So you live in New York and have found yourself with an extra vehicle on your hands. What should you do with it? You have a couple of options. You can transfer the ownership by selling or giving away your vehicle as a gift; or you can transfer the registration to another vehicle that is in your name. Whatever you choose, you will want to look into how much, if any, of a refund is entitled to you!

Selling or Gift-Giving

Step 1 – Proof of Ownership

Provide the new owner with acceptable proof of ownership. Make sure that you complete the odometer and damage disclosure statements on the back of the title certificate or on form MV-103. Complete the proof of ownership document carefully. The DMV does not accept a title certificate or another proof of ownership document that indicates the information or signatures were changed or erased.


Step 2 – Proof of Purchase Price or Gift

Use form DTF-802 (Statement of Transaction for Sales Tax) to show the purchase price of the vehicle or that the vehicle is a gift. The seller or donor completes the affidavit on page two of the form and gives the form to the new owner. The new owner completes the first page of the form and gives the form to the DMV office. The DMV office collects the sales tax from the new owner if the new owner is required to pay any sales tax. If the new owner applies for an exemption from NYS sales tax for a reason different from a gift, use form DTF-803 (Claim for Exemption). You can see the current sales tax rates by jurisdiction at the Department of Taxation and Finance web site.


Step 3 – Lien

If there is a lien listed on the title certificate, give the new owner the original document from the lienholder that proves that the lien is satisfied. Keep a copy of this document. The new owner must give the original proof to the DMV. The DMV removes the lien when the new title certificate is issued.


Step 4 – Vehicle plates and stickers

To avoid penalties, remove your vehicle plates, and your windhield registration sticker and inspection sticker. Do not allow the new owner to use your vehicle plates or stickers.

Surrender your vehicle plates to a NYSDMV office or transfer your vehicle plates to another vehicle. Do not keep your vehicle plates. Your driver license can be suspended if your liability insurance lapses and you do not surrender or transfer the vehicle plates.

How to Transfer or Surrender a Vehicle Registration

When you transfer the ownership of your vehicle or remove your vehicle from the road, you have two options:

  • you can transfer the registration and vehicle plates to another vehicle that you will register in your name, or
  • you can surrender your vehicle plates to the NYSDMV.

Transfer of Registration Items:

Option 1 – Vehicle Registered in your Name

You can transfer your vehicle plates and registration to a vehicle that you register in your name. The new registration is valid until the expiration date of the original registration. Notify the automobile dealer or the DMV office that you plan to transfer the registration. There is a fee of $7.75 to transfer a registration. You must also pay a fee for the title certificate and pay the sales tax. There can also be a pro-rated registration fee if the vehicle you register weighs more than the previous vehicle.


Option 2 – Surrender to the DMV

You can surrender the vehicle plates to the DMV, receive a transfer receipt, and transfer the registration in the future. Bring the receipt and the required documents to a DMV office. Use the instructions to register a vehicle. The registration you transfer will have the same expiration date as the original registration. For example, if the original registration expired on December 31, the registration you transfer to another vehicle will also expire on December 31.

If you plan to transfer a registration in the future, make sure that you surrender the vehicle plates and receive a transfer receipt before you cancel the liability insurance on the previous vehicle. See the information about liability insurance.


Option 3 – Vehicle Registration in your Name But…

You can transfer a registration to another vehicle that is in your name and not renew the current registration. Bring the transfer receipt and the registration for the other vehicle to a DMV office. Tell the DMV office that you will transfer the registration but will not renew the registration.

Remember this important information:

  • The new registration expires on the same date as the original registration.
  • There is a fee of $7.75 to transfer a registration.
  • There can be a pro-rated registration fee if the vehicle that you register weighs more than the previous vehicle.
  • You cannot transfer a registration to a vehicle to be registered in the name of another person.
  • You cannot use the transfer receipt to reduce another registration fee or receive a refund.
  • You cannot request a refund if the second year of the registration has started when you surrender the vehicle plates.

How to Surrender Vehicle Plates and Registration Items

NYS law requires you to surrender your vehicle plates to the NYSDMV before there is a lapse in your liability insurance. If you do not surrender your vehicle plates, the DMV will suspend your registration and driver license. See the information about insurance.

