Can you sell a car without a license plate

Selling a car: Deregister or pass on registered?


From, last updated on: April 4, 2021

What happens when you sell the car registered?

Basically it is Your decisionwhether you prefer one Sell ​​a deregistered or registered car want. There are no legal regulations for this.

For both options there are both Pros and consthat you should evaluate accordingly for yourself and your situation. Our guide tells you what to do when selling with and without approval should be aware of how to deal with the insurance behaves and what to do when you are one Car sold but not deregistered have and the new owner one Traffic offense commits.

FAQ: Unsubscribing from car sales

Do I have to deregister my car before I sell it?

No, the law does not require you to de-register the car before selling it. This is your decision.

What speaks against deregistering the car before selling it?

A deregistered car must not be driven in traffic. This can make a test drive and the transfer of the vehicle difficult. You can find more contra-arguments for selling a deregistered vehicle that need to be taken into account here.

What is the disadvantage of not deregistering the car before selling it?

It can happen that the new vehicle owner does not re-register the car in a timely manner. Until then, you are still considered to be the owner of the car by the authorities and you have to pay for the car insurance for the car even though it no longer belongs to you.

Selling a car and deregistering beforehand: advantages and disadvantages

Anyone considering deregistering before selling a car should be aware that the vehicle will then no longer be open public land may stand. It may not be parked there or moved on the streets. This can happen under certain circumstances problematic if the potential buyer is a Test drive want to do or you want to continue using the vehicle yourself until it is sold. You also need a place where you can get the decommissioned vehicle temporarily turn off can.

The Test drive and the transfer of the car are therefore made more difficult for the buyer if you deregister the car before they sell it. Only one can help Temporary license platecreate, with which the test drive or crossing is made possible or the collection by trailer. The yellow license plates applies to a maximum of five days. This means that a car that is no longer registered will also be closed during this time sell and pick up is. If the process is delayed or if the buyer jumps out, a new short-term license plate may have to be organized.

A so-called 5-day license plate can only with a valid liability insurance be completed. At z. B. a theft so will the damage not covered by the insurer. It is therefore understandable that many interested parties are thereby deterred can be. So you should already Mention in the adthat you have a deregistered car to sell. Then potential buyers can adjust accordingly.

Selling a car registered

On the other hand, it can also be used for you disadvantage when you sell a registered vehicle. It mainly has to do with that Trust in the buyer to do because: If this is the vehicle not re-registered early, it can be a risk to you. For the Admission Office and the insurance in this case still count as the Keeper of the car.

You will remain that until the time at which the authorities or the insurer learn about the purchase contract official contact person. For you, that means you continue to pay the insurance must and possibly evenupgraded should an accident occur with the vehicle that has not been reregistered.

Also Fines can land in your mailbox. Then you have to be the holder credibly assurethat you weren't the driver. This is possible with the sales contract, but means corresponding Paperwork. If the buyer can not be found later and disappeared into oblivion, there is even the possibility that you stay completely seated at the expense. So you're more on that safe sideif you sell the vehicle not registered.

Car sales with license plates - you should pay attention to this!

Most of the sellers give up the new owner by sales contract a period of one week to re-register. During this time the buyer drives first on your insurance. Usually this is also unproblematic, because insurance companies often have one Transitional period after a car sale. Still, you should get insurance early inform about the sale so that a possible accident does not affect your No claims discount is taken into account.

If you sold your car with license plates, that is De-registering the vehicle at the registration office and the insurance company quasi mandatory in order to avoid the disadvantages mentioned above. It is possible in person or by post by means of a copy of the sales contract. It is best, however, together with the new owner directly to the licensing authority to drive to re-register the car.

Incidentally, you can use the car sales at the same time Cancel your insurance. Technically, you sell these with. The new owner can do this take over without further ado. If you want to keep the contract, you should inform your insurance company.

If you have decided to sell the vehicle registered, you should consider a few things. in the Dispute it helps if you can prove when the new owner was able to dispose of the car. Make a note of that exact time (Date and time) of the vehicle handover or the signature under the sales contract and have it confirm by the buyer. This will allow you to reduce your own risk and sell the car accordingly. Without deregistering, the registration office does not yet know anything about the new owner, but if a fine is actually issued, you can prove the exact point in time.

