How many letters are on a license plate?

I’m looking at getting a new car. After shopping around, I’ve found the perfect vehicle and added all the options that I want. The final customization I want to do is to get a vanity plate, but I don’t know how many letters I have to work with. I live in California. How many letters do license plates have?

Eric Schad · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
The number of letters or numbers on a license plate varies by state and whether you choose a regular license plate or a vanity plate. Since you live in
, you can choose a custom or vanity plate with up to seven characters.
Across the U.S. license plates come with a different number of characters as follows:
  • 23 states have six letters or numbers, as does the District of Columbia.
  • 15 states have seven letters or numbers.
  • 12 states have sequential coding, which varies in terms of the number of characters.
If you want to add the final touch to your new ride,
look up available customizations
beforehand so you aren’t disappointed if yours isn’t available.
And since you just bought a new car, add the proper car insurance coverage to legally drive and protect your most cherished possession. A great place to start is with the
As a licensed broker, Jerry helps you find and compare quotes from over 50 top providers in minutes. When you find a better rate, Jerry can help you buy your new coverage and even cancel your old policy!
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