Types of Special License Plates in New Mexico

SUMMARY: New Mexico Specialty License Plates

In New Mexico, there are several special license plate options to choose, from vanity plates to custom plates for causes and organizations. You can also order military tags or classic car plates if you're eligible.

Continue reading this page to learn more about the specialty license plates available from the NM Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).


Vanity Plates in New Mexico

The New Mexico MVD issues personalized plates in either the:

  • Centennial license plate design.
  • Prestige plate design.

Your vanity plate has to meet the following NM MVD guidelines:

  • The character count must be:
    • 1 to 7 characters for passenger vehicle plates.
    • 1 to 6 characters for motorcycle plates.
  • The characters you can use are:
    • Letters and numbers.
    • Dashes and apostrophes.
    • Spaces.
    • Zia symbol.
  • Your plate CANNOT:
  • Use offensive or profane language.
  • Be the same as a plate number/letter combination already in use.

When applying, provide the NM MVD with several choices in case your first choice is not available.

The fee for personalization is $17 IN ADDITION to regular registration fees. You'll pay this fee when you apply for the plate and when you renew your registration.

Organization and College License Plates

There are a number of special plates available in New Mexico, including plates for organizations, causes, and colleges.

Organization & Special Cause Plates

Several specialty New Mexico plates are available to support non-profit organizations and special causes. Examples of these plates include:

  • Adopt a Child plates.
  • Organ Donor plates.
  • Breast Cancer Awareness tags.
  • Children's Trust Fund license plates.
  • The City of Las Cruces tags.

NOTE: Not all of these license plates are available as motorcycle plates.

Fees for cause plates vary and are paid IN ADDITION to usual vehicle registration fees. A portion of the fee goes to a related charity or non-profit.

Examples of fees and donations include:

  • Children's Trust Fund plate: $42 fee, with $25 going to the Children's Trust Fund.
    • Motorcycle plates: $22 fee, with $15 going to the organization.
  • Breast Cancer Awareness plate: $37, with $25 going to the NM Department of Health.

For complete fee details and motorcycle plate availability, see the NM MVD website.

Collegiate Plates

The NM MVD issues special plates for colleges and universities that help support scholarship funds and other programs. Plates are offered for:

  • Eastern New Mexico University.
  • New Mexico Highlands University.
  • New Mexico Military Institute.
  • New Mexico State University.
  • New Mexico Tech.
  • University of New Mexico.
  • Western New Mexico University.

Fees for collegiate plates are available by contacting the NM MVD through their online information request form or by phone at (888) 683-4636 (MVD-INFO).

NM Military Honor Plates

If you are a military veteran, you may be eligible for a NM MVD military license plate.

You will be eligible if you are any of the following:

  • Active Duty National Guard member.
  • Veteran of the:
    • Air Force.
    • Army.
    • Coast Guard.
    • Marine Corps.
    • Navy.
  • Disabled veteran.
  • Gold Star Family.
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor.
  • Woman veteran.

To get a military plate, your service record must show that you serve or served in the appropriate military branch or conflict.

Proof of eligibility includes:

  • Discharge papers.
  • Military ID.
  • A letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

You'll pay standard registration fees for most military plates. Some plates, such as the National Guard plate, are free.

Antique Plates in New Mexico

The NM MVD offers a historic license plate, called the horseless carriage plate, and allows some classic cars to use authentic license plates.

Horseless Carriage Plates

Horseless Carriage plates are for vehicles:

  • More than 35 years old.
  • Used for ONLY for exhibition or display.

The fees for the Horseless Carriage plate are:

  • $14.50 plate fee.
  • $9.50 renewal fee every 5 years.

Authentic NM Tags

You can use an authentic NM license plate in good condition from the year your vehicle was manufactured IF:

  • Your vehicle is at least 30 years old.
  • You locate and buy a vintage NM license plate issued the same year your vehicle was manufactured.

Year of manufacture plates must be seen and approved by the New Mexico MVD before you can use it.

You'll pay a $27 fee IN ADDITION to regular registration fees to use these plates on your classic car.

Emergency Responder Tags

If you are an emergency responder with proof of service, license, or employment, you can apply for the following New Mexico specialty plates:

  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT): $27.
  • Firefighter or Volunteer Firefighter: $27.
  • Fraternal Order of Police: $27.
  • Retired Firefighter: $27.
  • Retired Law Enforcement: Contact the MVD for fees.
  • Retired NM State Police: $27.

The fees above are paid IN ADDITION to standard registration fees.

DMV.ORG BBB Business Review