Pros & Cons: Selling cars with and without license plates

In the text, some information has already been given on how you can sell your car registered. Basically, however, it remains your decision whether or not to shut down your vehicle before selling it. If you play it safe you should also deregister the car before selling it.

The most important pro and contra arguments on the subject of “selling a car with or without deregistration” are clearly summarized below:

Sell ​​the car and deregister beforehand


  • No risk - The insurance company and the registration office have been informed.
  • There are none Taxes more on.


  • The vehicle is allowed not on public property parked or moved.
  • You need one Storage location.
  • You can use the vehicle no longer use it yourself.
  • Test drive and overpass are only with Temporary license plate possible.
  • interested persons could be deterred.

Sell ​​vehicle registered


  • It is comfortable for the buyer.
  • Vehicle can be from owner to sale used become.
  • Test drives are possible.
  • No going to authority necessary.


  • The buyer could use the Miss a change of registration.
  • For the Insurance and licensing authority remain the contact person until further notice.
  • You may be with one accident upgraded after sale.
  • Fines will be sent to your address.
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  1. Hello,

    I have registered my car and sold it to Spain, with a sales contract. After 6 months I should pay insurance and taxes again. The registration office does not cancel the vehicle for me with the sales contract, and the new buyer does not react any further Continue to pay insurance and taxes? That can't be ......

    • Hello Olaf,

      Your contact person remains the admissions office. What justification does the admissions office give? In principle, it should be possible to deregister the vehicle with proof of sale. If in doubt, you should consult a lawyer.

      The editors of

  2. Hello, I have bought a registered youngtimer from the first owner and would like to deregister it for the next 5+ years. Since there is currently no other owner (i.e. not myself) in the letter besides the first owner (due to the higher chances of appreciation with only one previous owner): Can I deregister the vehicle even if I am not the owner and then in 5+ years to myself or register / rewrite a potential buyer? Or am I taking any risk here?

    • Hi Michael,

      it is possible to deregister if you have the required documents. As a rule, nothing should stand in the way of later rewriting if you have all the necessary papers. For more information, please contact the relevant registration office.

      The editors of

  3. Hello, I made the BIG mistake in 2015 to sell a vehicle. I had written a proper sales contract, all the data was written down with the time. It was also written that the vehicle should be de-registered within 1 week. What can I say, he did Never, vehicle and new owner could not be found, fines fluttered into the house.
    I informed my insurance company, it was canceled, I informed the registration office, the vehicle is being wanted, and now the owner drives the vehicle without TÜV, without insurance, but still in my name! A few months ago I contacted the admissions office again, they said everything was going well and I couldn't do anything else. The matter was over for me.
    I was reassured, until today, the tax office is deducting the taxes from us. The third year in a row! What can I do now? The car will probably never show up again, do I have to pay the car taxes forever? And that before Christmas ..

    • Hello Melanie,

      You can submit the purchase contract to the tax office as proof that you have already sold the car. It is also helpful if you could bring a traffic law attorney with you.

      The editors of

      • I contacted the registration office again and this time the lady on the phone really wanted to help me and got behind it, she called the tax office and asked for further information. Your answers were not great. The tax office no longer suffices the purchase contract , They want the vehicle to be deregistered! But she wants to stay tuned, since it turned out that we have come across a well-known gang of criminals, we are not the only ones who have suffered this, because where the family should live are All flown out. And she said that we would have to continue to pay, so to speak as a punishment for our good faith. How long this should go on now, she didn't know, but she wanted to get in touch.

        • Hello, the same thing happened to us. What do you do in such a case. It cannot be that we are the punished. Something is wrong in this country.
          Yours sincerely Greetings Kerstin L.

          • Hello Kerstin,

            a traffic law attorney can advise you if a forced deregistration is refused.

