Personalized License Plates in the United States & Which States Offer

personalized license plates collection

Some states do not offer personalized plates. This article tells you how to get a personalized license plate in the states that do.

Alabama

You can apply for a personalized license plate in Alabama. In fact, you can even order a personalized license plate in Alabama online (as long as you have an existing AL license plate), so it's pretty easy to get one. The fee for a personalized license plate in Alabama is $50, and there are several different designs you can choose from. It'll take two to three weeks to get your personalized license plate approved and shipped to you, but they generally last longer than that -- some of the personalized plates available in Alabama are valid until the end of their designated registration period. To renew your vanity tag, visit the DMV website or go into one of their offices and fill out an application with your information and another check for $50 if it's time for renewal.

Alaska

In Alaska, residents may apply for a personalized license plate through the Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Plate orders can be done in person at any DMV office. Applicants must provide a completed application, a registration fee of $15 and an annual personalized plate fee of $10. A license plate with up to seven characters is available in gold on red or blue on white. There is also the option to choose from a variety of different colored backgrounds ranging from orange to pink, with a fee of $25 for each color chosen. Once acquired, plates must be renewed annually.

Arizona

Visit the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division website and search for personalized license plate availability. You can also find a link to this on their homepage.

Make note of your three preferred letter or number combinations, in order of preference (if you need some inspiration, check out this list of ideas).

Fill out the application form with your vehicle registration and identification information, as well as your preferred combination choices. There is a $25 fee for this service that must be paid online with a credit card.

Complete the transaction and wait for your new plates to arrive in the mail!

Arkansas

The personalized license plates in Arkansas are truly some of the most creative and impressive ones I've seen—and this is coming from someone who used to do graphic design. It's a huge benefit in our area, as we have so many area codes that can't be easily recalled. On top of that, the fact that everyone in Arkansas has a chance to have their own plate makes it more memorable, which can give you a feeling of being very special.

California

Go to the California DMV website

On the left-hand side of the page, search for your desired plate configuration and check if it's available by clicking on “Check Plate Availability” under [Special Interest License Plates].

Once you've decided on a personalized license plate, click on “Start Your Application” under Personalized Plates

Follow the prompts and fill out the application form with your information (you may need to pay additional fees for certain types of plates).

Colorado

You must first complete and submit the Colorado License Plate Application. If you plan to personalize your car's license plate, then you must also complete and submit the Application for Personalized License Plates Form.

There is a $25 renewal fee every two years.

You can only use letters, numbers and spaces when personalizing your plates; profanity and obscenities are not allowed.

Connecticut

You can apply for personalized license plates through the Connecticut DMV. The application fee is $55 and you'll need to submit it along with a signed Statement of Identity (Form YG-115). You will also need documentation that verifies your eligibility for the type of vehicle you want to register.

You may apply online or submit an application by mail or in person at a local DMV office. Before completing your application, check the availability of the license plate idea and be sure to read any restrictions on personalized plates (letters only, must not offend others, etc.).

Delaware

The state of Delaware offers drivers the option to order personalized plates. To apply, you'll need your driver's license number, your vehicle identification number (VIN), and payment information. You can request a vanity plate online or by mail. The current fee is $75 ($35 for renewals), which includes a $15 manufacturing fee.

Some plates have restrictions: personalized plates may not be rude or offensive, infringe on anyone's rights or property, contain any type of advertisement or slogan, refer to motor vehicle infractions, use official emblems or language that could make another person believe they're an official tag (unless they are), include punctuation (periods are okay but no question marks or anything else), include numbers only (no letters).

All plate requests must go through the state police office for review. Once approved, you should receive your plate in 6 weeks' time. If the application is denied, you will receive a full refund within 21 days of receipt of the application. Failure to abide by these rules will result in an immediate forfeiture and return of the license plate without reimbursement from the Division.

Florida

For standard plates, you can go to your local Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, or you can order online. The cost of a standard plate is $28.15. A personalized license plate costs $38.15, and specialty plates cost $28.15 plus the additional fees associated with the type of specialty plate you choose (e.g., custom sports team plates). Florida offers many different types of specialty plates: military, college/university, veteran support and environmentalism. 

Georgia

Georgia offers personalized license plates, but there are a few rules to keep in mind if you’re interested in making your car a little more unique:

You can only have one personalized plate per vehicle.

You cannot request obscene words or phrases, including abbreviations.

Personalized plate messages cannot exceed 7 characters (including spaces).

Hawaii

Visit the Hawaii DMV website to tell them you'd like a vanity plate. You'll have to pay $25 for your first plate and an additional $10 each time you renew it, but it's well worth it!

Choose your license plate:

The state of Hawaii has a system where you can see available characters as you type. Just enter your letter/number sequence in the box under "View Available Personalized Plate Combinations". This is very helpful because some sequences will result in combinations that aren't actually available.

The state offers several options for special characters on plates, including Hawaiian letters and Chinese characters.

