by Armando Martinez

License Plate Transfer Process in Connecticut

In Connecticut, the license plates stay with the vehicle, not the owner. When you sell your car, you must remove the license plates and return them to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) along with your request to terminate your registration for the vehicle you sold. This is an important step for a seller to do following the vehicle sale otherwise your vehicle or vessel will be subject to property tax assessment in the town of record until your registration is canceled. The Connecticut DMV offers options online, by mail, and in-person to cancel your vehicle registration and plates or vessel registration.The buyer will then need to register the vehicle and obtain new plates. If you are a buyer, we recommend that you check the registration status of the vehicle to be sure the vehicle is properly registered and no back-taxes are owed before you purchase it.  You can verify your current Connecticut registration status here.

To transfer ownership of your vehicle, you'll need to complete the back of the title and sign it over to the buyer. Be sure to include the selling price, date of sale, and odometer reading. You'll also need to provide a Bill of Sale, which should include the vehicle's make, model, year, and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).

License Plate Fees in Connecticut

The license plate fees in Connecticut can vary depending on the type of vehicle, type of license plate you choose, and whether you're registering for the first time or renewing your registration. Here are some of the fees you may need to pay:

- Registration fee: $80-$250

- License plate fee: $5

- Plate transfer fee: $10

- Late fee: $10

There may also be additional fees for things like emissions testing or specialized plates.


Selling your car in a private party sale in Connecticut can be a smooth process if you understand the license plate transfer process and associated fees. Remember to remove the license plates when selling the car, and provide the necessary documentation to transfer ownership to the buyer. As a buyer, you must make an appointment at a DMV Hub, branch office, or a participating dealershipSchedule an appointment online to save time!  Be prepared to pay registration fees, license plate fees, and other potential fees, such as late fees or emissions testing fees.  By following these steps, you can have a hassle-free private party car sale in Connecticut.

This article was written by Armando Martinez. Armando Martinez is among the nation’s experts on automotive titling, registration, DMV services and document operations. With nearly two decades of experience across a broad range of financial services functions and some of the largest names in auto, from Wells Fargo to Uber, Armando combines vision and ingenuity with a wealth of information so auto shoppers and sellers can learn from his experience.

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