License Plates & Placards in Kansas

SUMMARY: Kansas License Plates

You'll need to register your vehicle in person at a motor vehicle office to apply for KS license plates. You'll also need to renew your registration in order to renew your tags, which can be done online, by mail, or in person. You can usually transfer plates when you buy a car. License plates are mandatory, so be sure to replace your tags if they're lost, stolen, or damaged.

Keep reading for more information about license plates and tags in Kansas.

Eligible for disabled parking? Get application information from our Disabled Plates and Placards page.

Types of Kansas License Plates

Most vehicles in Kansas (including passenger vehicles and motorcycles) must have a license plate issued by the Kansas Department of Revenue (DOR).

It must:

  • Have a registration decal showing when it expires.
  • Be securely attached to the back of the vehicle.
  • Be clearly visible.

The standard Kansas license plate has a light blue background with dark blue letters and features a segment of the state's seal as part of the background.

You can also apply for specialty license plates and personalized plates from the KS DOR, usually for an additional fee.

If you have a qualifying disability, you can obtain disabled license plates that allow you to park in designated handicap parking places.

Temporary License Plates

A vehicle dealer can give you a temporary tag valid for 60 days when you buy a vehicle from them.

The tag allows you drive the vehicle while you wait for your KS plates to arrive.

Temporary tags cannot be renewed or extended.

Apply for License Plates

You can apply for Kansas license plates by registering your vehicle with the KS DOR.

Registration is required for all KS residents. You must apply within:

  • 90 days of moving to the state.
  • 60 days of buying a vehicle.

Get complete details, including document requirements and fees, on our Vehicle Registration page.

Renew Your Vehicle Tags

Renewing your tags in Kansas is easy. Just renew your vehicle registration online, by mail, or in person.

When you renew your registration, you'll get a new decal to place over the old decal on your license plate.

See our Registration Renewal page for more information.

Replace KS License Plates

If your license plate or registration decal is lost, stolen, or damaged, you must apply for a replacement immediately.You must also file a police report as you will need this when applying for a replacement license plate, as well as a Custom Plate Order and Lost, Stolen, Replacement, Exchange Plate and/or Decal Application (Form TR-21)

Contact the Kansas DOR at (785) 296-3621 OR your county's motor vehicle office for more instructions.

The fees to replace plates and decals are:

  • $2 for a license plate (additional county fees may apply).
  • $0.50 for a decal (additional county fees may apply).

NOTE: You should report any loss, theft, or vandalism of your license plates to your local law enforcement.

Transfer or Surrender License Plates

You can usually transfer your tags when you register a vehicle you've just purchased.

To transfer a Kansas license plate:

  • The new vehicle title must be in the same name or names as the registration you're transferring.
  • You must transfer the plate within 30 days of buying your vehicle.

You'll transfer the tags when you register your vehicle. In addition to the documents required for registration, you'll ALSO need:

  • The current registration card.
  • The buyer name and sale date of the vehicle you sold or traded.
  • Payment for the $6.50 transfer fee PLUS title fees and taxes.

If you no longer need your license plates, you can:

NOTE: You may be required to surrender your license plate if you replace it with a different type of plate, such as a personalized plate.

Fees for Kansas License Plates

The fees listed below DO NOT include sales tax, local taxes and fees, or title fees. Counties may also charge an additional $5 fee for motor vehicle transactions done in person. Contact the Kansas DOR for total fees.

  • Standard license plates:
    • Passenger vehicle up to 4,500 lbs.: $35 per year.
    • Passenger vehicle over 4,500 lbs.: $45 per year.
    • Motorcycles: $25 per year.
  • Replacements:
    • License plates: $2. (additional county fees may apply)
    • Decals: $0.50. (additional county fees may apply)
  • Transfer fee: $6.50.

Personalized & Specialty License Plates

Personalized Plates

If you want to purchase your own personalized license plates, you will need to start the process with a visit to your local county treasurer's office. You'll need to order and pay for the new plates at least four months before your vehicle's registration renewal is due.

Automobile plates are limited to 7 letters, numbers and/or spaces, motorcycle plates are allowed 5 letters, numbers and/or spaces.

Fee: $46.50 for auto or truck, $45.50 for motorcycle.

Five-year Cycle

Kansas issues its personalized license plates for 5 years at a time. Personalized plates are available in only one plate style, which is unique to personalized plates only. The current artwork is of a brown buffalo on a tan background, which was introduced in 2005.

Personalized Plate Fees

Personalized plates cost $46.50, and are valid for 5 years. At the end of each cycle, you must renew the personalization, but you will not be charged a fee. Please note that this fee is in addition to your normal vehicle registration fees, personal property taxes, plate fees, and county service fees.

Specialty Plates

Specialty plates are those with artwork that displays a logo or symbol for a cause, association, group, or club. Each plate is priced separately and each link will give you information on where you may obtain the plate and the fees involved.

Here is a list of some of the specialty plates available in Kansas:

Antique Plates

Kansas has several types of plates available for older vehicles.

  • Antique plates are for vehicles that are at least 35 years old. Owners may opt to use the original model-year Kansas plate, as long as the plate is in good condition. Read the state law concerning these plates for more detailed information.
  • Special-interest plates are for vehicles that are more than 20 years old and have not undergone significant modification from the manufacturer's specifications. You can make safety changes for better operability and to meet modern safety standards.
  • Street-rod plates are for vehicles made before 1949 that have undergone changes.
  • There is a one time fee of $40 for these license plates.

To apply for either the special-interest or street-rod plates, complete a Special Interest Vehicle/Street Rod Affidavit (Form TR-145) and take it to your county treasurer's office.

Special-interest or street-rod vehicle owners must own another vehicle with a standard registration that is used for everyday transportation.

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