Ok, so it happened you either bought a car, sold a car or decided for some reason that you were going to take a car (vehicle) off the road in New York State. In order for you to no longer be required to pay insurance on it, you have to turn those plates in, right? 

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While, I totally understand the need for caution and safety on everyone's part because of COVID, let's just say we all have the impression that going to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)  isn't the most pleasant experience.

So, how can you make it better? Right now everyone is being asked to make an appointment at the DMV in the county that they live. How far out are these appointments? A friend on mine got his appointment in Putnam County, 5 weeks out. Is that still the case? I have no idea.

Say you need to do something fairly simple like turn in your plates? What do you do?

There is a drop-box option. Yep, easy breezy if you do the following, and I am not a rocket scientist, this information is available on the DMV website, for your county.

Here is what you will need:

  • $1 cash. Yep, could seem sketchy, but you need a one dollar bill. You are going to a drop box, so no there will not be anyone to give you change.
  • a stamped, self-addressed envelope. This is just an envelope that you have written your own address and also put a stamp on. This is how the DMV will mail you back a receipt for the return. You will need to be able to provide that to your insurance company. My insurance company takes my word for it, but most do not.
  • If you have more than 1 year remaining on the registration for the plate, what do you want? Do you want the DMV to send you the money or hold on to it for a future registration?
  • And I learned this from a friend who would always want to keep one of the plates as a memory from when she had that car, if you are turning in less than two license plates, you need to also include a letter that you signed saying that the plate was either lost or stolen.
  • Drop this off at one of the DMV drop boxes or you can mail it to the DMV closest to you, which ever you prefer.

So, no, if you just need to turn in plates and get that receipt, you can just do the above.

Good luck. For a list of all the New York DMV transactions that you can do online, click here. 

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