The Oklahoma Senate recently passed a bill that would require individuals selling a vehicle in a private transaction to keep their license plate and not leave it on the vehicle for the new owner. The legislation, which was approved on a bipartisan vote, aims to address concerns regarding liability and potential misuse of license plates during private sales.


The bill, Senate Bill 871, was introduced by Sen. Paul Rosino, R-Oklahoma City, and was supported by the Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association. The legislation was prompted by instances where license plates were left on vehicles during private sales, leading to potential problems for both the seller and the new owner.

Under current state law, individuals selling a vehicle in a private transaction are not required to remove the license plates from the vehicle. This has resulted in situations where the new owner continues to drive the vehicle with the seller's license plate, potentially leading to legal and liability issues for the original owner.

Key Provisions of SB 871

The main provision of SB 871 is that it would require individuals selling a vehicle in a private transaction to retain possession of their license plate. The seller would need to remove the plate from the vehicle at the time of the sale and keep it in their possession for future use or surrender it to the Oklahoma Tax Commission.

Additionally, the bill includes provisions to educate the public about the new requirement. If enacted into law, the Oklahoma Tax Commission would be responsible for informing the public about the change through various means, including social media, websites, and other forms of outreach.

Rationale and Support for the Legislation

Supporters of SB 871 argue that the legislation is necessary to protect both the seller and the new owner of a vehicle in a private sale. By requiring the seller to remove their license plate at the time of the sale, the bill aims to prevent potential misuse of the plate and the associated legal and liability issues.

Sen. Paul Rosino, the bill's sponsor, emphasized that the legislation is a common-sense measure to address a growing concern in private vehicle sales. He stated that the bill aims to provide clarity and protection for both parties involved in the transaction.

The Oklahoma Automobile Dealers Association also voiced its support for the bill, citing the potential risks and liabilities associated with leaving license plates on vehicles during private sales. The association highlighted the need for clear guidelines to ensure that both sellers and buyers are aware of their responsibilities in private transactions.

Opposition and Concerns

While SB 871 received bipartisan support in the Senate, some critics raised concerns about potential logistical challenges and additional burdens on sellers. Opponents of the bill argued that requiring sellers to remove their license plates and retain possession could create inconvenience and added steps in the process of selling a vehicle.

Additionally, there were questions raised about the enforcement of the new requirement and how it would be communicated to the public. Critics suggested that the bill's provisions for public education and outreach may not be sufficient to ensure widespread awareness and compliance with the new rule.

Next Steps for SB 871

Following its passage in the Oklahoma Senate, SB 871 will now move to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for consideration. If approved by the House and signed into law by the governor, the legislation would take effect and establish the new requirement for private vehicle sales in the state.

The bill's supporters are hopeful that it will receive favorable consideration in the House and ultimately become law, providing clarity and protection for individuals involved in private vehicle transactions. They believe that the measure is an important step in addressing a significant issue related to license plates and private sales in Oklahoma.

Potential Impact on Private Vehicle Sales

If enacted into law, SB 871 would have implications for individuals selling vehicles in private transactions in Oklahoma. Sellers would need to be aware of the new requirement to remove their license plate at the time of the sale and retain possession of it.

The legislation could also lead to changes in the way private vehicle sales are conducted, as sellers and buyers adjust to the new rule. Clear communication and awareness of the requirement would be essential to ensure compliance and understanding among individuals involved in private transactions.

Furthermore, the bill's provisions for public education and outreach would be crucial in informing the public about the changes and helping individuals navigate the new requirements when selling or purchasing a vehicle in a private sale.


The passage of SB 871 in the Oklahoma Senate underscores the importance of addressing concerns related to license plates in private vehicle sales. The legislation aims to provide clarity and protection for both sellers and buyers, aiming to minimize potential legal and liability issues associated with leaving license plates on vehicles during private transactions.

As the bill moves to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for further consideration, its supporters hope that it will garner support and ultimately become law, establishing a new requirement for private vehicle sales in the state. The potential impact of the legislation on individuals involved in private transactions underscores the need for clear communication and awareness of the new rule.

Ultimately, SB 871 represents an effort to address a significant issue in the realm of private vehicle sales and ensure that individuals are informed and protected when buying or selling a vehicle in Oklahoma.

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