Oregon DMV Changing License Plate Rule

Photo: Oregon.gov

A new Oregon consumer protection law will change requirements for transferring license plates from one vehicle to another as of July 1, 2018.

Under House Bill 4062, passed by the 2018 Legislature, you will still be able to transfer plates with unexpired registration tags to another vehicle that you own. However, in a plate transfer between vehicles with different owners, both vehicles will begin new registration periods and both vehicles are subject to all registration requirements. 

“Some people were using plate transfers as a way to avoid making vehicle repairs to pass DEQ emissions testing,” DMV Administrator Tom McClellan said. “We also believe some people were stealing license plates and selling them online to unsuspecting buyers. This law change is intended to prevent those abuses.”

The new law will help protect consumers in several ways:

  • It will prevent the use of plate transfers to evade emissions testing requirements that apply to the Portland and Medford areas.
  • It is likely to decrease the incentive for plate theft to feed the market of individuals either seeking to evade air quality laws or looking for a bargain in registration fees.
  • It will reduce the loss to victims of plate thefts by preserving their vehicle registration if the plates are transferred to another vehicle.

For registration to transfer with your plates, you must be:

  • Listed as a registered owner in DMV records for the vehicle from which the plates were removed, and apply for a title and plate transfer for the vehicle receiving the plates; OR
  • Listed as the registered owner in DMV records for both vehicles.

If either of the vehicles involved in the plate transfer are owned by more than one person or business, at least one commonly registered owner must be listed in DMV records for both vehicles in order to transfer the registration with the plates.

Vehicles in  areas around Portland and Medford that are subject to DEQ requirements must provide proof of compliance with DEQ emissions testing prior to registration or registration renewal. 

This means that a DEQ emissions test certificate is required if the plate being transferred is due for registration renewal, or if new registration is required because the plate transfer occurred between vehicles not owned by the same person or business.

Any time you need to visit a DMV office, first check www.OregonDMV.com to find office hours and locations, and to make sure you have everything you need before your visit. You also can do some DMV business from home at OregonDMV.com. You can renew your vehicle registration, file a change of address or file notice of the sale of your vehicle online without getting in line at an office.

Source: Oregon DMV

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