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Plate transfer

How can I transfer a license plate?

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Office visit

Complete your business in an average of 20 minutes.

Schedule an office visit

What do I need to transfer a license plate? (Choose tab)

You will need your:

  • Current vehicle registration for the plate that will be transferred (Your license plate number will be sufficient if the Secretary of State office can verify the information is on the system)
  • Title to the vehicle that will be receiving the plate (a copy of the title application is sufficient if you recently applied for your title)
  • Michigan driver’s license or ID

Titles that have been modified (such as crossing out a name) cannot be accepted.

Schedule an office visit

License plate options

If purchasing a vehicle in a private sale:

  • $15 plate/registration transfer fee
  • $15 title transfer fee

If purchasing a vehicle from an immediate family member:

  • $10 plate transfer fee

If transferring a plate from one vehicle you own to another vehicle you own:

  • Plate transfer fees will vary between $10 and $15 based on the registration fee for the vehicle receiving the plate; additional fees due if replacing or renewing the plate at the time of transfer or if transferring a plate to a vehicle with a higher MSRP

All Secretary of State offices accept cash, checks, money orders, and debit/credit cards for payment. A processing fee is charged for debit/credit card use.

Plate transfer fee calculator      Renewal fee calculator

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

  • License plates registered to vehicles you own are only transferrable if you sell your vehicle to an immediate family member:

    • Spouse
    • Parent (or stepparent or mother/father-in-law)
    • Child (or stepchild or daughter/son-in-law)
    • Sibling (or stepsibling, half-sibling, or sister/brother-in-law)
    • Grandparent
    • Grandchild (or grandchild-in-law)
    • Legal ward
    • Legally appointed guardian
    • No - immediately remove your plate upon selling the vehicle. You can transfer the plate to another vehicle you own or purchase. Do not let a buyer "borrow" your plate, as any violations (including parking tickets) issued to the buyer with your plate on the vehicle will be your responsibility.

    • Under Michigan law, a person who buys a vehicle through a private sale may drive the vehicle home using the most direct route without a license plate. The buyer must do so within three days of purchase and carry the assigned title and proof of insurance during transit.
  • Title transfer and registration fees are set by state law and cannot be amended without legislative action.

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