What To Do With Old License Plates

What To Do With Old License Plates

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I not too long ago got here throughout some outdated license plates that we’ve accrued over time. While they are often recycled, ours have lived in a field. Curious about different choices for them, I started to lookup concepts for what to do with outdated license plates.

Fun reality: New York turned the primary state to require license plates in 1901.

Upcycle Them

As I began to look, I used to be shocked by what number of helpful issues may be made by upcycling outdated license plates. Here are only a few of the concepts I discovered.

License Plate Box

This undertaking I discovered at TheCavenderDiary.com seems easy — with just a few cuts and folds required. I envision a bunch of those candy containers lining a shelf in a craft room, playroom, or household room. They may very well be crammed with craft provides, matchbox automobiles, or different small toys. The of us at The Cavender Diary used their containers to serve pistachios and peanuts on their patio.

Snack field. Photo: TheCavenderDiary.com

Craft your individual license plate field with step-by-step instructions from TheCavenderDiary.com.

Wall Sconces

This cute upcycling concept comes from GreenCricketSalvage.com. I can image these wall sconces hanging on the fence in our yard with citronella candles perched on them. It could be a cute and sturdy means so as to add shade to a yard leisure area.

Wall sconces. Photo courtesy of GreenCricketSalvage.com.

This undertaking doesn’t require any chopping. Figure out the place you want to your fold to be, after which use one thing like a wood block to fold the metallic. Then drill a gap on the prime so you may grasp it.


I’m continuously looking out for distinctive instructor presents, particularly for male lecturers, who appear to be more durable to buy. This repurposed license plate clipboard could be an ideal present, I feel. Clip on a present card to a favourite restaurant and it turns into even higher.

First, discover clipboard hardware online or at an area craft retailer.

Clipboard hardware

Then connect the {hardware} to your outdated license plate, in keeping with the directions included with the {hardware} you bought.

Clipboards. Photo courtesy of Hometalk.com.

According to Hometalk.com consumer GadgetSponge.com, it’s preferable to make use of stiffer metallic plates for the clipboards as a result of the strain of the clips will bend plates that aren’t as stiff.

Recycle Them

If you simply need to eliminate your outdated license plates, it’s all the time a good suggestion to recycle them. Although the primary plates have been made of iron, they’re now created from aluminum, a extremely recyclable materials. Check together with your recycling program for native pointers — not all applications mean you can put these things within the recycling bin for curbside assortment. If they’re not accepted curbside in your space, go to our Recycling Locator to discover a scrap metallic recycler close to you. If you could have numerous scrap metal, chances are you’ll even be capable to make some cash by recycling it.

Every state has a unique regulation regulating the correct disposal of outdated license plates when they’re not getting used on a automotive. Check together with your native Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to study your native laws.

For instance, in Florida, you eliminate a license plate by:

“Submitting or mailing the license plate to any native Florida county tax collector’s workplace or license plate company together with a request to cancel and recycle the license plate.”

In Washington, there are a number of ways to eliminate outdated plates. If you need to maintain them, it’s essential to “take away or invalidate the month and yr tabs,” and so they can’t be displayed on a car. There can be a listing of license plate varieties within the state that should be returned to a car licensing workplace if you’re changing them. For instance, disabled parking plates and industrial plates should be returned.

As talked about, test together with your native municipality to seek out out the laws in your space.

Buy or Sell Them

If you could have a field of outdated license plates in your attic and wish to see in the event that they’re value one thing, there are a lot of locations that purchase and promote them, together with vintage outlets, thrift shops, and on-line outlets.

box of old license plates
Image: Lars Hammar / Flickr

There’s even the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association if you happen to’re actually desirous about changing into an avid collector.

Since 1954, this group has been “devoted to the promotion of license plate gathering and analysis, the trade of data and plates, and the fraternal advantages of sharing a typical curiosity with others all through the world.”

Now you don’t have any excuse for storing these outdated plates within the attic. Upcycle, recycle, promote them, or give them away to an area artist!

Feature picture courtesy of Capri23auto, Pixabay. Originally revealed on April 24, 2017, this text was up to date in April 2021.