There are many reasons why you may need to replace the license plates on your vehicles. These reasons may range from your buying a new vehicle without transferring the license plates from your old vehicle, your relocating to a new state, to your scrapping your old vehicle in a junkyard. Whatever the case, since license plates contain a reasonable amount of personal information of the licensee, there is always a (security) risk of your old license plate being reused by unauthorized persons if it is not properly disposed of, decimated or recycled. Hence, the question of what happens to old license plates when they are replaced should always be given serious consideration.
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The base material used in manufacturing license plates is aluminum, which is generally recyclable. Unfortunately, many people disregard this fact, and actually don’t know that their old license plates can be put to gainful use. In fact, there are many ways in which your old license plates can be recycled or reused when they no longer serve their primary purpose. Since your old license plates are no longer valid after you replace them, you should have no problem with recycling them immediately because you won’t gain anything by keeping them around for longer than necessary.
When seeking to dispose of your old license plates, it is very important for you to bring yourself up to speed regarding local laws and regulations about securely disposing old license plates. Some of these regulations vary from state to state and should be taken into consideration. One of the best sources of information on how to securely dispose of your old license plate is your local Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV).
Tips on how to Effectively Recycle your License Plates:
- Deface or remove and destroy the month and year tags on the plates. You can take it a step further by bending the plate or cutting it into smaller bits before sending it out to be recycled.
- Deface it to remove the month and year tags, bend and cut into smaller bits and place them in your garbage for onward disposal.
- You may also mail the plates or take them by hand to your local DMV office for proper documentation and disposal.
In addition to the above, there are other ways to recycle your license plates by putting them to creative use. For example, you can cut out the numbers and alphabets in the plates and use them in making signs and key chains. You can also use them to craft some fancy pieces of artwork like wall-hung items such as clocks. You can also make a little extra cash by selling them to antiques shops that specialize in collecting old license plates.
Whatever you do, the importance of securely disposing your old license plates after they have been replaced cannot be overemphasized. The security implications of carelessly discarding them may be far-reaching if they end up in the wrong hands. Always remember that identity theft is real.