Keep Tag

Do you like your current license plate? We hope so! Starting July 1, it’s going to be with you for quite a while.

 With #KeepTagOK, Oklahoma motorists will keep their license plates when selling their vehicles as specified in SB1339.

 “Starting July, if you sell a vehicle, remove the tag,” said OTC Spokesperson, Paula Ross. “The tag will now stay with the person, not the car. When motorists purchase a new car, they will take the tag from their old car and place it on the new one. This will assist law enforcement in tracking current vehicle owners as well as cut down on past owners receiving turnpike fines, parking tickets or other issues involving their old vehicle.”

 The process of registering a newly-purchased car with the Oklahoma Tax Commission (OTC) differs whether you are purchasing the vehicle from a dealership or an individual:

 • If you buy a vehicle from a dealership, that car will come with a paper tag and you will have 30 days to register the vehicle in order to avoid penalties. When registering the vehicle, you will have a choice of placing your old tag on the vehicle or purchasing a new one from the OTC or your local tag agent.

 • If you buy a vehicle from anyone other than a dealership and you do not have a tag from a previous vehicle, the car may be driven for five days without a plate. During these five days, you must have a copy of the bill of sale or the assigned title in the vehicle. If you have a tag from a previous vehicle, you may place the tag on the newly-purchased vehicle after it has been titled and registered. You have 30 days before incurring any penalties.

 On a Facebook post, Cleveland tag agent Stephanie Cruzen gave her own explanation: “...You sell a car you give the new owner a signed and notarized title and take your plate off the car. If you replace that car with another, when you come to our office to change the title bring your old plate with you. You will pay for your title change and we will transfer that plate to your new car and you will not be charged a tag fee as long as you have time left on that plate. When you purchase a car from an individual you won’t have a plate but will be legal to drive with your notarized title for 5 days. By 5 days you must come into the office and have your old plate registered to the new vehicle, you can do the title change at that time or you can use your full 30 days for the change over.

 “If you don’t replace the vehicle you sold immediately, you can just save the old plate for a time when you do replace. You will not be given a refund of time left on a plate that you don’t use, you will only be given credit for the plate if you use it on another vehicle.

 “If you purchase a vehicle from a dealer nothing changes, you will still get a paper tag and have 30 days to title in your name. If you trade your car in to a dealer you will keep your plate!”


 Under the new law, Oklahomans will now also be required to carry their annual certificates of registration in their cars at all times. This is issued at the time of initial registration and annually when the vehicle registration is renewed. “It’s the paper we staple your sticker to,” explained Cruzen. “This includes vehicles currently registered so if you can’t find yours you will need to bring us you license plate number, we can run you a duplicate registration for $1 each. You are subject to be ticketed if asked by law enforcement to produce it if stopped.”

 For more information, visit the OTC website at

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