Types of Special License Plates in Virginia

SUMMARY: Virginia Specialty License Plates

Many special license plates are offered to residents of Virginia, from personalized tags to special interest license plates for charities and other groups. Military plates are also available to qualified veterans, and you can get special license plates for antique vehicles.

Continuing reading this page to find out more about special license plates available from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).


How to Apply for Personalized Plates in Virginia

In Virginia, you can personalize your number plate with your own number/letter combination.

The message on your plate MUST:

  • Use letters, numbers, and approved special characters (dash, space, and ampersand) ONLY.
  • Meet the character number limit (varies by plate type).
  • NOT be a duplicate of a plate number already in use.
  • NOT use language that is:
    • Profane, obscene, vulgar, or sexually graphic.
    • Related to illegal activities or substances.
    • Violent or that encourages violence.

You can check the availability of a plate number online at the VA DMV website.

The following personalization fees are charged IN ADDITION to standard vehicle registration fees and renewal fees:

  • $10 to order.
  • $10 to renew.

To personalize other types of license plates, you'll ALSO pay an initial plate fee:

  • Great Seal plate (VA state seal): $25.
  • Heritage plate (state bird and flower): $10.

For application instructions, visit our Applying for Special License Plates page.

Special Interest Plates

Special interest license plates offered by the VA DMV give you the chance to show your support for:

  • A special cause, such as:
    • Breast Cancer Foundation–VA.
    • Family/Children Fund.
  • Your profession or professional organization, for example:
    • Association of Realtors.
    • Firefighter (volunteer).
  • A hobby, including:
    • Aviation Enthusiasts.
    • Bowler.
  • An environmental issue, for example:
    • Clean Special Fuel.
    • Wildlife.
  • A town, city, or region, such as:
    • Fairfax City.
    • Virginia Beach City.
  • A sports team, including:
    • The Washington Nationals.
    • The Washington Redskins.
  • Your fraternity or sorority, for example:
    • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.
    • Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority.

A list of all special interest plates is available on the VA DMV website.

NOTE: Plates that reflect membership in an association, such as the Association of Realtors plate, require proof of membership to order.

Fees for special interest plates are charged IN ADDITION to standard Virginia registration fees and renewal fees. Many plate fees help benefit the sponsoring organization or a related non-profit group.

Special interest plate fees vary, for example:

  • The Breast Cancer Foundation plate:
    • $25 to order.
    • $25 to renew.
  • The Aviation Enthusiasts license plate:
    • $10 to order.
    • $10 to renew.
  • The Washington Nationals plate:
    • $25 to order.
    • $25 to renew.

Most special plates can be personalized for an additional fee.

For more application information, visit Applying for Special License Plates.

Collegiate License Plates in VA

License plates to show your support for several colleges and universities are also available from the VA DMV, such as:

  • Florida State University.
  • Tidewater Community College.
  • United States Military Academy.
  • University of Virginia.

All available college plates are listed on the VA Department of Motor Vehicles website.

The fees for MOST collegiate plates, like the University of Virginia plate, are:

You can personalize a collegiate plate for an additional fee.

A portion of the fees for in-state school plates benefits scholarship programs at the college itself.

See Applying for Special License Plates to learn how to apply.

Military Veteran Plates

Military and veteran plates are issued to qualified applicants. Plates available from the VA DMV include those representing:

  • Military branches, such as:
    • The U.S. Army.
    • The U.S. Navy.
  • Military honors, for example:
    • The Bronze Star.
    • The Purple Heart.
  • Combat experience, including:
    • Vietnam Veterans.
    • Former POWs.

To be eligible, your service record must reflect the experience or honor reflected by the license plate.

When you apply for a military plate in Virginia, you'll need proof of your eligibility, such as your discharge papers.

Most military plates have a plate fee PLUS regular registration or renewal fees. Plate fees vary, for example:

  • U.S. Army license plate:
    • $10 to order.
    • $10 to renew.
  • Veteran Armed Forces: license plate: $10 to order.

  • Former POW plates are free.

You can personalize a military plate for additional fees.

For a complete list of military plates, eligibility requirements, and fees, see the Virginia DMV website.

Antique Tags in Virginia

The VA DMV issues antique license plates for vehicles that are:

  • Over 25 years old (based on model year) prior to January 1 of the current year.
  • Used ONLY for:
    • Club events, exhibitions, and similar activities.
    • Occasional pleasure driving, up to 250 miles from your home address.

The fee for an antique plate is $50. The antique plates do not expire.

Visit our Applying for Special License Plate in VA page to learn more about the application process.

Vintage License Plates

You can use a Virginia license plate that was issued in the same year as your vehicle's model year for:

  • Passenger vehicles or trailers made before 1973.
  • Motorcycles made in or before 1976.

Vintage license plates can be used in place of antique plates OR standard plates. You'll pay:

For application information, see Applying for Special License Plates.

DMV.ORG BBB Business Review