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    General Information

    Specialized interest plates are license plates produced upon customer request which may have a logo supporting a special interest group.

    • All specialized interest plates except military require an annual additional fee for initial and renewal transactions.
    • Some specialized interest plates include an annual fee of up to $50 earmarked for a particular organization. This is also known as a contribution fee. If you give Consent to Contact, the BMV will provide your name and address to the special interest group.

    System Assigned

    System assigned plates are pre-manufactured with consecutive numbers only and are never personalized (Example: ABC 1234).

    Initial Reserve

    An initial reserve plate may contain:

    • Three letters
      • Example: ABC
    • Three letters and one number or one number and three letters
      • Examples: ABC 1 or 1 ABC
    • Two letters
      • Example: AB
    • Two letters and one number or one number and two letters
      • Examples: AB 1 or 1 AB
    • Two letters and two numbers or two numbers and two letters
      • Examples: AB 75 or 75 AB
    • Two letters and three numbers or three numbers and two letters
      • Examples: AB 234 or 234 AB
    • Two letters and four numbers or four numbers and two letters
      • Examples: AB 2345 or 2345 AB
    • One letter and five numbers or five numbers and one letter
      • Examples: A 12345 or 12345 A
    • Numbers 28801 through 999999

    Personalized

    A personalized plate must contain at least four and less than eight characters.

    No. of Characters Type of Plate Spaces Permitted
    (Uniform Spacing)
    4 Personalized up to 3
    4 Personalized w/logo up to 3
    5 Personalized up to 3
    5 Personalized w/logo up to 3
    6 Personalized up to 3
    6 Personalized w/logo none
    7 Personalized up to 2

    Methods for Registration

    General License Plate Display Guidance

    Ohio law requires a motor vehicle to be registered and is only required to display the one distinctive license plate on the rear of that vehicle. If that distinctive license plate is displayed on the front of the vehicle, the front and back plates must be identical.

    A person cannot operate or drive a motor vehicle in Ohio if the vehicle has a distinctive license plate (front and/or rear) that is fictitious, counterfeit, or belongs to another motor vehicle. These violations are guilty of a misdemeanor and may be stopped by law enforcement.

    Ohio Revised Code: 4503.40, 4503.42, 4501.27, 2935.03, 4503.10, 4503.19,
    4503.193, 4513.39, 4549.08

    Ohio Administrative Code: 4501:2-1-13

    Organizational Plates

    Establishing an organizational license plate requires:

    1. 150 original signatures from people who intend to purchase the new plate. Signatures must be submitted to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) on the Petition to Establish Organizational License Plate (form BMV 4820) or on a self-created petition that includes all information listed on the form.
    2. Passage of a bill by a state legislator.

    Once the bill passes, and in addition to the signatures, the following items must be submitted to the BMV:

    Please note: Organizations must maintain a minimum of 25 license plate sales per year.

    Click on the plate name to learn more about that specific plate.

    Collegiate Plates

    Establishing an organizational license plate requires:

    1. 150 original signatures from people who intend to purchase the new plate. Signatures must be submitted to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) on the Petition to Establish Organizational License Plate (form BMV 4820) or on a self-created petition that includes all information listed on the form.
    2. Passage of a bill by a state legislator.

    Once the bill passes, and in addition to the signatures, the following items must be submitted to the BMV:

    Please note: Colleges and universities must maintain a minimum of 150 license plate sales per year.

    Click on the plate name to learn more about that specific plate.

    Company Logo Plates

    The owner or lessee of a fleet of 50 or more apportioned vehicles may apply for registration of company logo license plates.

    If you have questions, please contact the IRP Processing Centers at (800) 477-0007.

    Click on the plate name to learn more about that specific plate.

    Disability Plates/Placards

    Disability license plates and placards permit vehicles to park in parking spaces marked with the international symbol of access for persons with disabilities.

    Click on the plate name to learn more about that specific plate.

    Disability Plates

    Disability plates may be issued to:

    • A person with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk
    • A vehicle that is altered to accommodate a disabled individual
    • A bus that transports disabled individuals

    Registrants must submit Physician/Chiropractor's Certification of Eligibility for License Plates for Persons with Disabilities (form BMV 4834).

    There is no additional fee for disability plates.

    Disability Placards

    Placards may be issued to a person with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk or to an organization that provides transportation for a person/people with a disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk.

    Registrants must complete an Application for Disability Placards (form BMV 4826).

