As unlikely as it may be, your license plate can get stolen if the proper precautions are not taken, this guide will teach you what to do in case of a stolen license plate.

In quick summary you should:

  • Report the license plate as stolen to your insurance and the police.
  • Order new plates from your car dealer, keep it on you at all times and under no circumstance lose that new license plate again.

Beyond that, there are many things that need to be done for this situation. This article is meant as a general guide of what should be done in this scenario, but not as an exact protocol to follow. Make sure you read up further information on these topics before acting or consulting an experienced professional if needed.

First of all, call the police. A police report is not only mandatory for insurance purposes but also helps prevent identity theft. Make sure to accurately describe the car and license plate number. Next, contact your insurance provider to inform them that you need new plates ASAP.

Now that you have made an official record about your lost or stolen license plate, call around to local auto shops and dealerships to evaluate prices on replacement plates. Depending on whether your state requires tabs along with registration, prices could vary widely between $30-100+ per year (the longer you wait to replace, the more they will cost).

Once you have selected a supplier for new plates, make sure the police report number is noted on your application. This way you can avoid paying any fines for failing to register in a timely manner. Depending on how long your plate was stolen and whether or not it has been found after being removed from your car, prices will vary between $30-100+ per year.

Please note that in some cases if you are currently registered with tabs there may be an additional fee of roughly $5-$15 for each instance of registration without overnighting replacement plates.

Insurance companies usually include at least one free replacement over the lifetime of the policy so please check with them about returning old plates. In some cases, if the old plates have been lost or stolen there may be a fee involved.

Can I Drive My Car If My License Plate Was Stolen?

Picture of Audi driving with stolen license plates

Unfortunately, no you can’t drive your car until new plates are ordered. If stopped by the police all parties involved (including the thief) will be held accountable for taking your vehicle off of public roads without proper registration.

Luckily license plate theft is not a very common occurrence and most people will never face it. However, if you do find yourself in this situation, knowing what to do can save you time and money while also helping avoid identity theft caused by misuse of your vehicle registration number.

We hope you found these tips on how to deal with a stolen license plate useful! If so feel free to share this article with friends and family who might benefit from learning more about their options in case of theft.