Do I Need to Notify DMV if I Junk My Car?

Do I Need to Notify DMV if I Junk My Car

The DMV is responsible for all matters as it relates to a motor vehicle, whether you are registering the car or getting a driver’s license.

All information about a car and its owner is recorded with the office, this information is useful when there is a need to track the owner or resolve a case.

Junk cars are usually not worth repairing and are either sold as scrap or abandoned for a long time before selling to a junkyard. They can also be part of a junk collection for someone that loves collecting junk.

If after some years of using a car it becomes damaged beyond repairs and you have to junk it, do you need to notify the DMV? Do I need to notify DMV if I junk my car?

You need to notify the DMV if you junk your car by submitting an application to the DMV to record the car as junk. It will be on the record that the car no longer belongs to you. A receipt is usually given by the office as proof of this.

Who Are the DMV and their Responsibility?

DMV is an abbreviation for the Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV is an agency owned by the government and responsible for the registration of vehicles and issuance of driver’s licenses.

The DMV ensures that all vehicles whether newly bought or pre-used are duly registered and have a driver’s license.

Depending on the state, the DMV may operate at the state, province, or national level. Irrespective of the level at which they operate, their functions and responsibility remain the same.

Taking a broader look into what the responsibility of the DMV is we have the following;

  • Certification of Drivers: Drivers can only be certified after they must have passed the driving test both hands-on and written.
  • Regulation of Driving Schools: The DMV is also responsible for the regulations of driving schools and their various instructors, all driving schools are accountable to the DMV.
  • Car Registration: The DMV helps in the registration of vehicles and the provision of identification numbers usually a number plate.
  • Motor Vehicle Law Enforcement: They are also responsible for enforcing laws as it relates to motor vehicles. Anyone that violates the laws will be punished as required by law. These laws are usually enforced by law enforcement agents appointed by the DMV office.
  • Issuance of Driver’s License: A driving license is a proof that you are licensed by the government to drive.

Do I Need to Notify DMV If I Junk my Car?

A junk car is a damaged vehicle that is no longer worthy of being repaired or fixed and spending money on such cars will be a total waste of resources. So, if you junk your car, you need to notify the DMV.

It is important that you notify the DMV, by doing this it will be in the record that you are no longer in possession of the car or that you are still in possession but no longer driving it around.

This notification can be done by getting in touch with them on the phone, online, or through a customer service center.

The requirement to notify the DMV varies from state to state, therefore, we will take a look at some states and their requirements.


Yes, you need to notify the DMV that you want to junk your car. You are expected to submit an application to the DMV so the vehicle can be recorded as junk. In fact, you are required to submit evidence that the car belongs to you i.e. The California Certificate of Title.

In the event that you received other documents after registration such as; Certificate of Excise Duty Clearance, License Plates, etc. You will have to return them.


In Florida, you may not necessarily have to notify the DVM, because the junkyard to which you are selling the car will require a title as proof that the car belongs to you. This won’t be possible if you already submitted it to the DMV.

However, depending on the junkyard you use, you may not be required to show your car title.


Yes, you are required to notify the DMV of your intentions to junk your car. This is required so proper documentation can be done.

New York

It is expected of you to notify your local DMV that you have junked your car, you can also return the license plate to the DMV office. You have to know what the requirements are in the state you are resident in and according to the DMV.

Pros of Notifying the DMV If I Junk my Car

When you notify the DMV about junking your car, you are the one to benefit. Here are some advantages of doing so;

  • Saving yourself from Future Problems: Informing the DMV of your decision saves you from any problem that may arise regarding the car in the future.  The car if not sold immediately whether as scrap or to a junkyard may be used for illegal activities later, fortunately for you, you won’t be linked to it in any way.
  • You have a Clean Slate: By notifying the DMV, you get to clear all outstanding debt, taxes, etc. before you are given a receipt of submission.

Cons of Notifying the DMV if I Junk my Car

Notifying the DMV isn’t without its own disadvantages. We’ll look at some below:

  • Stressful Process: Notifying the DMV may seem like an easy process in your mind until you start the actual processing. The process can be really stressful and time-consuming, with so much paper works involved, especially if you do not have the necessary documents readily available.
  • It May Cost You Extra: You may have to clear some bills at the DMV office, this is only if you have outstanding debt to your name. It is much better to clear your debts as you go.


One way to reduce stress during the DMV notification process is by keeping all documents related to the car in a safe place through the years of usage, that way, you can easily present them when the need arises.

It will do you a lot of good If you are aware of the DMV requirement for junking a car in your state