How to Get a Temporary License Plate in Indiana

You can’t get a temporary license plate in Indiana, but you can get a 96-hour or 30-day temporary registration permit.
Written by Joshua Levy
Edited by Amy Bobinger
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
While
Indiana
doesn’t offer temporary license plates, it does offer temporary registration to drivers who need a little time to get their vehicle registered. 

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
vehicle registration
, you may be eligible for a 30-day temporary registration in some cases.
How to get started: Go to the
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) website
and check out their pricing and qualification requirements.

How to get an Indiana temporary license plate

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 through the DMV 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 recently moving 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
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How to apply for temporary license plates in Indiana

To apply for a temporary license plate, you will need to follow these 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). 
Need to know: You’ll need to apply for your temporary registration in person. The Indiana BMV does not currently have an online or remote option for temporary registration applications.

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 legally drive the vehicle home from the dealership.

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 tags 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. 
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