Am I a criminal for not sending my license plates back to my previous state?
March 24, 2008 12:53 PM   Subscribe

license plate filter: I moved from PA (back to) to Tx several months ago. I switched my car insurance back to Tx. My plates back to Tx. My title back to Tx. My driver's license back to Tx. Everything is Tx. When I got my license plate switched from PA to TX the person at the office said they didn't need the PA plates. Now I'm getting nasty letters from PA saying I have to have PA insurance or I must send the plates and window stickers back. The plates are packed away in boxes. The window stickers were thrown away when I got my Tx inspection. My question is, since they have to know I no longer have the car in PA with the Tx title and insurance, what happens if I don't send the PA plates back? I've tried to call them twice but each time after being on hold more than 15 minutes I hung up. I can unpack boxes and get the plates to mail back but if I don't have to I'd rather save my money that I'd spend on sending them back. Plus there is the issue that the window stickers were thrown away. Anyone been in this situation?
posted by GlowWyrm to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
After moving from Mass. I was in a similar situation and had to fill out a form from them amounting to an affidavit of having lost the plates. There wasn't a penalty or fee. It helped, maybe, that I clearly remembered throwing them out after thinking that was the right thing to do and then finding out otherwise.
posted by jwells at 12:59 PM on March 24, 2008

Could you show proof of your TX registration? If you have TX plates, insurance, etc. that ought to be convincing evidence that the car is not just roaming about PA.
posted by reeddavid at 1:08 PM on March 24, 2008

Weird, I just did a similar thing, moved from PA to another state, and I'm not getting any crazy letters and whatnot. Wonder how they got your info?
posted by zhivota at 1:15 PM on March 24, 2008

zhivota, looks like the insurance company started it all. When we didn't renew with the insurance company (since we had switched to a Tx company) they started sending us letters about how they were going to turn us in for not having PA insurance. I figured eh who cares because we're in Tx and have the car insured/registered/titled in Tx. I have since contacted the insurance company to show that we are in Tx and have Tx insurance. Apparently too little too late though since now I'm getting letters from the PA dmv.
posted by GlowWyrm at 1:26 PM on March 24, 2008

The PA DMV wants the plates back because plates that have no registration attached to them are useful for committing crimes. They don't care that you don't live in PA anymore; they want the metal back so they can be assured that it isn't attached to a car that is currently being used to commit bank robberies. That's why if you've lost them, they make you swear, in a very legally-binding way, that you lost them, not that you have them in a box and you can't bear to spend an hour of your time and $5 to mail them back.

If you really can't be bothered, then yes you should fill out a lost plate affidavit and be done with it.
posted by autojack at 2:26 PM on March 24, 2008

After moving from Mass. I was in a similar situation and had to fill out a form from them amounting to an affidavit of having lost the plates.

I was just coming in here to say this exact thing. Have you checked your state DMV's website? I think I just downloaded the form when I needed it.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:35 PM on March 24, 2008

I'd rather just send them back than lie and say I lost them. I ended up sending them an email (since it's apparently impossible to get a live person on the phone without a half hour hold time) telling them that I'm looking for them. Hopefully this will keep them off my back until I'm able to find the plates.
posted by GlowWyrm at 5:37 PM on March 24, 2008

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