Applying for Special Plates in New Mexico

SUMMARY: Apply for a Specialty New Mexico License Plate

In New Mexico, special plates are available for order in person or by mail. Your special plates get renewed with your vehicle registration and may be replaced for a small fee if it gets lost or damaged. If you sell your vehicle, you must either surrender your plates or transfer them to another vehicle you own.

The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division offers a large number of special plates for order. Continue reading to learn how to apply for and renew special plates.

Applying for Special Plates in New Mexico

To apply for your special or personalized plate in New Mexico:

NOTE: You may register a special plate for either 1 year or 2 years; however, note that you'll multiply the plate fee by the number of years you're registering.

For example, if your fee were $17, your fee for a registration valid for 2 years would be $34. However, you would subtract $2, as this administration fee would only apply 1 time. This means your plate fee would be $32.

Renewing and Replacing NM Special Plates

Renewing a Special Plate

You'll renew your NM special or personalized plate when you renew your vehicle registration. Most special plates have a renewal fee that is a portion of the initial application fee. Find your plate to find your renewal fee.

You can renew for 1 year or 2 years, generally, but note that you'll multiply your plate fee by the number of years you're registering (see above).

NOTE: Horseless carriage plates require revalidation every 5 years.

For more detailed information, see our New Mexico Registration Renewal page.

Replacing a Special Plate

The NM Motor Vehicle Division allows those who hold special New Mexico license plates to apply for replacements if the plates get lost or stolen for a $17 fee. ( Exception: Horseless Carriage plates come with a $17.50 replacement fee.)

If your lost or damaged plate was a prestige (personalized special registration) plate, you'll be issued a duplicate plate with the same number.

All other plate replacements will have new numbers.

The Special Plates Section of the Vehicle Services Bureau will take care of your plate replacement.

Transferring Special Plates

If you sell your vehicle, you must remove your plates and, within 30 days, EITHER:

  • Surrender them to your local MVD office.
  • Transfer the plates to another vehicle you own.
    • The vehicle must be of the same class (car to car, truck to truck, etc.).

Year-of-Manufacture Plates

When you sell a vehicle with a year-of-manufacture plate, the plate may stay with the vehicle. The fee to transfer the plate to the new vehicle will be $10 (additional registration fees will apply).

Horseless Carriage Plates

Horseless carriage plates will also stay with the vehicle upon sale or transfer to a new owner.

Fees for Special NM Plates

Fees for NM special plates vary by plate type. Generally, fees will apply to special and personalized plates as follows:

  • Personalized plates:
    • Vanity plates: (application and renewal): $17.
    • Las Cruces (application and renewal): $37.
  • Collegiate (application and renewal): $37.
  • Horseless carriage:
    • Application: $14.50.
    • Renewal: $9.50 (every 5 years).
  • Year-of-manufacture:
    • Application: $27.
    • Transfer: $10 (plus registration fees).
  • Police, Firefighters, and EMT plates (application only): $27.
  • Military and veterans: Fees vary. Check your plate.
  • Disability plates: Free.

NOTE: Above fees include a $2 administrative fee.

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