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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.


After purchasing a new or used car, vehicle owners must obtain Missouri car registration plates and expiration tabs. As such, drivers must purchase an MO DMV license plate through the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR) within 30 days of acquiring a vehicle. Overall, car owners need to get new registration plates before they operate a new motor vehicle on public roads.

In order to get license plate materials, car owners must visit a state licensing office and apply in person. Moreover, motorists must be mindful of when their registration and license plate credentials but be renewed or replaced. Furthermore, review the information below to discover how to get a license plate in Missouri.

Types of License Plates in Missouri

When purchasing new registration plates in Missouri, car owners can choose from a variety of options, such as basic plates, specialty plates or disability plates. Other MO car registration plates include temporary permits, such as a 30 or 90-day permit.

In order to obtain a temporary DOR car tag, drivers may purchase the permit directly from their car dealership. Otherwise, they may obtain a permit at a state licensing office. In addition, drivers are allowed to request a temporary license plate if their current plates are temporarily blocked by a luggage or bicycle rack.

In any case, when you purchase your DOR car registration tag, you will also receive an expiration year tab or an enhanced tab.

How to Apply for a License Plate in Missouri

Vehicle owners must apply for a Missouri DOR license plate after purchasing a new or used vehicle in the state. In order to get new car tags, motorists must visit a local licensing office and submit all of the required documentation in person.

Aside from providing car owners with temporary driving permits, car dealerships do not assist drivers with the initial vehicle registration and license plate application process. With that in mind, when applying for new registration tags, applicants must submit the following paperwork:

  • The vehicle’s title certificate or statement of origin
  • A completed application form
  • A property tax receipt or a statement of non-assessment for the previous year
  • Proof of completing a safety and emissions inspection within the previous 60 days, if applicable
  • Proof of auto insurance or financial responsibility
  • Payment for DOR car tag taxes and fees

Note: Drivers may apply for a temporary DOR license plate by sending the appropriate application form along with an acceptable payment method to a particular mailing address from the Missouri Department of Revenue.

How to Renew License Plate Tags in Missouri

After registering their vehicles and purchasing car tags in MO, drivers must renew license plate credentials on a regular basis. In an attempt to help motorists to remember when they should perform the car registration renewal process, the Missouri DOR sends out notices with detailed instructions.

In most cases, vehicle owners may apply for license plate renewal online using the state DOR’s online renewal system. When renewing license plate stickers online, applicants must refer to their renewal notices to locate their personal identification number (PIN) and license plate number.

On the other hand, car owners must apply for a car tag renewal in person at a licensing office if they lose or misplace their renewal notice, or if their vehicle needs to undergo an emissions inspection prior to renewal. Additionally, drivers must renew car tags in person if they need to provide the Department of Revenue with proof of paying personal property taxes, or if their license plates are not current.

In addition, if you have a DOR license plate renewal notice but cannot apply online, you may do so by mail. To renew Missouri car tags by mail, you must submit your renewal notice along with all of the required documentation to a specific mailing address of the DOR.

How to Replace License Plates in Missouri

If you lose, misplace or damage your Missouri car registration plates, you must replace them through your local licensing office. To replace license plate stickers or tags, you must complete and notarize the proper application form and submit it in person, along with the applicable processing fee payment. However, when replacing license plate credentials with enhanced security tabs, you must visit participating licensing offices that offer these services.

For drivers wondering how to replace license plate materials by mail, it is important to note that applicants have the option of sending all tag replacement paperwork and payments to a particular DOR branch.

How to Transfer License Plates in Missouri

In certain cases, vehicle owners may transfer MO car registration tags from one vehicle to another instead of purchasing new registration plates after acquiring a car. In order to transfer a car tag from an old vehicle to a new one, drivers must visit a state license office and request a tag transfer.

Moreover, applicants must submit the new vehicle’s title, a completed application form, proof of completing a safety inspection, a current auto insurance card and proof of completing an emissions inspection (if applicable). After completing the DOR license plate transfer procedure, vehicle owners must pay the applicable tag transfer fees.

In any case, you can only transfer your old DOR car tags to yourself after you purchase a new vehicle. Furthermore, you are not allowed to transfer your license plates to another driver who purchases a vehicle from you.

Missouri License Plate Fees

Missouri DOR license plate fees for passenger vehicles vary depending on the vehicle’s taxable horsepower (HP), as well as whether motorists wish to apply for a one or two-year registration credential. Moreover, temporary license plates cost $8.50 in MO.

License Plate Lookups in Missouri

Before making a vehicle purchase, car owners can perform an online DOR license plate lookup, where they can learn more about the history and overall performance of previously-owned vehicles. When drivers perform an MO DOR car tag lookup before purchasing a used vehicle, they can learn more about the vehicle’s previous owners, safety recalls, manufacturer and engine type.

Last updated on Monday, February 4 2019.

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