Applying for Special Plates in New York

SUMMARY: Apply for a Specialty New York License Plate

In New York, you can apply for many custom plates online, by phone or mail, or in person; however, certain plates must be ordered by mail. You can renew your specialty plates when you renew your registration, and you can get replacement personalized plates for a small fee. If you wish, you may also transfer your plates or even hold them at the DMV office.

The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers a variety of custom plates for order. Continue reading to learn how to apply for specialty plates.

How to Apply for Custom Plates in New York

The application process for NY custom plates will vary by the plate type. These include:

  • Personalized plates.
  • Professional/picture plates.
  • Historical/vintage plates.

Get Personalized Plates in New York

You can order personalized plates:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

NOTE: Certain professional and picture plates require you to prove eligibility. These plate types must be ordered through either the organization or the Custom Plates Unit. You can check your plate type on the NY DMV's website.


To order personalized plates online:

  • Visit the online ordering page. You'll need:
    • The registration class code (3 letters).
    • A valid credit card for payment.
    • A valid email address for order confirmation.
    • First 3 letters of your last name.
  • Select your vehicle type.
  • Enter your desired personalized message/number (if personalizing your plate).
  • Follow the instructions to complete your transaction.

NOTE: In order to apply for your plate online, your mailing address must be current and your registration record must have your current name. If you need to change your name or address, do so BEFORE applying.

By Phone

You can order personalized plates over the phone by calling (518) 402-4838.

By Mail

To order personalized plates by mail:

NYS DMV Custom Plates Unit
P.O. Box 2775
Albany, NY 12220

In Person

To order your personalized plates in person, visit your local DMV office.

NOTE: You MUST order professional plates from the Custom Plates Unit, as you'll need proof of eligibility (see below).

Professional or Picture Plates

Like personalized plates, professional and picture plates are available to order:

  • Online.
  • By phone.
  • By mail.
  • In person.

In order to apply via any of the above methods, take the same steps described above for personalized plates.

HOWEVER, it is important to note that professional plates and some picture plates require that you show proof of eligibility. For these plates, you must order them either:

  • Through the specific organization.
  • With the Custom Plates Unit.

To find out if your plate needs to be ordered through either of the above methods, check your plate type.

Historical and Vintage Plates

To order historical plates, your vehicle must:

  • Have been manufactured at least 25 years prior to the current calendar year.
  • Be used solely as a collector's item or for exhibition.
  • NOT be used for general transportation.

To order vintage plates, your actual plates must have been valid in the state in your vehicle's year of manufacture. See our NY Types of Specialty Plates page for more information on eligibility requirements.

Historical and vintage plates may ONLY be ordered by mail. To do so:

NYS DMV Custom Plates Unit
P.O. Box 2775
Albany, NY 12220

How to Renew Custom License Plates in NY

You will renew your NY custom plates when you renew your vehicle registration.

Note that you may be required to pay a custom plate fee when you renew.

For detailed information, visit our page on renewing your registration in NY.

NOTE: Custom plate fees are charged annually; however, you do not pay them until you renew your registration.

Replacing NY Custom Plates

You can replace a NY personalized plate if it's old or damaged by calling the New York Department of Motor Vehicles Custom Plates Unit at (518) 402-4838.

Fees for replacing personalized plates are:

  • Passenger vehicles: $28.75.
  • Motorcycles: $18.75.

You can also replace your current personalized plates with different personalized plates or a different picture plate by calling the Custom Plates Unit at the number above. You'll need to pay a plate fee your new plates; however, the DMV will credit you for any custom plate fees you've already paid for on your registration.

For more information on replacing plates and to learn how to replace lost or stolen plates, visit our NY License Plates and Tags page.

Transferring NY Personalized Plates

You can transfer current personalized plates to another vehicle, as long as your name is still on the registration and the registration class remains the same.

If you no longer drive a vehicle that has personalized plates, you may store your personalized plates with the DMV in lieu of surrendering them. Most offices allow this; call your local DMV office to make sure they'll accept your plates.

When you get your storage receipt (Form FS-6T), be certain that it says “Stored at Local Office." Make sure you keep this receipt and bring it with you when you plan to register your vehicle again.

Special Plate Fees in NY

Fees for custom plates in New York will vary based on the plate type.

Find your desired plate type on the NY DMV website and click the “order" or “apply" link for your plate type to find your specific fee for application and/or renewal.

For replacement plate fees, please see Replacing NY Custom Plates above.


Vehicle Registration/Title Application
Application for NY title (original or replacement), registration (original, renewal, duplicate, or corrected), OR plate transfers.
Vintage License Plates
Submit this form to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles to register your car with vintage plates.
Historical License Plates
Submit this form to register a historical vehicle with the New York Department of Motor Vehicles.
Application for Custom Plate
Use this form to apply for specialized NY license plates (e.g. personalized, organizational, sports, regional, etc.). Do not use to order military/veteran, professional, or emergency license plates.
DMV.ORG BBB Business Review