Skip Navigation LinksDMV > Elimination of Stickers

ELIMINATION OF STICKERs FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. Why is PennDOT no longer issuing registration stickers?
2. Do I still have to register my vehicle?
3. How much money will be saved by not issuing registration stickers?
4. Where does the cost savings from no longer issuing stickers go?
5. How will law enforcement know my vehicle is registered?
6. Do I have to remove my sticker(s) on or after December 31, 2016?
7. How does eliminating the registration sticker benefit vehicle owners?
8. How are police in other states going to know I have current registration if I don’t have a sticker or my sticker on my license plate is expired?
9. Have other states eliminated registration stickers?
10. My registration expires in January 2017. I renewed my registration in December 2016. Why did I still receive a registration sticker in the mail?
11. When will the last registration sticker be issued?
12. What if I renewed my registration in December, received my registration card, but lost or never received the registration sticker and it is now after December 31, 2016; do I need to reapply for a replacement registration sticker?
13. Can I cover my old registration sticker with masking material?
14. How do I get a new license plate if I do not want to have a registration sticker on my license plate?

1. Why is PennDOT no longer issuing registration stickers?
Elimination of registration stickers will result in a significant cost savings for taxpayers. Act 89, which became law November 2013, provided for the elimination of vehicle registration stickers. The elimination of the registration sticker was evaluated as part of a Penn State research study, which concluded that eliminating the registration sticker has no impact on vehicle registration compliance.

2. Do I still have to register my vehicle?
Yes. Act 89 merely eliminated the requirement to place a registration sticker on your license plate effective December 31, 2016. Customers are still required to maintain current vehicle registration, and must present a registration card to law enforcement when asked. A valid registration card is also still required when having a safety and/or emissions inspection completed.

3. How much money will be saved by not issuing the stickers?
The elimination of the registration sticker will realize a cost savings to taxpayers of $1.1 million per year; it is estimated an additional $2 million will be saved in mailing costs.

4. Where does the cost savings from no longer issuing stickers go?
These cost savings will benefit the Motor License Fund (MLF). The MLF is used to invest in Pennsylvania’s infrastructure by repairing roadways and maintaining roads and bridges.

5. How will law enforcement know my vehicle is registered?
Law enforcement agencies have electronic access to PennDOT’s database from their patrol vehicles, which allows them to verify if a vehicle registration is valid. In addition, many use license plate reader technology to efficiently validate registrations.

6. Do I have to remove my sticker(s) on or after December 31, 2016?
No, you are not required to remove your sticker(s).

7. How does eliminating the registration sticker benefit vehicle owners?
The elimination of the registration sticker helps PennDOT modernize our processes. Effective December 31, 2016, customers will still have all currently available service channels to renew their registration; however, they will also be able to enjoy the convenience of renewing their registration online from home or a mobile device, printing and signing their permanent registration credential. With this enhancement to our online registration process, customers will no longer print a temporary registration credential nor will they need to wait for the delivery of their permanent credentials to be mailed to them from PennDOT.

8. How are police in other states going to know I have current registration if I don’t have a sticker or my sticker on my license plate is expired?
PennDOT has notified other jurisdictions of the elimination of registration stickers. In addition, law enforcement in the U.S and Canada has electronic access to PennDOT’s database, which would indicate the registration status of a vehicle.

9. Have other states eliminated registration stickers?
Yes. New Jersey eliminated registration stickers in 2004, Connecticut in 2010 and the Canadian provinces of Quebec in 1992 and Manitoba in 2016.

10. My registration expires in January 2017. I renewed my registration in December 2016. Why did I still receive a registration sticker in the mail?
Until December 31, 2016, PennDOT is required by law to issue registration stickers.

11. When will the last registration sticker be issued?
PennDOT will continue issuing registration stickers until December 31, 2016.

12. What if I renewed my registration in December 2016, received my registration card, but lost or never received my registration sticker and it is now after December 31, 2016; do I need to reapply for a replacement registration sticker?
No. Applications received and/or processed after December 31, 2016 will not be issued a registration sticker. If an application for a replacement sticker and fees are submitted to PennDOT, a refund for these fees will be issued to the customer.

13. Can I cover the old registration sticker with masking material?
As of December 31, 2016, you may cover a registration sticker with a masking material such as tape if you wish, however, it is not necessary to cover or remove your registration sticker.

14. How do I get a new license plate if I do not want to have a registration sticker on my license plate?
You may apply for a standard issue replacement license plate by using Form MV-44 found in the Registration Plate section of our website.

Return to Frequently Asked Questions