your own materials to make a practical and artistic item. Pinterest has hundreds of projects that you can make from your old California license plates.
  • Birdhouses, sculptures, wall decorations, and even book bindings are great places to start your license plate art projects.
  • Be careful not to cut yourself on the sharp metal pieces.

How Do I Donate My Old Car In California?

Donating your car in California? Wheels For Wishes is a car donation charity that benefits Make-A-Wish kids from San Diego to San Francisco to Los Angeles!

Here's how you can donate a car in California:

  1. First, visit our car donation form or give us a call at 1-855-278-9474 to start your easy car donation.
  2. You'll receive a call to schedule your free towing pick up.
  3. Your tax deductible receipt will arrive in a few weeks.

We can help you through almost any California title problem you might have, even if you need to get a new title.

Choose A Different State

Here's how you can get rid of license plates in a different state:

Alabama : Alaska : Arizona : Arkansas : California : Colorado : Connecticut : Delaware : District of Columbia : Florida : Georgia : Hawaii : Idaho : Illinois : Indiana : Iowa : Kansas : Kentucky : Louisiana : Maine : Maryland : Massachusetts : Michigan : Minnesota : Mississippi : Missouri : Montana : Nebraska : Nevada : New Hampshire : New Jersey : New Mexico : New York : North Carolina : North Dakota : Ohio : Oklahoma : Oregon : Pennsylvania : Rhode Island : South Carolina : South Dakota : Tennessee : Texas : Utah : Vermont : Virginia : Washington : West Virginia : Wisconsin : Wyoming : Washington D.C.


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CDF also runs the following programs:
Wheels for Wishes benefiting Make-A-Wish®, Wheels for Wishes & Wellness benefiting local children's hospitals and charities, Vehicles for Veterans benefiting disabled veterans, and Animal Car Donation benefiting animal rescue organizations.

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CDF's mission is to help these benefitting charities fulfill their missions with proceeds from CDF's car donation programs. CDF and all benefitting charities are separate and unaffiliated 501c organizations.
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A federally registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization