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A lost, damaged, or stolen vehicle registration should be replaced as soon as possible. You will need to file immediately with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which is responsible for the record keeping of all vehicles in the state.
There are consequences for driving without a valid registration. You might face a traffic citation, fine, or the impounding of your vehicle should you drive without a registration sticker, current registration card, or license plates.
Fortunately, replacing the registration is fairly simple. All you need to do is visit your local DMV office in-person and show proof of vehicle ownership and personal identity.
Replace a Vehicle Registration Card or Sticker
If your registration card has been lost, damaged, or stolen, you’ll need to visit the local DMV office. You should bring the following documentation with you:
- Proof of car insurance
- Your valid driver’s license
- The vehicle identification number of your vehicle
- The year, make, and model of your vehicle
- Your license plate number
- Payment for any replacement fees
- Your explanation for the vehicle registration replacement request
If you still have your registration card, but it’s been damaged or mutilated, you might need to surrender it to the DMV before you can receive your replacement. If the registration card was stolen, you should contact law enforcement so you can protect yourself against identity theft.
If your registration card is undamaged but has incorrect information, you’ll need to bring the same documentation to the DMV to replace it. You should also bring the current card with you to surrender it.
Replace License Plates
You’ll need to replace any license plates that have been lost or damaged beyond readability.
If you’ve only lost one license plate, visit the local DMV office in-person with your other license plate. You should also bring your vehicle registration and driver’s license to prove that you’re the rightful owner of the plates. The DMV will then cancel the original plates and issue new ones. The fee for a replacement license plate varies depending on your county; you can call your local DMV office to inquire about your county’s specific fees.
Most license plates are lost because of loose screws. In some cases, though, license plate theft is obvious. If you’re certain that your plates have been stolen, you should complete a Lost or Stolen License Plate/Permit Affidavit form. The completed form should be brought to the local DMV office with your license and registration. You should also contact local law enforcement and file a police report.
All relevant legal documentation is available to download and print on your state DMV website. If you can’t print the forms, you can request them in-person at your local DMV office.