How to Find Out Which License Plates are Available in Your State

When you register your vehicle, you get a license plate. Unless you specify otherwise, you will get the standard, generic license plate for your state. However, most states have numerous options for fun, specialized license plates. Some of these plates are simply different colors or different themes, while others are personalized for certain careers or colleges. In addition to these specialized plates, you can personalize the letters and numbers that appear on your license plate.

Having a specialized license plate is a lot of fun, because it helps your car stand out, and makes your vehicle personalized and authentically yours. However, before getting a specialized plate you will have find the ones that are available in your state, and choose the plate for you. You will also have to pay a small fee to get a specialized plate.

Method 1 of 2: Use the DMV’s website

dmv site screenshot state selection

Step 1: Log on to your local DMV website. All specialized plates must be purchased through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which is the same place where you register your car. To access your state’s DMV website, go to, and then select the state that your vehicle is registered in (or will be registered in).

To select your state, simply click on the blue arrow near the top of the webpage, next to the words “Choose Your State.”

license plate and placards

Step 2: Navigate to DMV's special license plate page. Maneuver to the special license plates section of the DMV’s website. After you have made it to your state’s DMV page, click on the button that says “Registration and Titling”, then select “License Plates and Placards”. Then follow the instructions on the website to find the section for specialized license plates.

  • Tip: Depending on your state, you may have to input the zip code in which your vehicle is registered in order to see the available specialized license plates.

Step 3: Select your favorite license plate. Browse the specialized license plate offerings, and choose the one that best suits you and your vehicle.

Step 4: Check the requirements for your chosen license plate. Some license plates are only available to select people, so you should double check to make sure that you are eligible for the specialized plate that you have chosen. You should also check to see what the fee will be for this particular plate.

Step 5: If possible, order your specialized plate. Many states will let you order your specialized plate directly from the DMV’s website. However, some sites will only sell you the plates at a DMV location. Read the instructions on the specialized plate page to figure out whether you can place an order or not.

Method 2 of 2: Purchase the plates at a DMV location

dmv map california highlighted in orange

Step 1: Find the closest DMV office. You can find your local DMV office on your state’s DMV website, or by googling DMV. Find the address, and make sure that they are open when you plan to go.

  • Tip: Many DMV offices are only open on weekdays, at standard work hours, so you may have to work around your schedule to make a trip to the DMV.

Step 2: Check the available specialized license plates. Most DMV offices have most or all of the specialized plates on display, but if not, a DMV worker will be able to give you a list of the available license plates.

Step 3: Check the requirements, and purchase your specialized license plate. A DMV worker can let you know which specialized license plates are available to you, and what the fees will be to purchase them. Follow the DMV representative’s instructions to buy your specialized plate.

With your new specialized license plate, your car will be a little bit more fun, a little bit more unique, and a lot more personalized.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Related articles

How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in New Mexico
A A personalized license plate ( is one of the best and easiest ways to customize your vehicle. With a personalized license plate, you can add a little bit of your own personal style and flair to your car -...
How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in New York
A A personalized license plate is one of the most popular ways to add fun flair to a New York vehicle. With a personalized license plate, you can show support for your favorite team or your alma mater, show off...
How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in West Virginia
Personalized Personalized license plates ( add a special touch to your vehicle. It is an inexpensive way to make your vehicle a little more personal without performing any lasting modifications to your car. Personalized license plates are used by many...

Related questions

Front of car bouncing
Hello, the easy way to test your status or shock is to go to the corner of the vehicle and give it a good bounce up and down. Once you stop bouncing it, it should only continue for one and...
Is it illegal to have license plates as body work?
Hi Salvador, this is an interesting question. I'm not sure if it's legal or not so your best bet is to contact the Missouri DMV ( and see what they say.

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 ·