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How To Transport A Car Without Plates – Understanding Your Options

How To Transport A Car Without Plates – Understanding Your Options
How To Transport A Car Without Plates – Understanding Your Options

In some cases, you may find yourself needing to transport a car without plates. For example, if you buy a car from someone in another state and it is not registered and doesn’t have plates, you may need to get it to your state to register it and start driving it.
Or, if you sell your car and it doesn’t have plates, you may need to find a way to get it to the buyer – and you may not be sure what your options are. Let’s get into the details.

Can I Transport A Car Without Plates By Driving It Myself?

Yes, but only in some states, and you may end up facing some issues if you try to drive a car between states without license plates. Some states offer “in-transit permits” and temporary tags that you can use to legally drive a car without plates.

However, this varies widely between states. In Oklahoma, for example, it’s not possible to do this at all – there is no system in place to drive a car without plates. But in New York, you can get a 30-day “in transit” permit to drive the car without plates as long as the car can pass inspection.

For this reason, we only recommend driving a car without plates to transport it if you’re staying within your state – and you’re certain that you can get the legal permission to do so. Driving a car without proper registration, even temporary registration, can lead to serious legal penalties and repercussions. Consult with your local DMV/BMV for more information.

Can The Car Be Driven On Its Old License Plates Until It’s Registered Again?

No. In most states, it’s illegal for a car that’s been bought or sold to be driven with the license plates of the previous owner. The car should not be driven by anyone who is not the currently registered owner of the vehicle – even for a day or two. If you’re caught doing this, you risk legal penalties and fines.

When buying a vehicle, you need to register it in your name right away. And if you’re selling a vehicle, make sure to remove the license plates and provide the buyer with the necessary paperwork to have it registered in their name.

What’s The Best Way To Transport A Car Without Plates?

If you’re transporting a car across state lines with no plates, we recommend that you turn to a car transport company instead of trying to drive it yourself. Not only will this save you a lot of time, it will ensure you do not break any laws. Your car doesn't have to be registered or insured to be transported on the back of a truck.

If you bought a car that doesn’t have plates, it can simply be loaded onto a semi-truck car carrier and driven from its current location to the destination of your choice. Then, as long as you have the required paperwork for your state, you can register it at the DMV/BMV, and then start driving it legally.

Or, if you’re selling the car, you can arrange for it to be driven to the buyer’s desired drop-off point, and they can handle the process of registering the vehicle from there. Either way, hiring a car transportation company for the job simplifies things a lot, particularly if the car needs to be transported a long distance.

A-1 Auto Transport Can Help You Transport A Car Without Plates In The US

Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, A-1 Auto Transport can help you ship a car without license plates anywhere in the United States. Compared to driving it yourself, this saves you a lot of time – and could also help you avoid legal trouble. So contact us online now, or give us a call at (800) 452-2880 to get a quote and ship your car right away.

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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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Mylene Rutllant
It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Due to the nature of my work, I must relocate every couple of years to where my company needs me. Because of this, I’ve tested several moving and auto transport companies over the years.

And my choice in terms of auto transport has to be A1 Auto Transport. It’s in the name, but also in the quality with which they do their jobs. I’ve never had a problem with this company.

The only time my shipment was delayed was during winter when a snowstorm closed down all the major roads. And they still found an alternative and got my car delivered before roads got unstuck.

When I moved to West Virginia, they picked up my car the very day I called them. I like to think they take special care of me considering all the business I’ve sent them. I’ll continue to support A1 Auto Transport. It’s my number one pick in auto shipping to this day.

Luis Rodriguez
You have my full support and recommendation!

I considered selling my car when I moved to Washington. It was old and rusty, but I grew attached to it. So, I called a couple companies to transport it to my new home, but they both fell through.

The first one couldn’t decide on a schedule. He would constantly change the pickup date till I got frustrated and canceled. The second was insufferable, very rude on the phone, even worse in person.

They started picking a part my car asking me why I still have it. If that’s their opinion of my vehicle, how can I trust they’ll take care of it? If something happened midway, why wouldn’t they just blame it on the car instead of paying up?

So, I cancelled this company as well and turned to A1 Auto Transport. From the get go, they were very different from my past options. Their website was very professional and up to date, full of useful information. I requested a quote using their online form, and I got an email response within an hour. Surprisingly fast!

If I didn’t know any better, I would’ve thought they were lacking customers, but the email spoke for itself. In just one email, everything I needed to know was there, including a contact number I could use to get more information or confirm the transport.

I called and got things rolling. I was very pleased with the driver. He followed standard procedure and represented his company well. Can’t remember his name, but props to him!

The car arrived in Washington 6 days later in excellent condition. From what I understand, the transport was delayed a bit by a storm, but since the time window was 4-6 days from the beginning, I don’t really care. You have my full support and recommendation!

Testimonial by Cristine Benoit
Cristine Benoit
I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

There are a lot of options for auto transport these days, which surprisingly makes it harder to find a good company. I received more than 10 offers to ship my car, but I couldn’t decide on any of them.

After doing some research, I got even more worried reading about all the scams and accidents that can happen. But, I have work to do and couldn’t afford to drive my newly purchased Mini Cooper all the way to Virginia.

Fortunately, I made the right choice with A1 Auto Transport. They are very good at their jobs. I spent more than an hour drilling Joe with various questions, and he never once lost his patience. He saw I was interested, so he bore with me until I was satisfied. The driver was also very courteous and my car was intact on arrival. I couldn’t have asked for more.

By the way, the price we first agreed on stayed the same. There were no delays or unexpected “surprises.” I can safely say this is a legit company that will get the job done.

David Osallo
We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10!

We give A1 Auto Transport a big 10 out of 10! We chose them to move our car from California to Vermont, since we needed professionals.

We were abroad during the transport, so the transport was a bit tricky. The driver had to pick it up from storage on short notice and get it to its destination within at most 10 days. I was happy to note it arrived sooner. We got it 3 days early, right when we got home to pick it up. It made getting around way easier. Awesome service!

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A-1 Auto Transport is a disclosed agent for the following shipping companies:

Trans Global Auto Logistics, Inc.
3401 E Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76011
NO. 018191NF
CFR Rinkens
15501 Texaco Avenue
Paramount, CA 90723
NO. 013055NF
ABC Worldwide LLC
2840 NW 2nd Ave #105
Boca Raton, FL 33431
NO. 025472F
CSI Logistics
435 Division Street
Elizabeth, NJ 07201
FMC 22206
Intl Cargo
45 Campus drive
Edison, NJ 08837
NO. 17858N
ShipYourCarNow LLC
1160 South Rogers Circle Suite 1
Boca Raton, FL 33487
NO. 025646
Merco Air & Ocean Cargo, Inc.
6 Fir Way
Cooper City, FL 33026
NO. 021869F
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