Types of Special License Plates in Washington

SUMMARY: Washington Specialty License Plates

If you're a Washington resident, you have many special license plate options, including personalized car tags and special design plates for organizations and colleges. If you qualify, you can get military tags or emblems, or even classic car tags.

Read below for more information about types of special license plates you can request from the Washington Department of Licensing (DOL).


Personalized Plates in Washington

In Washington, personalized tags must have 1 to 7 characters (1 to 6 characters for motorcycle and trailer plates) that can include:

  • Letters.
  • Numbers.
  • Hyphens.
  • Spaces.

Your custom license plate CANNOT have:

You use the WA DOL license plates search to see if the license plate number you want is available.

A fee for a personalized tag is charged IN ADDITION to WA vehicle registration and renewal fees:

  • Standard design plates:
    • Car: $169.25.
    • Truck: $168.50.
    • Motorcycle: $87.25.
    • Trailer: $117.25.
  • Special design plates:
    • Car: $209.25.
    • Truck: $208.50.
    • Motorcycle: $127.25.
    • Trailer: $117.75.

NOTE: The Keep Kids Safe plate is an additional $5.

For more information about personalized plate applications, see Applying for Special License Plates.

Special Design License Plates

The WA DOL offers special plates for:

  • Organizations and charities.
  • Colleges and universities.
  • Parks and the environment.

Most special design plates can be personalized for additional fees.

Special Interest & Organization Plates

Special tags are available for many special interests, causes, and organizations, including plates representing:

  • The Law Enforcement Memorial.
  • Keep Kids Safe.
  • We Love Our Pets.
  • The Seattle Seahawks.
  • Music Matters.

For a complete list of plates, visit the WA DOL website.

You'll pay a fee for these plates IN ADDITION to regular registration fees and renewal fees. A portion of the additional fee goes to the organization or a related charity.

The fee for MOST special interest and organization plates is the same, but fees will vary by vehicle type. For example, the Law Enforcement Memorial plate is:

  • $157.25 for cars.
  • $157.25 for trucks.
  • $75.25 for motorcycles.
  • $105.25 for trailers.

Visit our page on Applying for Special License Plates to learn how to apply.

Collegiate Plates

The WA DOL also offers tags representing the following colleges and universities:

  • Central Washington University.
  • Eastern Washington University.
  • The Evergreen State College.
  • Gonzaga University.
  • University of Washington.
  • Seattle University.
  • Washington State University.
  • Western Washington University.

You'll pay a license plate fee PLUS regular vehicle registration and renewal fees. A portion of the plate fee benefits scholarships at the relevant college or university.

Fees are USUALLY the same for each college but differ by vehicle type. For example, the fees for the Central Washington University plate are:

  • $157.25 for cars
  • $157.25 for trucks..
  • $75.25 for motorcycles.

Visit our Applying for Special License Plates page for application instructions.

WA Wildlife & Parks Plates

Special license plates for wildlife and parks are also available from the WA Department of Licensing.

  • Plates that benefit the Department of Fish and Wildlife:
    • Orca.
    • Bear.
    • Deer.
    • Elk.
    • Eagle.
  • Plates that benefit parks:
    • National park plate.
    • State park plate.

You'll pay a plate fee IN ADDITION to your Washington registration fees and renewal fees. Fees may vary, but most are similar to the Orca Endangered Wildlife plate:

  • Car: $157.25.
  • Truck: $157.25.
  • Motorcycle plate: $75.25.
  • Trailer: $105.25.

For application information, see our page Applying for Special License Plates in WA.

Military Plates in WA

If you're a military service member or veteran, you can apply for military license plates in Washington. There are plates that represent:

  • Branches of service, for example:
    • The Marine Corps.
    • The Army.
  • Honors and combat, such as:
    • Former POWs.
    • Purple Heart recipients.

To be eligible for a military tag, your service record must reflect the applicable branch or honor. You'll need to present proof of your eligibility, such as your:

  • Military ID.
  • Discharge papers.

Fees for WA military license plates are usually charged IN ADDITION to registration fees and renewal fees. These fees vary, for example:

  • Military branch plates:
  • POW plate: Free.
  • Purple Heart plate:
    • $40 for car or truck plates.
    • $40 for motorcycle plates.

See the Washington DOL website for a full list of military plates and fees.

When you're ready to apply, visit our Applying for Specialty Plates in Washington page.

Military Emblems

You can get emblem decals that reflect your military service and apply them to any type of WA license plate.

Emblems are offered for military service awards and medals ( must have proof). You can have:

  • 1 emblem for an award (large decal).
  • 2 emblems for a medal, ribbon, or flag (small decals).

A set of emblems will cost you $18.

See the WA DOL website for a list of all decals and how to order them.

Classic Car License Plates

Several license plates are available for qualifying classic and antique vehicles from the WA DOL.

Your vehicle must meet the eligibility requirements for both historic plates (see below) AND for the specific plate you want.

ALL historic or antique license plates require that the vehicle:

  • Has a current registration.
  • Can be safely driven on a highway.
  • Is owned as a collector's item.
  • Is used ONLY for exhibitions, displays, test-drives, and leisure drives.

The following plates are available:

For details about applications, see our page on Applying for a Special License Plate in Washington.

DMV.ORG BBB Business Review