            The editors of

        • Hello, maybe your matter is already settled. It also happened to us that the car has not yet been re-registered after 3 weeks. You can apply for a compulsory deregistration with the sales contract at the registration office, but only after 3 weeks from the sale. Although the sales contract states that the buyer is obliged to re-register it within a week. ???? Forced deregistration can only come into effect after 6-8 weeks. That means, the scammers are protected and we have to tremble for so long and hope that nothing happens in that time. Where is the righteousness?

  4. Dear fines catalog team. I would like to sell my registered vehicle but later register the current license plate on a new vehicle. How can I reserve the license plate? The new owner would register the vehicle in a different registration district and also get new license plates.
    Best regards

    • Hello Bernd,

      it is possible to request a “license plate transfer” from an old to a new car. Check with a local licensing authority for details.

      The team

  5. We sold our previous car. The buyer would like us to drive the car to him with license plates and only then remove the plates. He will then re-register the car at short notice.

    Now, after searching the net, I am no longer sure. Can the buyer even re-register the car without the old number plates? Will I be informed when the car is re-registered to the new buyer? Could I just deregister the car myself using the old license plates?

    Thank you for helpful answers.

  6. Hello Fine Catalog Team,
    I also made the mistake of selling my old car with license plates. The buyer did not deregister it as contractually agreed, and even resold it after five days. What can I say - the new owner (luckily I know the name) doesn't take contractual agreements seriously either. However, the responsible authorities have been informed.
    My question relates to the contract: Why doesn't the buyer have to strictly adhere to the re-registration deadlines if it is in the contract? I gave my buyer three working days - which he didn't. The new owner had a week - which she didn't. Why are you allowed to do that? Why is a vehicle sales contract not binding in this regard?
    Best regards
    Christa S.

    • Hello Christa,

      if you have specific legal questions, you would have to contact a lawyer. We are not allowed to give legal advice.

      The editors of

  7. Hello, I'm about to sell my vehicle to someone who is interested. He said that he wanted to bring red license plates to the handover. Does that mean I keep my old license plates and take them to the registration office? Is that good for me as a seller?

  8. Hello, I want to sell my car but take over the license plate for the new (used and registered) car. Can I then remove / have the license plates of the registered vehicle removed from the buyer, de-register the vehicle on the same day and then keep the license plates on myself (or the “number” itself) when the new / used vehicle is transferred?

    MfG Bernd D.

    • Hello Bernd,

      When changing from an old to a new car, it is generally possible to take your license plate with you. When deregistering the old vehicle, you can directly indicate that you want to continue using your old license plate. For more information, please contact your local registration office.

      The editors of

  9. Hello,
    In sales contracts there is usually a very short period in which a car has to be re-registered. How is that supposed to work when you have to wait weeks or months for an appointment at the admissions office in Berlin?
    LG Annabell

  10. Hi,
    I registered my car and sold it to a Hungarian on May 16, 2018. I reported the sale to the registration office and the insurance company by postcard (attachment purchase contract). The insurance company has already contacted you (contract deleted). I suspect the car has not yet been deregistered / re-registered by the buyer. He lives in Hungary. How can I proceed further?
    Thank you, Johannes

  11. Hello everybody
    I sold my registered car today. Do I still have to notify my vehicle position? Also have no sales contract because the car is no longer worth anything and, as I said, it was canceled by me.
    MFG Michael

    • Hi Michael,
      As a rule, you do not have to inform the registration office if you sell a deregistered vehicle.

      The editors of

  12. I want to sell my car it is still registered but is no longer ready to drive due to an engine failure a dealer assures me to de-register the car (I do not know him therefore independent decision) but there is no risk of criminal offenses with the vehicle because it is no longer drivable and no accident damage to the car are those that could be sold later (photos taken) now my question are there any other risks for me?

  13. Hello, I have a very special case.

    My mother died in September 2018. I was flashed with your car in December, when she was still registered on the car and received a corresponding mail (which, of course, was accepted by me).
    If I sell the car now, what happens to the unpaid fine?

  14. Today I sold my still registered Auzo which will be picked up by the new owner tomorrow.What exactly is to be done now for me or for the new owner to deregister / re-register?

