Applying for Special Plates in Iowa

SUMMARY: Apply for a Specialty Iowa License Plate

In Iowa, you can apply for special plates online, in person, or by mail. Specialty license plate renewal is part of your vehicle registration renewal. After selling your car, you can transfer your special plate to your new car. Fees vary from plate to plate.

Several types of special license plates are available through the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT). Additionally, there are multiple avenues in which you can apply for a special plate.


Applying for Special Plates in Iowa

In Iowa, you can apply for specialty license plates:

  • Online.
  • In person.
  • By mail.

NOTE: After your application is accepted, your plate will be sent to your local county treasury office for pickup. You will be notified when your plates are ready.


Several special plates and personalized plates can be ordered online by visiting the myMVD online ordering tool. Be prepared with the following:

  • Your valid Iowa driver's license or ID.
  • Your credit card for payment.

Because of special eligibility requirements, the following types of special plates CANNOT be ordered online and can ONLY be ordered in person or by mail:

In Person

To apply for your specialty plate in person, visit your local county treasury office with the following:

  • A completed Special Plate Application (only available for download with Internet Explorer).
  • Payment for any applicable fees.
  • Any applicable required documents for plates with special eligibility requirements, such as veteran plates.

By Mail

You can apply for special and personalized license plates through the mail by:

  • Completing a Special Plate Application (available for download through Internet Explorer).
  • Gathering any additional required documents to prove eligibility (if applicable).
  • Providing payment for fees.
  • Mailing the above to the address listed on the application form.

Renewing Special Plates in IA

Your special plates will be renewed as part of your vehicle registration renewal. Expect to pay a special plate renewal fee in addition to vehicle registration fees.

To learn more about renewing your car's registration, visit our Registration Renewal in Iowa page.

Transferring IA Special Plates

When you sell your car, you can keep your Iowa special plates with you IF you transfer them to a new car. This must be done within 30 days.

If you do not get a new car within that time, you must surrender your plates to your local county treasurer office.

IA Special License Plate Fees

Fees for special plates vary depending on plate type. You can expect to pay a/an:

  • Initial application fee.
  • Renewal fee.

Typically, you can get 1 set of military and veteran plates issued to you free of charge. Fees will apply to additional sets you order. Additional fees will also apply to personalize these plates.

To find specific information about special plate fees, visit the Iowa Department of Transportation website and click on your desired plate.

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