Applying for Special Plates in Massachusetts

SUMMARY: Apply for a Specialty Massachusetts License Plate

In Massachusetts, you can apply for special plates online or in person. Vanity plates, however, can only be applied for in person. You'll renew your specialty plates as part of your registration renewal. You can replace your lost or stolen plates by visiting or calling the RMV. Transferring your special plates to a new car is possible once you sell or dispose of your old car. Fees for specialty plates vary depending on your plate.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) offers several types of special plates. Depending on the plate type, you may apply online or in person.

Applying for Special Plates in Massachusetts

You can apply for specialty plates in Massachusetts:

  • Online (limited to select specialty plates).
  • In person (all plates).

Online

You can apply for the following special plates by visiting the RMV website:

  • Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Blackstone Valley.
  • Boston Bruins.
  • Boston Celtics.
  • Cape Cod & Islands.
  • Choose Life.
  • Conquer Cancer Coalition.
  • Cure Breast Cancer.
  • Firefighters Memorial.
  • Fish & Wildlife.
  • Invest in Children.
  • Olympic Spirit.
  • Massachusetts Animal Coalition.
  • New England Patriots.
  • Red Sox.
  • Right Whale.
  • UMass.
  • United We Stand.

In order to use the online ordering system, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Your vehicle registration must be current.
    • If your registration expires this month and it is past the 15th day of the month, you may not order online.
  • You must be the registered owner of your vehicle.
    • The vehicle must not be company-owned or leased.
  • Your driver's license number must match one of the license numbers on the registration.

Your special plates will be mailed to the address the RMV has on file within 10 business days. If you need to change your address, do so BEFORE applying.

NOTE: Your special plate number will be randomly assigned.

In Person

To apply for your specialty MA license plate in person, visit your local full service RMV branch with the following:

MA Military and Veteran Plates

Several military and veteran plates are available in Massachusetts. However, these plates are not available for online application.

To apply for military plates, visit your local RMV branch with the following:

  • Any required application forms.
  • Any additional required documents, such as proof of service.
  • Your old plates, if swapping plate types.
  • Payment for fees.

The following veteran plates are not available in RMV branches:

  • Silver Star plate.
  • Bronze Star plate.
  • Congressional Medal of Honor plate.
  • Legion of Valor plate.
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor plate.
  • Distinguished Flying Cross plate.

To request one of the plates above, you'll need to mail the form to the address on the application.

NOTE: Whenever you are changing plate types, you'll need to submit a Form RMV-3 (available for download). If you are registering your vehicle initially, you'll buy your plate as part of your registration process.

Vanity Plates in MA

Personalized plates can be ordered in person at your local RMV full service branch. When applying, bring the following with you:

Before making your trip, you can check the availability of your custom message at the RMV website.

Renew MA Special Plates

Your special plate renewal is part of your vehicle registration renewal. You should get a renewal form (Form RMV-2) in the mail at least 6 weeks prior to your expiration date.

Certain plates are renewed annually and others are renewed biennially. Check the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles' fee chart to find your plate's renewal schedule. Plates with “A" next to it are renewed annually and those with “B" are renewed biennially.

Renewal fees may vary depending on your custom plate type.

To learn more about how to renew your registration, read our Registration Renewal in Massachusetts page.

Replacing & Transferring Special Plates

Replacing a Special License Plate

To replace your lost or stolen special plates, take one of the following steps:

  • Visit your local RMV branch.
  • Call the RMV at:
    • (857) 368-8000
    • (800) 858-3926 (toll free).

If you need to replace both of your plates, you must make an in-person trip to an RMV branch.

Transferring Your Plates in MA

The Massachusetts RMV allows you to transfer your registration and plates to a new car IF you meet the following criteria:

  • Your registration is current.
  • The owner(s) on the registration will remain the same.
  • Both vehicles fall under the same registration/plate standards.

There is a grace period of 7 days after your sell or dispose of your old car to complete the transfer and registration of your new car.

To qualify for the grace period, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You're at least 18 years old.
  • Both vehicles fall under the same registration/plate standards.
  • You must carry the transfer documents in your new car.
  • You must have sold or otherwise disposed of your previous car.
  • Your plates must be attached to the new car.

Visit a RMV full service branch to complete your vehicle registration and plate transfer.

Fees for MA Special Plates

Fees for special plates vary depending on the plate.

Specific fees for both initial application and renewal of special and vanity plates can be found on the RMV Schedule of Fees.

Forms

RMV-3 Vehicle Renewal/Amend/Other

Use this form to change your MA vehicle registration regarding auto insurance, plate transfers, and personal information, OR to renew your registration if you don't have a renewal notice from the RMV.

Download Open the form
RMV-2 Vehicle Registration Renewal

Renew your car's registration with the Massachusetts RMV. The RMV will mail you this application when your registration is close to expiring. Not available online.

Download Open the form

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