  15. I want to drive my car to Spain and give it to my parents (it's a Diesel😔). Should I deregister it beforehand (drive there with the transfer sign) or when I'm back in Germany, deregister and return the sign. In Spain all need registration certificates (part I and II) and I've heard that they are poking around afterwards ... will they lose their validity if I show them like that in Germany?

  16. Good day,

    I want to sell my car to Poland. The vehicle is still registered and I imagine that when I buy and pick it up (it's a Saturday) I remove the license plates with a trailer and use the papers to de-register the vehicle on the next day of the week. Then I will send the cancellation to the buyer by post. May there be no risk for me like that?

    Yours sincerely

  17. Hello. Unfortunately, I sold my Ford registered at the end of 2018. Since the beginning of the year, I have been receiving fines and administrative offenses almost every day. I have already copied the sales contract a few times and sent it to the offices, but I get an answer
    Her admission was checked, but she could not be released.
    The vehicle has since been taken out of service. How do I act now?
    Vlg and thanks for the help

  18. I plan to sell my old car tomorrow and have already received a deposit of € 100 via PayPal. The new buyer asked me to deregister it and wants to bring red license plates. What if he doesn't want the car after all?

  19. Hello, I sold my car registered three weeks ago. In the sales contract it was noted that the buyer has to re-register the car immediately, which has not happened to this day. The registration office and insurance company have been informed. The responsible registration office of the buyer was also informed and requested the buyer in writing.
    Now I have learned that the buyer is offering the car for sale with a test drive with my license plates. I guess he doesn't re-register it, otherwise it would be a previous owner, isn't that a fraud? What can I do here? I want him to be punished for it and don't want to let it sit on me like that!

  20. Hello, I sold my car to Poland. Signed in because it was picked up on a Sunday. I kept license plates, he brought some with him. Unfortunately, the buyer has not deregistered or changed the car for 5 months. I have given everything to my insurance company and the registration office and given data from the buyer. So far everything is now registered. The only thing that says the registration office is that if the buyer does not change or deregister in Poland, I still have to pay vehicle tax for another year. What kind of procedure is that?
    Kind regards

  21. I sold my unsafe car on 07/27/19 and informed the insurance and registration office of this with the purchase contract.
    So far, the buyer has made NO move to or. from to report. I canceled my insurance because I no longer have the car.
    What happens if the buyer does not cancel the car within the deadline? LKA can't do anything or doesn't want to, since it's just an administrative offense, and I am liable for damage that I have not caused ?? This can not be it!?

    • Hello Kraatz,
      we are not allowed to give free legal advice. Therefore, consult a lawyer for an assessment.

      The editors of

  22. Unfortunately, we have also registered to a Polish citizen who calls himself Mr. "Nowak" from Frankfurt. We thought through the contract and photos of his Polish ID we would be safe, because we also had his real name Z. Jabczinski. Nothing there. And that's a joke here in our country. He gave the wrong address in the sales contract and he doesn't live where he should live with the residents' registration office. We make it easy for such criminals ourselves. No, we will give them the money and accommodation they need.
    Sad. My question: If I received a parking ticket, I would forward the buyer's personal details to the office. I have read that fees apply here as well. Is that so? If so, where can I read it?

  23. I think it is better to sell the vehicle directly to dealers at special car auctions.
    At least all dealers have been checked. And almost all dealers either have red license plates or have a trailer or tow truck. This way, the seller can hand over his car de-registered and save himself the trouble of de-registering / changing the registration.

  24. Hello,
    I bought a car but now the problem is that the seller takes my old car and I drive his car with his license plates, what is the best way to proceed? Can I drive to the registration office with the seller's license plates? and then dismantle the license plates and take my new license plates back on site in the parking lot?

    Kind regards

  25. Hello everybody,

    I have a question. My car has a damaged clutch and someone recently hit me in the back. The car is still roadworthy, but in principle it could die at any moment. So I parked it in my parking lot and got a rental scale until I registered a new car. How do I best organize the sale of the car? Should I deregister it beforehand, since a test drive is hardly possible or should I keep it registered?

