A personalized license plate is a great way to add some of your personality to the front and back of your car. A personalized plate gives you the opportunity to use your car to project a sentiment. You can advertise your business, have the initials of your kid or spouse, show support for your favorite professional or collegiate sports team, or just say something fun.
In Oregon, you can choose a special license plate design as well as a custom license plate message. Between these two, you can create a truly unique license plate that will help give your car some fun personality.
Part 1 of 3: Pick a personalized license plate design
Step 1: Go to the Oregon license plates page. Visit the Oregon Department of Transportation license plates website.
Step 2: Go to the personalized plates page. Visit the Oregon personalized plates page.
Click on the link that says “Custom (personalized) plates.”
- Tip: Most of the special license plate designs cannot be customized. Click on any of the available special plate links on the page if you’d like to order a special plate with no customization.
Step 3: Choose a license plate design. Select the special license plate design that you
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the available Oregon plate designs for personalized plates. Decide which plate design you would like.
- Tip: Different plate designs have different fees. Be sure to check the price next to each plate so you know how much your personalized license plate will cost.
Part 2 of 3: Order your personalized license plates
Step 1: Download the personalized plates form. Download and print the custom plate application form.
Click on the link that says “Custom plate application” to download the form, then print it.
- Tip: If you prefer, you can fill out the form on your computer before printing it.
Step 2: Fill out your info. Fill out your information on the application.
At the top of the form, list your name and phone number, as well as your car’s year, make, current license plate number, and vehicle identification number.
Tip: If you do not have your vehicle identification number handy, you can find it on the driver’s side of your dash, where the dashboard meets the windshield. You can best view the number from outside your car, through the windshield.
Warning: Your vehicle must currently be registered in Oregon, in your name, to apply for a personalized license plate.
Step 3: Choose your plate message. Select your license plate message.
In the area titled “Plate type,” select the license plate design that you chose earlier.
Fill out the three areas for license plate messages. Follow the instructions at the top of the page to determine what characters and character orders are allowed. Be sure to follow these instructions carefully, or else your message will not be accepted.
Tip: Be sure to fill out all three messages. If your first choice is not available, your second choice will be used, and so on. If you have three choices, you greatly increase the odds of getting a personalized license plate.
Warning: Crude, inappropriate, or offensive license plate messages will not be accepted. You also cannot have a license plate message that advertises alcohol or drugs in any way.
Step 4: Download the second form. Download and print the next form.
Return to the personalized license plate page, and click on the link that says “Application for registration, renewal, replacement or transfer of plates and/or stickers.”
Print the form.
Step 5: Fill out your vehicle info. Fill out the vehicle information on the form.
Fill out all of the vehicle information as accurately as you can.
- Tip: Be sure to avoid the section that says “DMV use only.”
Step 6: Fill out the owner info. Fill out the owner or lessee information section on the application.
Fill out your personal information, including your name, address, and a form of identification. This information must be for the owner or lessee of the vehicle.
Tip: Be sure to list a co-owner or co-lessee, if there is one.
Warning: If you are leasing the vehicle, be sure to check that a personalized license plate is allowed under your lease agreement.
Step 7: Fill out your insurance info. Enter your auto insurance information.
Step 8: Sign and date the form. Sign and date the form for both the owner or lessee and the co-owner or co-lessee. Add your phone number where prompted.
Step 9: Fill out the plate info. Fill out your license plate info.
Select the box that says “Replace plates,” then select your plate type, and select “Surrendered.”
Step 10: Fill out your info on page two. Fill out your personal information on the second page.
Step 11: Pay for the licenses. Make a payment for the personalized license plates.
Write a check or get a money order for the price of the license plate design (viewable on the personalized plates page), plus the $50 personalization fee.
Make the check or money order out to the Oregon DMV.
Step 12: Mail the applications. Mail the applications and payment to the DMV.
Seal both applications and your payment in an envelope, and mail it to:
Custom Plates Desk
1905 Lana Avenue NE
Salem, OR 97314
Part 3 of 3: Install your personalized license plates
Step 1: See if your plate is available. Find out whether or not your personalized license plates are available.
After your plate application is received and reviewed, you will receive a notification in the mail telling you whether or not the plates are available.
If the plates were not available, fill out another application with three new custom plate messages.
- Tip: Your payment will not be processed if your plates are not available.
Step 2: Get your plates. Receive your personalized license plates in the mail.
If your application is accepted, your plates will be manufactured, and sent to the address that you included on your application.
- Tip: It usually takes eight to ten weeks for your plates to arrive.
Step 3: Install your plates. Install your personalized license plates.
As soon as you receive your new plates, install them on both the front and back of your vehicle.
- Tip: If you do not feel comfortable removing your old license plates or installing your new ones, call a mechanic to come help you with the job.
Be sure to add your current registration stickers to your license plates before driving.
Step 4: Surrender your old plates. Surrender your old license plates.
Once you have installed your personalized plates, you need to surrender your old ones, in one of two ways.
You can remove or destroy the registration tags, then recycle the old plates. Or, you can mail the plates to:
1905 Lana Ave., NE
Salem, OR 97314
It doesn’t take too much time or effort to order personalized Oregon license plates. If you want to add some fun customization to your vehicle, it’s hard to beat personalized plates.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How to Buy a Personalized License Plate in Oregon and was authored by Brady Klopfer.