vintage roughrider plate

Transferring License Plates: Regular Vs Personalized Plates

License plates are an essential requirement for all vehicles on the road. They serve as a means of identification that must be properly registered and displayed. 

They help law enforcement agencies, parking authorities, and photo radar identify vehicles and ensure compliance with various regulations. License plates also assist in tracking stolen vehicles and identifying vehicles involved in criminal activities.

That is why it’s crucial that when you transfer vehicles or make registration changes, you’ve also made the correct changes to your plate.


Selling a Vehicle: What to Do with Your License Plate

If you’re selling a vehicle, it’s essential to remove your license plate before you finalize the transfer of ownership and let the new owner drive off into the sunset. You can return your license plate to any SGI motor license issuer or choose to keep it. 

Since the plate number continues to be associated with your name, it’s important the plate is properly destroyed.

However, if you choose to discard it, ensure that the plate is turned in to SGI, as the plate number will remain under your name until they receive it. We strongly caution against throwing it in the garbage or adding it to your everyday recycling; returning it to an SGI issuer is the safest option.

If you plan to reuse the license plate for another vehicle in the future, that’s also fine. This can save you the hassle of obtaining a new license plate for your next vehicle. Just remember to store the license plate properly in the meantime.


Transferring Your License Plate and Vehicle Registration

When you purchase a new vehicle, you have the option to transfer your existing license plate and vehicle registration from your original vehicle to the new one. This can be done by visiting a motor license issuer and completing the necessary steps.

To complete the transfer, you will need the bill of sale for the new vehicle. Keep in mind that there may be a difference in registration and insurance costs between the two vehicles. You may either owe the remaining amount or receive a credit refund. The motor license issuer will guide you through the transfer process and provide you with all the information you need.

Can I Transfer My Plate to My Spouse?

The quick and simple answer is no. Regular license plates are tied to the person or account they are registered to until they are returned to SGI for recycling and redistribution. This means you cannot transfer regular license plates between spouses, family members, or different types of accounts (ex., Group accounts).

Exception: However, if you have a personalized plate, there is an exception. Custom plates can be transferred between spouses, family members, or group accounts you’re a part of by filing a request form with SGI and paying an additional fee. It’s not something your local issuer can do for you right away in the office, but they can help you by providing the form and sending it to SGI on your behalf.


Specialty and Personalized Plates

Have you ever seen those Roughrider green plates around your town? Or how about those plates with a fun nickname on them? Those are specialty plates. In addition to regular license plates, specialty and personalized plates are available in Saskatchewan. These plates allow you to add a personal touch to your vehicles. Some examples of specialty plates include :

  • Collector
  • Rider Pride
  • Saskatchewan Rush
  • Saskatchewan SPCA
  • Veteran
  • Vintage Rider

Specialty plates can be personalized with a slogan of your choice. The character limit for personalized plates varies depending on the plate size. Large plates generally allow for up to 7 characters, while small plates allow for up to 5 characters. However, there are exceptions for certain specialty plates like Rider, Rush, Saskatchewan SPCA, Veteran, etc.

The most basic of the specialty Saskatchewan plates, also known as “Land of the Living Skies” plates, can be personalized with up to 7 characters. If your vehicle is not yet registered, you can still order a plate, but it will only be valid once registered with SGI. Visit for more details on how to order.

Don’t worry; a big fluorescent sticker comes with the plate in the mail to remind you the plate isn’t active until you update your registration through your SGI issuer. 

sgi plate slogan availability search

Applying for Personalized Plates

To apply for personalized plates, you need to fill out the Special Order Plates form. This form can be obtained from any motor license issuer or download the pdf HERE. Once you have completed the form, you can submit it to a motor license issuer along with the necessary fees or send it yourself following the guidelines on the form.

Single “Land of the Living Skies” Plate: This option includes a single plate for the back of your vehicle.

Cost: $75 + GST


Cost of Replacing/Reprinting License Plates

You can visit any motor license issuer if you find that you need to replace your regular license plate. For example, if your plate is peeling and you’re no longer able to read it, you should get a new plate. There are two options available for replacing your license plate:

Replace with a Different Plate Number: The motor license issuer will provide you with a new registration certificate and a regular license plate with the next available plate number.

Fee: $15

Reprint with Your Existing Plate Number: The motor license issuer can order your current plate number, which will be mailed to your address.

Fee: $20

Reminder: Update your Auto Insurance Policy / Auto Pak

When you replace your license plate with a new number or a personalized plate, it’s essential to inform your insurance broker about the change. If you have an auto insurance policy, your insurance broker must update your package policy with the new plate number. Failure to do so can cause problems during a claim if your registration and policy don’t reflect the same plate. 

Once you receive your new plate, call your insurance broker and provide them with the updated information. This ensures that your insurance policy remains accurate and up to date.


Real-life Example: Transferring Vehicle Registration Between Spouses

transferring plates between spousesTo illustrate the process of transferring a vehicle registration between spouses, let’s consider a real-life example. John and Sarah are married, and they decide to transfer their vehicle registration from John’s name to Sarah’s name.

John and Sarah visited a motor license issuer, Harvard Western Insurance, to initiate the transfer. They will need to provide the necessary documentation, including the bill of sale for the vehicle stating the vehicle details such as the VIN, year, make, and model. They choose to write up their own bill of sale at home, being sure to date it for today and outline who the vehicle is being transferred from: John or Sarah. 

Bill of Sale/Letter of Gift PDF

For the purchase price, they mark the value as a ‘gift’ as no money was transferred, and gifting vehicles between spouses is allowed by SGI. Lastly, both of them sign the bottom signifying their agreement.

The motor license issuer will guide them through the transfer process as they start registering the vehicle to Sarah to avoid any gap in coverage for the vehicle.

Once the transfer is complete, Sarah will receive a new registration certificate and a new license plate.

John then cancels the old registration that was in his name. He’ll have the choice to retain the plate for reuse later on or recycle it with the issuer. John decided to retain the plate because it was personalized with their last name on it. However, before leaving the issuer’s office, they must put on Sarah’s new license plate before taking the vehicle on the road. It’s a good thing Harvard Western keeps a toolbox on hand with some screwdrivers. After making a quick change in the parking lot, Sarah got her brand new plate on the vehicle.

After looking at her new plate, Sarah decided she would like to use John’s personalized plate for her vehicle. However, as the plate is currently tied to John, they will need to fill out a form to SGI requesting the change of the plate owner. The issuer advised them it would take a little while for the update to happen in the system, so for now, it was best to keep that new plate Sarah received. 

After waiting a few weeks, Sarah went and visited Harvard Western again to ask if she could change the plate on the vehicle. Bringing in the personalized plate, the issuer changed the plate number on her vehicle registration. Sarah opted to recycle the other plate she had received. Making another quick switch in the parking lot, the personalized plate was now on the vehicle after the registration change. Sarah brought in her old plate and handed it to the issuer for proper disposal. 



By understanding the rules and regulations surrounding license plates, you can ensure that your vehicle remains properly registered and that your license plate is displayed correctly. Remember to consult with a motor license issuer or refer to the resources provided by SGI for any specific questions or concerns:

Properly registered and displayed license plates not only help you avoid fines and penalties but also contribute to a safer road environment. So, take the necessary steps to keep your license plates in order and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with being a responsible vehicle owner.

HWI branded lined breaker

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