General

When a license plate disappears, so does the number – for good – Orange County Register

When a license plate disappears, so does the number - for good - Orange County Register

Q. Does the Department of Motor Vehicles recycle old license plate numbers from end-of-life cars or vehicles that have switched to personalized plates?

– Tom Report, Orange

A. No.

“Once a license plate becomes inactive for any reason, the RDW will not reuse those numbers, as they may still be in the department’s database and may still be linked to a vehicle,” Ronald Ongtoaboca DMV spokesperson, Honk told me in an email.

So Honk can’t even get a new personalized license plate with the old number of his beloved first car, a long-gone 1971 Volkswagen, where a brother once put rocks in the hubcaps so he could rattle his awesome sibling?

No.

But there is one small exception.

The DMV is OK with vehicle owners going vintage, if the guidelines are met.

“If a customer buys old boards that are no longer registered, such as at a garage sale, they can register them, but only under the Year of Manufacture program,” Ongtoaboc said. “This program requires the vehicle’s model year to match the year the license plate was originally issued.”

If interested, Google “REG 352” to get the correct DMV form.