License Plates & Placards in Missouri

SUMMARY: Missouri License Plates

You can apply for MO license plates by registering your vehicle in person at a licensing office or through your vehicle dealer. You'll renew your tags by renewing your registration online, by mail, or in person. You can transfer Missouri plates when you get a new vehicle. You must replace license plates or tabs if they are lost, stolen, or damaged.

Read below for more information about license plates and tags in Missouri.

Applying for disabled parking access? Our Disabled Plates and Placards page has more information about eligibility and applications.

Types of Missouri License Plates

Most vehicles are required to display MO license plates form the Missouri Department of Revenue (DOR).

Some vehicles must have a tag both on the front AND the rear. Others will only need a rear license plate. The MO DOR will issue the correct number of tags for your vehicle.

In addition to license plates, you'll receive a color-coded registration tab showing the plate's expiration date to put on your license plate.

Specialty Plates

In addition to standard license plates, the MO DOR offers:

  • Personalized plates.
  • Organizational plates.
  • Military honor plates.

You may be eligible for handicap parking plates if you have a disability. Get complete details from our Disability Placards and Plates page.

Temporary Tags and Permits

A temporary tag allows you to operate your vehicle for up to 30 days while waiting for your MO license plates.

Your vehicle dealer will give you a temporary tag if you do not have license plates to transfer.

If you buy a vehicle in a private sale, you can get a temporary permit in person at MO license office. You will need:

  • A valid safety inspection certificate dated within the last 60 days UNLESS any of the following apply:
    • You present a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin (MSO).
    • You are NOT a Missouri resident.
    • The permit is for a trailer.
  • A current insurance identification card.
  • 1 document from the list below:
  • Payment for fees:
    • $5 permit fee.
    • $3.50 processing fee.

Attach the temporary tag where you would normally attach the license plate.

Apply for License Plates in MO

Applying for MO license plates is part of the vehicle registration process.

You'll need to title and register your vehicle with the MO DOR no more than:

  • 30 days from the day you establish Missouri residency.
  • 30 days from the date you buy a vehicle.

For complete details, see our Vehicle Registration page.

Renew Your License Plates

You'll renew your Missouri license plates by renewing your vehicle registration.

You should get a registration reminder, but even if you don't, you must renew your plates before your tab expires.

Our Registration Renewal page has detailed information about renewal methods, requirements, and fees.

Replace Missouri Plates or Tabs

If your license plates or expiration decals have been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can order replacements from the MO DOR either:

  • By mail.
  • In person.

You MUST report lost or stolen plates to your local law enforcement agency.

To order replacement license plates and/or tabs, you will need:

  • A notarized Application for Replacement Plate(s) and Tab(s) (Form 1576).
  • Payment for replacement fees:
    • Replacement fees:
      • Stolen plate or tabs: Are replaced for free (no more than 2 replacements per year).
      • License plate: $8.50 per plate.
      • Set of tabs: $8.50 per set.
    • Processing fee: $3.50 for ALL transactions.

Submit your order:

You will receive a Replacement Plate Permit that allows you to operate your vehicle while waiting for your replacement license plates.

NOTE: If you find your missing plates or tabs after ordering replacements, they will be invalid and you must surrender them to the MO DOR.

Transfer or Surrender Tags

You can transfer your license plates from a vehicle you own or owned to another vehicle in your name when you register the vehicle you've just bought.

The fee to transfer plates is $2, PLUS any other taxes, title, or registration fees that apply.

Let your vehicle dealer or MO license office agent know that you have tags to transfer.

You CANNOT transfer license plates to the person who buys your vehicle.

If you no longer need your license plates because you have moved to another state, you can do any of the following:

  • Destroy and recycle them.
  • Surrender them in person at a Missouri license office.
  • Surrender them by mail to:
  • Missouri Department of Revenue
    ATTN: License Plate Surrender
    301 West High Street, Room 370
    Jefferson City, MO 65105

You must surrender lost, stolen, or damaged license plates when you order replacements.

You may have to surrender plates if you get a different plate type, such as a disability parking plate or personalized plate.

Fees for License Plates in MO

  • New standard license plates AND annual renewal:
    • Passenger vehicles: Varies by taxable horsepower. See our Vehicle Registration page for a complete list.
    • Motorcycles (2 wheels): $8.75 + $3.50 processing fee.
    • Motorcycles (3 wheels): $10.25 + $3.50 processing fee.
    • Recreation vehicles (RVs): $32.25 + $3.50 processing fee.
    • Trailers: $7.50 + $3.50 processing fee.
  • Replacements:
    • Stolen plates: Free replacement + $3.50 processing fee.
    • License plates: $8.50 per plate + $3.50 processing fee.
    • Decals: $8.50 per decal + $3.50 processing fee.
  • Transfer fee: $2.

Specialty & Personalized Plates

In addition to the standard Missouri license plate design, there are also a number of specialty plates that drivers may purchase. There are collegiate license plates to support local colleges and universities, military plates to honor veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces, and organizational plates to support groups such as the St. Louis Zoo or the American Legion.

Personalized Plates

If you're proud of your wheels and looking for a way to express your individuality, you can personalize your Missouri license plates by adding a message of up to 6 characters. There will be an additional fee of $15 added to your vehicle's registration charge for this service. You can see if the message you want is available by using the license plate selection tool on the Missouri Department of Revenue website.

Historic (Antique) License Plates

To qualify, your vehicle must be 25 years old or older and used for exhibition or educational purposes, and owned solely as a collector's item.

Vehicles flashing historic or antique plates may be driven:

  • To and from exhibitions or educational events without any mileage restrictions
  • To any repair shop within 100 miles
  • Up to 1,000 miles annually for everyday use. You must maintain a personal use mileage log. This log must be carried in the vehicle when being driven on state roads.

Applying for Historic Plates

You must submit:

  • A completed Application for Missouri Historic or Personalized Historic License Plates; this application can be ordered via an online form or collected in person at the Central Office in Jefferson City.
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Your current county or Saint Louis City personal property tax receipt or non-assessment statement.
  • A copy of your vehicle's title or registration.
  • A one-time registration fee of $25.25.
  • A $3.50 processing fee.

Apply by mail or by visiting the the main office in Jefferson City.

Antique Historic Plates

You may register your vehicle's license plate as a historical plate provided it is over 25 years old, the year of issuance is consistent with the model year, and it does not clash with the state's current numbering system. To apply, follow the exact steps listed above and include a photo of your plate.

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