What to do with old Virginia license plates


Have you sold or traded your vehicle in Virginia? No longer operate your vehicle? Or perhaps, you’ve moved out of Virginia! 

If so, here’s something you need to know: Virginia law requires you to immediately surrender your license plates and/or vehicle registration to DMV.

VA License Plate

How To Permanently Surrender Your VA Plates

You have three options:

  • Use DMV’s Online Plate Surrender to report the surrender of your plates. You will not be eligible for a refund on the cost of registration fees for this vehicle.
  • Drop off your plates at a customer service center. No appointment is necessary. You may be eligible for a refund on the cost of registration fees for this vehicle.
  • Complete a Vehicle Registration Refund Application (FMS 210) and mail it along with your plates to:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles 
2300 West Broad St 
Richmond, VA 23269

If your registration expires in six months or later and you surrender your plates to DMV, you may qualify for a partial refund.* Complete a Vehicle Registration Refund Application (FMS 210) and return it along with the license plates to DMV. Refunds generally take 30 days to process.

Partial refunds do not include all fees paid at the time of registration. Fees not refunded are Highway Use fees, one-time plate reservation fees, Virginia Road Tax for heavy trucks and any late fees.

*Refund does not apply if you used Online Plate Surrender.

Online Plate Surrender

How To Deactivate Plates

You may temporarily deactivate your license plates and registration if you have a need to cancel your liability insurance coverage, but wish to keep your license plates. Do not cancel your insurance until you have completed this process.

If you cancel your insurance while your license plates and registration are active, your driving and vehicle registration privileges could be suspended.

Deactivate Plates & Registration

How To Transfer Plates

Complete a License Plate Application (VSA 10) and visit a customer service center to complete the transfer transaction.

What To Do With Old Plates

Once you receive your new (replacement) plates, you may destroy the old plates.

Holley Insurance team

A little more about Holley Insurance…

Holley Insurance was founded in 2000, and retains a core base of loyal clients. We have locations in Roanoke, Rocky Mount, and Forest, VA. As an independent insurance agency, Holley Insurance represents a carefully selected group of financially strong, reputable insurance companies. Therefore, we are able to offer you the best coverage at the most competitive price. If you’re interested in starting a quote online or having us take a look at your current policies, click here!

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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at Holley Insurance is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!