How to Get a Temporary License Plate in Indiana

You can’t get a temporary license plate in Indiana, but you can easily get a 96-hour or 30-day temporary registration permit.
Written by Joshua Levy
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
While Indiana doesn’t offer temporary license plates, it does offer temporary registration to drivers who need a little time to get everything together. Of course, the longest temporary registration only lasts for 30 days, so drivers can’t lean on it as a permanent solution.
Driving without a license plate is illegal throughout the United States, but in some situations, it may seem unavoidable. Drivers bringing home their new cars or transporting a vehicle to a new owner may not have had the opportunity to secure a license plate. As a result, Indiana offers temporary registrations that allow drivers to legally hit the road until they get license plates.
We know how tricky getting a new car set up can be, that’s why we're here to tell you everything you need to know about how to get a temporary Indiana license plate.
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Does Indiana issue temporary plates?

Indiana does not issue temporary plates, but they do issue temporary registrations that can help drivers stay legal on the road until they get their plates. While most new car owners qualify for a 96-hour temporary registration, you may be eligible for a 30-day temporary registration in some cases.
To start the application process, simply go to the
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) website
and check out their
and qualification requirements.

What’s the problem with temporary license plates? 

Some states have stopped issuing temporary license plates because they’re easily forged. People have been pinning fake ones on the backs of their cars and skipping permanent registration altogether. 
Temporary license plates have also been used to enable criminal activities by helping drivers avoid identification. To prevent the abuse of temporary license plates in Indiana, the state no longer issues them. Instead, drivers must apply for temporary
vehicle registration
directly through the BMV, which makes forgery nearly impossible. 

How to get a temporary license plate in Indiana

While you can’t get temporary license plates in Indiana, you can get temporary registration permits relatively easily. There are two types of temporary registrations you can get in Indiana:
  • 96-hour delivery permit
  • 30-day registration permit
While the application process is nearly identical, you’ll need to meet different qualifications in order to apply. For a 96-hour delivery permit, drivers can apply at any time so long as they have:
But if you want to apply for a 30-day temporary registration permit, you’ll need to meet one of the following requirements:
  • Obtained the vehicle in Indiana but plan to title it in another state/country
  • Own a registered car in Indiana but plan on moving within a few weeks of the registration’s expiration
  • Waiting for Indiana registration to process after having recently moved to the state
  • Moving the car from one lessee to another
  • Need to drive to a mechanic for repairs to pass a state emissions test
Once you have your papers together and have met one of the aforementioned requirements, drivers can apply for temporary registration by taking the following steps:
  1. Visit a local BMV office.
  2. Request a 96-hour delivery permit.
  3. Show proof of financial responsibility and proof of ownership.
  4. Pay the required fee ($3 for a 96-hour permit, $18 for a 30-day permit). 
Remember, you’ll need to apply for your temporary registration in person as the Indiana BMV does not currently have an online or remote option for temporary registration applications.
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Can I drive a car without plates if I just bought it in Indiana? 

It is illegal to drive a car without plates in Indiana—even if you just bought it. That said, you’ll need to apply for a 96-hour delivery permit after buying your car so you can safely and legally drive the vehicle from the dealership to your home.

How to find affordable car insurance in Indiana

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