First Steps:

Remove frames and fasteners before you surrender a vehicle plate or vehicle plates. The DMV office will not accept a vehicle plate with a frame or any fasteners attached.

Motorcycles. You are not required to surrender the vehicle plate if there is a lapse in the liability insurance on your motorcycle. A motorcycle must have liability insurance to be operated.

Trailers. Normally a trailer does not need liability insurance. The DMV will not suspend your driver license or registration if you fail to surrender the vehicle plate. The DMV recommends that you surrender any type of vehicle plate when the plate is not used to make sure that the plate is destroyed.

It is your responsibility to surrender your vehicle plates and remove the registration and inspection stickers from your windshield. Destroy the stickers. Do not give your vehicle plates to another person unless that person will surrender the plates for you at a DMV office. Unless you immediately transfer the registration to another vehicle, surrender your vehicle plates to the NYSDMV.

Second Steps: Surrendering plates at a DMV office:

You can surrender your NYS vehicle plates at an office that is listed under “Local DMV Offices” on the NYSDMV offices page. You cannot surrender vehicle plates at the DMV Central Office or the Customer Service Counter. A county motor vehicle office charges a fee of $1 to surrender your vehicle plates at the office. Another person can bring your vehicle plates to the DMV office for you. If another person surrenders your vehicle plates for you, make sure that the person gives you the FS-6T receipt.

Surrendering vehicle plates by mail:

You can send the vehicle plates to the DMV from any location. There is no fee to surrender your vehicle plates by mail to the address below. If you surrender the plates by mail to a county motor vehicle office instead of a state DMV office, you must enclose a $1 processing fee.

When you surrender vehicle plates by mail, the DMV considers the postmark date as the date that you surrendered your vehicle plates. Make sure that you include your current mailing address. The DMV will mail your FS-6T receipt to you. To be notified by the US Postal Service that your vehicle plates were received, send them by registered or certified mail, and request a return receipt. Remove frames and fasteners before you surrender a vehicle plate or vehicle plates. The DMV office will not accept a vehicle plate with a frame or any fasteners attached.

Send your vehicle plates and other information to:

Department of Motor Vehicles

2799 Route 112

Medford, NY 11763

If your vehicle plates are lost or stolen:

If your vehicle plates are lost or stolen, ask a police agency in NYS to complete form MV-78B for you. Or, get a report printed on the letterhead of a police agency in the state where the vehicle plates were lost or stolen. Bring form MV-78B or the police report to the DMV office instead of the vehicle plates.

If you cannot get a police report, write a statement that includes your plate number and explains why you cannot surrender your NYS plates. Your statement must be notarized. Bring or send the notarized statement to the DMV office instead of the vehicle plates.

If only one of your two vehicle plates is lost or stolen, surrender the plate that you have. If you surrender by mail, include a note with the vehicle plate that explains that the other plate is lost or stolen. The DMV will process your transaction and note on the registration record that one plate is lost or stolen.

Temporary surrender of vehicle plates


Temporary surrender of vehicle plates (surrender vehicle plates for a season)

You can surrender your vehicle plates and reinstate the registration later. For example, you can surrender your vehicle plates and cancel liability insurance when you take your vehicle off the road for the Winter.

Remove frames and fasteners before you surrender a vehicle plate or vehicle plates. The DMV office will not accept a vehicle plate with a frame or any fasteners attached.

When you surrender your vehicle plates, request a receipt for transfer. Do not request a registration fee refund receipt.

The DMV does not store standard vehicle plates. If you surrender standard vehicle plates, they will be destroyed. You can apply for reinstatement of the registration at any DMV office that processes registration transactions. The DMV office will issue a new set of vehicle plates and can charge a vehicle plate fee of up to $15.00.

If you surrender personalized plates or custom plates, the DMV office will store your vehicle plates. You must apply for the reinstatement of the registration at the same DMV office where you surrendered your personalized plates or custom plates.

