License Plates & Placards in Minnesota
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Most Minnesota vehicles, including cars, pickups and other trucks, and buses, require two license plates to be displayed―one in the front and one in the back of the vehicle.
Some vehicles in Minnesota, such as motorcycles, mopeds, and dealer cars, as well as trailers, require only one rear-displayed license plate. Other vehicles that may display only a rear license plate include the following:
- Model 1972 or earlier vehicles that are used for regular driving
- Vehicles defined as "pioneer, classic, or street rod" that are used for regular driving
- Vehicles registered as "pioneer, classic car, collector, or street rod"
When you register your vehicle for the first time, you will receive standard plates unless you specifically apply for special plates. You may swap them for special plates by filling out an application and paying your fees, as explained below.
Minnesota disabled plates may be issued to drivers or passengers of cars, vans, pickup trucks, motorcycles, and recreational vehicles (RVs) if they qualify with Minnesota requirements, which are similar to most state's policies for disabled drivers.
For disabled plates in Minnesota, the applicant must have a physical disability as defined by the state, or be a custodial guardian or parent of a minor with a permanent disability. Minnesota's disabled plate holders may only obtain one set of disability plates. The fee is $15.50, including a $7 plate fee and an $8.50 service fee.
Disabled plates may be issued for many different types of vehicles, and many of the state's specialty plates can include a disabled emblem.
For personalized or so-called "vanity" license plates in Minnesota, motorists must apply at a deputy registrar office location, or send an application for special plates, provided online, to the following address, along with the appropriate fees of $100 for initial application, and the $8.50 filing fee:
- Driver and Vehicle Services
- 445 Minnesota St., Suite 164
- St. Paul, MN 55101
All license plates, except standard Minnesota plates, are issued out of the central office.
Personalized plate applicants in Minnesota must follow these guidelines, as outlined on the state's special plates page:
- Personalized plates may be used for passenger class vehicles, one-ton pickup trucks, motorcycles and recreational vehicles (RVs)
- The total number of characters on a passenger vehicle's personalized plate must not exceed seven, including hyphens and spaces
- The total number of characters on other personalized plates must not exceed six, including hyphens and spaces
- Plate characters must include at least one alpha character
Minnesota divides this category into four plates: Pioneer, Classic, Collector, and Street Rod. Each one can be applied for by completing an Application for Special Plates.
Any vehicle manufactured before 1936 and retained as a collector's item can display these plates.
These plates can be displayed on any vehicle manufactured from 1925 to 1948 that's deemed a classic car by the registrar of motor vehicles. The criteria for this designation includes superior workmanship, design, elite engineering standards, and proof the vehicle is only used as a collector's item.
Any vehicle that's at least 20 model years old and manufactured after 1935 can display these plates, providing you, the owner, also have at least one other vehicle registered in Minnesota.
Street Rod Plates
You qualify for these plates if your vehicle was manufactured before 1949 or was recreated to resemble a vehicle manufactured before 1949. You must also have at least one other vehicle registered in Minnesota.
The official Minnesota DVS website lists a variety of different license plates offered. The plate types, which are also described online, are as follows:
- Passenger plates
- Recreational plates
- Specialty plates
- Support Our Troops plates
- Tax exempt plates
- Trailer plates
- Truck plates
- Veteran plates
- Volunteer ambulance attendant plates
- Volunteer firefighter plates
- Ham radio/amateur radio plates
- Bus plates
- Citizen band radio plates
- Collector plates
- Collegiate plates
- Critical habitat plates
- Dealer plates
- Disability plates/certificate
- Military plates
- Moped plates
- Motorcycle plates
Minnesota plates typically consist of an application fee of $5 to $25, and a filing fee of about $10. Some of the application and filing fees are more, and some plates require minimum annual donations as well.
The state does not require Minnesota residents to return their license plates after relocating to another state. Learn more on our MN 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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