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There is no penalty for returning expired plates. In fact under NJ law you are supposed to return plates that are no longer in use.
You can return them by mail:
Send by mail:
Motor Vehicle Commission
P.O. Box 141
Trenton, New Jersey###-##-####/p>
Include a self-addressed, stamped envelope in order to receive a receipt once you surrender your plates by mail. You will need to save this receipt. It is proof that the plates were surrendered.
The greater risk is that the plates fall into the wrong hands and are misused. If someone gets the plates and gets ticketed you will have problems getting out of the ticket. That is why you want a receipt that the plate was returned.
There is no penalty for late return of the plate in NJ. (Some states do penalize you but NJ does not).
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