Special License Plates in Kentucky

SUMMARY: Kentucky Specialty License Plates

In Kentucky, you have several special license plate choices, including personalized license plates and plates for interests and organizations. Applications for special license plates must be made in person.

This page contains information about the specialty license plates available from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).

NOTE: Applying for disability parking? See our page Disability Placards & Plates for complete details.

Personalized Kentucky Plates

In Kentucky, several types of license plates can be personalized, including the standard KY license plate and many special plates.

Character limits vary by plate type—for example:

  • Standard KY plates for cars and trucks: Maximum of 6 characters (letters and numbers) PLUS a dash OR a space.
  • Motorcycle plates:
    • 6 characters.
    • 5 characters plus a dash OR a space.
  • Special plate character limits vary.

Your custom tag number CANNOT be the same as a license plate number already in use.

To check the availability of a license plate number, choose your plate type from the KYTC website and follow the link to personalization options.

You'll pay a $25 application fee to order a personalized plate. See Apply for Special License Plates below for further details on applying.

NOTE: If you personalize a special plate, you'll pay both a personalization fee AND special plate fee.

Special Interest & Organization Plates

The KYTC issues several special license plates associated with organizations and special interests.

License plates are available for:

  • Hobbies and leisure activities, such as:
    • Amateur Radio license plates.
    • Kentucky Sportsmen plates.
  • Membership organizations, including:
    • Masonic Order license plates.
    • Horse Council plates.
  • Special causes, for example:
    • Spay/Neuter license plates.
    • Autism Awareness tags.
  • Professions and professional organizations, including:
    • The Fraternal Order of Police tags.
    • Firefighter license plates.

Some special plates have eligibility requirements, such as membership in the organization or employment in a particular role.

For many, a portion of the special plate fee helps support the organization that sponsors the plate or a related charity or non-profit.

Fees for KY special plates vary.

You can personalize most special plates for an additional fee. Please see Apply for Specialty Plates below for application details.

See the KYTC website for a complete list of special license plates, eligibility requirements, and fees.

College & University Plates

Many public and private colleges and universities offer special Kentucky license plates.

For example, plates are available for:

  • Kentucky State University.
  • Western Kentucky University.
  • Berea College.
  • St. Catharine College.

See the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website for a complete list of college and university plates.

A portion of your initial fees and renewal fees benefits college scholarship funds.

Kentucky college and university plates can be personalized for additional fees. For application details, see Apply for Special License Plates below.

Military Tags in Kentucky

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet offers license plates for military veterans, retirees, and current service members.

Military plates are available to:

  • Military veterans, such as:
    • Air Force veterans.
    • Navy veterans.
  • Recipients of honors, for example:
    • Purple Heart recipients.
    • Silver Star Medal recipients.
  • Family members of service members killed in action, including:
    • Gold Star mothers.
    • Gold Star spouses.

See the KYTC website for a complete list of military plates, as well as a list of military plates for motorcycles.

Eligibility & Fees for Military Plates

You must have proof that your military service reflects the designation on the license plate to be eligible, such as your:

  • Discharge papers.
  • Certification from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Check the military plate requirement criteria for the specific plate you want to ensure you submit the correct documentation.

Fees for military license plates vary.

Most Kentucky military plates can be personalized for an additional fee.

For a list of all military plates, specific eligibility requirements, and exact fees, see the Transportation Cabinet website.

Historic KY License Plates

You can have special historic plates on your vehicle in Kentucky if it is:

  • At least 25 years old.
  • A passenger or other non-commercial vehicle.
  • AND
  • Used mostly for exhibition and hobby purposes.

You must still pay ad valorem tax on your vehicle. Details on how to apply are below.

NOTE: You can also apply to use an authentic KY license plate or reproduction vintage plate on your historic vehicle.

The KYTC also offers special license plate for historic motorcycles.

Apply for Special License Plates

Applications for a specialty plate must be made in person at your local Kentucky county clerk's office.

Before going in to apply for your special plate, you should visit the MVL license plate page and click on your desired plate to learn about its specific application requirements, including:

  • Application steps.
  • Application and registration fees.
    • These may vary depending on plate type.
  • Required documents and eligibility requirements
    • Most military plates, for example, require you to bring a form of proof of service in order to apply.
  • Decal expiration date.

For additional information on renewing, replacing, and transferring your plate, visit our License Plates and Placards in KY page.

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