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Indiana License Plate Search

Indiana residents must register their vehicles after purchase. As well, new residents must register their out-of-state vehicles.

The process of registering vehicles in Indiana is regulated by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Fees vary by county and car type to register and renew vehicles.

Sample Indiana License Plate

Sample Indiana License Plate

Applying for License Plates in Indiana

If you move to Indiana, you have 60 days to register your out-of-state vehicle with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). You must apply in person to a BMV office.

If you purchase a new vehicle from a dealership, some dealers may handle all of the paperwork to register your new vehicle. If you don’t require custom or personalized plates, you may be able to drive the vehicle off the lot the same day.

If you are purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, you need temporary plates to drive the vehicle legally. Temporary plates are valid for 45 days which allow you to drive on the road while waiting for your license plates to be registered and processed.

Application Process for License Plates in Indiana

When you apply for your license plates in Indiana, you’ll require the following:

  • Iowa driver’s license
  • Vehicle title
  • Bill of sale
  • Completed application forms
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Payment for fees

It is possible to apply for your license plates either online or in person.

Transferring License Plates in Indiana

If you already have plates and you recently sold, traded, or donated your car, it is possible to transfer your plates to your new vehicle. You have 45 days from the date of purchase to transfer.

You must get your new vehicle titled in your name then and register it at a BMV office. You’ll also need:

  • Valid ID
  • Proof of Insurance
  • Vehicle Information
  • Registration Payment
  • Payment for transfer: $9.50

Contact your county’s BMV to obtain a complete list of requirements for license plate transfers in Indiana.

Types of License Plates in Indiana

When you register your vehicle, you have the option to choose or apply for the following:

  • Standard License Plates
  • Custom License Plates
  • Personalized License Plates
  • Disable License Plates & Placard

The standard license plate is issued immediately and you will be able to leave the BMV with new plates on your vehicle.

The Custom or personalized plates take time to process and prepare. Those will be mailed to your address when they are ready.

Custom License Plates in Indiana

If you intend to order custom license plates in Indiana, you may have to submit additional documentation. Some custom license plates, such as Military License Plates, require proof of military enrollment.

Other custom license plates may include additional fees which serve as a donation for the charity or organization be printed on the license plates.

The following is a list of available custom license plates in Indiana:

  • The Fraternity Order of Police License Plates
  • Professional Firefighters License Plates
  • Indianapolis Zoological Society License Plates
  • Purdue University License Plates
  • Valparaiso University License Plates
  • Indiana State University License Plates
  • Gold Start Families License Plates
  • Purple Heart License Plates
  • Ex-POW License Plates
  • Pearl Harbor Survivors License Plates
  • U.S. Military Veterans License Plates
  • Antique Vehicle License Plates

You can apply for these custom plates either in person or online. Each plate has different registration and renewal fees. Contact your BMV for more information.

Personalized License Plates in Indiana

Personalizing your license plates means adding your own phrase or words to the plate number. Here are the guidelines to follow to personalize your license plates in Indiana:

  • Up to 7 characters for vehicle
  • Up to 6 characters for motorcycles
  • Use letters, words, and 1 space
  • Cannot use profanity or inappropriate messages

You’ll be expected to pay $45 for the personalization of your license plates. You can search online for available license plates in Indiana.

Surrender or Transfer License Plates in Indiana

If you no longer require your license plates, you may be able to keep them. The state of Indiana may require you to surrender your license plates if you are upgrading to a custom or personalized plate.

Also, you have the ability to transfer your license plates if you purchase a new vehicle and it is registered and titled in your name. When you transfer your license plates to a new vehicle, you will be expected to pay $9.50 in addition to any registration fees.

Summary of Cost for License Plates in Indiana

There are various fees required when you register your vehicle in Indiana. The following are a few of the fee you can expect at the BMV:

  • Standard License Plate Fee:
    • Passenger Vehicle: $21.35
    • RV: $29.35
    • Motorcycles: $26.35
  • Personalized License Plate: $45
  • Replacement Fee: $9.50
  • VIN Inspection: $5
  • Decal Replacement Fee: $9.50
  • License Plate Transfer Fee: $9.50
  • Late Vehicle Registration Fee: $15
  • Changing License Plate Fee: $9.50
  • Standard Plate Renewal Fees:
    • Passenger Vehicle: $21.35
    • RV: $29.35
    • Motorcycles: $26.35

You may be able to receive your license plates and certified registration stickers when your payment is processed and the paperwork is cleared. If you have selected personalized or special plates, you will receive your plates by mail and it will take some time before they arrive.

How to lookup Indiana license plates

Don’t forget to look up license plates in Indiana if you intend to personalize your plates.

You can also use this license plate search tool to get background information about a vehicle. See if the car you’re about to buy was stolen.

Here is a step by step guide on how to lookup Indiana License Plates and report bad drivers:

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Go to
  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