Virginia residents should register their vehicle with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
You can choose from a variety of different specialty license plates to show your support for organizations and groups.
If you personalize your plates with custom number, you can look up availability online.
All license plates are issued and regulated by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Virginia.
You must register your vehicle with the DMV if:
The types of Virginia license plates available for registration include:
All license plates in Virginia are required to have decal stickers. The month and year must be clearly visible and placed in the upper corners of the plate.
Temporary license plates are required to legally drive an unregistered vehicle on the road. You can obtain temporary license plates from an authorised provider (i.e. car dealership or DMV office).
Temporary license plates remain valid for 30 days which gives you time to process your vehicle’s registration.
If you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, often the dealer will provide you with temporary plates.
The standard license plate issued by the DMV in Virginia has a white background with dark blue lettering.
When you register your vehicle, these are the plates you receive unless you order personalized, specialty, or disability license plates.
There are over 200 specialty license plates available from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Virginia. These plates offer unique designs and provide support for charities, organizations, college scholarships, local parks, and more.
The following are just a few examples:
Fees for specialty plates vary by type and do not include the regular registration fees that are still required.
If you have a disability you can apply for special license plates and placards that permit you to park in designated spaces throughout the state.
You will be required to submit medical proof to be eligible.
Most license plates in Virginia can be personalized to have a custom plate number. You must submit an application for personalization to the DMV and your plate number should follow these guidelines:
You can look up available license plates using the search bar above.
You have 30 days to register your vehicle with the DMV after purchase or after becoming a new resident.
You can apply for license plates by visiting your county’s DMV office.
You may be required to provide the following when you register:
When you buy a new vehicle, you are not permitted to giveaway your license plates. Instead, your plates belong to you and can be transferred to your new vehicle.
There is an additional fee for transfering your plates when you register your new vehicle.
If you don’t transfer your plates, you may be required to surrender or destroy them.
You will be required to surrender your license plates if you:
You can surrender license plates to a DMV office near you.
If you have lost, stolen, or damaged license plates you should have them replaced by the DMV immediately.
You can replace your plates either by in person or by mail.
If completing applications for replacements by mail, be sure to submit check or money order for the DMV, not cash.
Stolen license plates should be reported to the police, but it may not be required to do so. This simply prevents your stolen plates from being abused.
Before your vehicle’s registration expires, you must submit all required documents and payments to renew your license plates.
You will receive new decal stickers after renewing your vehicle which can be placed over the old sticker on your rear plate.
You are required to pay standard registration fees in addition to local taxes, service fees, and any other applicable fees. The following are a few examples:
The fees for license plates in Virginia vary by plate and vehicle. You should contact the DMV to obtain more information for your situation.
If you want to find available license plates in Virginia, you can use the search bar above.
It is also possible to find information about a vehicle such as:
Relevant media (i.e. photos, videos, etc.)
Virginia license plate information is provided by LicenseSearch.org