    Do I have any disadvantages after or during the sale if the car has already been deregistered from both the insurance company and the registration office?

    I would be very grateful for tips.

    With best regards

  26. Hello please help I sell my opel astra with private license plates on 11/28 and have also made a contract. He just made a re-registration.
    Admission says I'm sorry
    Policei says so too
    Insurance too
    What can i do
    Should I pay insurance and tax until my end of life?

  27. Hello, I also have a very special buyer on eBay (03/20/2020). Frank from Berlin. I want to buy my motorcycle. I also wrote that it can be taken along with the license plate. I can tell directly from his spelling that something is wrong.
    No questions about the machine, no meaningful statements, no idea. Just strange words like Mojeeeeen as a greeting. Via Whatsapp, then funny Corona videos. So all the alarm systems went on. People who want to appear trustworthy with such a stammer and then probably in reality, wearing more ypsillons in their names than I can pronounce, seem suspicious to me.
    So I just wrote the following. Precisely because I don't trust the Lord.

    “I can give you the license plate only in return for a security deposit. You will receive the contract, but all papers only as a copy, after returning the license plate and de-registering, I will send you all papers by registered mail. Because selling a registered motorcycle is a matter of trust. ”

    Since I myself can be found here at my place of residence, the gentleman has access to the garage and the house, he is welcome to convince himself that he is dealing with someone to whom his reputation is important. Then he can think about whether he agrees with my conditions or drives again.
    But to be honest, I actually don't feel like selling it to them anymore. It is dry and peaceful and if he does not agree with my conditions, it waits for someone who speaks at least the same language, has a real name and is interested in the machine and not in the weather.

    That is to say, you actually notice it in the language and sometimes you are just too stupid to be direct, radically impolite, which is unfortunately sometimes necessary nowadays.

  28. Good day,
    I would like to sell a vintage car to Holland, now the buyer would like me to bring the car to Holland and give it to him there. The car would still be registered. Now I've read that if possible you shouldn't sell your car registered. My plan would be to take the license plates, vehicle registration documents and vehicle registration documents with me, de-register the car and then send the papers to the buyer. Would it be possible?

  29. I sold my horse trailer with defects, which is still registered and insured for me. TÜV has expired. The buyer would like to transfer the trailer before deregistering. How can I protect myself, for example if something happens during the transfer due to a flat tire or something similar?

  30. Hello, I have a question ... I sold my car yesterday. But I left my license plates for him because he asked me to let him drive home. If he doesn't re-register the car and leave my license plates on, can I deregister without license plates, just with the contract we sign? Thanks.

  31. I bought a car from Germany to bring to Spain. The seller informed me that they canceled it. How do I confirm that it has been signed out?

  32. Hello,
    In 2018 I sold my car to the dealer,
    he assured me that he would take care of the de-registration, but he did not and sold the car abroad. I could not deregister the car because I no longer have any documents.
    After the car is now being searched by the police, as it is without insurance.
    The customs office in Münster is still collecting the vehicle tax and says I should contact the Road Traffic Office, which say as long as the car is searched for, it cannot be de-registered and I should contact the police.
    The police say the manhunt will last until the car shows up again. Very unlikely.
    For me that means, as long as the car doesn't show up, I have to pay taxes for it!
    Can't be, there must be a way to compulsorily deregister this vehicle.
    Please help, thank you very much and best regards
    Claus W.

  33. salve a tutti voi.
    ho letto con attenzione i vostri commenti.
    mi sento di dire, che oggi siamo al 2020.
    e non bisogna di aver fiducia di nessuno a questo mondo.
    capisco a volte, per esigenza di vendere l’auto per soldi.
    si commettono degli errori.
    ci sono passato anche io una volta.
    ma poi non piu.
    adesso se vendo l’auto 1la cancello, 2 assicurazione, ecc.
    dopo io sono sicuro, e tranquillo che a casa non arrivera mai nessuno.
    non vendet le vostre auto immatricolate.
    perche alla fine chi ci rimette e collui che vende.