Idaho Vehicle License Plate Laws

Vehicles in Idaho must be registered and licensed in order to be in compliance with state law. Any vehicle that uses Iowa's public highways, as well as any boats that were built in 2000 or later, must be licensed. Older boats can be licensed, but it is optional. Idaho requires certain paperwork and fees for licensing a vehicle, which varies by county as well as by type of license plate being applied for.

  1. Vehicles to be Licensed

    • All Idaho residents must register and license their vehicles. If you have just moved to the state, you will officially become a resident in 90 days, and need to register your vehicles before that time. If you are already a resident of Idaho and purchase a new vehicle in the state, you must register the vehicle within 30 day of the purchase. If you are an Idaho resident and purchase a new vehicle out of state, your vehicle must be registered within 30 days of bringing the vehicle into the state. If you're a full-time student who is attending school in Idaho but you claim residency in another state, you are not automatically considered a resident of Idaho and you don't need to register your vehicles.

      Vehicles that must be registered include passenger cars, trucks, recreational vehicles, travel trailers, utility trailers weighing more than one ton, off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. Boats with on-board propulsion, such as motorboats and sailboats, that were made in the year 2000 or later must also be licensed. There are some vehicles that may or may not need to be registered, which include mobile homes, street sweepers, concession stands and mopeds. Owners of these vehicles should contact their county motor vehicle offices for more details.

    Registration Requirements

    • All licensed motorized vehicles must be insured with a minimum coverage of $25,000 for injury or death of one person, $50,000 for injury or death of two or more people, and $15,000 for property damage. All vehicles must also be titled before they can be licensed. Owners should visit the Idaho Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website for more information about titling their vehicles.

      When you go to the DMV to register your vehicle, bring the vehicle that you are registering to your local county assessor's vehicle licensing office. The vehicle identification number must be inspected before the vehicle can be licensed. Also bring the current title and registration, your personal identification and cash or a check for registration fees.

    Registration Fees

    • In Idaho, registration fees vary by county. Approximate fees are $35.00 to $60.00 for passenger cars, $15.25 for motorcycles, $30.00 for the first 12 feet and $2.00 for each foot over 12 feet for boats and $9.00 for motor homes and recreational vehicles.

    License Plates

    • The state of Idaho requires a front and a back license plate for all licensed vehicles. Idaho license plates come in a wide variety of options, including special disability plates, hobby plates and plates honoring those who have served in the military. Many of these license plate options can be personalized. Additional fees for special plates and vanity plates apply, and vary by location.

    Registration Renewal

    • The state of Idaho will send you a renewal card shortly before your vehicle registration expires. Renewal fees vary by county and type of license plate. Specialty plates have an additional renewal fee of $25.00, and vanity plates have an additional renewal fee of $15.00.

      There are several options for renewing---by phone, by mail, in person or online. You will need your registration information and a method for payment. For complete details and requirements for your area and vehicle type, contact the Idaho Transportation Department or visit their website.

      Idaho Transportation Department
      3311 West State Street
      P.O. Box 7129
      Boise, ID 83707-1129
      208-334-8000
      itd.idaho.gov/dmv/online_services.htm

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