General-Issue License Plates
As part of your vehicle registration you are issued a set of general-issue license plates. The plate number is assigned to you by TxDMV and cannot be personalized.
As of November 1, 2016, the State of Texas no longer requires automatically replacing your plates after 7 years. However, you may apply at your county tax office for replacement plates if your license plates need to be replaced for cosmetic or readability reasons. If you decide not to keep your license plates when you sell or dispose of your vehicle, the plates should be disposed of by defacing the front of the plate with permanent black ink, or similar method, in order to prevent their fraudulent use.
When a new general-issue license plate design is released, it takes several years before all registered vehicle owners receive the plates.
Current Design: The Texas Classic
Introduced in July 2012, "The Texas Classic" is designed to provide Texans the highest public safety protection.
It is the first license plate in the country to feature two, high-visibility security threads embedded into the plate sheeting, making it easier for law enforcement to spot legitimate plates.
Previous General-Issue Plate Designs
Lone Star Texas
This was the first digital, general-issue license plate, and also the first to use full color and full-plate graphics. When it was launched in June 2009, it began the seven-character plate number.
After 33 years, Texas' growth exhausted the six character alpha-numeric plate patterns. The new passenger vehicle plate patterns began with two letters, followed by a number and then a letter and three numbers.
The plate design was selected by Texans in an online e-Vote. Unfortunately, the plate design was not favored by law enforcement, and some Texans complained the plate's colors clashed with their vehicle color.
This license plate was introduced in 2000, and 31.5 million sets of these plates were manufactured before a new general-issue license plate was launched in 2009. These plates represent the last of a Texas era. The design has the distinction of being the last stamped plate in Texas history, and also the last general-issue plate issued with six characters.
The design of this plate features a little bit of everything, including a space shuttle, oil derrick, and cowboy on a horse. When it was launched in 2000, it became the first Texas plate to use three colors - blue, red and black.
Specialty license plates give your vehicle a personal touch. The license plates catalog of our website gives instructions on how to apply for these plates. For additional assistance, please contact your local county tax assessor-collector's office.
You may check the availability of a personalized phrase, letter or number combination through myplates.com, the state's plate marketing vendor's web site. Personalized messages must be approved by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV). Personalized plate fees are collected in addition to your registration fees and other applicable fees.
NOTE: TxDMV does not offer refunds for specialty plates. These plates are custom manufactured based on your order.
Specialty license plates with random or personalized numbers are issued for a one, five, or ten year term. At the end of each term, prior to expiration, your annual registration renewal notice will remind you that it is time to renew. If your specialty plate selection is not renewed within 60 days of expiration, the TxDMV system will automatically cancel the specialty plate selection, making it available for anyone to order.
- Download & fill out the Application for Persons with Disabilities Parking Placard and/or License Plate form (Form VTR-214)
- Submit a completed form with your specialty plate order in person or by mail to your local county tax office. ISA orders cannot be processed online.
- The original Form VTR-214 or acceptable documentation must be submitted when the new plates are picked up at the county tax office.
Replacement plates are available through your local county tax assessor-collector’s office. It costs $6 plus a $0.50 automation fee (used for computer upgrades to the Registration and Titling system).
It is simple and free to transfer your license plates to your new vehicle. The TxDMV encourages you to transfer your plates because it protects you. Your local county tax assessor-collector's office will assist with the transfer and issue you a new registration sticker for your vehicle.
NOTE: General issue plates may ONLY be transferred to passenger vehicles and trucks weighing one ton or less.
You may transfer your plates:
- Between vehicles you own. Your local county tax assessor-collector’s office will issue a new registration sticker for your vehicle.
- To a vehicle purchased from a dealer. Remove the plates and request that the dealer transfer the plates to the new vehicle.
- To a vehicle purchased from a private party. Register the plates with your local county tax assessor-collector office when you title the vehicle in your name.
- To a leased vehicle.
- From a vehicle titled jointly to a vehicle titled in your name alone. If your name has not changed.
Be sure to remove the registration sticker from the windshield of your old vehicle when you take off the plates.
State law authorizes the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) to offer digital license plates for use on certain eligible vehicles. A vehicle may be equipped with a digital license plate only if the vehicle:
- is part of a commercial fleet of at least 25 non-apportioned motor vehicles, semitrailers, or trailers owned, operated, or leased by a corporation, limited or general partnership, limited liability company, or other business entity and used for the business purposes of that entity; or
- is owned or operated by a governmental entity; or
- is not a passenger vehicle.
Texas digital license plates, manufactured by Reviver, are available beginning June 1, 2022. Multiple plate models are offered at various prices through Reviver. The vehicle must already be registered in Texas to qualify for a digital license plate. An annual $95 administrative fee is applied to digital license plate orders, in addition to the price of the plate.
Eligible vehicle owners interested in digital plates or reviewing pricing options may visit reviver.com/geo-expansion/texas/.
Many specialty license plates are available as souvenir plates. Souvenir plates are not street legal and are not insignias of vehicle registration.
You may buy souvenir plates as gifts, mementos, or decorations.
Organizations may buy them in bulk (minimum of 25 plates per order) for resale as a fundraiser, or use them as promotional items, prizes or trophies.
The fee for a single souvenir plate is $20. Personalization is available for an additional $20. For each souvenir plate ordered that is a replica of a specialty plate, we deposit $10 into the sponsoring organization's fund ($20 if personalized) and $10 to the credit of the TxDMV Fund.
How to Order
Mail a completed Souvenir License Plate Order Form with the payment fee to:
Vehicle Titles and Registration
4000 Jackson Avenue
Austin, TX 78779-0001