Can You Easily Get a Replacement Number Plate?

What is a number plate?

A vehicle registration plate, sometimes referred to as a number plate or a license plate, is a metal or plastic plate used to identify a car, truck, trailer, or other moving object. All nations need road vehicles, such as cars, lorries, and motorbikes, to have registration plates. Depending on the state, they might also be needed for other types of vehicles like bicycles, boats, or tractors.

Back view of a car with a number plate

The registration identification is a numeric or alphanumeric ID that, in the vehicle register of the issuing region, specifically identifies the car or its owner. The identifier may be exclusive to a state or province in some nations while being exclusive to the entire nation in others. The issuing agency determines whether the identifier is connected to a person or a vehicle.

If you have lost your license plate or it has been damaged or stolen, the only way not to receive a citation is to replace it quickly. Chances are that you have some friends, colleagues, or just people you know who recently found themselves in a similar situation and told you scary stories of their experience at the DMV.

Filling out the forms, waiting for hours in line, and ending up without a plate in hand (just because they run out of supplies) but with a firm promise that your plate will be mail to you at the earliest convenience – well, this scenario is far from being optimistic and even further from being quick and easy.

However, it is not all that bad and it’s definitely too early to be desperate. Fortunately, getting replacement license plates in person is not the only option. Keep reading as we are going to show you an alternative way shared with us by experts in getting the job done easily and hassle-free. To help you get the whole picture, we will introduce all the possible variants, so it’s up to you to choose the one that is the easiest for you.

Going to the DMV in Person

It looks like a great plan, let’s take a closer look at the steps you will have to take in order to reach your final goal, walk out with a plate in hand. First, you will need to fill out the right application form based on the type of vehicle. Do not forget to bring your ID – a valid driving license or identification card. You can also tell them if you want 4D number plates for your vehicle.

Just a heads up, if you got your license in another state or country, you will also need to provide an additional form of photo ID. In this case, according to experts from Quick Auto Tags, this may be a valid passport, your military ID card, state or government agency issued ID card, a student ID from a college or university, as well as an ID card issued by your employer. Additionally, if your address differs from the one that DMV has on file, you are required to submit proof of ownership while If your plates were stolen, you’ll be asked to bring a copy of the police report.

Replacing License Plates By Mail

A motorbike with a white license plate

If you are not excited about going to the DMV or simply do not have time to queue, then you can use another option and request a replacement of your license plate by mail. To do so, you have to be a registered owner of the vehicle with exactly the same address as it is seen on the DMV’s record. Similar to the previous situation, you will have to fill out and submit an appropriate application form to Get new replacement plates.

Sounds easy? Well, and it is, but except for one thing – you can’t send your old plates online, hence you will have to mail them in a traditional way, which definitely adds some hassle to the whole plot. Make sure you have paid the duplicate or substitute license plate fee and attached the proofs. Pack everything together and mail it to the correct address.

When can you expect your plates? There is no clear answer to this question as timeframes may vary greatly from one place to another. Anyway, if you do not get your plates within 8 weeks from submitting the application, do not wait anymore and call the DMV. Generally speaking, while this option may seem convenient at first glance, in reality, it comes with a significant downside as once your mail is dispatched, you can’t track or affect the progress of your application. All you can do is just wait.

Skipping the DMV

Getting your plates without dealing with the DMV – sounds like mission impossible, right? However, it is possible, and it is that quick and easy alternative we mentioned at the beginning of this article. Today, more and more people opt for using the services of licensed DMV agencies that can take care of all conceivable and inconceivable DMV transactions just the way they should be. If you do not have time to stop by their office, you can just give them a call, and they will send you all the paperwork by courier. Wonder, when will you get your plates? The next day!

As you can see, you do not necessarily have to waste time at the DMV or wait for weeks for your plates to arrive. There is always an alternative, and if you are looking for a way to get your replacement number plate easily, it is just at your fingertips.

Types of number plates

An old car with a number plate

Standard Number Plates

The majority of nations, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, use this form of number plate the most frequently. They typically combine letters and numbers and are constructed of reflective materials.

Personalized Number Plates

An oregon personalized license plate with the letters "wet" however, lack of rain created a serious energy crisis in... - nara

These are license plates with a customized message, typically the owner’s name, initials, or a particular term or phrase. These plates go by the name “vanity plates” in various nations, including the UK.

Dealer Number Plates

These license plates are used by auto dealers to identify and promote their fleets of automobiles. They frequently carry the name or emblem of the dealership on them and are typically white with black text.

Temporary Number Plates

These are temporary license plates, such as those for a rental car or a new car that hasn’t been registered. They might differ in color or design from regular license plates and might have an expiration date.

Military Number Plates

These number plates, which are used on military vehicles, could differ from regular plates in terms of color or design. As a way to distinguish the military branch or unit, they might also have specific codes or numbers.

Diplomatic Number Plates

These are license plates that ambassadors and their family use, and they may have a particular pattern or color to signify their diplomatic position. The embassy or consulate is typically identified by a unique code or emblem.

How To Choose a Personalized Number Plate

Many different license plates on a wall

When you decide to go for a personalized number plate, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure that you are getting the right kind of number plate that is legal to put on your car. Here are some things that you need to consider.

Know Your Budget

You can easily spend thousands of dollars getting a personalized number plate; not everyone has that budget. It is vital that you set a budget for yourself and make your choices accordingly. Keep all the different fees in mind and try to stay within a designated amount. 

Understand the Different Types of Registration Numbers

The format for registration numbers has changed over the years. At first, the number plates used to be dateless and feature one or two numbers or sometimes a mix of both. Then, the suffix plates that had an age-identifying letter at the end became popular. Depending on the kind of plate you choose, dateless, prefix, or suffix plates, the cost will vary. Generally, the shorter the number on your plate, the more expensive it will be. 

Only Buy Legal Number Plates

In most countries, vehicle number plates have strict regulations on the kind of font, spacing, and material used for the number plate. When purchasing a custom number plate, ensure you only purchase from a licensed supplier supplying legal number plates. Additionally, always register your car under the new registration number before putting it on your car and driving around. 

What Number/ Letter Combos Can You Use?

When choosing a perfect plate for your car, there are several different styles to choose from. Currently, there are a total of four popular styles. These include the dateless style, the prefix style, the suffix style, and the current style. Of these, the dateless plate is the most desirable and the most expensive. This is because of the lax rules regarding the letters and numbers you can use. They are also easily identifiable.


Several elements, including the rules and regulations in your nation or region, the cause of the need for a replacement, and the procedure for getting a new plate, will determine whether or not you can simply get a replacement number plate.