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License Plates in Virginia


As soon as license plates are lost, stolen or illegible they must be replaced. If BOTH plates are stolen/lost they must be replaced with a new plate - duplicates will not be made.

In order to replace your plates you must fill in an Vehicle Registration Application and

mail your application together with the replacement fee of $10 per plate, to:

Virginia DMV
Attn: Titles and Registration Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, Virginia 23269    

You can also take your completed form and fee to any DMV Customer Service Center.


There are over 200 styles of special license plate designs that you can choose from in Virginia, representing universities, military, civic organizations and so on. You can browse the styles available here.

You can also select personalized license plates, using your own combination of up to seven letters and/or numbers. You can check here to see if your required personalized plate is valid or available.

To order your custom or personalized plates, you will need to complete the application form and mail it, together with the required fee, to:

Virginia DMV
Attn: Titles and Registration Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, Virginia 23269    

You can also take your completed form and fee to any DMV Customer Service Center or you can apply online.

Note: For disabled drivers, you will need to complete the special Disabled License Plates Application Form.


The fees for replacing a license plate or getting new plates vary depending on the type of plate you need. They can cost $10, $25 or $50 annually, or a one time fee of $10, $25 or $50, depending on the plate design. Personalization is an additional $10 annually. Check with the DMV Customer Service Center for the exact fee.

For disabled license plates the fee is $5    


Under Virginia Law you must remove your license plates when selling you vehicle. You may transfer your plates to any replacement vehicle, or return them to any DMV Customer Service Center where they will be recycled, or you may destroy them and dispose of them yourself. However, you must notify the Department that you no longer own the vehicle. You can do this online, by phone or at a DMV Customer Service Center.

If you move out of Virginia, you do not have to surrender your plates to the Virginia DMV, but this is recommended. After you have moved, send your plates to:

Virginia DMV
Attn: Titles and Registration Work Center
P.O. Box 27412
Richmond, Virginia 23269    

You can also take your plates to any DMV Customer Service Center. You may be entitled for a refund of your registration fees if you have at least 6 months remaining on your registration when you surrender your plates. Use this form when requesting a refund.


Reviews of License Plates in Virginia

I'm trying to purchase personalized tags & I just got a new car & on my registration card there is no number under "title number" and when filling out the form for the personalized tags it asks for the "title number" and my VIN number (which I have) and I don't know what to do or where to find it or how to get the tags without a title number! Someone please help

If an individual's front license plate was stolen, is it legal for them to continue driving with the rear license plate without penalty? If the individual is stopped by law enforcement and a registration status check returns with a stolen front tag, although the rear tag returns registered to the vehicle in question, can law enforcement confiscate the rear tag and impound the vehicle? If the tags can be confiscated, why would the tags still be considered active when law enforcement run the tags?

How do I transfer my personal plate over to a car I just purchase and the plate the from the car I just purchase to my old car?

You have to go to dmv and sign a paper and pay 80% of what to paid for the car and pay $10 for the new title

I just ordered vanity plates but changed my mind about what I want them to say. Am I stuck with these plates or can I change the customization???

I was recently ticketed in Arlington, Va for not having a front license plate tag. I was told in May 2011 by a Fredericksburg, Va police officer that it was acceptable to not have a front license plate so long as I had the back tag. What is the law in Virginia regarding front and back license plate tags? Is it illegal to not have a front license plate tag?

Just Call DMV customer support and update your new Out of State address. They will cancel your registration and then you are good to destroy your plates. You dont need to go to DMV office to retun them.

How do I apply for a license plate with either a purple heart or silver star?

When you move out-of-state (VA) you return your car plates, but do you do with your registration card? Can anyone answer this please?

I ordered personalized license plates a few months ago and had my old ones in the garage. My roommate and I were cleaning out the garage the other day & he told me I have to return the old plates back to the DMV or my license will get suspended, and/or I will be fined. Is this true? I can not get through to the DMV customer service line to speak to an agent. I was about to throw them away, I am glad he said something because I had no idea.

Im confused as to how to check for personalized plates availability. When i go to the page it only has enough blocks for 6 characters. Please help!

You can also check different versions of the plates, for instance the bluish-green plate with the sort of mountain-y background. that one has spaces for 8, but since one has to be a blank, you can have 7 characters. That's how i was able to get my personalized plate of 7 characters. I think there's one or two other plates that allow you "8" characters.

Because when you have a personalized plate it takes away one character. So you only have 6 instead of 7 spaces. To check to see if the one you want is available you have to fill in the 6 boxes and click "view plate". it will then tell you in red if it is or is not availble.