How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in Ohio

Personalized license plates are a very popular way to add customization to a vehicle. With a personalized plate, you can share a sentiment or message with the world.

For many people, personalized plates are like larger, better looking bumper stickers. You can use them to support a local sports team, advertise your company, or simply share your child’s name.

In Ohio, you can personalize your plate message and select a special plate design to use. Between these two, you can create a truly unique license plate that is perfect for both you and your vehicle.

Part 1 of 3: Choose your personalized license plate

Step 1: Go to the Ohio license plate page. Visit the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles official license plates page.

Step 2: Choose a license plate design. In the Special Plates Availability Check section, click on the "Personalize Your Own Special Plates" link. The Availability page is displayed.

Select your type of vehicle from the Select Your Vehicle Type menu.

Choose a license plate design or logo from the dropdown menu and click the "Search by image" button to search for a specific license plate logo image.

Step 3: Choose a license plate message. Enter your message in the “What would you like your personalized plate to say?” box.

Your license plate message has to be at least four characters long, but no more than seven. Different plate designs have different restrictions, but for most plates, you can only have six characters.

You can use all letters and numbers, plus spaces, but no special characters or punctuation marks.

  • Note: Crass, crude, and offensive license plate messages are not allowed. The message may appear as available on the website, but the application will be rejected by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

Step 4: Check the plate availability. After choosing a message, click the "Check Availability" button.

If the message you chose is listed as unavailable, keep trying until you find an available message that you like.

  • Tip: After finding a message that you like, look at the preview of the message on your chosen license plate design to make sure that you are satisfied with your choices.

The annual logo fee amount and other information about the logo will be displayed below the preview.

Part 2 of 3: Order your personalized license plate.

Step 1: Exchange your plates. Click the “Exchange my plate” button. The Login page is displayed.

Step 2: Provide plate information. Identify your vehicle by entering any one of the following details:

  • Your vehicle’s information (current license plate number, as well as the last four digits of your social security number, or your tax identification number)
  • Your license information (your driver’s license number and the last four digits of your social security number)
  • Your personal information (including the last four digits of your social security number).

  • Note: You must be the registered owner of the vehicle for which you are purchasing personalized plates. In Ohio, you cannot order personalized plates for a vehicle owned by someone else.

Step 3: Complete the application. Fill out all of the information on the specialized plates application form including your personal information and your vehicle’s information.

  • Tip: Always double check your answers to make sure that they are accurate and ensure that everything is spelled correctly.

Step 4: Pay for the personalized plate. Pay the personalized license plate fees on the website using any major credit card.

  • Note: The personalized license plate fees are in addition to any other registration and license plate fees and taxes.

Step 5: Confirm your order. Review and confirm your personalized plate order.

Part 3 of 3: Install your personalized license plates

Step 1: Get your new plates. After your application has been received, reviewed, and accepted, your plates will be manufactured and sent to you in the mail.

  • Tip: It usually takes six to eight weeks after placing your order for your plates to be delivered.

Step 2: Install your plates. As soon as you receive your plates, install them on your vehicle.

  • Tip: If you do not feel comfortable installing license plates on your car, you can hire a mechanic to come help you do the job.

  • Warning: Be sure to add current registration stickers to your new license plates before driving your vehicle.

Purchasing personalized license plates in Ohio is quick, easy, and affordable, and can be done entirely online. If you’ve been looking for ways to add more fun, flair, and personality to your vehicle, a personalized plate might be the perfect choice for you.


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