What Are the Rules About When to Replace License Plate Tabs?

Rules vary among states, but some states, such as Oregon, require replacement stickers to go on license plates at the renewal of vehicle registration. Some states, such as California, require replacement stickers when former stickers have faded to the point of illegibility, or when they become lost, stolen or mutilated.

California residents whose stickers have become lost, stolen or seriously damaged can apply for new stickers from the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The DMV website has a REG 156 form residents can fill out for sticker replacement, and this also comes with an accompanying fee. Residents can also opt for free temporary stickers that last a month.

The State of Washington allows residents to renew vehicle plate tabs up to six months before their expiration dates. Residents may have to have emission tests done on their vehicles, and also may have to pay outstanding tickets or tolling fees before receiving new tabs.

Oregon residents must place their vehicle stickers on their vehicles right after they receive them. Those who have registered their vehicles or have renewed registration need to contact the phone numbers provided on the Department of Motor Vehicle's website within two weeks if they do not receive their new vehicle stickers. The stickers contain either the month or year of expiration, before which residents need to apply for new stickers.