Just Junked a Car in PA . . . Now what to do with the plate?

Depends on the state- in NY, insurance companies notify DMV if your coverage ends. If you don’t surrender your plates before your insurance coverage lapses, you will be charged a penalty of of $8-$12 dollars per day for the period of time between when the insurance lapsed and the plates were surrendered. You can only hang old ones in your garage in the rare circumstances when DMV instructs you to destroy the plates yourself - for example, the design changes, or more recently, if the plates are replaced to delamination.

I live in PA and I took my old plate to my local State Rep’s office and he took care of it. I didn’t even have to promise to vote for him.

Did he hang them up on his garage wall?

Of course, license plates as a decorative motif was probably more prevalent in the days when a lot of states issued new plates every year, and changed the colors. It didn’t take you long to build up a big stack of expired plates in various colors. After most of the states went to simply issuing a new sticker to be placed on your existing plate, you didn’t collect them so quickly.

I thought in Vermont you had to build a birdhouse, then bend the license plate in half and use that for the roof. It’s a craft fair staple!

OP here. To those curious as to why I got a new plate, it’s because I wasn’t sure of the full extent of the damage on the Civic and my preferred shop was pretty busy for just about a month after I dropped the car off. My backup vehicle was having some overheating problems as well so I didn’t wanna take any chances with another breakdown or have to miss any work, so I went ahead and got another vehicle with a new plate. The reason for the new plate was because I was hopeful that maybe, just maybe it might be possible to keep the Civic and just have three cars, but sadly, once my worst fears were confirmed that the engine was shot, I had to give up that dream.

The replacement vehicle is running pretty well so far. It’s nothing fancy. 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee with lower miles that I picked up off a local seller who seemed to mostly keep it parked in the garage and decided to sell it in order to make a little room for other stuff since the Jeep wasn’t being used very often. The body is in really nice condition with no rust at all (some minor rust on the underbody) and I will say that I am definitely not going to worry as much about driving in winter weather with the Jeep’s 4 wheel drive.

I can’t count how many times I have gotten stuck in the Civic . . . that car was really great on gas, but there were many times I would get stuck in the parking lot outside work because the snow was too high and the car was too low, or because of the godawful potholes in the alley out back. The car would hit one since I couldn’t see it in the snow, and then bang . . . stuck. Then of course I would have to bust out my snow shovel and clear things out and find a way to get one of my wheels free so I could continue the long journey back to my driveway. I remember one winter I couldn’t even get that car home because my alley was so awful . . . had to leave it in the parking lot of the nearby Dunkin Donuts, where of course it got plowed in and I had to start shoveling it out . . . again.

I don’t think I’ll be needing to shovel my way out of too many rough patches with the Jeep . . .

As for the plate, it sounds like I might be able to just keep it on the wall as a decoration. I was kinda thinking about doing that, but I still may send it back to Harrisburg to be safe. Will have to mull it over a bit. I certainly have no use for it now.

Some states had a metal “sticker” with tabs to go into slots on the plate for renewal. And we collected those as kids. New color each year.

Our state until fairly recently issued new plates (or “tags” as they call them) every few years. Which was a nightmare for folk who got a new plate that was the same as some scofflaw’s old plate and suddenly was on the hook for a bunch of stuff (esp. out of state where they didn’t know/care that this was a re-issue).

The purpose of the re-issue (which included color changes) was to make it easier to detect folk who had not renewed in a while. (People used fake/stolen stickers a lot.) So the idea of someone driving around here with 20 year old plates, never mind 50, is absurd.

Huh. I would just destroy the plate here in Colorado.

I did once sell a Jeep, and left the plate with the car. Stupid, stupid, stupid. They guy I sold it to got in a hit and run, (more like a scratch and run) and I got a not so friendly call from the police at 10 at night. They quickly understood, and did not bug me any more about it. That seemed… odd.

I tracked the vehicle down on my own, and while it was parked, took the plate and scadattled. It was a decidedly weird couple of days.

You should see if you can get a “proof of surrender” from the DMV. With the increase in “toll by mail” type systems all over the country, they just ask the state who the last known holder of the plate was (never mind if you haven’t used the plate in years) and send the bill to that person. And of course there is the occasional mis-keyed parking ticket. Having the proof of surrender makes it easy - just send back a copy of that and you’re done, rather than trying to dig through various old paperwork to see if you can show when you got rid of the vehicle.