A personalized license plate is an excellent way to add some fun customization to your vehicle. With a personalized plate your car can have something that helps separate it from the rest of the vehicles on the road, and pays tribute to something you feel strongly about, such as your alma mater, your favorite professional sports team, or an organization or association.
However, in Indiana, customized license plate messages are not currently allowed. Owners with preexisting personalized messages are allowed to renew and retain their plates, but no new customized plate messages have been issued since September 2014. This is due to a lawsuit that has not yet been resolved, so it is likely that personalized plate messages will be available again sometime soon. In the meantime, you can still get a special license plate design easily, and for an affordable price.
Part 1 of 3: Choose your license plate design
Step 1: Visit Indiana’s website. Go to the official website for the state of Indiana.
Step 2: Go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles site. Visit the website for Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
From the main page of Indiana’s website, find the section titled “Online services”. At the top of that section is a dropdown menu titled “Bureau of Motor Vehicles”. Click on that menu, then click on the option titled “BMV home”.
Step 3: Go to the specialty plate page. Visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles specialty plate page.
Click the link under the header titled, “Ordering a specialty plate is easy as 1-2-3!”
Step 4: Choose your plate design. Select a special license plate design.
Choose a theme for your license plate design by clicking on “Standard plates”, “College and university plates”, “Military plates”, or “Organization plates”.
Next, click on the plate design that you want for your vehicle. If you’re unsure of which design you would like, click on one to see a preview, then press the back button on your browser to return to your options.
Tip: When choosing a design theme, one of the available categories is “Personalized plates”. This link will take you to a page explaining that personalized plates are not currently available. Click on the link to see contact information for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ Legislative Director, should you wish to inquire about when personalized plates may be available.
Warning: Next to each available license plate design is the price for the group fee and the administration fee. Check these fees before selecting a plate, to make sure that you are willing to pay the fees associated with the design that you are choosing.
Part 2 of 3: Order your license plates
Step 1: Log into myBMV. Log into your myBMV account.
After selecting your license plate, click on the button that says “Order or renew your plates online”. Then, log into your myBMV account.
- Tip: If you do not have a myBMV account, you can create one by clicking on the “Click here to create account” button, or you can order your plates without an account, by clicking the “Click here to renew your license plates without creating an account” button. Both of these buttons will require you to provide your driver license, social security number, and zip code.
Step 2: Fill out your information. Enter your basic information in the form.
Where prompted, enter your basic information, including the shipping information for the license plates, and information about your vehicle.
If you have logged in with a myBMV account, you won’t have to fill out as much information, as some of the needed information is already provided by your account.
Tip: If you don’t feel like dealing with this process online, you can visit a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office and order your plates in person.
Warning: You will not be able to order a specialized plate unless your vehicle is currently registered in Indiana.
Step 3: Pay the fees. Pay the fees for your specialized plates.
After filling out all of your information, pay for your specialized plates using any major credit or debit card.
Tip: If you would rather pay by check or with cash, visit a Bureau of Motor Vehicles office.
Warning: Most plate designs cost $40, which includes both the group fee and the administration fee, but does not include any additional plate and registration fees and taxes. Some plates cost less than $40, but none cost more.
Step 4: Confirm your order. Confirm your specialized license plate order.
Follow the instructions on screen to confirm and finalize your order.
- Tip: Certain plates, such as disability and veteran plates, require additional confirmation and verification. Follow any additional instructions, which may include filling out another form and sending it to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Part 3 of 3: Install your specialized license plates
Step 1: Get your plates. Receive your plates in the mail.
Within 14 days, your specialized license plates will arrive in the mail.
Step 2: Install your plates. Install your new specialized license plates.
As soon as you receive your plates, install them on both the front and back of your vehicle.
Tip: If you are not comfortable installing new license plates by yourself, you can hire a mechanic to come help you with the job.
Warning: Make sure that you place current registration stickers on your new plates before driving. Be sure that your license plate frame does not cover the stickers at all.
Even though you can’t have a personalized message on an Indiana license plate, you can still add a lot of personality to your vehicle with a specialized license plate design. It only takes a few minutes to order, it’s very affordable, and it looks great. You can’t go wrong with a specialized Indiana license plate.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in Indiana and was authored by Brady Klopfer.