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Instant License Plate Lookup

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The following is for informational purposes only

How Long Does It Take to Get License Plates?

The time taken to get license plates depends on the state. Most jurisdictions take 30 days to mail the plate to the registered owner, but others take much longer. While one is waiting for their permanent plate, the department of motor vehicles issues temporary plates for road use. The validity period of these coincides with the time taken to deliver the permanent plates to the owner's residence. Customized plates might take longer to process, though vehicle owners may fill out paperwork and gather needed documentation before going to the DMV to expedite the process. Online registrations are typically faster than mail-in approaches.

Requirements For Application

To get a permanent license plate in their state of residence, they have to register the vehicle officially. That means issuing proof of ownership to the state, including the title and specific paperwork. These may include driver's license, vehicle identification number, make, model, and insurance details. It is then possible to get the title and registration plates from the state's website within the given duration.

How Long Does It Take To Get Custom Plates?

Specialized or custom license plates are an excellent means of self-expression. These may be tailored to historical significance, military service, or personal achievement. Special interest license plates can also be about charities or illustrate an environmental cause. Considering these are more unique than a standard-issue license plate, they may take longer to process. Whereas normal plates may take two to four weeks, personalized plates can take six to 12 weeks to arrive.

Vehicle owners have to renew their registration if they want to order custom plates. It expires when the customized plates become available. That is why the wait for the plates is significantly longer, depending on the specific state. During the registration, though, it is important to ensure that the desired personalization of the plate is permissible. If the goal is to set the plate similar to an existing one or if it is controversial, then there will be an even longer wait time.

StateLicense plate feesHow long it takes to receive license plates
Alabama$23 standard and $1.25 for transfer20 days
Alaska$5 for transfer12 weeks
Arizona$12 for transferfour to six weeks
Arkansas$1 for transfer30 days
California$234-6 weeks
Colorado$25Three weeks
Connecticut$530 days
DelawareNot applicable30 days
District of Columbia$12 for transfer15 days
Florida$28, $7.35 for transfer30 days
GeorgiaNot applicabletwo to three weeks
Hawaii$5Two to three weeks, 60 days for custom plates
IdahoNot applicableMinimum of 3 weeks
IllinoisNot applicableTwo to four weeks
Indiana$9.5021 business days
IowaNot applicable3-6 weeks
KansasNot applicableThree weeks
KentuckyNot applicableFour to six weeks
Louisiana$3 for transfer10 to 12 weeks for personalized plate
MaineNot applicable30 days
Maryland$10 for transferEight weeks
Massachusetts$25 for transfer6 to 8 weeks
Michigan$514 to 21 days
Minnesota$8Ten days
MississippiNot applicable21 days
MissouriNot applicableSix to eight weeks
Montana$10.30Three to four weeks
Nebraska$3.30 a plate4 to 6 weeks
Nevada$88 to 9 weeks
New Hampshire$82 to 3 weeks
New Jersey$630 days
New MexicoNot applicableThree weeks
New York$2510 days or less
North Carolina$21.506-8 weeks
North Dakota$5 for transfer4 weeks
Ohio$6 for transfer10-14 business days
OklahomaNot applicable10 to 40 days
Oregon$24.506 weeks
PennsylvaniaNot applicable8 to 10 weeks
Rhode Island$890 days
South CarolinaNot applicable2 to 4 weeks
South Dakota$5 for transfer2 to 3 weeks
TennesseeNot applicable5-10 business days
TexasNot applicable30 days
UtahNot applicableEight weeks
VermontNot applicableTwo weeks
VirginiaNot applicable15 days
Washington$103 weeks
West Virginia$10 for replacement10-14 days
Wisconsin$410 days
WyomingNot applicable10-12 weeks for specialty plates

How Long Does It Take To Replace A License Plate Via Mail?

A replacement plate is necessary if the license plate is damaged, stolen, or lost. The average time to get the replacement depends on the state, but most states provide it within two to four weeks. If they were stolen, the first step would be reporting it to the local police department. The vehicle owner must verify the address with the licensing office before beginning the replacement process. The majority of DMV online platforms give information on the estimated wait time. It may also be advisable to apply for a temporary plate that allows one to drive while they wait for the replacement. When ordering the plate by mail, it would be necessary to include the license plate number, names under which the vehicle was registered, mailing addresses, the type of plate, and the replacement fee. If the vehicle owner does not want to wait for them to come in the mail, they can pick them up in person.

Online Mailing Lookup

To keep up with the mail-in services at the DMV, tracking the license plate order would be pertinent. Most DMV web platforms offer an online plate mailing status lookup for users. If the registered owner ordered the plates online, there is a plate mailing status lookup to check the order status. All one needs to do is enter the state of residence and the license plate number to garner the request stage.

New Plates Take Time to Get

License plates are received in the mail or in person as part of the vehicle registration. The time taken, though, depends on the state. Many states process it within 30 days. It may take even longer, however, as some states indicate 8 to 12 weeks of processing time. Fortunately, owners can use temporary license tags on the road before the permanent plate is ready for issuance. If the owner desires a personalized or custom plate, it may take even longer to process. There is also an online plate lookup tool on most state DMVs which allows vehicle owners to track the status of their orders.

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