Texas License Plates

In the market for a custom license plate? Texas has everything from lone cowboys to flag-draped armadillos.
Written by Max Werner
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
From the cowboy silhouettes to flag-draped armadillos,
has quite a list of custom license plate options.
License plates aren’t just ID tags—they’re part of what makes your car truly yours, legally and aesthetically. Whether you're cruising down dirt roads, camped down by the river, or taking the scenic route, your license plate shows off your personality.
The Lone Star State has an impressive amount of customization options, and we're here to explain them. We’ll show you the coolest license plates in Texas and break down how to get your hands on one.
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What are Texas license plates and why do I need them?

Your car's license plate is its identification tag. It verifies that you are its owner. License plates make it easier to file claims after an accident and are crucial when searching for stolen vehicles. 
In Texas, you need a license plate on the front and rear of your vehicle before hitting the road. This makes it easier to identify your car from any direction. Some vehicles, like mopeds and motorcycles, are excluded from the front plate law. There is a $200 fine for driving without both plates.

What license plates does Texas have?

There are three main types of license plates in Texas: 
  • Standard plates
    are the most ubiquitous plates on the streets. In Texas, the lone star cowboy is the most common design.
  • Special interest plates
    give support to causes like nonprofit organizations.
  • Special plates
    are used to identify specialty vehicles with all manner of colors, shapes, and designs!

Standard license plates

  • Lone Star: This original design is entirely black-and-white with a star in the top-left corner and an image of the state of Texas separating the plate number. The bottom of the plate reads “The Lone Star State.”
  • Lone Star Blue: This design uses a blue and white color scheme. The bottom of the plate shows a lone cowboy riding through the desert. The top of the plate pays homage to Texas’s role in the Apollo space program with a space shuttle in a starry night sky.
  • Texas Cross: This standard plate also uses a black-and-white design that reads “One State Under God” next to three planted crosses.

Special interest license plates

  • Texas Tough: This black-and-white textured plate mimics the appearance of sheet metal and reads “Texas Tough” under the plate number.
  • Yellow Rose: An image of the Texas state flower on a blue background.
  • Collegiate: Texas is a large state home to many colleges and universities, many of which have custom license plates.
  • Agriculture 1: The plate reads “Good people. Great Product” and “
    Go Texan
    ” next to an outline of the state under a “Texas Agriculture” logo.
  • “I’d rather be Golfing”: Show the road how you spend your weekends with this
    plate depicting a golfer, ball, and simple sentiment
    : “I’d rather be golfing.”
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Special license plates

  • Veteran: Texas goes above and beyond when it comes to veteran plate designs. There are unique plates for all branches of the military, disabled veterans, and even
    Pearl Harbor survivors
  • Occupation: Texas has special plates depending on your job or volunteer work. These plates include but are not limited to volunteer firefighters, Peace officers, and Emergency Medical operators.
  • Radio Operator: FCC certified amateur radio operators can choose this simple white plate that reads “Radio Operator” in red. 
  • Motorcycle:
    Motorcycle plates
    come in many different designs and colors—Lone star designs are a favorite. Many bikers spring for the
    natural Texas plate
    or the
    sunflower sunshine

How do I get a Texas license plate?

Getting a new plate in Texas is easy. New plates can be ordered when you register your vehicle. To do so, visit your local county tax office. You’ll need to bring the following:
Once your vehicle is registered, you can order a
new license plate
of your choosing! If you want to switch things up again, just complete the registration process. Texas also lets drivers sign up for reminders to alert them when it’s time to renew.

How to customize your car insurance for savings in Texas 

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