1. Get Started With License Plate Assistance Online

In most states, you cannot apply for or replace a license plate online. Instead, most states require you to request a new or duplicate license plate in person at a DMV office. However, certain states or counties may allow you to complete these transactions online. In any case, you must apply for a new license plate within a few days of your vehicle’s date of purchase. To do so, you must provide a certificate of title, odometer disclosure, smog certification (if applicable) and bill of sale (if needed). Then, you must pay any applicable DMV service fees. To prepare for this procedure and save time, download our informative online guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know about standard and custom license plates. In it, you will also learn about requesting, renewing and replacing a car registration.

2. By Mail

In most states, you cannot apply for a license plate by mail. However, many states allow you to replace or surrender a license plate by sending the required materials through the mail. When replacing a plate, you will be required to send a completed application form containing personal details and vehicle specifications to the appropriate DMV mailing address. If you wish to surrender an existing license plate after selling your vehicle, you may do so by mailing the plate to the correct DMV branch in your state. Due to mailing and processing times, be mindful that the mail-in method may subject you to certain delays.

3. In Person at a DMV Office

You will most likely need to visit a DMV office in person to apply for a license plate in your state. During your visit, you will be asked to provide proof of identity, documents that verify your car ownership and a completed application form. In addition, you will be required to pay the applicable DMV fees, which vary depending on whether you apply for a standard or personalized license plate. When visiting a DMV, you may also replace or transfer an existing license plate, as long as those procedures are offered in your state. To avoid mistakes or taking additional trips to the DMV, make sure that you are fully prepared for license plate transactions prior to filing your application.


Vehicle owners must purchase car registration plates in Idaho through the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which is managed by the state’s Transportation Department (ITD). Overall, motorists must purchase new registration plates upon registering the vehicles they recently purchased in the state. However, car owners cannot get a license plate until after they apply for a title certificate.

After applying for a title, motorists must obtain ID DMV license plate credentials in person at their county’s Division of Motor Vehicles office as soon as possible. In the case of vehicle owners who already have car tags, they may be eligible to renew their credentials online or in person. To learn more about how to get license plate documents, as well as how to renew, replace or transfer these credentials, read the following sections.

Types of License Plates in Idaho

The Idaho Transportation Department provides drivers with many different options for new registration plates, including standard plates, disability plates, specialty plates and personalized plates. Motorists may obtain standard ID DMV car tags for passenger vehicles, non-commercial trucks, motorhomes, mobile homes, boats, trailers and motorcycles. In many cases, drivers opt for personalizing standard plates. However, personalized car tags are optional. Furthermore, motorists may also obtain specialty car registration plates, such as classic plates, veteran plates or wilderness plates.

How to Apply for a License Plate in Idaho

If you plan to obtain a standard plate or a numbered special plate after purchasing a vehicle from a private seller, you must apply for new Idaho car tags in person at a county motor vehicle office. Conversely, if you would like to acquire a personalized license plate, you must apply online through the ITD official portal. Furthermore, the process of applying for new ID car tags differs when you purchase a vehicle from a car dealership. In this case, the dealer will apply for the license plates on your behalf.

You must register your vehicle as part of the Idaho DMV license plate application process. However, before you apply for car registration plates after buying a vehicle from a private seller, you must bring your vehicle to a county DMV office and perform a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection.

In order to register your vehicle and get car tags, you must submit the following paperwork during your visit to the DMV office:

  • Your vehicle’s current certificate of title and registration certificate
  • A valid document proving your personal identification
  • An acceptable payment method for the new registration plates and registration certificate fees
  • A completed application form

After ordering your car registration tags, you may use the ITD official online portal to review the status of your registration. To do so, you must enter your vehicle’s license plate number and your driver’s license number.

How to Renew License Plate Tags in Idaho

Car owners must renew Idaho license plate stickers every one or two years, depending on their specific period to complete the vehicle registration renewal process. When renewing license plate decals, motorists may complete the process online through the ITD’s website, by mail or in person at a local DMV office. For drivers wondering how to renew license plate emblems online, it is important to note that the following information must be provided:

  • Details that pertain to the ITD’s registration renewal notice, including the card number and the vehicle’s license plate number
  • Car owner’s contact and vehicle information
  • Payment for the license plate renewal fees

Note: After renewing car tags online, motorists receive their new documents within 10 days. However, this waiting period may consist of 21 days in the case of special plates.

Furthermore, if car owners cannot complete the online car tag renewal process, they may renew their license plates in person at a local DMV or by mail. Overall, drivers must refer to their renewal notices for specific instructions.

How to Replace License Plates in Idaho

Vehicle owners must replace a license plate in Idaho whenever the car tag or its emblem become illegible. In addition, car tags must also be replaced if they disappear from the vehicle. When replacing license plate emblems or tags, drivers must visit a local county assessor’s office and request a duplicate in person. Motorists who need to replace car tags or stickers must present a valid driver’s license, current registration card, vehicle identification number (VIN) and license plate number. Then, applicants must submit an appropriate payment method for the applicable replacement fees.

Furthermore, motorists are required to replace license plate credentials every seven years, even if their car tags are still in decent condition. During this time, drivers will receive a new license plate number, unless they specify that they wish to keep their current number.

How to Transfer License Plates in Idaho

Rather than acquiring a new ID car registration tag after purchasing a new vehicle, you may transfer your current license plate from one vehicle to another. However, you may only do so after completing the initial car registration process. Under Idaho state law, DMV cars tags belong to their vehicle owners, meaning that they do not have to remain on the same car. For this reason, drivers must remove their car registration plates before selling or disposing of a vehicle. On the other hand, if you are selling an off-highway vehicle with restricted vehicle license plates, you cannot transfer the license plates to a different vehicle.

Idaho License Plate Fees

Motorists must pay an annual fee for car registration plates in Idaho. However, these specific registration and licensing fees vary depending on the type, age and weight of each vehicle, as well as the county where the applicant resides. In general, car owners are not charged in order to obtain disability plates or placards, but must pay for a basic DMV license plate for passenger vehicles weighing less than 8,000 lbs.

In general, a standard plate is issued to you when you register your car and pay the registration fees. Some basic registration fees are as follows:

  • Passenger vehicles two years old or younger – $69
  • Passenger vehicles three to six years old – $57
  • Passenger vehicles seven or more years old – $45

Note: Applicants must be mindful that DMV car tag fees vary for motorhomes, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, trailers, boats, off-highway vehicles and cars with specialty or personalized plates.

License Plate Lookups in Idaho

Before you purchase a new or used vehicle and apply for new registration plates, you can simplify the decision-making process by performing an online license plate lookup. When you perform an Idaho DMV license plate lookup, you can learn specific details about the vehicle’s history, such as ownership, manufacturer and safety information.

Last updated on Friday, January 18 2019.

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