How to Change a Car's Plate Number

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When you affix a license plate to your car, it becomes a part of your array of personal details. Many drivers aren't bothered by having a random plate assignment, but if you are, custom plates are one of your options. Perhaps it's not a specific plate that you want, but merely a reprieve from some unfortunate letter combination or anonymity if someone has found you by looking up your previous plates. Whatever the reason, a new plate number can get you back on the road.

Things You'll Need

  • Application
  • Screwdriver
  • License plate(s)
  • Photo ID
  • Driver's license
  • Certificate of title
  • Temporary plate
  • Go to your state's DMV website to make an appointment at the local DMV. In some states, it's possible to fill out the replacement license plate form online or request one by phone.

  • Print out a license plate replacement application and fill it out before your appointment. If you're applying for a specialty plate, search for your desired sequence of letters and numbers in the DMV's online database to be sure your combination is available.

  • Drive to the DMV and unscrew your license plates---front and back, if you have both---from your car.

  • Bring the replacement form to your DMV appointment and present it along with your state-issued photo ID or driver's license and your old plates.

  • Provide your certificate of title to prove that you own the car if your current address isn't the same as the one on your driver's license.

  • Pay the appropriate fee for your new plates.

  • Affix the temporary plate, usually a piece of paper, issued by the DMV to your window as instructed by the DMV employees until your car's new license plate arrives in the mail.

References

  • Photo Credit VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm/Stockbyte/Getty Images
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