License Plates & Placards in Vermont
Vermont license plates are issued when you register your vehicle with the DMV, so applying for your plates is easy. When you buy a car, you can get temporary tags from your car dealer to operate the vehicle right away. Should your license plates be lost, stolen, or damaged, you can order replacement license plates by mail or in person. You can even transfer your plates to your next vehicle when you sell your car and buy a new one.
Keep reading for more details about Vermont license plates and tags.
Are you looking for disability plates or placards? See our Disability Placards & Plates page.
Interested in vanity plates and other unique license plate options? See our page on Specialty License Plates in Vermont.
Types of Vermont License Plates
Any motor vehicle that is operated on any highway is required to display license plates. Plate letters and numbers must always be clearly visible.
The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues license plates either in pairs or alone. You must attach a license plate to the back of your vehicle. If you are issued a second plate, attach it to the front.
All license plates have a decal showing the month and year your vehicle registration expires.
Temporary tags allow you to operate your vehicle while waiting for permanent license plates. You will get a temporary tag:
- When you buy a vehicle from a dealer who handles your paperwork.
- When you register a vehicle with the VT DMV and you do not have:
- Your vehicle title.
- Your car with you at the DMV for vehicle identification number (VIN) verification, if required.
- An odometer disclosure statement from the seller.
- To use while waiting for a vanity plate.
Temporary tags issued by the Vermont DMV are valid for 60 days and CANNOT be renewed or extended.
If you buy a car in VT but will register it in another state, you can apply for an Intransit Permit valid ONLY for traveling to the state or province on the application.
Other License Plates
The Vermont DMV offers a wide range of specialty license plates, including vanity plates and organizational plates.
See our pages about types of specialty plates and applying for specialty plates for more information.
People with disabilities may be eligible for permits to access disabled parking. Our Disability Placards and Plates page has detailed information.
Apply for a License Plate in VT
You will receive a Vermont license plate by registering your vehicle with the DMV. You must register within 60 days of moving to the state.
For complete instructions, see our vehicle registration page.
Renew Your Vermont License Plate
You'll renew your license plate by renewing your vehicle registration.
When you complete your registration renewal, you'll get a new sticker for your license plate. Put it on over the old decal to show that your registration is valid.
For detailed renewal information, see our VT registration renewal page.
Replace Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Plates
If your Vermont license plate has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you can request a replacement by submitting:
- The Replacement Plate Application (Form VD-16).
- $12 per license plate.
Submit your application:
- By mail to the address on the form.
- In person at a DMV office.
You should receive your replacement plates within 60 days. Keep your copy of the replacement application with you while driving until you receive your replacement plates.
Transfer/Surrender Your VT License Plates
When you no longer need your Vermont license plate, you will need to either transfer it to your next vehicle OR surrender it to the VT DMV.
Transferring VT Tags
You can transfer your registration and tags to your next car once you have legally transferred ownership of your old car.
To transfer your registration and tags:
- Complete the Vermont Motor Vehicle Registration, Tax and Title Application (Form VD-119).
- Enclose your current registration certificate with the transfer section completed.
- Pay the $25 transfer fee.
- $25 if transferring to a surviving spouse.
Take the application to your local VT DMV branch or mail it to the address on the form.
Surrendering VT License Plates
You must surrender your license plates to the VT DMV if:
- You don't want to transfer plates to your next vehicle.
- You register your vehicle in another state.
To cancel your registration and surrender your tags, send an explanatory letter with your reason for cancellation along with the license plates and registration to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State St
Montpelier, VT 05603
You MAY be eligible for a refund of your unused registration fees if:
- You cancel your registration before its date begins.
- You cancel your registration within 30 days after you registered AND you have not yet attached your stickers to your license plate.
- Your registered for 2 years, and you cancel BEFORE the 2nd year begins.
Include a request for a refund on the explanatory letter that you send in with your plates and registration. All refunds are at the discretion of the Department.
Fees for Vermont License Plates
Standard license plate fees (including renewals):
- $76 for 1 year.
- $140 for 2 years.
- $48 for 1 year.
- $96 for 2 years.
- Trucks up to 6,099 lbs.:
- $76 for 1 year.
- $132 for 2 years.
- Trucks weighing 6,100 lbs. or more: Varies by weight and fuel type.
NOTE: Vehicles that use fuel other than gasoline have higher registration and renewal fees.
Replacement license plates:
- $12 per plate for all plate types.
- $25 to transfer vehicle registration.
- $25 to transfer to a surviving spouse.
License Plate Lookup in VT
You can look up information about a license plate or vehicle in several ways:
- You can order a vehicle history report using a car's VIN.
- You can report a parking or traffic violation to the police by giving them a vehicle's license plate number.
- The police will run the license plate and handle the matter. They CANNOT give you the owner's information.
Vermont DOES NOT provide an online license plate search for personalized plate numbers. However, you can learn more about their rules on our Specialty Plate Types page.