License Plates & Placards in Oregon

SUMMARY: Oregon License Plates

If you drive your vehicle on Oregon's public roads, you'll need valid license plates to show that the vehicle is registered. To apply for plates when you move to Oregon or get a new vehicle, you'll just need to register your vehicle. You'll renew your license plates by renewing your vehicle registration. If you sell your vehicle, you can transfer your license plates to a new one as long as it is the same type of vehicle. You can request replacement plates by mail.

Continue reading this page to learn more about obtaining license plates from the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV).

NOTE: Are you looking for information about handicap license plates? Visit our Disability Placards & Plates page.

Types of Oregon License Plates

Motorcycles, mopeds, and trailers all need to have 1 license plate in the state of Oregon, as do special and antique vehicles.

All other cars and trucks must have 2 license plates; which are displayed on the front and back of your vehicle.

You'll have a month sticker and a year sticker on your rear plate that show when your registration expires.

Other License Plates

The Oregon DMV offers both personalized and special license plates.

Disability license plates are also available for those with qualifying disabilities. Visit our disabled parking permits page for details.

Temporary Tags

When you buy your car from a dealership, you will get a temporary tag so that you can drive your car while waiting for your OR license plate.

If you do your paperwork yourself or buy your car in a private sale, you can get a trip permit from your vehicle dealer. Trip permits are valid for 10 days and cost $15.

Apply for OR License Plates

Applying for license plates simply requires registering your vehicle with the OR DMV.

When you move to Oregon, you have 30 days to register your vehicle.

When you buy a car in OR, you must transfer the title and register the vehicle in your name at the same time. If you buy a car at a dealership, your dealer will handle the paperwork for you.

For more details, see our Oregon vehicle registration page.

Renew License Plates in Oregon

To renew your OR license plates, all you need to do is renew your vehicle registration.

Registration renewal is due every 2 years . Some new vehicles can be registered for 4 years on their first registration

For complete information, visit our registration renewal page.

Replace Oregon License Plates

If your passenger vehicle plates are stolen, destroyed, lost or damaged, you can get new ones by mail.

You will need to send:

Send your application and payment to:

1905 Lana Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97314

For replacements of other types of plates, contact the OR DMV at (503) 945-5000.

Transfer or Surrender Your License Plates

License plates are transferrable, but if you no longer need them, the OR DOT requires you to dispose of them or surrender them.

Transfer Your License Plates

You can transfer your license plates between vehicles IF the vehicles are the same class. For example, you can transfer a motorcycle license plate to another motorcycle, but you cannot transfer it to a car.

To transfer OR license plates to a new car you've just bought:

To transfer the license plates to a vehicle you already own and have registered in your name:

Send your form and payment to the address specified on the form, or take it to your local OR DMV office.

Surrender Your Plates

When you get a new license plate or leave Oregon, old plates are no longer considered valid. You can dispose of them in a number of ways:

  • Make the plates unusable by bending them, removing and destroying the stickers, and recycling them.
  • Surrender them in person to your local OR DMV office.
  • Surrender them by mail to the DMV at:
  • DMV
    1905 Lana Avenue NE
    Salem, OR 97314

Fees for OR License Plates

The OR license plate fees below do not include taxes, service fees, or other registration fees.

  • New standard plates:
    • 1 license plate: $12 PLUS registration fees.
    • 2 license plates: $24 PLUS registration fees.
  • License plate renewal: Fees vary by vehicle type and location.
  • Transfer fee:
    • 1 license plate: $6.
    • 2 license plates: $6.
  • Replacement license plates:
    • For registrations valid for more than 120 days: $34.
    • For registrations due within 120 days: $29 PLUS registration fees.
    • Year sticker: $10.
    • Month sticker is free.

License Plate Search in Oregon

Members of the general public CANNOT search license plate records in Oregon. You should contact local law enforcement to report abandoned vehicles or other violations. They can run the plate and contact the owner.

In addition, the OR DMV DOES NOT provide a personalized plate search. Since you cannot check available license plate numbers, you will be asked to provide alternative numbers when you apply for a personalized plate.

Finally, if you need information about a vehicle's history, you can find information by ordering a vehicle history report using the vehicle identification number (VIN).

Specialty License Plates

Antique Plates

Oregon offers two types of special plates for older vehicles:

  • Antique plates are for vehicles manufactured in 1956 or before. The vehicle must be maintained as a collector's item, and may only be used for antique exhibitions, parades, and related activities.
  • Special interest plates are for vehicles that are at least 25 years old and maintained as a collector's item. This designation also applies to vehicles or replicas that qualify as "street rod" vehicles. Lastly, this category works for vehicles classified as "special interest" by an established antique vehicle organization.

To apply for either type of plate, complete the appropriate form and submit it to a DMV office.

Personalized Plates

Customized, or vanity plates for vehicles in Oregon may be obtained by following these steps:

  • Complete the Application for Registration, Renewal, Replacement or Transfer or Plates and/or Stickers, and Custom Plate Application and submit to DMV with fees.
  • Pay the applicable registration and plate fees.

Customized plates typically take up to 10 weeks to receive, and if the requested plate is not available, customers will be notified.

Your personalization can have between 1 to 6 characters plus 1 extra space or hyphen. Each character block can have a letter, number or hyphen, or you can leave some blank. However, there are no special characters or punctuation marks allowed.

You cannot personalize a group plate, such as a college or veteran plate. Also, your message cannot be obscene, explicit, or otherwise offensive. See the DMV website for details.

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