Special License Plates in Illinois

SUMMARY: Specialty Illinois License Plates

Illinois residents can choose from a wide variety of specialty license plates, including personalized and vanity plates and plates with special designs. You can apply for specialty plates by mail or in person, and you can order some plates online.

Keep reading to learn more about specialty license plates in Illinois.

NOTE: Looking for disability license plates? See Disability Plates & Placards for more information.

How to Apply for Personalized & Vanity Plates in IL

The Illinois Secretary of State (SOS) issues personalized and vanity license plates for cars, trucks, recreational vehicles (RVs), and motorcycles.

You may have a custom tag number on the standard Illinois license plate and several types of special plates.

Each plate type has its own guidelines:

  • Personalized plates can have letters followed by numbers.
  • Vanity plates can have:
    • No more than 3 numbers.
    • 1 to 7 letters.

Additional rules apply to BOTH types of license plates. You CANNOT have:

  • Intermingled numbers and letters.
  • Spaces.
  • Lowercase letters.
  • Symbols.
  • Foreign words.
  • Offensive language.

Fees for vanity and personalized license plates are below. For application details, see Apply for Specialty License Plates on this page.

Fees for Personalized & Vanity Plates

Fees for Illinois vanity and personalized license plates are charged IN ADDITION to vehicle registration fees.

Fees vary based on your license plate and vehicle type:

  • For a personalized plate, you'll pay:
    • $158 for passenger vehicle, B-truck, or RV plates.
    • $48 for motorcycles plates.
  • For a vanity plate, you'll pay:
    • $164 for passenger vehicle, B-truck, or RV plates.
    • $54 for motorcycle plates.

Other fees may apply, such as:

  • Title fees for vehicles being titled and registered in IL for the first time.
  • Special plate fees for personalized or vanity special plates.

See below to learn more about applying for personalized and vanity plates.

Special Design License Plates

The IL SOS offers several different types of special design license plates, including plates for organizations, colleges and university plates, and antique vehicle plates.

Application details for each of these plate types can be found below.

Organization License Plates

Most of the specialty license plates in Illinois feature charitable organizations, athletic teams, and membership groups.

For example, license plates are available for:

  • Autism Awareness.
  • The Chicago Cubs.
  • The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police.
  • Prevent Violence.
  • Support Our Troops.

For a complete list of charity and special group plates, see the IL SOS website.

Fees for Organization Plates

Fees for organization specialty plates are charged IN ADDITION to:

A portion of your organization license plate fee goes to the organization itself.

Some examples of organizational plate fees include:

  • Chicago Bears plate:
    • $40 to order.
    • $27 to renew.
  • Illinois Fraternal Order of Police plate:
    • $25 to order.
    • $25 to renew.
  • Prevent Violence license plate:
    • $40 to order.
    • $27 to renew.

See the IL SOS website and select your plate for a complete list of fees. Application details are below.

Collegiate Plates in Illinois

Several specialty license plates are also offered for colleges and universities both in Illinois and outside of the state.

For example, you can get a license plate for:

  • Illinois State University.
  • Loyola University.
  • Malcolm X College.
  • University of Illinois.
  • University of Notre Dame.

See the IL Secretary of State website for a complete list of collegiate plates.

Fees for Collegiate Plates

You'll pay a special plate fee for a collegiate license plate IN ADDITION to regular registration and registration renewal fees.

A portion of your fee for a collegiate plate helps support scholarships at the sponsoring institution.

NOTE: If you choose to personalize the plate, you'll ALSO pay a personalization or vanity plate fee.

Examples of typical collegiate plates fees include:

  • Illinois State University plate:
    • $40 to order.
    • $27 to renew.
  • University of Notre Dame plate:
    • $40 to order.
    • $27 to renew.

You'll find detailed application information below.

Antique Vehicle Plates

A specialty license plate for antique vehicles is available for any of the following:

  • Vehicles over 25 years old.
  • Firefighter vehicles over 20 years old.
  • Exact replicas of the vehicles above.

Your vehicle must be in its original condition to qualify.

Vehicles with antique license plates can be driven ONLY for:

  • Car shows, parades, and similar events.
  • To and from service stations.

Antique plates are issued in cycles lasting 5 years.

Fees for Antique License Plates

Antique plates cost $30 every 5 years. If you order a plate in the middle of the cycle, you'll pay a pro-rated fee.

You may also have additional fees, such as:

  • $29 replacement fee if you order an antique plate to replace a non-antique plate.
  • Vanity or personalized plate fees if you personalize your plate.

See below to learn about applying for an antique specialty plate in Illinois.

Military License Plates in Illinois

The Illinois SOS offers specialty license plates for military service recognition to qualified service members or veterans.

You can order Universal Veteran plates, or plates for distinctions such as:

  • The Armed Forces Reserves.
  • Ex-Prisoner of War.
  • The Iraq Campaign Medal.
  • Retired Armed Forces.
  • U.S. Navy Veteran.

Eligibility requirements for military plates vary. In general, your service record must reflect the distinction on the license plate.

Proof of eligibility may include discharge papers, a valid military ID, or other official certification.

You'll find a complete list of military plates and their eligibility requirements on the Illinois SOS website.

Fees for IL Military Plates

Most military plate costs will include:

  • Standard registration fees and regular renewal fees.
  • Other standard fees, such as title fees, if applicable.

You can also choose a personalized or vanity military plate for additional fees.

With some military plates, like the Ex-Prisoner of War plate, your vehicle registration is free for 1 set of license plates.

See below for application information.

Apply for Specialty License Plates

Specialty plates can be applied for:

  • Online (for some plates only).
  • By mail.
  • In person.

Online Applications

NOTE: You CANNOT order special plates with eligibility requirements online.

You can apply online for an IL personalized plate, vanity plate, or specialty plate (with NO eligibility requirements) by visiting the Illinois Pick-a-Plate website.

To be eligible for online ordering, you must meet the following criteria:

  • The license plate you're ordering DOES NOT have eligibility requirements.
  • Your car is titled and registered under your name.
  • Your vehicle registration shows your current address.

Be prepared to provide the following:

  • Current license plate number.
  • Vehicle identification number (VIN).
  • IL driver's license number.
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security number (SSN).
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover or American Express credit card number and expiration date to pay the fee.

By Mail or In Person

Specialty license plates, including those with eligibility requirements, can be ordered:

To order a plate by mail or in person:

  • Find your desired plate:
  • Download the brochure/application for your special plate.
  • Check for eligibility requirements and include proof of eligibility, if applicable.
  • Find the fees for your license plate.
    • Remember, plate fees are charged IN ADDITION to registration fees.
  • Submit your application by mail or in person.

Renew Specialty Plates in Illinois

Your IL specialty plates are renewed when you renew your vehicle registration, which you can do:

  • Online.
  • In person.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.

Special plate renewal fees may apply in addition to your regular registration renewal fees. To see your renewal fee, visit the IL SOS website and click on your chosen license plate.

For more specific instructions on how to renew your registration, read our Registration Renewal in Illinois page.

Replace and Transfer IL Specialty Plates

To replace or transfer your license plate, you will need to complete an Application for Vehicle Transactions (Form VSD 190), available from an IL SOS office.

You can find information on replacing or transferring license plates on our License Plates and Placards in Illinois page.

NOTE: Additional fees may apply for specialty plates. Contact your local Illinois SOS office if you have any questions about fees.

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