Personalized License Plates Cost

Last Updated on September 14, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Many people have already noticed in the traffic various personalized, atypical license plates: either with the letters stamped at a greater distance than usual (“separated” letters), or with characters that use a different font than the standard one, or with other shapes than usual.

Over time, Americans have personalized their license plates in an out-of-the-ordinary way. The reason is as simple as possible: they want to stand out. Most paid double the money to personalize their license plates.

These plates are also known as vanity plates and there are states that have strict rules regarding what words you can choose (no offensive words are allowed), and they usually charge an extra fee for this option.

How Much Do Personalized License Plates Cost?

The cost of a personalized license plate cost is not fixed and will vary from state to state. In the table below you will find the average costs for personalized license plates in different states from the U.S. This fee won’t include the registration fee that is charged every year.


State Price
Alabama $55
Alaska $35
Arizona FREE
Arkansas $10 – $55
California $55 – $110
Colorado $65
Connecticut $95 – $160
Delaware $45 – $55
Florida $15
Georgia $25 – $30
Hawaii $30
Idaho $30
Illinois $50
Indiana $35 – $55
Iowa $30
Kansas $50
Kentucky $30
Louisiana $30
Maine $30
Maryland $30
Massachusetts $25 – $55
Michigan $35
Minnesota $110
Mississippi $35
Missouri $20
Montana $30
Nebraska $45
Nevada $40
New Hampshire $45
New Jersey $55
New Mexico $22
New York $55 – $90
North Carolina $35
North Dakota $30
Ohio $55
Oklahoma $25
Oregon $15 – $55
Pennsylvania $25
Rhode Island $75- $95
South Carolina $35
South Dakota $30
Tennessee $40
Texas $60 – $220
Utah $60
Vermont $44
Virginia $15
Washington $55
West Virginia $50
Wisconsin $20
Wyoming $35

Vanity plate details

A vanity plate is a great way to customize your car’s license plates. You can choose between all letters, numbers, or anything in between.

California Vanity PlateVanity plates are a great way to display your personality. As long as the plate name has not been claimed by anyone else, it will be usually approved. For example, QUEEN could be formed using all letters or numbers together with some capitalization for effects. Whatever suits you best is what matters most in choosing this kind of personalized tag.

Keep in mind that you will need to check with your local state before purchasing a vanity plate in order to see if the name you want is available. Every state jurisdiction has different rules and regulations about what is allowed, as well as how many characters or numbers are available for purchase. It’s important to do your research on this so there aren’t any big surprises when registering the vehicle.

When you apply, the office of the Department of Motor Vehicles will provide information on what is available at that moment or you can find this information online, depending on where in your state it operates.

The process of ordering a personalized license plate is not one-size-fits-all.  In order to find the easiest way in which you can get a vanity plate check with your local DMV and see what they recommend. Most states will let you order this plate via mail, by fax, or online. Lawyers.com has compiled an excellent list of websites that provide information about every individual state’s procedure when obtaining these special plates.

You might also like our articles about the cost of supercharger installation, convertible top replacement, or sunroof installation.

The delivery time for the majority of the plates would be anywhere between eight and twelve months.

What are the extra costs?

The fees presented in the table above will be added to your standard registration fee.

Important things to consider

Depending on your state of residence, your vanity plate can have somewhere around seven characters with spaces allowed. Also, you have the possibility to write an entire word or a short phrase.

However, each state has its own list of forbidden words. For example, in New York words such as “God” or “Police” are not allowed, while in Florida “Pimpala” is banned. In general, if your desired plate contains words or characters that refer to drugs, drinks, religion, boasting, or race, be prepared to have problems when applying for such a vanity plate.

A personalized license plate can be recalled after it has been issued if someone complains that it is offending. For example, a vegetarian family who loves tofu registered the plate “ILVTOFU”, but it was banned. On the other hand, the plate with the characters “I GOTTA P” was allowed and even went viral on the Internet.

How can I save money?

There is a vanity plate for every personality type. Whether you want to show off your love of country or support local school sports teams, there’s always room on the license tag. But before signing up for a vanity plate, consider if it is really worth paying extra fees every year.

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