License Plates & Placards in New Jersey
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New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) offers the state's motorists a variety of choices for what kind of license plates they can affix to their vehicles. Whether you're happy with the standard-issue plate or would prefer one that expresses your interest in a particular hobby or cause, there's a license plate that will suite your style.
When you title and register a vehicle, the MVC will issue you two license plates: one for the front and one for the rear of the car. You will be issued one plate only for trailers, mopeds, and motorcycles.
The standard-issue plate is yellow with black lettering and displays the state's motto, "Garden State," across the bottom.
Drivers with disabilities may apply for disabled license plates or placards that grant them special parking privileges. The license plates are valid on one vehicle that is owned, operated, or leased by someone who is permanently handicapped, or owned by a family member who provides transportation for the disabled person. This individual must have a handicapped ID card (received with the plates or placard) and must be present for the vehicle to be parked in a handicapped space.
These license plates are free with your standard vehicle registration. Read our drivers with disabilities article for information about how to apply for these plates or placards, as your physician will be required to complete some paperwork on your behalf.
Personalized plates, also known as vanity plates, are a great way to stand out from the crowd―not to mention entertain other motorists. Within reason and good taste, you can choose a letter and number combination that individualizes your ride.
A personalized plate must have at least three letters and a maximum of seven characters (letters and numbers). You may put your name or a message on your plate for a one-time fee of $50, plus the regular registration fee.
To obtain an application for a personalized plate, visit your nearest MVC Agency or call (888) 486-3339 to have a form sent to you. Mail the completed application along with the fee to the address on the form.
Or, apply for a personalized plate online by following the instructions provided. If you lease your vehicle, you can't use this method.
The causes promoted on these plates include Animal Friendly, Conserve Wildlife, Olympic Spirit, Shore to Please, USS New Jersey Battleship, Conquer Cancer, Baymen's Heritage, Discover NJ History, Pinelands, Treasure Our Trees, Deborah Heart & Lung, Meadowlands, Organ Donor, Law Enforcement Memorial, and United We Stand. The sale of these plates funds the particular sponsor's project.
To obtain an application, visit any MVC Agency or call (888) 486-3339. You must pay a one-time $50 fee, plus $10 annually to renew (the Battleship plates cost $15 to renew). The Agriculture plate is less pricey; it costs $20 initially and there is no fee to renew it.
You can even personalize these plates with up to five characters for an initial fee of $100 (the yearly renewal fee remains the same). Personalized Agriculture plates cost a little less―$70.
Certain nonprofit organizations offer special plates to their members for a small fee on top of the normal registration fee. Some service organizations, community organizations, and college alumni organizations let you commemorate your group's contributions by sporting its license plates.
To apply for these plates, contact your group's license plate coordinator; this person must approve your application. Plates cost from $15 to $50 initially, depending on the type of organization.
- Your vehicle must be at least 25 years old.
- Your vehicle can only be used for educational and exhibition purposes.
How to Apply
Call either (609) 292-6500 or (888) 486-3339 to request an application.
After completing, submit the application along with:
- Two photos (front view and side view) of your vehicle.
- Copy of your title.
- Check for $44.
You may personalize the plates for an additional $94 fee.
The state requires New Jersey residents to return their license plates after relocating to another state. Learn more on our NJ 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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