What To Do With Old License Plates Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, like in many other states, residents often wonder what to do with old license plates once they’re no longer in use. Whether you’ve upgraded your vehicle, moved out of state, or your plates have become damaged or outdated, there are several options available for disposing of old license plates responsibly. 

This article will guide you through the various methods of handling old license plates in Massachusetts, ensuring compliance with state regulations while also exploring potential creative uses for these iconic pieces of metal.

Turning in Old License Plates

  • Massachusetts law requires residents to return old license plates to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) once they are no longer in use or if you’re moving out of state.
  • Failure to return old plates may result in fines or penalties, so it’s essential to adhere to state regulations.

How to Return Old License Plates

How to Return Old License Plates

Mail-In Option

  • Complete a form available on the RMV website to report the loss or disposal of your license plates.
  • Mail the completed form along with the old license plates to the address specified by the RMV.

In-Person Drop-Off

  • Visit a local RMV office or AAA branch that provides RMV services.
  • Drop off your old license plates at the designated location.

Important Note: Always remember to remove plates from vehicles before disposal to prevent misuse or identity theft.

Creative Uses for Old License Plates

While returning old license plates to the RMV is the most common method of disposal, some individuals prefer to repurpose or creatively reuse their old plates. Here are some creative ideas:

Art and Decor

  • Transform old license plates into unique pieces of art or decor for your home or office.
  • Create custom signs, photo frames, or even furniture using old plates.

Craft Projects

Craft Projects
1. Jewelry
2. Garden Ornaments
3. Custom Signs

Consider exploring various DIY projects to give your old license plates new life.

Collector’s Items

  • Some collectors value vintage license plates as historical or nostalgic items, but have you ever wondered, ‘Is stealing a license plate a felony?
  • Consider selling or trading your old plates to collectors who appreciate their unique designs or historical significance.

Recycling and Disposal Options

Recycling and Disposal Options

When repurposing old license plates isn’t feasible, recycling or disposing of them responsibly is crucial to minimize environmental impact. Here are some options to consider:

Metal Recycling Centers

Metal Recycling Center
1. Accepts old license plates for recycling
2. Contact local facilities for more information
3. Ensure proper disposal and minimize environmental impact

Ensure proper disposal and minimize environmental impact by recycling old license plates at metal recycling centers.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Events

  • Some communities host household hazardous waste collection events where residents can drop off various items, including old license plates.
  • Check with your local government or waste management authority for information on upcoming events in your area.


Can I recycle old license plates in Massachusetts?

Yes, many metal recycling centers accept old license plates for recycling, helping to minimize environmental impact.

What if my old license plates are damaged or unreadable?

Even if damaged or unreadable, old license plates should still be returned to the RMV or recycled to comply with state regulations.

Can I keep my old license plates as souvenirs?

While it’s sentimental to keep old license plates, Massachusetts law requires residents to return them to the RMV once they’re no longer in use.


In Massachusetts, disposing of old license plates is a straightforward process, primarily involving returning them to the RMV or exploring creative reuse options. 

By adhering to state regulations and considering alternative disposal methods such as recycling, residents can ensure that their old license plates are handled responsibly. 

Whether you choose to repurpose them into art or simply recycle them as scrap metal, giving your old license plates a new purpose is both environmentally friendly and creatively rewarding.

Leave a Comment