    The application must be accompanied by a prescription from a health care provider. The prescription must contain:

    • Date
    • Name of the person with the disability
    • Statement that the prescription is for a disability placard
    • Expected duration of the disabling condition
    • Health care provider’s signature

    If the disabling condition is less than six months, a temporary placard will be issued.

    Disabled Military

    Placards may be issued to military personnel with a service-connected disability that limits or impairs the ability to walk.

    Registrants must submit Application for Removable Windshield Placard for Active Duty Military / Veterans with Disabilities (form BMV 4531).

    The application must be accompanied by a prescription from a health care provider. The prescription must contain:

    • Date
    • Name of the person with the disability
    • Statement that the prescription is for a disability placard
    • Expected duration of the disabling condition
    • Health care provider’s signature

    Registrants must submit a current letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration stating the disability is service connected. There is no fee for the placard.

    Ohio Revised Code: 4503.44

    Ohio Administrative Code: 4501:1-7-02

    Historical Plates

    A person who owns a motor vehicle that is more than 25 years old and that is owned solely as a collector’s item used for participation in club activities, exhibitions, tours, parades, and similar uses may apply for registration of the vehicle and issuance of a Historical license plate with the Application and Affadavit for Historical License plates (form BMV 4806).

    Historical license plates are valid (without renewal) for the life of the vehicle, unless they are Initial Reserve, Personalized, or if there is a change in the vehicle’s ownership.

    Restrictions: A historical motor vehicle shall not be used for general transportation, but may be operated on the public roads and highways to and from a location where maintenance is performed on the vehicle.

    Historical Model Year Plates

    Customers with a valid historical license plate registration may display a model year license plate by completing a Historical Model Year License Plate Affidavit (form BMV 4853).

    The model year license plate is displayed on the vehicle instead of the historical license plate. The customer must provide his/her own plate(s) which must be serviceable, legible, issued by Ohio, and inscribed with the same year when the vehicle was manufactured.

    The valid historical license plate and registration shall be stored in the vehicle so that they are readily available upon request by a law enforcement officer.

    Click on the plate name to learn more about that specific plate.

    Ohio Revised Code: 4501.01, 4503.181

    Military License Plates

    Ohio offers military license plates to honor the sacrifice and accomplishment of those who serve in the military.

    • There are no additional fees for these license plates.
    • Registrant eligibility requires documentation depending on plate selection.

    Click on the plate name to learn more about that specific plate.

    Professional Sports Teams Plates

    Customers may choose to support one of Ohio’s professional sports teams by purchasing any of the following license plates:

    Click on the plate name to learn more about that specific plate.

    Gratis/Public-Owned Plates

    Public-owned plates are for use exclusively in the performance of the governmental or proprietary functions of the state or any political subdivision thereof, or are used exclusively in a federal program. There is no cost for these license plates.

    Click on the plate name to learn more about that specific plate.

    Retention of License Plate Number

    Registrants replacing their license plates may retain their current standard-assigned license plate number for an additional fee.

    • New plates will have flat (digitized) characters instead of embossed characters.
    • Personalized and initial reserve replacement license plates are not eligible for license plate number retention. Both are still assessed additional fees associated with the type of plate.

    The following types of transactions are eligible for retention of same plate number:

    • Renewal if combined with a replace or exchange transaction
    • Replacement
    • Exchange

    New plates will be mailed directly to the address on your vehicle registration. The deputy will issue your registration card and validation sticker and provide you with a permit allowing you to operate your vehicle until your plates are manufactured and mailed.

    Specialized Interest Retention Guidelines

    • A standard license plate number can only be retained to another standard license plate.
    • Most special license plate numbers can retain to most specialized interest license plate designs.
    • A disability license plate number can retain to most specialized interest license.
    • A standard bicentennial license plate number can retain to an Ohio Pride license plate.
    • A historical license plate number can retain to another historical license plate.
    • A collector license plate number can retain to another collector license plate.
    • A motorcycle license plate number can retain to another motorcycle license plate.
    • A disabled motorcycle license plate number can retain to another disabled motorcycle license plate.
    • A veteran motorcycle license plate number can retain to another motorcycle veteran license plate.
    • An APV license plate number can retain to another APV license plate.

    Vehicles Eligible

    License plate numbers may be retained on:

    • Passenger vehicles
    • Non-commercial trucks
    • Non-commercial trailers
    • Commercial trucks
    • Commercial trailers
    • Recreational vehicles
    • Motorcycles
    • House vehicles
    • Motor homes
    • Church buses
    • Transit buses
    • Mopeds
    • All-terrain vehicles (ATV)

    Methods for Registration

    Ohio Revised Code: 4503.192(A)(1)

    Contact Information

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