Nobody likes to waste extra time dealing with car registration and license plates after moving to a new state or buying a new car. But if you find yourself in a new state or the owner of a new car, you’re going to need new license plates.

The Arkansas Office of Motor Vehicles will need to issue your license plates. You have the option for the standard issue ones, but many people like to have personalized messages on their plates. If you’d like to choose which characters are on your license plate, you’ll need to follow a short process to ensure your plates are approved and paid for on time.

Below are the steps to follow so that you can successfully purchase a personalized license plate in Arkansas.

  • Note: Personalized plates can only be ordered for vehicles registered in Arkansas.

Part 1 of 3: Choose the message for your plate

Step 1: Decide on a personalized message. It’s a good idea to have a few ideas about what message you want.

Choose a few different combinations of characters, because your first choice may not be available or approved. You will need to submit a request for your personalized message and if it’s not available you will need to choose a second or third option.

After determining what you’d like on your personalized license plate, check its availability online.

Step 2: Visit the Arkansas website to check plate availability. Navigate to the Arkansas personalized license plate page.

Step 3: Select the correct plate type for your vehicle. Click on the drop-down arrow to choose either “Auto/Pickup/Van” or “Motorcycle.”

Click the box below the “Plate Type” field, and then click on “Next.”

  • Note: Arkansas offers several options for specialized license plate designs. If you’d like to order a personalized special license plate, you need to fill out the form found here. Personalized specialty plates cannot be ordered online.

Step 4: Enter your desired plate message: Type the message you want on your personalized plate in the available boxes for “Personalized Plate Entry.”

Only the following combinations are allowed for personalized plates:

  • Three letters (ABC or A B C)

  • Four letters preceded or followed by one or two numerals (ABCD12)

  • Five letters preceded or followed by one numeral (ABCDE1)

  • Six letters (ABCDEF)

  • Seven letters, except for motorcycles (ABCDEFG)

  • Note: Ampersand (&), hyphen ( - ), period ( . ), and plus sign ( + ) are not allowed.

Step 5: Click on “Check Plate”. You will receive an instant message that tells you whether the plate message is available or not.

If not, you will need to enter another message until you have chosen one that is available.

Step 6: Confirm your personalized plate: If the plate is available, you will see a preview of the personalized plate. You can confirm that the message is correct.

Once you are satisfied with the preview of your license plate, click Continue.

Part 2 of 3: Submit payment and order your personalized plate

Step 1: Select your payment method. Choose either credit card or electronic check by clicking on the corresponding button.

If you choose Electronic Check, you will need to enter the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email
  • Bank Account Type
  • Bank Account Number
  • Routing Number

Step 2: Provide payment information. Enter the required information on the “Payment Information” screen.

The total cost of the plate will be quoted at the top of the screen.There will be a small additional fee to replace your current plate with a personalized plate. That amount will be quoted in the notification letter you receive after requesting your plate.

Step 3: Submit your order. After your request is approved, it will be ordered. Plates are ordered weekly, on Fridays.

You can check the status of your order by contacting the Personalized Plates Office at 501-682-4667.

Part 3 of 3: Obtain your new plates

Step 1: Receive notification of arrival. You will receive a notification letter that your plate has arrived at the Personalized Plates Office in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Expect four to eight weeks before your plate is delivered and you receive notification.

Step 2: Choose how you would like to receive your plates. You have the option of either picking up the plate in Little Rock, or having the new personalized plates mailed to your address.

Step 3: Install the plates. Your new plates should be securely fastened to your vehicle or motorcycle.

If you do not feel comfortable installing the license plates by yourself, you can stop by any garage or mechanic shop and have them installed.

This is a good time to check your license plate light as well. If your license plate light is burned out, you need to hire a mechanic to come help you do the job.

Be sure to place current registration stickers on your new plates so that they are kept up-to-date and you can avoid being penalized for driving with expired tags.

A personalized license plate is an easy way to add a little customization and flair to your vehicle. If you’re moving to Arkansas and have to order new plates anyway, the process can be a little more fun with the added personal touch. And, your new license plates will bring a smile to your face every time you drive.

This article originally appeared on as How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in Arkansas.

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