The cost of New York license plates depends on the type of plates you choose. The price of standard license plates is $25. If you want to customize your plate with special characters or a slogan, then you'll pay $60.
New York fees are lower for license plate renewals than for new plates. Additional taxes and fees apply to both new and renewal registrations.
What Is The Process For Getting New York License Plates?
Each vehicle in New York must have a front license plate in addition to a rear plate, except for motorcycles and trailers.
(All states require vehicles to have a rear license plate. Some states require a front plate, while others do not.)
Here’s how to get new license plates from the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
How To Apply For First-Time Issuance Of a License Plate
Before applying for license plates, you will need a valid vehicle registration card from the NY DMV. In New York, you must register your vehicle in person.
For the registration process, you'll need:
- Completed and verified Application for Registration
- Proof of ownership (usually in the form of your vehicle's title)
- Your driver's license ( Permit, or Non-Driver ID card )
- Proof of insurance
- Information about your vehicle, such as the vehicle identification number, make, and model
- A valid smog inspection certificate.
In some cases, to register your vehicle, you’ll need to obtain an odometer reading, a Bill of Sale, a car title release form, or a medical certificate for disabled applications.
After you prepare all the paperwork, you will then be able to apply for your license plate at the New York DMV. Applying for New York plates is easy and straightforward.
If you’ve recently purchased a used car, you’ll need to apply to the DMV for a transfer of title. Along with a completed transfer of title application, you will need to provide proof that you own the car, such as a bill of sale or Certificate of Title.
Your DMV application for title transfer must be processed before you may receive license plates. For that, you'll need to submit proof of valid liability insurance, an identity card, and any applicable sales taxes and fees (New York car sales tax is 4% of the purchase price of the vehicle).
After submitting your documentation and payment, you will be issued your new license plates.
The NY DMV website provides useful information regarding licensing requirements, along with instructions for how to apply for plates.
Not in New York? See our guide to how much license plates cost in each state.
How to Order License Plates in New York
When applying for license plates, there are three ways to order.
- In person at your local DMV office (find locations here)
- Online via the New York DMV website
- Through the mail: find your county’s DMV mailing address on this page
Whether you apply online, in person, or by mail, you need to fill out an application form that includes your personal information, address, and vehicle registration info.
Once you have submitted the form, you will be asked to pay the fee. The fee varies, depending on the type you choose, but for standard license plates is $25.
If you order online or in person, you can pay with a credit card, debit card, or electronic check. If you mail in your application, you must enclose a check or money order made out to your local DMV office.
How Much Are New York Registration Fees?
The New York Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for vehicle registration and driver licensing in the state.
The state of New York will charge you a bi-annual registration fee (based on the weight of the vehicle) between $26 and $140, plus extra fees such as:
- A $50 title transfer fee (if transferring a title from a previous owner to a new owner)
- A 4% (of the vehicle price) state vehicle sales tax
- A smog fee from $11 to $27—for air quality and emissions inspection
- A $10 use tax fee for two years for vehicles weighing 3,500 lbs. or less, and a $20 use tax for two years for vehicles weighing 3,501 lbs. or more (only for New York City and several counties).
How Much Does It Cost To Register a Car In NY From Another State?
To get your NY registration and plates you’ll need to pay:
- A license plate fee of $25 (for standard plates)
- A registration fee anywhere from $26 to $140 based on vehicle weight
- A title certificate fee of $50 if you are transferring the vehicle title from another owner
- Sales taxes and county use taxes according to your jurisdiction if you have just purchased the car and are registering it for the first time.
If your car has six or more cylinders or is electric, New York will charge an additional $32.50 every two years.
You will also need to have liability insurance in the state to get your New York registration completed.
You’ll fill out Vehicle Registration/ Title Application (Form MV-82), and provide the DMV with documents such as:
- The vehicle title and registration
- Odometer statement
- Lien or lease contract (if necessary).
When submitting the required documentation, you’ll need to pay the fees and taxes listed above.
Types Of License Plates and Their Corresponding Fees
There are many different license plate types: passenger license plates, commercial vehicle plates, special license plates, trailer plates, and motorcycle plates.
License plates measure 6 by 12 inches and are rectangular (motorcycle license plates are smaller, measuring 4 by 7 inches). They are made of aluminum, which is durable and resistant to rust.
New York license plates have 7 characters (across the 50 states, license plates have anywhere from six to eight characters).
How Much Are Standard License Plates In New York?
New York standard license plates cost $25.
Passenger vehicles, commercial motor vehicles, motorcycles, permanent trailers, trailer coaches, and park trailers all have standard New York license plates that confirm registration and help identify them.
Standard license plates are issued in any of the following scenarios:
- Purchase of a new vehicle
- Replacing plates that have been stolen, lost, or damaged
- Surrendering special interest license plates and replacing them with standard license plates
How Much Are Personalized Plates In New York?
