Vehicle Services

Plates and Placards

Displaying Your Plate  

It is unlawful to alter or modify an Arizona license plate. Your plate must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle with the following requirements: 

  • Must be displayed in a position so the license plate is clearly legible, securely attached to prevent swinging and at a height at least 12 inches from the ground to the bottom of the plate. The name of the state at the top of the plate cannot be obscured or covered. 
  • Temporary issued placards must also be displayed per the same requirements.
  • Arizona law requires the vehicle owner to replace any issued license plate that has become damaged, deteriorated, illegible or unreadable. 

A vehicle owner who breaks the law could be charged with a misdemeanor, with court fines of at least $300.

Personalizing a Plate

For the most part, plates may be personalized with a letter/number combination of your choice. Personalized plates in most plate styles may be ordered online.This is the easiest and fastest way to process your request. All personalized plate choices must be approved for appropriate content.

Most special plates may be ordered online. This is the easiest and fastest way to process your request. Some special plates are available at MVD or authorized third-party offices. If not available at an office or ordered online, you must complete a Special Plate Application. Please allow four to six weeks for processing for personalized and special order plates.

Plates may only be issued to the owner or lessee of a currently registered vehicle. If leased, but not registered in your name, a document showing you as a lessee is required.

Some plates may not be issued to large commercial vehicles (with a declared gross vehicle weight of 26,001 lbs or more). Some special plates may be issued to trailers, motorcycles and golf carts.

Some plates are issued in pairs (front and back of the vehicle) and some are issued as a single plate, depending on the type. See the Plate Selections for more information. If your plate is personalized, two plates will be issued for full-size and one for small-size, regardless of the plate type.

Fees

The fee for personalization is a $25 initial application fee/$25 annual renewal (no renewal fee for personalization of a veteran plate), in addition to regular registration fees and any other special plate fee. The maximum number of characters allowed (letters and/or numbers) varies with plate type. The fee for a remake of a lost or mutilated plate is $5 plus postage/handling, if mailed.

For plates that are mailed there, is a postage and handling charge.

Please review your selection carefully. Any changes to your plate choice and/or request for refund cannot be made once we have placed the order to manufacture your plate.

Special Plate Renewal Fee

Every year, a special plate renewal fee is due at the same time as the vehicle registration. The first payment is due when your vehicle registration is next renewed, even if it has been less than 12 months since the plate was initially purchased.

If your registration expires within the next three months, you may wish to renew your registration early, before submitting the plate application, in order to avoid the first annual renewal special plate fee.

For additional information, please see our Vehicle Services FAQs.