License Plates & Placards in Indiana

SUMMARY: Indiana License Plates

Applying for a license plate is part of the vehicle registration process. You’ll need to register your car when you move to IN or purchase a vehicle, and renew your registration in order to renew your plate stickers. Temporary plates are also available when you buy a car from a dealer, and in most cases you can transfer your license plates to your new car. If your plates are lost, stolen, or damaged, be sure to order replacement plates as soon as possible.

Read below to learn more about license plates and tags in Indiana.

NOTE: Do you need a disabled parking plate? Our Disability License Plates page has complete details.

Types of Indiana License Plates

All motor vehicles in the state of Indiana are required to display license plates issued by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

Your rear license plate must have 3 stickers:

  • One displaying the year your registration expires.
  • One displaying the month and day your registration expires.
  • One sticker displaying the name of the county your car is registered in.

Law enforcement and other officials use these stickers to determine if your car’s registration is valid.

Special Indiana Plates

The IN BMV offers a range of special license plates, including military plates and other organization plates.

If you have a disability, you may be eligible for a disabled parking plate that allows you to park in designated spaces. Application information, costs, and other details are available on our Disability Placards and Plates page.

Temporary License Plates

When you buy a vehicle from a dealership, you should receive temporary tags, also called temporary plates or interim plates.

Temporary plates are valid for up to 31 days and allow you to legally drive your vehicle while you wait for your registration to be processed and your Indiana license plates to arrive.

Apply for IN License Plates

You’ll apply for your Indiana tags when you register your vehicle with the IN BMV.

When you move to Indiana, you have 60 days to register your vehicle.

When you buy a vehicle, you must register the vehicle BEFORE operating it on Indiana roads or have temporary plates on your vehicle until you register it.

Visit our Vehicle Registration page for complete information.

Renew Your Tags in Indiana

To maintain a valid license plate and keep your stickers current, you will have to renew your registration.

The IN BMV offers renewals online, as well as several other options.

Our Registration Renewal page has more details, including ways to renew and registration renewal requirements.

Replace Indiana License Plates

You can replace a lost, stolen, or damaged license plate in person at a local Indiana BMV office.

You will need to submit:

You DO NOT need to return damaged plates.

Contact the BMV at (888) 692-6841 if you need to replace one of your license plate stickers.

Transfer & Surrender IN Tags

You may transfer your current plates to your new car IF:

  • The new vehicle will be registered in the same name or names as your old vehicle.
  • You title your vehicle before OR at the same time that you transfer the plates.

You will transfer the plates when you register your vehicle for the first time. The transfer fee is $9.75.

The IN BMV does NOT require you to surrender your license plates when you sell your car or move to another state.

You may be required to surrender plates when you get different plates, such as a personalized plate or disabled parking plate.

Fees for IN License Plates

In addition to the license plate fees below, you may have to pay registration fees, taxes, or service fees, depending on your transaction.

  • New standard license plates:
    • Passenger plate: $21.35.
    • Motorcycle plate: $26.35.
    • RV plate: $29.75.
  • Renewal of standard license plates:
    • Passenger plate: $21.35.
    • Motorcycle plate: $26.35.
    • RV plate: $29.75.
  • Replacement license plates: $10.25.
  • License plate transfer: $9.75.

Look Up an Indiana License Plate

The IN BMV DOES NOT offer a license plate lookup tool for personalized plates or to find a registered vehicle owner.

If you need to find the registered owner of a vehicle, you can contact the police, who will run the plate and contact the owner themselves.

If you’re looking for information about a vehicle, you can order a vehicle history report using its vehicle identification number (VIN).

Specialty License Plates


As of September 2014, you CANNOT apply for a personalized license plate from the IN BMV due to ongoing legal proceedings. Check back for updated information.

Antique Plates

To qualify for an antique plate, a vehicle must be at least 25 years old and be mechanically sound enough to pass a safety inspection conducted by an Indiana State Police Department officer.

Additionally, the vehicle's motor must be similar to the original motor. The vehicle must be titled in your name, and you must have the title with you at the time of the inspection. If the title isn't available, complete a Application for Certificate of Title (Form 44049) and obtain the title beforehand.

To apply for the plates, bring the completed Physical Inspection of a Vehicle or Watercraft (Form 39530) to a license branch.

The plates don't carry any special charges. You'll only need to pay the usual registration fees and taxes. The plates need to be renewed every 12 months.

Year-of-Manufacture Plates

If your vehicle qualifies as an antique vehicle, you may apply to use the Indiana plates issued in the year the vehicle was manufactured.

While you don't need to have both the front and rear plates, the plate(s) must be unaltered, in good condition, and be able to pass an inspection at a license branch. Also, if your vehicle hasn't already passed the safety inspection, it will need to do so.

Apply for the plates at any license branch by bringing the inspection certificate and the original plate(s). It costs $37 to use the plates, plus the regular registration fees and taxes. The plates need to be renewed every 12 months.

You'll be issued historic plates. Keep those plates, your registration, and the inspection affidavit inside the vehicle whenever you're displaying the year-of-manufacture plate.

The BMV offers additional information on year-of-manufacture plates, while providing a look at Indiana plates throughout the past century.

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