How to Check Available Custom License Plates

Find out if you’re getting ripped off on your car insurance in less than two minutes.
No long forms · No spam · No fees
  • In-person avaliability
  • Costs
  • Restrictions
  • Paperwork
  • Pay and wait
  • Ordering vanity plates online
  • Online forms
  • Pay fees and wait
  • FAQs
  • Customized insurance
The DMV is the place to go to check if the vanity plate you want is available. Whether in person or online, both processes will require filling out forms, selecting several combinations of your preferred vanity plate name, and paying a small fee.
Keep in mind, self-expression has its limits. The DMV will likely reject any vanity plate applications with inappropriate or vulgar plate monikers.
If you want to know the nitty-gritty of getting a vanity plate, the car insurance comparison shopping and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know—so you can get that H0TW3ELZ license plate you’ve always wanted (we won’t judge).
Recommended
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever
logos
logos
logos

In-person availability check

If you want a vanity plate, you’ll have to visit your local DMV to get the ball rolling. In some states, the county clerk’s office may handle vanity plates. Either way, check out DMV.org to determine where in your state you’ll need to go to get vanity plates.
Once you’re in the right place, you’ll have to see what options are available to you as well as fill out some paperwork to order your plates.
Again, depending on which state you live in, there may be a variety of specialized plate options to choose from, including themed plates—where your fee supports the non-profit organization featured on it.

Vanity plate costs

Yes—showing the world your personality does come at a price, but it is a reasonable one (about $100 depending on where you live). You must pay this fee along with your regular car registration fees. Keep in mind, you’ll have to renew your vanity plate on a yearly basis.

Vanity plate restrictions

While a vanity plate can be a great canvas to show off your personality, there are limits. Be sure to keep your character count within your state’s limits, and heed any instructions regarding the use of numbers and/or letters. While it’s always fun to show off your personality vulgarity is not permitted, so keep it clean!

Paperwork

Any process wouldn’t be complete without the requisite paperwork, and vanity plates are no exception! This is routine, and you’ll have to give the DMV or county clerk the requisite information they’ll need about you and your vehicle.
You’ll also have to choose specific character combinations for your plate, in case your preferred moniker isn’t available.
Recommended
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever
logos
logos
logos

Pay and wait

Once you fill out the paperwork and have paid for your vanity plate, it’s time to play the waiting game! Once ordered, you’ll have to wait a few weeks before your plates arrive.
Some DMV and county clerk offices only order vanity plates at certain times of the year. Keep this in mind when ordering your new plates.

Ordering vanity plates online

Living in the Internet Age, most states will allow you to view online what vanity plate options are available, and order them online.
Double-check with your local DMV if you can order vanity plates online in your state. If not, you’ll have to visit the DMV or county clerk’s office in person.

Navigating the DMV online

First, find your state’s DMV page. Then, click on the Registration and Titling tab. From there, click on the License Plates and Placards tab, where you’ll find the section for vanity or specialized license plates. You may have to enter the ZIP code where your car is registered to see vanity plate options.
At this point, you’ll be able to see what kind of vanity or specialized plates are available. Note any restrictions about what you can put on your vanity plate, as well as the fees for ordering the plates.

Online forms for vanity plates

It’s sad but true—the wonders of the internet won’t save you from filling out the necessary forms in order to purchase your vanity plates.
Once you’ve filled out the forms and selected the vanity plate you want, submit them online if allowed in your state, along with payment. Otherwise, print the forms out and mail them to your local DMV or county clerk’s office.
Recommended
Compare auto insurance policies
No spam or unwanted phone calls · No long forms · No fees, ever
logos
logos
logos

Pay fees and wait

Similar to going into the DMV in person, you’ll have a wait a few weeks to receive your vanity plates once you’ve ordered them online.

Frequently asked questions

So can I avoid in-person lines and order my vanity plates online?

Check with your local DMV—most states allow residents to view vanity plate options and order them online, but not all of them. If your state doesn’t allow online ordering, you’ll have to check the availability and apply for your vanity plates in person.

I can put anything I want on my vanity plates, right?

Umm, not quite. There is certainly leeway in terms of what you can and cannot put on your vanity plates, but ultimately you’ll have to follow your state’s rules.

Get customized insurance with Jerry

Whether your car is adorned with vanity plates, or you prefer a traditional license plate with its jumble of letters and numbers, your car needs to be protected.
Jerry is the perfect place online to find cheap car insurance.
Sign up in under a minute and then compare quotes from more than 40 of the country’s top car insurers.
The average Jerry user saves $879 per year on car insurance!
“This app deserves more than 5 stars. Jerry is the new benchmark in app usefulness. Period. It is SO EASY and the results are SO GOOD. I am personally saving around $1,400/year with my new insurance. If you make over $1,400/hour, this may not be worth your time. Otherwise, get the app and use it now!”—Satisfied Jerry Customer
Recommended
Haven’t shopped for insurance in the last six months? There might be hundreds $$$ in savings waiting for you.
avatar
Judith switched to Progressive
savings icon
Saved $725 annually
avatar
Alexander switched to Travelers
savings icon
Saved $834 annually
avatar
Annie switched to Nationwide
savings icon
Saved $668 annually
Check if you are overpaying for car insurance.
No phone calls. No long forms. Quotes from 45 insurance companies.
Find savings (100% Free)
stars
Rated 4.7/5 in the App Store

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies