Applying for Special Plates in Tennessee
In Tennessee, you may apply for specialty plates in person or by mail depending on whether you personalize your plate. If you have a qualifying medical condition, you may also apply for disability plates. You'll renew a specialty plate along with your registration. If your plate was lost or stolen, you must notify the police and apply for a replacement. You may transfer your plate to another vehicle for a small fee.
The Tennessee Department of Revenue (DOR) has many types of specialty plates that may be purchased and/or personalized. Continue reading to learn how to apply for and renew these plates.
- Need info on disabled license plates or handicapped placards? Our Disability Plates and Placards page has details.
- To see all the different TN special plates you can apply for, visit Types of Special Plates in Tennessee.
Applying for Specialty Plates
The TN DOR offers a wide variety of specialty plates to purchase, as well as options to personalize standard or specialty plates for an additional fee.
Your method of order for most Tennessee specialty plates will depend on whether you choose to personalize your plate.* You can order specialty plates:
- In person at your local county clerk's office, if NOT personalizing your plate.
- By mail, if you ARE personalizing your plate.
* NOTE: Certain plates may have the option to order in person OR by mail, such as disabled plates. Please see your specific plate and/or application to verify the application requirements.
Specialty Plates (Not Personalized)
Most specialty plates in TN do not require an application form (unless personalized). Most of these plates are readily available at county clerk's offices.
To order a TN specialized plate that is NOT personalized:
- Pick the plate you want from the TN DOR's list of specialty plates.
- Call your local county clerk's office to check if your desired plate is available at the office.
- If available, you may visit the office to get your plate.
- If not available, you may place your order and pick up the plates when they are ready.
- Present any required proof of eligibility.
- Find your plate to find any applicable requirements.
- Pay your plate fee when you pick up your plates.
For additional fees, the Tennessee DOR allows drivers to personalize both:
- Standard (regular) plates.
- Specialty plates.
To apply for a personalized plate:
- Pick your desired plate from the DOR's list of plates.
- Complete the Online Application for Tennessee Personalized Plate.
- Provide a check or money order for the personalized plate fee:
- Personalized standard plate: $35.
- Personalized specialty plate: varies by plate.
- Mail the form and payment to the address on the application.
All applications for personalized plates must be approved by the DOR. Once approved, the plate will be made and sent to your local county clerk's office. You'll pay any additional required plate fees upon pick-up.
NOTE: DO NOT mail your renewal notice or your standard registration fee with your form.
Antique Auto Plates
If your vehicle qualifies as antique, you may apply for an antique auto plate. Your vehicle must:
- Be more than 25 years old.
- Have a non-modified engine and body.
- Be used solely for exhibition purposes (although it may be used for general transportation on Saturday, Sunday and federal holidays).
- Complete the Certification for Antique Vehicle Registration (Form RV-F1312901).
- Pay the $32.75 fee.
- Additional fees may apply when you pick up your plate.
NOTE: You may NOT personalize this type of plate.
Renewing Specialty Plates
You can renew your Tennessee specialty or personalized plate when you renew your vehicle registration. You can do this at either:
You will pay both:
- Plate renewal fees.
- Check your plate type to find your annual fee.
- Standard registration renewal fees.
For more on renewing your registration, visit our TN Registration Renewal page.
Replacing TN Specialty Plates
If your plate gets lost, stolen, or damaged, you can apply for a replacement or duplicate plate. Note that specialty plate and/or personalization fees may apply in addition to the standard plate replacement fee.
IMPORTANT! You MUST notify the police if plates were lost or stolen. Duplicate plates will ONLY be manufactured if police were notified. You should also notify the TN Department of Revenue to prevent any responsibility for mishaps related to your stolen plate.
To learn more, visit our License Plates and Placards page.
Transferring Specialty Plates
When you sell a car in TN, the license plate stays with you, not the vehicle.
If you wish, you may transfer your specialty plate to another vehicle for a minor fee.
If you no longer wish to keep your specialty plate (or you no longer qualify), you must surrender your plates to your county clerk.
For more information, visit our page on transferring TN license plates.
TN Specialty Plate Fees
Fees will vary slightly be plate type in Tennessee; however, typically the fees will apply as follows:
- Personalized standard plates: $35.
- Personalized specialty plates: $70.
- Specialty (including military) plates: Varies. See your plate for application and renewal fees.
- Antique plates: $32.75.
- Disability plates: $26.50.
- Disabled Veteran plates: Free.
- Additional set fees:
- 2nd set: $28.50 ($26.50 renewal).
- Subsequent sets: $29.80 ($26.50 renewal).
- Additional set fees:
- Hearing impaired plates: $26.50.
NOTE: Additional fees may apply when you obtain your plates. For example, when you order a personalized specialty plate, you'll send the $70 fee in the mail, but you'll pay additional plate fees when you pick up your plate. Call your county clerk's office for questions about fees.