Applying for Special Plates in Virginia

SUMMARY: Apply for a Specialty Virginia License Plate

You can apply for many types of special VA plates online, in person, or by mail. Most are also available as souvenir plates. You have the option to personalize a number of special plate types. You may renew a specialized plate with your registration. Lost or stolen plates may be reissued in person or by mail. Should you sell a car with specialized plates, you can either surrender your tags or transfer them to your new vehicle. Fees for special plates will vary by design.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers a large variety of specialized plates. Many plates can be personalized, and most can be ordered as souvenir plates.

Applying for Specialized Plates in Virginia

You can apply for your specialized plate, including personalized plates, through one of the following means:

  • Online.
  • In person.
  • By mail.


To apply for your plate online, visit the DMV's Plate Purchase/Reserve page.

You will need to provide the following:

  • Your title number.
  • VIN.
  • One of the following methods of payment for your fee:
    • Credit card.
    • Debit card.
    • Check – Provide your bank routing number and checking account number.

It is important to print the receipt when you place a speciality plate order online. This receipt serves as an extension of your registration for 15 days so the DMV can send you new decals while you wait for your new plates to arrive.

In Person or By Mail

You can take the following steps to apply for your specialty plate in person or by mail:

NOTE: Several specialized plates, such as most military plates, require you to provide additional documents along with your application. To learn more about any additional requirements, visit the Virginia DMV Search/View Specialized License Plates page and click on your desired plate.

VA Souvenir Plates

Most plates may be ordered as souvenir plates for ornamental/decorative use only. (You must not display a souvenir plate on your vehicle.)

You may order souvenir plates:

Fees for souvenir plates are $10 per plate. To personalize a souvenir plate, you'll pay an additional $10 fee.

Personalized Plates in VA

Many specialized plates may be personalized with a custom message or number for an additional fee.

Before you order your personalized plates, you can check the availability of your desired personalization at the DMV website.

Checking your plate number first helps make sure your application will get approved. Have a few custom messages in mind in case one or more are already taken.

Renewing Your VA Specialized Plates

Renewal of your VA custom plates is part of your car's registration renewal. You may be required to pay a special plate renewal fee in addition to your standard registration renewal fees.

To learn more about renewing your registration, read our Virginia Registration Renewal page.

Replacing & Transferring Specialized Plates

Replacing Special Plates in VA

If your custom VA plate should get lost, stolen, or damaged, you can request that your plate be reissued.

You can apply for your replacement in person or by mail.

For more detailed information, see our License Plates and Placards in VA page.

Selling a Car with Specialized Plates

If you should sell your car, you have the option to either:

  • Surrender your plates to the DMV.
  • Transfer them to your new vehicle.

Note that both vehicles must be titled and registered in your name to transfer plates.

To learn all about how to transfer your plates, visit our License Plates and Placards in VA page.

Fees for Specialized Plates in Virginia

Specialized license plate fees vary depending on the type of plate. Generally, fees range from $10 to $50.

Visit the VA DMV website and find your plate to see the specific plate fee.

For personalized plates, you'll pay an annual fee of $10


VSA 10
License Plate Application
Use this form to order OR transfer license plates through the VA Department of Motor Vehicles.
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