Types of Special License Plates in North Carolina

SUMMARY: Specialty North Carolina License Plates

In North Carolina, you can choose from several special license plates, such as personalized plates and plates for charities and other organizations. If you're eligible, you can also apply for a military license plate or an antique vehicle tag.

Keep reading for details about the types of special license plates available in North Carolina.


North Carolina Personalized Plates

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers personalization of the standard NC license plate and some specialty tags.

Personalized car tags can have any combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.

However, your custom license plate will be refused if it:

  • Is a duplicate of an existing license plate.
  • Exceeds the maximum number of characters:
    • 8 characters for passenger plates.
    • 7 characters for motorcycle plates.
    • 4 characters for special plates.
  • Is deemed offensive.

The fees for a vanity plate are:

You can use the NC DMV license plate search and ordering tool to:

  • Check the availability of your combination.
  • Find restrictions or rules for any plate type.
  • Order your personalized plate.

Visit our Applying for Special License Plates page for complete application information.

Special Plates for Organizations

A number of organizational plates are available from the North Carolina DMV, including:

  • Special interest plates.
  • Collegiate plates.
  • Civic club plates.
  • NASCAR plates.

Fees for these plates are charged IN ADDITION to standard registration fees and regular renewal fees.

NOTE: You can also personalize most special plates for an additional fee.

Read below for an overview of each type of tag and examples of available plates. For a complete list of available license plates, see the NC DMV website.

Visit our page on Applying for Special License Plates for application details.

Special Interest Plates

Special interest plates issued by the NC DMV help raise money for specific causes.

A portion of the special plate fee is given to a charity or non-profit organization related to the plate's cause.

Below are examples of special plates:

  • Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation license plate: $30.
    • Helps fund the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation.
  • Ducks Unlimited tag: $20.
    • Portion is given to the Wildlife Commission
  • Litter Prevention license plate: $20.
    • Helps fund the state's Litter Prevention fund.

Collegiate Plates

Collegiate license plates allow you to show your support for a university or college group and help fund scholarships and other programs at the institution.

Many North Carolina universities, out-of-state colleges, sororities, and fraternities have plates available from the NC DMV. Collegiate plate fees vary.

Available collegiate license plates include:

  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority: $10.
  • Duke University: $25.
  • North Carolina A&T University: $25.
  • Purdue University: $25.

Civic Club Plates

Civic club plates allow you to show your membership in support of an organization.

Examples of NC civic club plates and their fees are:

  • The Knights of Columbus: $10.
  • The NC Police Benevolence Association: $10.
  • Rotary International Club: $10.

NASCAR License Plates

Many NASCAR plates are available for purchase from the NC DMV.

A portion of the extra fee for NASCAR plates goes to the North Carolina Motorsports Foundation or a similar non-profit organization.

Available license plates include:

  • NASCAR Ford Racing.
  • NASCAR Hall of Fame.
  • NASCAR Race Fan.
  • Generic NASCAR design.

The special plate fee for most NASCAR plates, like the Charlotte Motor Speedway Plate, is $30.

Military License Plates in NC

Many military plates are available in North Carolina for members, veterans, and retirees of the United States Armed Forces.

Plates include:

  • Retiree plates, such as the Retired Marine plate.
  • Veteran plates, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars plate.
  • Reserve plates, such as the Army Reserve plate.

To be eligible for military license plates, you may be required to certify your military service or provide proof of service in the relevant branch.

Fees for military plates vary are charged IN ADDITION to standard registration fees and renewal fees. Most plates, like the 82nd Airborne plate, are $10.

For eligibility requirements, fees, and a complete list of available military plates, visit the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles website.

If you're ready to apply, visit our Applying for Special License Plates page.

Antique NC Plates

Special license plates are available for classic cars that are considered antique vehicles.

To be eligible for antique plates, your vehicle must be:

  • Manufactured vehicle must be  30 years old or older.
  • Inspected by the NC DMV to ensure it is safe to operate.

Contact the North Carolina DMV for fee information and inspection requirements:

  • Online.
  • Phone: (919) 715-7000.
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