Types of Special License Plates in Texas

SUMMARY: Texas Specialty License Plates

Many specialty license plates are available in Texas, from personalized license plates with special backgrounds, to plates for various types of organizations. Military tags are also offered for current and former service members, and a variety of options are available for antique and classic plates.

Keep reading for details about the types of specialty license plates available from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).


Personalized License Plates in Texas

In Texas, you can personalize a license plate with your own message AND choose a special background from dozens of available options.

Rules for custom plate number combinations differ based on type of personalization you choose, and fees are charged IN ADDITION to vehicle registration fees:

  • Personalized plate with a maximum of 6 characters (must have at least 1 letter):
    • $150 for 1 year.
    • $400 for 3 years.
    • $450 for 5 years.
  • Personalized with 7 characters:
    • $195 for 1 year.
    • $445 for 3 years.
    • $495 for 5 years.

You can check license plate availability and view customization options on the TX DMV MyPlates website.

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

TX Special Background Plates

The TX DMV offers the option to order a special plate background with a randomly assigned license plate number.

Backgrounds are offered in many different colors and designs. Organization backgrounds are also available.

The fees for a special background license plates are:

  • $50 for 1 year.
  • $130 for 3 years.
  • $175 for 5 years.

Fees are charged IN ADDITION to Texas vehicle registration fees.

To see all of the background options, visit the Texas DMV special license plate website.

Special License Plates

Many special plates are offered by the TX DMV, including those for:

  • Organizations.
  • Schools, fraternities, and sororities.
  • Sports and hobbies.

Organizational Plates

You can show you support for a charity, cause, or other organization with an organizational plate from the TX DMV.

License plates are available for:

  • Non-profits and charities, for example:
    • Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
    • Boy Scouts.
  • Special interest groups, such as:
    • American Quarter Horse Association
    • The Texas Trophy Hunters Association.
  • Causes, including:
    • Choose Life.
    • Fight Terrorism.
  • Industries and professional groups, such as:
    • Citrus Industry.
    • Go Texan I / Agriculture.
  • Conservation and historical organizations, for example:
    • Big Bend National Park.
    • El Paso Mission Valley.
  • Sororities and fraternities, including:
    • Alpha Phi Alpha.
    • Phi Beta Sigma.
  • High schools in Texas, such as:
    • Kelley High School.
    • Permian High School.

Fees for organizational plates are charged IN ADDITION to standard registration fees. MOST plates are $30 annually.

NOTE: Some organizational plates are considered special background plates.

For a complete list of license plates and fee information, visit the TX Department of Motor Vehicles website.

For application instructions, see Applying for Specialty License Plates.

College & University License Plates

There are a variety of license plates available to you so that you can show your support for a Texas or out-of-state college or university.

Examples of available plates are those for:

  • Arizona State University.
  • Texas A&M University.
  • Trinity University.
  • University of Texas.

A complete list is available on the TX DMV website.

Fees for college plates are:

$22 of the license plate fee supports scholarships for Texas students with financial need.

For application information, visit Applying for Specialty License Plates.

TX Sports & Hobby Plates

A number of sports and hobby plates can be ordered from the TX DMV. Examples include:

  • The Dallas Cowboys plate.
  • NASCAR - 88 Dale Jr. license plate.
  • Olympic Team USA tag.
  • Rather Be Golfing plate.

The TX DMV website has a complete list of available sports and hobby plates.

License plate fees are charged IN ADDITION to registration and renewal fees. These plates range in price:

  • Professional sports team plates are $30 annually.
  • Other sports and hobby plates are classed as special background plates, prices vary by type of plate.

Visit Applying for Specialty License Plates for application instructions.

Military Plates in Texas

Texas military plates are available for medals and awards, branches of the military, and military conflicts. Examples include the following plates:

  • Medal of Honor - Air Force.
  • Korea Veteran.
  • U.S. Navy Retired.
  • Woman Veteran.

To be eligible, your service record must reflect the service or honor displayed on the license plate. Proof of eligibility can be:

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

Fees for military plates may be charged in addition to regular registration fees. The Texas DMV website has a list of all military plates and their fees.

To learn more about applying for a military tag, visit Applying for Specialty License Plates.

Historic & Antique Vehicle Plates

In Texas, you have several different options for historic and antique license plates.

  • Antique license plates for vehicles that are:
    • At least 25 years old.
    • Considered collectors' items.
    • Driven ONLY for events and vehicle maintenance.
  • Classic plates for vehicles that are:
    • At least 25 years old.
    • Driven for regular transportation.
  • Custom vehicle plates for vehicles that are:
    • A minimum of 25 years old AND made after 1948.
    • Made to look like a vehicle that is at least 25 years old AND made after 1948.
  • Street Rod license plates for vehicles that:
    • Were made before 1949 OR built after 1948 to resemble a vehicle made prior to 1949.
    • Look different from the original design OR have a body built with materials that aren't original.

Fees for historic and antique plates vary:

  • Antique plates are:
    • $10 per year (registered for 5 years at a time) for vehicles made in or after 1921.
    • $8 per year (registered for 5 years at a time) for vehicles made before 1921.
  • Classic, custom, and street plates are charged standard registration fees.

Visit Applying for Specialty License Plates to learn more about applying for antique and historic tags.

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