To apply for reinstatement of your registration and receive vehicle plates, bring the following items to the DMV office:

  • completed form MV-82 (Application for Registration or Title),
  • the receipt you received when you surrendered your vehicle plates,
  • an Insurance Identification Card (FS-20) that shows current insurance coverage,
  • your proof of identity and date of birth,
  • a check or cash for any fees.

Remember that the registration expires on the same date as the registration you surrendered. If you reinstate your registration within 60 days before the registration expires, you can renew the registration and pay the renewal fees.

Now that you’ve surrendered your plates, see if you are entitled to some refunds!

Refund Option 1: Registration Fee

If you surrender your vehicle plates during the first year of a 2-year registration, you can request a refund of part of the registration fee. The amount you can receive is 50% (one year) of the 2-year registration fee. You cannot get a refund if the second year of the registration has started. A processing fee of $1 is subtracted from the refund amount. If you surrender your vehicle plates at a county-operated DMV office, you must pay an additional processing fee of $1 to surrender your vehicle plates.

You cannot receive a refund of the vehicle plate fee, the title certificate fee or other fees you paid when you registered the vehicle. The New York DMV can refund only a part of the registration fee as described above.

Here is an example:

  • You paid $115 to register your vehicle for two years. The amount you paid included $50 for the two years of the registration ($25 per year), $50 for the title certificate and $15 for the vehicle plates.
  • You surrender the vehicle plates during the first year of the registration, and you qualify for a refund of $24. This is a refund of the $25 fee for the second year of the registration with the $1 processing fee subtracted. There is no refund of other fees or taxes.

When you surrender your vehicle plates, your FS-6T receipt indicates if you are eligible to receive a refund. If you are eligible for a refund and you do not request a transfer receipt, your refund is processed automatically. You receive your refund by mail in several weeks.

Refund Option 2: Registration Receipt

If you are not eligible for a refund or you request a transfer receipt, the DMV office issues an FS-6T receipt that you can use to transfer the registration to another vehicle.

Follow these procedures to apply for a refund if the registrant has died or the name of the registrant has changed and the second year of the registration has not started:

  • Surrender the vehicle plates at the DMV office and request a transfer receipt, not a refund receipt.
  • Get form MV-215 (Request for Refund). Complete form MV-215. Send the form and the transfer receipt to the address on the form, and include the other documents indicated below.
  • If the registrant has died, the executor of the will signs form MV-215 and writes “deceased” on the form. The executor sends the form, a photocopy of the death certificate, and the transfer receipt to the address on the form. A refund is issued in the name of the estate.
  • If the estate of the registrant is settled, call the DMV Revenue Accounting Unit at 518-474-0902 to request a “Next of Kin” form. Send this form, form MV-215 and the transfer receipt. The refund is issued in the name of the next of kin.
  • If the name of the registrant has changed, send form MV-215, the transfer receipt, and a photocopy of the marriage certificate, the divorce documents or other court papers that prove the name has changed. The refund is issued in your new name.

Refund Option 3: Apply For It

You can apply for a refund of the 2-year registration fees if the registration was never used. A processing fee of $1 is subtracted from the refund amount. For example, if you renewed the registration, but you never used the new registration sticker, you can apply for a refund of the 2-year fee that you paid when you renewed the registration. To apply for the refund:

  • The registration sticker cannot be a sticker that was used. If the sticker was attached to the windshield or the vehicle plate, you cannot remove the sticker and apply for this refund.
  • You have a maximum of 60 days after the date that the registration was issued to apply for the refund.

To apply for the refund when you have the vehicle plates and the sticker, surrender the vehicle plates and sticker at a DMV office. Request a 2-year refund. The DMV office will issue a receipt that displays “two year refund.”

If you surrendered the vehicle plates, you received a refund receipt for the second-year fee earlier, and you have the unused sticker:

  • You have a maximum of 60 days after the date that the registration was issued to apply for the refund.
  • Get form MV-215 (Request for Refund). Complete form MV-215.
  • Send the completed form MV-215, the original registration document, and the sticker that was not used. Send these items to the address listed on form MV-215.

DMV will process a refund of the first-year fee.

Now you can enjoy your refunds and newly made cash.