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Connecticut License Plate Search

If you own a vehicle in Connecticut and wish to apply for license plates for the first time or require replacement plates, you should apply in person at the DMV. For renewals, you can do this either in person, by mail, or online.

Sample Connecticut License Plate

Sample Connecticut License Plate

Before You Apply for Connecticut License Plates

When you're purchasing a new or used vehicle in Connecticut, you must register at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

If you've purchased a vehicle from a dealer, you should have received temporary tags from them. This permits you to drive your vehicle as your plates are being prepared by the DMV.

If you're purchasing a vehicle privately, you should visit the DMV in advance to obtain temporary tags. These temporary tags typically cost $21 and remain valid for 21 days.

Applying for Your License Plates in Connecticut

If you're a new resident in Connecticut, you have 60 days to register your vehicle at the DMV.

If you're purchasing a vehicle from a dealer, often the dealer will handle the registration of your vehicle.

Finally, if you are purchasing the vehicle privately, you will have to register it yourself.

You must bring the appropriate documents to the DMV, such as:

  • Vehicle Title
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Valid Piece of ID
  • Emissions Test

Please contact your DMV for a full list of requirements for the vehicle you intend to register.

Standard License Plate in Connecticut

You are obligated to have two license plates on your vehicle: one at the front and another at the rear. If you are registering a motorcycle or a trailer, you’ll be issued just one plate, for the rear.

Since 2010, you no longer have to have registration stickers on your license plate. Typically, your license plate in Connecticut will be valid for 2 years. After that, you have to renew your registration either in person, by mail, or online.

Personalizing Your License Plates in Connecticut

Personalizing your license plates in Connecticut gives you what is known as a vanity plate. A vanity plate must comply with the following rules:

  • Up to 7 characters
    • Up to 6 for motorcycles
    • Up to 5 for veteran or classic motorcycles
  • No spaces or dashes
  • Can use 1 dot
    • You can only place this between characters

You can check license plate availability and purchase your combination of characters for just $94 (on top of any additional registration or renewal fees).

Available Specialty License Plates in Connecticut

If you really want to be unique when driving your vehicle, you can choose from assorted specialty license plates available in Connecticut. Here are some examples:

  • City of Norwich License Plate
  • Town of Stafford License Plate
  • Children First Foundation License Plate
  • New England Air Museum License Plate
  • Classic Vehicle License Plate
  • Gold Star Families License Plate
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart License Plate
  • University of New Haven License Plate
  • Central Connecticut State University License Plate

These specialty license plates will add $50 to $96 to your total registration, depending on the type you get. Keep in mind that these additional costs are required each time you renew your vehicle.

Losing Your Connecticut License Plates

If your license plates are not in good condition, they can fall off. Some people have had their license plates stolen off their vehicle. In either situation, you must apply for new license plates at the DMV in person.

There are a few steps to take to get your license plates replaced, such as filing a police report if your license plates were stolen or damaged purposefully. Be sure to get an additional copy to bring to the DMV.

When you arrive at the DMV, you’ll require the following:

  • Form E-159: Marker Plate Notice Form
  • Form B-301: Registration Affidavit Form
  • Copy of your police report
  • Certificate of registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Surrender your remaining plates (if available)
  • $5 fee with a police report / $25 free without a police report

After submitting the appropriate documents, you can obtain a new set of license plates and a new number.

If you want to get your original plate number, you must first wait 10 months. Then you can submit form E-45: Replacement Application for Identical Plate, and submit any required fees online or by phone.

Transferring Your Connecticut License Plates

You are the property owner of the license plates registered to your vehicle. If you decide to sell, donate, or trade your vehicle, you have the option to keep or transfer your plates.

Transferring license plates from an old vehicle to your new vehicle requires a $21 fee when you register your new vehicle. If you want to transfer your license plate to another family member, please bring the following to the DMV:

  • Vehicle insurance in family member’s name
  • Old registration
  • Vehicle title in family member’s name
  • Proof of ID
  • Letter permitting family member to keep the plates
  • Form H-13B: Application for Certificate of Title
  • Transfer fee: $21
  • Record fee: $20
  • Payment for additional fees, taxes, etc.

Note: You can also put your plates on hold, in the event that you sell your vehicle and want to use your plates for an upcoming purchase of a new vehicle. Go to your DMV’s online service to place a hold.


If you sell your car and want to use your license plates for a different car that is not yet in your possession, you can put your plates on hold.

Surrendering Your Connecticut License Plates

If you don’t want to remain in possession of your license plates, you can surrender them to the DMV. You should also surrender them if you are moving to a new state.

What You Pay for License Plates in Connecticut

The following fees apply to the registration of your license plate only. Any additional fees, such as service fees, emissions fees, or other fees, are not included.

2-Year Standard Plate Fees:

  • Vehicles: $80
  • Non-Commercial Trucks [up to 8500 lbs]: $80
  • Motorcycles: $42
  • Motorcycle with Sidecar: $60

How to look up Connecticut license plates

If you want to check for available license plates or get a history of a car based on its license plate (for those purchasing from dealers and private sellers), try this 100% free license plate lookup service.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to look up Connecticut License Plates and report bad drivers:

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Go to FindByPlate.com
  3. Enter the plate number, and select state
  4. View the report
  5. View images submitted by the community
  6. View videos submitted by the community
  7. Add comments
  8. Add pictures of the vehicle
  9. Add videos related to the vehicle