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November 2014

How many specialty license plates are offered in your jurisdiction, and are there financial or presale requirements for each specialty plate?


Director, Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles

Nevada is limited by statute to 35 specialty plates and has a two-tier system. The first tier allows up to 30 specialty plates and requires the sponsoring organization to post a $5,000 bond. In addition, first-tier plates must maintain 1,000 active plates per year for continued issuance. The second tier allows up to five specialty plates, and requires a $20,000 bond and 3,000 active plates per year. Special plates may be authorized by the State Legislature or approved by the Department following recommendation by the Nevada Commission on Special Plates.

Director of Communications, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission currently offers for a nominal fee 122 specialty, personalized and courtesy plates. Our Dedicated Plate Program allows citizens to show their support for causes such as the preservation of state parks and pinelands, animal welfare, wildlife conservation and raising awareness to conquer cancer. Organizational plates are available for qualified nonprofits, alumni organizations or service organizations to commemorate their group’s civic contributions. While there are currently 47 organizational plates available, a majority are now introduced by legislation.

Communications Manager, North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles offers more than 170 specialty plates. The fee for each plate is set forth by the NC General Assembly. Effective Oct. 1, 2014, a new specialty plate category requires a minimum number of prepaid applications to be submitted to the NCDMV prior to legislative approval. The guidelines for this process are listed on the NCDMV website at ncdot.gov/dmv/forms.

Director, Alabama Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division

Alabama currently has 196 specialty license plate types. Some of them are created by legislation and have no presale requirements. The remaining license plate categories are created by approval of the Legislative Oversight Committee on License Plates (LOC). Sponsoring organizations are required to presell a minimum of 250 commitments to purchase for generic plate designs and a minimum of 1,000 commitments to purchase for a full plate design. Organizations have a 12-month period to obtain the required number of pre-commitments.

irector, California Department of Motor Vehicles

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Actor Pierce Brosnan designed the Pet Lover’s plate to show support for the Veterinary Board and its campaign to qualify the plate for issuance in California.

California currently has 13 specialized license plates that support a number of valuable environmental and educational concerns. Specialized license plates can be sponsored by any state agency, with a design or message that publicizes or promotes the agency or its work. Plates can either be sequential or personalized. The sponsor must receive a minimum of 7,500 prepaid plate applications within a year of starting the program (a second year is allowed on request). If the agency doesn’t reach that minimum order threshold, the applications are canceled, refunds are issued and the program does not get implemented.

The Pet Lover’s example is one of our newest plate programs. Funds from this plate allow the Veterinary Board to issue grants supporting local spay and neuter programs. The art for this plate is the work of actor Pierce Brosnan, a supporter of the campaign to qualify the plate for issuance in California.

Communications Specialist, Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles

Colorado offers 37 different group special license plates, ranging from Breast Cancer to Adopt A Shelter Pet. All group special license plates are assessed two $25 fees at the time of issuance. These fees are in addition to other donations to the specific organizations. Colorado also offers 38 military license plates and 13 alumni license plates. For more information about these plates, please visit colorado.gov/dmv.