Custom (also known as personalized) plates cost $60 to purchase and another $31.25 to renew each year.
New York residents can choose from a wide array of custom license plates that reflect their interests. Here are some of the personalized license plates available in New York:
- 'I Love NY Adventure' plates
- Plates that support your favorite sports team
- Plates that honor veterans
- Plates that honor specific counties and regions of New York State
- Plates celebrating college fraternities and sororities
- Plates supporting specific causes
- Plates supporting certain professionals and organizations
Disabled Veteran License Plate Fees
There are no registration or license costs for New York disabled veterans to receive a disabled veteran license plate.
To obtain a disabled veteran license plate, your disability must be confirmed by the Department of Veterans Affairs or the service that released you.
After receiving and completing the military paperwork and application, you may either deliver it to the DMV field office or send it by mail.
Handicap Placard Fees
If you are a resident or non-resident of New York and have a permanent disability that severely limits your mobility and requires the use of a private vehicle for transportation, you may be eligible for People with Disabilities (PPPD) Unit handicap placard from the NYC Department of Transportation.
Handicap placards are free in New York. Custom handicap placards cost $28.75.
License Plate Renewal Fee
The annual plate renewal price is in addition to the renewal fee for your car registration. When you renew your registration every two years, you pay the following plate fees.
- Vehicles weighing less than 1,650 pounds will be charged $26 to renew.
- Renewals for vehicles weighing between 1,751 and 1,850 pounds will be $29 each.
- Renewal costs for vehicles weighing more than 1,950 pounds will range between $32.50 and $70.
Each state has different requirements for how often license plates need to be renewed. New York drivers are required to renew their registration bi-annually.
If you already have your car registered in New York State, you can utilize the My Registrations service to:
- Renew registration
- Verify the address and status of registrations
- Register for paperless registration and inspection reminders
- Request a new registration certificate
Being late on registration renewal can lead to late additional fees, fines and other problems when pulled over for a traffic stop. To avoid this, it is important to pay careful attention to the registration expiration date.
License Plate Replacement Fees
In some cases, the NY DMV may require you to change your license plates. This is usually the case if the plate is lost, stolen, or damaged.
When you submit your application for license plate replacement, you must pay a $28 replacement registration fee. If your license plates are damaged, you must submit them to DMV officials.
If you need to replace lost license plates, the New York DMV offers an online service for ordering replacement license plates.
If your New York state license plates are peeling or deteriorating, the NY DMV will replace them at no cost.
Along with the new license plates, a new registration sticker will be mailed.
If your license plates were stolen, the first step is to report the theft of the license plate to your local police department. In many cases, you must verify your address with the vehicle licensing office before you can begin the process of replacing a plate that was lost or stolen.
Once the report has been filed, you will need to visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles office to obtain a replacement plate.
If you need to replace your license plates, you need to submit an Application for Replacement Plates Form by mail or in person at a DMV location.
New York Temporary In-Transit Plates
The NYS DMV issues "In-Transit" or temporary plates for transporting vehicles inside or outside of the state to their final destination, where they will be registered.
To receive a New York vehicle "In-Transit" plate, you must fulfill all of the following criteria:
- Have a title that has been assigned to you
- Be in possession of a state identification card or a driver's license
- Have current insurance coverage; if you are an out-of-state resident, you must have insurance paperwork with you; if you live in New York State, you simply need to provide your insurance card
- Complete an MV82-ITP form and pay the $12.50 cost
New York temporary plates are valid for 30 days.
How To Check If a Car Has NY Back Fees?
Before purchasing a used car in New York, identify whether it has back fees—or you could be liable for them.
The first step is to obtain the vehicle identification number from the seller. With the VIN, you can contact your local DMV and request a title search. The DMV will be able to tell you if there are any unpaid fees associated with the car, such as registration fees or parking tickets.
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FAQ on New York License Plate Costs
Does NY State give 1 or 2 license plates?
In New York State, drivers must be equipped with two license plates: one on the front of their vehicle and one on the rear. This ensures that law enforcement can easily identify any vehicle in violation of traffic rules or involved in an accident. It also helps to find stolen vehicles.
How long does it take to get plates from the NY DMV?
Residents of New York State who are in need of new plates can expect to receive them from the DMV within 10 days or less. Custom plates usually take about 6 weeks to arrive.
Can you get pulled over for no front license plate in New York?
Yes, you can get pulled over for driving with no front license plate in New York. You will be issued a ticket which will result in a fine of $200.
Can you get license plates same day in NY?
You can get your license plates the same you ordered by using the NY DMV express services or same-day services offered by some NY DMV certified partners. This may not be available in all NY counties, so check with your local DMV to be sure.