Idaho

In Idaho, you can choose from a number of different styles. You can get a license plate with an image of Boise state on it. Other options include the Idaho flag or a graphic of a potato. There are also several types of plates that you can personalize in Idaho, including specialty plates that support causes like the fight against breast cancer and non-profit organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters and Ducks Unlimited. You can order personalized license plates online, by mail, or in person at any county assessor's office.

Illinois

In Illinois, you can apply for a personalized license plate online or in person at your local DMV. The application will ask for the following information:

Your name and address

Your vehicle’s year, make, model, and VIN

The type of plates you want (passenger car plates or motorcycle plates)

Payment details for the $48 application fee (plus vehicle registration fees if applicable)

You’ll need to provide the following documents with your application:

1 primary document proving your identity (valid driver’s license, state ID card, birth certificate, U.S. passport)

1 secondary document verifying your identity (social security card, credit/debit card with embossed name)  If you have any doubts about whether a document is acceptable, check with the Secretary of State website.  You can use this link to find the nearest DMV office where you can submit your application in person.  Applying online is straightforward — all of the relevant forms and requirements are right on their website.  Once approved by a staff member at the DMV office or online via their automated service checker (for applications submitted online), your personalized plates should arrive within 10 business days.*

Indiana

When it comes to your personal vehicle, you have plenty of options for customizing your license plates. Indiana offers a wide variety of personalized tags to choose from. To find out the process of how to easily obtain the one that best fits your personality and interests, continues reading below.

Types of Personalized License Plates in Indiana

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) has provided a few different types of personalized license plates:

Standard License Plates/Placards

Special Group Recognition License Plates/Placards

Military and Veteran License Plates/Placards

Collegiate and Professional Sports Team License Plate/Placard

Iowa

Iowa offers personalized plates through the Iowa Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). The fee for a personalized plate is $35.00 ($15.00 for a personalized motorcycle plate) each year in addition to the registration fee and any other applicable service fees. A minimum of three characters must be entered, with no maximum number of characters. Personalized license plates are available in all classes except apportioned trucks, farm trucks over 8,000 pounds empty weight or 11,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating and buses that have a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 16,000 pounds.

The following types of personalized license plates are also available:

Collegiate with up to six characters (maximum four characters for motorcycles).

County with up to three letters and numbers or four letters and numbers on a motorcycle.

Disability accessible with one letter or one letter and one number on a motorcycle.

Environmental (the environmental plate will have an extra designation at the bottom right corner indicating the fund type)

Military with up to five letters or five numbers, or 4 characters and 1 space on motorcycles (veterans who are Purple Heart recipients can order this type without additional fees).

Kansas

Here are the steps to get a personalized plate in Kansas:

Fill out and mail or deliver an application form.

Pay the $45 fee.

Cross your fingers that no one else has claimed your desired vanity plate before you did.

Kansas allows personalized plates in standard alpha-numeric format, as well as some special formats with symbols like #, &, -, @, /, and *. For example, if someone wanted to have a license plate that read "#BESTDAD", they could do so (although for the sake of their children's reputations it would be advisable not to).

Kentucky

Every state in the United States offers personalized plates. Kentucky, however, is one of only a few that does not impose restrictions on what a registrant can choose for their license plate number. The personalized plate system in Kentucky is called "Prestige." Unlike many other states' systems, Prestige also allows you to order your customized plate online or by mail.[1]

You may search for and reserve a specific Prestige license plate number[2]. To do so, you must provide your name and address (if searching by mail), or email address (if searching online). You'll have to pay additional fees if the application process is approved and before the DMV will issue the license plates.

Louisiana

Cost: $25

Online: via the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles website

In person: at a local OMV office

By mail: using this form on the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles website

Louisiana allows you to choose from a list of stock plate designs, or order your own personalized design. You can also order specialty plates commemorating your support for professional sports teams and schools like LSU, Southern University, Tulane, and Nicholls State.

Maine

You can apply in person at any DMV office, including in Maine. The cost is $36, plus the $2 to renew your plate.

You can apply by mail via the USPS or UPS (you will be required to return a signed letter of acknowledgment before they ship your plate), at a cost of $38. This is also valid for 10 years and then you must reapply.

To apply online, you'll have to provide a valid form of photo identification and pay an additional non-refundable fee of $10. This does not renew the license plate for an additional five years from the date on which it expires. You must reapply every five years if you want to keep it.

Maryland

When you apply for a personalized plate, you need to submit:

the application form.

a $50 processing fee (in addition to the regular registration fee).

a certificate of title that is properly signed over to you.

Your personalized license plate will be issued when you register your vehicle.

Some states do not offer personalized plates. This article tells you how to get a personalized license plate in the states that do.

At the time of publication, all states offer some kind of personalized plate. The number of characters allowed and the type of lettering permitted varies from state to state. Most states will allow you to personalize your plate with a combination of letters and numbers, but others require that you use only letters.

In many cases, you can order personalized plates directly through your local DMV or BMV website, although in some instances you must visit a brick-and-mortar office in person to fill out an application form. In most places, just show up with proof of insurance and identification to transfer the title, pay any applicable fees and taxes, and pick up your new set of wheels.

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