If you purchase new vehicle in the state of Ohio, you can obtain a 45 day temporary plate to drive legally on the roads. When registering the vehicle with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, it is possible to apply for standard, specialty, or disability license plates which can also be personalized. Availability and eligibility requirements may be required. The fees for license plates in Ohio vary by type.
All vehicles owned by Ohio residents must be registered with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
License plates must be securely attached to both the front and rear of cars, trucks and vans, or only to the rear of motorcycles and trailers. As well, registration stickers must be up-to-date and clearly visible at all times.
When applying for license plates in Ohio, you can visit a local BMV office. You may be required to provide the following:
If you become a new resident to the state of Ohio or you are a current resident purchasing a new vehicle, you must register with the BMV as soon as possible.
The state of Ohio issues a standard license plate to you when you register your vehicle. You also have the option to apply for:
Fees and eligibility requirements vary by plate type.
Specialty license plates contain decorative designs of organizations, occupations, educational institutions, special causes, and more. The following a few of the specialty plates available:
A complete list of specialty license plates, pricing, and eligibility requirements can be obtained by contacting an Ohio BMV office or online.
If you have a disability, you can apply for special disability license plates and placards. You will be required to submit any supportive medical documents to be eligible for these plates.
Disability license plates and placards are available for:
Note: Disability placards must be visibly displayed from your vehicle’s rear view mirror.
To personalize your license plates in Ohio, you must follow the guidelines provided by the BMV. Those guidelines require license plates to be:
You can look up available license plates to find available numbers online.
You may be required to surrender your license plates if:
License plates can be surrendered either by mailing them or dropping them off to a BMV office in Ohio.
If you purchase a new vehicle, you can transfer your old license plates. You are not permitted to give away your plates when you sell, donate, or auction your vehicle.
To transfer your license plates, you must title and register your new vehicle and pay for the transfer fee.
If you lost, damaged, or had your license plates stolen, you can obtain replacements from a BMV office in Ohio.
You can apply for replacements:
It can take upwards of 4 weeks to process any mailed replacement applications. You may be required to obtain temporary plates to continue to drive legally on the roads.
The decal stickers attached to your rear license plate indicate the date your vehicle's registration will expire. To avoid any late fees, you should renew your vehicle with the BMV in advance either:
When you receive your new decal stickers, you can continue to drive your vehicle legally on state roads.
In addition to any taxes and service fees you may be required to provide payment for the following fees:
You can use the search bar above to look up available license plates in Ohio. Simply submit the license plate you want to have and click submit. The results will reveal whether that license plate number is already registered or available.
The results of your search will also reveal some information about a license plate registered to a vehicle. You can obtain information such as vehicle history, theft, and more.
License plates can be searched not only in Ohio but also any other state across the U.S.