If you purchase a 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.
There may be availability and eligibility requirements. 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, for motorcycles and trailers, only to the rear. 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 in the state of Ohio, or if 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 are some of the specialty plates available:
You can obtain a complete list of specialty license plates, pricing, and eligibility requirements 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 online to find available numbers.
You may be required to surrender your license plates if:
License plates can be surrendered either by mailing them or by 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 your license plates get lost, damaged, or 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 that 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:
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 for Ohio but also for any other state across the U.S.