Changes to state vehicle tag and registration laws go into effect on July 1

ENID, Okla. — Beginning Monday, Oklahoma motorists will keep their license plates when selling their vehicles as specified in SB1339.

The process of registering a newly-purchased vehicle with the Oklahoma Tax Commission 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 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.

If your license plate has not yet expired before you put it on a new car, you will be given credit on the cost of your new registration for any time remaining. You will not be able to change the expiration date of your registration if credit is applied. There may be instances where you are registering your vehicle for only a few months and then be required to renew that registration.

If you own multiple vehicles, you will not be allowed to move the plate back and forth between vehicles. Even though the plate is yours and will stay in your possession, it is assigned to a specific vehicle.

A new feature on initial title registration applications will be a question about the primary color of the vehicle. The same question will appear on OkCARS for renewals. The vehicle color will be printed on your title but you will not be required to update your title if you paint your car.

When selling a vehicle, owners may complete and submit a notice of transfer. Filing a notice of transfer is an optional procedure, performed at the discretion of the seller. It is intended only to notify OTC of the assignment of ownership. It in no way affects the responsibility of the buyer to transfer ownership of the vehicle in the manner prescribed by Oklahoma law.

To file the notice, complete and submit a notice of transfer of ownership of a vehicle, OTC Form 773, or the notice of transfer tab at the bottom of the Oklahoma title. Forms may be submitted to any tag agency or the notice may be filed at OkCARS.gov. The filing fee is $10.

You may transfer a vehicle and the plate to an immediate family member with a signed and notarized affidavit.

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 is the paper issued when purchasing the new sticker for your vehicle’s tag.

“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.”

Those needing a vehicle registration can request one by visiting https://okcars.tax.ok.gov/_/.

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Rains is police and court reporter for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @cassrains. He can be reached at crains@enidnews.com.

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