License Plates in Ohio
LOST OR STOLEN LICENSE PLATES
As soon as license plates are lost, stolen or illegible they must be replaced. In order to replace your plates you must:
- Visit your local BMV office. It can also be done online or via mail.
- Present proper Proof of Identity.
- Hand in any remaining license plates.
- Fill in an application for replacement plates. Please see the list below for links to the appropriate forms for each type of plate.
- Pay the license plate replacement fees.
CUSTOM AND PERSONALIZED PLATES
These are the different types of plates in the regular series: Auto, Commercial, Trailer, Motorcycle, Permanent Trailer Identification, Disabled Person, Disabled Veteran, and Foreign Organization. Please seek the proper application forms for regular series license plates and complete them at your local BMV office and submit them with the appropriate fees (see below).
Special Interest Plates
The following is a list of some examples of special interest plates: Arts, Collegiate, Firefighter, Ex-Prisoner of War, Memorial, Olympic Training Center, Veterans, Congressional Medal of Honor, Press Photographer and Purple Heart Recipient, National Guard. You can apply to the Deputy Registrar's office by mail or visit in person at your local BMV office and submit the form with the appropriate fees or call at (800) 589-8247. You can also order online at Oplate.com.
The fees for replacing a license plate or getting new plates vary depending on the type of plate you need. For more information on these fees please follow the link for Special Interest Plate Fees and Personalized Plate Fees.
WHAT TO DO WITH PLATES WHEN BUYING/SELLING A VEHICLE
Under Ohio Law it is NOT mandatory to retain standard license plates from a vehicle when selling. The plates will remain with the buyer once the ownership of the vehicle has been transferred; however, if the plates are special interest or personalized then there are two options for the seller. One, keep the plates for another vehicle and two, release the plate to the buyer. .