A personalized license plate is a fun way to add a little bit of you to your vehicle. Personalizing your plate allows you to choose the digits and letters that are on your license plate. This can be a great way to add customization to your vehicle, as you can choose a word or message that is important to you, or projects something that you feel strongly about.
Purchasing a personalized license plate in the state of Pennsylvania is very easy and simple. It won’t take you very long at all to get the license plate that you’re looking for.
Part 1 of 2: Selecting a personalized plate for your vehicle
Step 1: Think of a plate you want. Choose a few ideas for your personalized license plate. There’s a chance that the personalized license plate that you wish to use is already owned in Pennsylvania, at which point you’ll have to go with a backup option. It’s a smart idea to come up with a second and third personalized license plate that you’d be happy with, in case your initial idea is unavailable.
- Tip: When trying to come up with a personalized plate, keep in mind that you only have seven characters to work with. You are allotted an eighth place to use a space or a hyphen, if you choose.
Step 2: Make sure the plate is available. Check to see if your personalized plate is available. You can use the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation website to check the availability of personalized license plates. That way you can see if your initial choice is available, or if you have to use a backup choice.
- Log onto the website and choose “Plate Availability” from the dropdown menu titled “Online Services.”
Step 3: Enter your desired personalized license plate. Click the button that says “Check Personalized Registration Plate Availability Tool,” then fill out the required information to get to the availability tool.
Enter your desired license plate in the tool, and click the “Check Availability” button to see if the license plate is already taken.
Tip: If the license plate is already taken, press the “Reset” button, and try another personalized license plate choice.
Part 2 of 2: Order your personalized Pennsylvania license plate
Step 1: Fill out a personalized license plate application. To order your personalized Pennsylvania license plate, you have to fill out Form MV-904, the Application for Special Registration Plate.
You can find this form on the “Plate Availability” page that you visited on your way to checking the availability of your chosen license plate. Download this form by clicking the button that says MV-094, then fill out the form in pen.
Tip: If you prefer, you can also pick up the Application for Special Registration Plate at your nearest DMV.
Step 2: Include a check with your form. Follow the instructions provided on the Application for Special Registration Plate to determine how much money you must include with your application.
- Make out this check to “Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.”
Step 3: Submit your specialized license plate application. Add the application and the check to an envelope, and drop it off at your local DMV office, or mail it to
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles
P.O. Box 68293
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8293
- Warning: Your application will not be accepted if your vehicle is not currently registered in the state of Pennsylvania.
With these easy steps, you’ll be able to add a little customization to your vehicle, in the way of a personalized license plate. It’s a fun way to add a little flair to your car. If you don’t feel comfortable installing your fun new license plates on your vehicle, ask a professional mechanic to install them for you.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in Pennsylvania and was authored by Brady Klopfer.