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New Jersey License Plate Search

The Motor Vehicle Commission of New Jersey handles vehicle registration and renewals.

If you’re a new resident, you must register your vehicle as soon as possible. If you have purchased a new vehicle, you may require temporary plates to drive legally until your registration is processed.

There are various types of license plates available in New Jersey. For example, personalized license plates allow you to create your own plate number.

Sample New Jersey License Plate

Sample New Jersey License Plate

Types of License Plates in New Jersey

If you have purchased a new vehicle or have become a resident of New Jersey, you are required to go to a Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) for license plates.

The standard license plate provided by the state of New Jersey has a yellow background with black lettering.

If you have a disability, you can apply for disability plates or placards as long as you meet the eligibility criteria.

There are also various decorative license plates available for an additional fee.

You can personalize any license plate by selecting your own plate number. You must follow the MVC’s guidelines to be granted permission for these plates.

Temporary License Plates in New Jersey

If you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, the dealer may process your vehicle’s registration. They may be able to issue you temporary plates until your registration is completed.

Alternatively, you can go to your county’s MVC office to pick up temporary plates if you’re purchasing a vehicle from a private seller.

Temporary license plates allow you to drive legally, and they remain valid for 10 days after purchasing from a licensed provider.

Disability License Plates in New Jersey

Drivers with a disability may be eligible for disability license plates or placards. These plates are issued only to those with a medical disability.

If you receive a disability placard, you are required to display it from your rear view mirror, and it must be visible at all times.

Having disability plates or placards permits vehicles to park in designated parking spaces throughout the state.

Specialty License Plates in New Jersey

New Jersey offers a range of decorative and commemorative license plates. The following is a brief list of available license plates that you can choose from:

  • Charitable / Local Causes License Plates. These plates are dedicated to special causes in New Jersey; for example:
    • Liberty Skate Park
    • Organ Donor
    • Olympic Spirit
  • Alumni / Collegiate License Plates. These plates are for university students, faculty, staff, and alumni to show your school spirit; for example:
    • Notre Dame
    • Rutgers University
    • Penn State
  • Military / Veteran License Plates. These plates are only for people who were registered with the U.S. Military, and they recognize their service, awards, and experience; for example:
    • Ex-Prisoner of War
    • USAF Retiree
    • Navy Cross
  • Vintage / Classic License Plates. These plates are issued to historical and classic vehicles over 25 years old; for example:
    • Street Rods
    • Classic Cars

When you apply for specialty license plates, you’ll be required to pay fees in addition to the standard registration fee. Contact the MVC for complete details.

Personalized License Plates in New Jersey

Personalized license plates allow you to design a custom plate number for your vehicle.

The following guidelines from the MVC in New Jersey must be met to be eligible for personalized license plates:

  • Has up to 7 characters (i.e., letters, numbers, and up to 1 space)
  • Has a minimum of 3 characters
  • Does not have profanity or indecent suggestions (e.g., you cannot imply that you are with the police, with a plate like: POL 1CE)
  • Submit a proposal / reasoning for your personalized plate
  • Pay the personalization fee: $50

You can look up available license plate numbers in New Jersey online.

Transferring License Plates in New Jersey

You can transfer your license plates if you purchase a new vehicle in New Jersey. The cost of transferring license plates is $4.50 in addition to any registration fees for the new vehicle.

You are not permitted to transfer your license plates to another person.

Surrendering License Plates in New Jersey

You may have to surrender your license plates if:

  • You move out of state
  • You cancel your insurance
  • You no longer need your plates after selling your vehicle

You can surrender your license plates either in person or by mailing them to an MVC office in your county.

Renewing License Plates in New Jersey

Before your license plates expire, you must renew your registration with the MVC. You can renew your vehicle either in person, by mail, or online.

When you receive your new decal stickers, you can place them directly over the old ones.

Summary of Costs for License Plates in New Jersey

The state of New Jersey requires you to pay for property taxes, service fees, and other registration fees when registering your vehicle with the MVC. Here is a summary of some of the costs you may be required to pay:

  • Registration + Renewals: Determined by your vehicle’s weight, type, year, etc. (Contact the MVC for details relevant to your vehicle)
  • Replacement Fee: $6
  • Duplicate Plate Fee: $11
  • Transfer Fee: $4.50
  • Specialty Plates:
    • Ex-POW: Free
    • National Guard Plate: $15
  • Personalization: $50

Remember, if you obtain specialty or personalized plates, you may have to pay additional fees at registration and renewal.

Looking Up License Plates in New Jersey

Wondering if the plate number you want is available in New Jersey? Use FindByPlate to look up license plates in New Jersey, California, or any state in the U.S.

All you need is the license plate number and the state to find any information for a license plate registered to a vehicle. or an available plate number to personalize your vehicle.