Types of Special License Plates in Alabama

SUMMARY: Types of Special License Plates in Alabama

When you get a license plate in Alabama, you can choose from a number of specialty plate types. You can order personalized tags or plates that reflect special interests or causes. If you meet certain qualifications, you can also get a military license plate or vintage plates.

Read below for details about the types of special plates offered by the Alabama Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).


How to Get Personalized Plates in Alabama

The standard AL license plate can be personalized, as well as most of the specialty plates listed on this page.

You can use the AL MVD online license plate service to:

  • Choose a plate design.
  • Search the availability of a plate number.
  • Reserve a license plate and number.

The Alabama DOR must approve your message before issuing your plate. Visit their Specialty License Plate section and look for “E-Services" to reserve your message. Once your plate is approved you will have 5 days to pay the fees. After you finish the online application the DOR will estimate how long it will take before you receive your new plates.

Special Interest License Plates

The Alabama MVD has many license plates that support different activities, organizations, causes, and professions.

These license plates are divided into the following categories based on their design:

  • Specialty license plates that have a unique design, such as:
    • The Wildlife Federation plate.
    • The Breast Cancer Research plate.
    • The Fire Fighter plate.
  • Generic special plates that have a small logo or image on a white background, including:
    • The Children's Trust Fund plate.
    • The Rotary International plate.
    • The Alabama Tennis Foundation plate.

The AL MVD website has complete lists of specialty plates and generic special plates.

Anyone can purchase license plates that show support for a cause, such as the Breast Cancer Research or Children's Trust Fund plates. However, other special interest license plates require proof that you belong to that group, such as the Fire Fighter plate.

Learn more about application requirements by visiting our page on Applying for Specialty Alabama Plates.

Special Interest Plate Fees

The fees for special interest plates are charged IN ADDITION to your regular registration fees.

The additional fee goes to the organization the license plate represents or a charity linked to the cause it supports.

Special plate fees vary widely, for example:

  • The Helping Schools plate: $20 annually.
  • The Ovarian Cancer Research plate: $50 annually.

In general, fees range from around  $23 to $890 a year depending on the type of vehicle being registered.

You can check the specific fee for the plate you want on the AL MVD online plate reservation website, accessed through the Specialty License Plate section.

Collegiate Plates in AL

A number of Alabama colleges and universities offer special license plates, such as:

  • The University of Alabama.
  • Tuskegee University.
  • Auburn University.

You'll find a complete list of available college plates on the AL MVD website.

These plates are available to anyone and the per year fee varies, This fee is IN ADDITION to your registration fees. These fees are used to fund scholarship programs.

Military Honor Plates in Alabama

The AL DOR offers military plates for different branches of the military, service medals, particular campaigns, and even specific battles.

Available plates include:

  • United States Navy license plates.
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom tags.
  • Purple Heart license plates.
  • WWII Asiatic Campaign plates.
  • Battle of the Bulge license tags.

You must meet the criteria for the license plate you want.

  • Military branch plates: You must be an active, retired, or honorably discharged member of the U.S. military.
  • Tags related to specific battles, wars, or campaigns: You must have proof of your participation, such as military discharge papers.
  • Award license plates: You must have discharge papers or other official correspondence from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs showing you received the award.

Specific criteria and acceptable proof documents are provided on the MVD website.

Military tags are also available as disabled veteran plates. See our Disability Placards and Plates page for more details.

Military Plate Fees

Fees for Alabama military license plates vary:

  • Most military plates are $3 when issued IN ADDITION to regular vehicle registration fees.
  • Some plates are free.
  • You can personalize some military tags for an additional charge.

For specific fees and personalization options, visit the AL MVD plate reservation website, accessed through the Specialty Plate page.

The fees for these plates support various veterans' funds.

Antique AL License Plates

Antique and vintage license plates are available for cars, trucks, and motorcycles that meet specific criteria.

To qualify for vintage vehicle license plates in Alabama, your vehicle must:

  • Be one of the following:
    • A car, truck or tractor that weighs no more than 26,000 lbs. gross weight.
    • A motorcycle or fire truck.
  • Be more than 30 years old.
  • Be owned as a collector's item.
  • Have original or true to original parts and design, including all of the below:
    • Body.
    • Chassis.
    • Engine.
    • Transmission.

Antique license plates cost $10.

Original License Plates

Vehicles eligible for vintage vehicle plates can also have original AL license plates issued in the same year as the vehicle was made.

You must acquire the vintage plate yourself and apply to use it as you would for any other specialty plate.

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