My son bought a car through a dealership last August. He traded his old car for junk. Last week he was told by NJ DMV that his old car was no longer insured and his registration and license was suspended because of this. He had to pay 200 dollars and may wait up to 2 weeks for his license to be restored. Wasn’t it the dealers responsibility to report the old car to DMV as purchased since the titled was signed over?
NJ is maybe different than Minnesota but I think it was the junk yard’s responsibility to report the change to DMV. I have only junked one car out in the last 40 years, but I think it was a couple months and I got a notice in the mail for plates. I called the junk yard and they insured me that the DMV was running way behind in updating their records and that I should just be patient. It seems to have taken care of itself but I still don’t know who for sure was telling the truth. DMV though was really having a problem with a software change though so I tended to believe the junk yard.
Several times though in the past I have had to do a “forced transfer” to transfer title. Once I even got a summons for unpaid parking tickets on a car I had sold 6 months before. So I guess both happen but I think it is a little “totalitarian” for NJ to suspend a license for this when maybe it was their fault.
Here’s what the New Jersey MVC says:
Your son was responsible for returning the old plates and providing the old title to whomever bought the car.
After reading that, I’m happy I live in Minnesota. Just bought tags though for $300 but in South Dakota they would have been $40. Still in Colorado they would have been $700.
Do you keep the old NJ tag’s and transfer them to the new car along with the insurance if so NJ was wrong.
That is pretty severe, wondering if the same thing would happen if you just put a car out to pasture.
I guess I’m a little paranoid having a car sitting there with no liability insurance on it and still in my name. I’d rather get $50 and have the title transferred. Now if my wife was a lawyer like some here . . .
In NY the plates never go with the car, if you take a car off the road you have to surrender the plates and you get a form to give to your insurance company to cancel the insurance. If you trade in a car at a new car dealership or a large used car dealership they are set up to do all this for you and they either have new plates at the dealership or have to send someone to the DMV.
When my son moved to Wisconsin, he got Wisconsin Plates and threw out The NY plates. # years later he got a letter wanting the old plates and threatening fines. He sent them a letter saying he had thrown the old plates out and enclosed a copy of his Wisconsin license and registration, He never heard anything more.
Wisconsin I guess does something like that. I bought a car from a private party in Wisconsin and he wanted me to send the plates back to him again when I got my Minnesota plates. He said he could use them on another car. Never heard of such a thing before.
WI can transfer plates, car before last wife wanted new plates for the new car, last car forget new plates, transfer the old ones, I think there is a charge for new plates vs transfer, maybe 15$ but not sure.
Whenever I “retire” a set of license plates, I personally take them to a NJ Motor Vehicle Commission office, and I get a receipt for them, specifying the license plate number and the date of surrender.
I must have every license plate I ever owned since 1970, MN FL IL ND etc. I have never been asked or told to return one.
Nor have I, but when having to choose between retaining those old plates and turning them into “the authorities” in exchange for a totally-documented receipt, I have erred on the side of caution by turning them in, and having documentation that I did so.
The problem we signed title to dealer and he never registered car so dmv had it still under my son without insurance which we dropped and put the coverage on new car. Moral of story turn in your plates in case something like this happens.
If you you live in New Jersey it is different, in WI
Do not return the plates to DMV. If you have left the plates on your vehicle and are concerned, you can download and complete a License Plates Cancellation Application form MV2514 (Spanish MV2514).
Returned them got receipt paid 200 and now waiting for restoration. I had other plates I had for years. Turned them in and got receipts .
I’m not sure that it’s required by law, or if there are any fines involved, but here in Calif the DMV recommends that the seller provide them a statement — I think it is called a statement of non-responsibility when the owner sells the car. This gives some legal protection to the seller, for example if the new owner gets a lot of parking tickets before registering the car in their name, the old owner won’t be help responsible for paying them.
As far as OP’s problem, suggest to contact the dealership, as there may just have been a paperwork snafu. If the dealership or the junkyard made a mistake they may well be willing to pay you the money caused by their mistake back.
I just had to show proof of the sale and sign an affidavit attesting to the sale. Still it cost me a whole day of vacation going to the court that issued the summons and then to DMV to force the title transfer.
H ere in NY I won’t sell a car without getting a photocopy of the buyers drivers license and a dated billof sale with both our signatures.
In MA you can’t cancel the insurance until you turn in the plates. Helps avoid these kind of situations.
So the dealership paperwork never acknowledged the trade in? Even when I traded junkers there was always some amount of value assigned to it as a “discount” on the new car. The paperwork I received had everything needed to show the car changed hands as part of the overall transaction.