License Plates & Placards in Delaware
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License plates are placed on your vehicle once it is registered with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Commonly known as tags, you will mount the plate on the back of your vehicle.
Most cars and trucks have a designated place for license plates. If your car is an antique, mount the plate in the front; if your vehicle doesn't have a designated license plate holder, mount it as close to the usual position as possible.
The DMV will give you tags and decals when you complete the registration process. Your license plate will be mounted on the back of your car.
Tag expirations are either the last day or the 15th day of the month; your decals show the month and year of your license plate expiration. Put your decals on the lower right corner of your license place.
Many drivers like to attach a vanity plate to their vehicle because your car becomes easily recognizable to friends and family. If you are interested in a vanity plate, visit the DMV office for paperwork, eligibility, and the $40 fee. Some combinations may be restricted and there are rules about the number of letters, numbers, or punctuation marks you can request.
Use the DMV's handy online tool to search and/or reserve a specific plate number.
The DMV works with several organizations to offer you a variety of special license plates. The one-time fee and eligibility requirements can be different for special license plates.
To get an application and learn the requirements check in with a DMV registration specialist at any of the DMV offices. You can apply for $50 plates―Animal Welfare and Agricultural Farmland Preservation License Plates. The Environmental Plate, which supports the Delaware Center for Inland Bays and The Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, has an initial cost of $35.
The DMV allows other social organizations to apply for special license plates; typically you need to have 200 members getting plates to qualify. To learn more about special plates and fundraising through the issuance of special plates, call the DMV:
- New Castle: (302) 326-5000
- Dover: (302) 744-2500
- Georgetown: (302) 853-1000
Disabled drivers may want to apply for disability plates or a portable disability placard. License plates that provide handicapped drivers with special parking privileges are displayed on the vehicle just like other license plates. Typically, the handicap plate begins with HP.
You must qualify for handicapped plates, and the DMV provides an handicapped plates online outline, which can be viewed using the free Adobe Reader. Part of the application is completed by your doctor; this insures that permanent plates or placards are given to drivers and passengers who meet the limited criteria.
Temporary placards are issued to drivers or passengers who have a disability limited in duration. For example, if you were in an accident that meant you met the wheelchair requirement you might still make a full recovery. A temporary placard would help you get around while you were recovering.
Renew Disabled Placard
Disabled placards are good for three years. The state provides a convenient online form for renewing.
If your vehicle is at least 25 years old, and if it meets a few other basic requirements, you may apply for antique plate status.
Once your application has been processed, you'll receive one antique plate to be attached to the front of your vehicle. The plate will be in addition to the ones currently issued for your vehicle. Be sure to renew your registration to keep both the plate and vehicle current.
The DMV provides additional information on this procedure.
The state requires Delaware residents to return their license plates after relocating to another state. Learn more on our DE License Plate Surrender page.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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