License Plates & Placards in Minnesota

SUMMARY: Minnesota License Plates

Minnesota license plates are required on most vehicles operated on public roads and owned by MN residents. To apply for tags, you just need to register your vehicle when you move to MN or buy a car. To renew license plates, you'll renew your registration. You must replace your license plates or stickers if they are lost, stolen, or damaged, which you can do in person or by mail. Finally, learn more about the registration and license plate lookup tools available in MN.

Continue reading this page to learn more about license plates in Minnesota.

NOTE: Applying for a disability parking plate? Get complete details on our Disabled Plates and Placards page.

License Plate Requirements and Types

Most vehicles in Minnesota must have license plates, including passenger vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, and vans.

Most vehicles will be issued 2 license plates. Motorcycles, trailers, mopeds and dealer or dealer in transit vehicles only need 1 license plate. Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) will issue the required number of plates for your vehicle.

Your license plate will have stickers that show the month and year your vehicle registration expires.

Plates for passenger vehicles must be replaced every 7 years when you renew your registration.

Types of License Plates

The MN DVS offers a selection of special license plates, including personalized plates, military plates, and organizational plates.

For specific details about disability parking plates, see our Disability Placards & Plates page.

Temporary Tags

When you buy a car, you can get a temporary tag from a Minnesota car dealer if you're a MN resident.

The temporary tag is valid for up to 21 days and is NOT renewable.

Apply for License Plates in Minnesota

To apply for your Minnesota license plates, you must register your vehicle.

MN registration is required with 60 days of moving to the state OR before your current registration expires, whichever is sooner.

When you buy a car, you have 10 days from the purchase date to transfer the title and registration.

Visit our Vehicle Registration page for complete details, including how to register your vehicle.

Renew Your MN License Plates

To renew the expiration sticker on your license plate, you'll need to renew your vehicle registration each year with the MN DVS.

You can check your registration status with the Minnesota DVS to get your renewal date or other information.

Replace Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Tags

If your Minnesota license plates and stickers have been lost, stolen, or damaged, you need to apply for duplicates immediately.

To do so, you will need:

  • A completed Application for Duplicate Plates And/Or Stickers (Form PS2067B).
  • Your current registration card.
  • Payment for fees:
    • Filling fee: $10.
    • Applicable replacement fee:
      • $6 for 2 license plates.
      • $4.50 for 1 license plate.
      • $1 for a decal.

You can submit the application:

  • In person at a DPS office.
  • By mail to:
  • Driver and Vehicle Services
    445 Minnesota St., Suite 187
    St Paul, MN 55101

Stickers will be issued in person while you wait. All other items will be mailed.

Transfer or Surrender MN Tags

If you sell your vehicle, the license plates stay with the car.

If you have personalized or special license plates, you can transfer them BEFORE you sell your vehicle. You must:

If you move to another state, you DO NOT need to surrender your MN license plates. However, you may need to surrender your plates if you would like a new plate design or plate type.

Fees for Minnesota License Plates

The license plate fees below DO NOT include taxes, title fees, or other registration fees which may apply for certain transactions.

  • New standard plates AND plate renewal:
    • 2 license plates: $6.
    • 1 license plate: $4.50.
    • Registration renewal filing fee: $6.
  • Replacements:
    • Filing fee for all applications: $10.
    • 2 license plates: $6.
    • 1 license plate: $4.50.
    • Decal: $1.
  • Transfer fee: Varies by plate type.

Lookup License Plates

In Minnesota, you CANNOT search for personalized license plate numbers or run the license plate of someone else's vehicle.

You CAN:

  • Review the MN DVS guidelines for vanity plates to learn more about personalized plate combinations.
  • Use the online registration search to check your own registration status using your license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN).

Specialty License Plates

Personalized Plates

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 (Form PS2010), to the following address, along with the appropriate fees of $100 for initial application, and the $10 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 7 characters, including hyphens and spaces
  • The total number of characters on other personalized plates must not exceed 6 characters, including hyphens and spaces

Antique Plates

Minnesota divides this category into the following plates: Pioneer, Classic, Collector, and Street Rod. Each one can be applied for by completing an Application for Special Plates (Form PS2010).

Pioneer Plates

Any vehicle manufactured before 1936 and retained as a collector's item can display these plates.

Classic 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.

Collector Plates

Any vehicle that's at least 20 model years old, providing you, the owner, also have at least one other vehicle registered in Minnesota.

Specialty Plates

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

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