How Much Is An Ohio License Plate?

In the state of Ohio, license plate fees vary depending on the type of plate you choose. A standard license plate costs $46.
If you want a vanity plate, it will cost $50. Additional taxes and fees apply to both new and renewal registrations.
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What Is The Process For Getting Ohio Plates?

In Ohio, vehicles are required to have only a rear license plate.

Every state in the US requires a rear license plate. While some states require a rear plate only, other states require a front license plate in addition to the rear plate.

Here are the steps for getting new license plates from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

1. Gather proof of ownership for your vehicle (vehicle's title, registration, or bill of sale).
2. Get a valid Ohio driver's license or ID card.
3. Get the minimum car insurance required by the state of Ohio. (Don’t have insurance? Get a fast, free quote!)
4. Visit a deputy registrar office, or go online to the Ohio BMV website to fill out an application for license plates.
5. Provide the necessary paperwork, such as your driver's license, proof of insurance, and proof of ownership.
6. Pay the required fees, which vary depending on the type of plates you're applying for.
7. If you want a personalized or specialty license plate, you can select the design and any modifications you'd like.
8. Temporary license plates are issued by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and are valid for 45 days while your application is being processed.
9. You can expect to receive your new permanent license plates in the mail within 10 business days.

The Cost of License Plates In Ohio

There are different types of license plates: 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).

The Ohio license plate has seven characters (across the 50 states, license plates have anywhere from six to eight characters).

How Much Are Standard License Plates In Ohio?

Standard Ohio license plates cost $46.
A standard Ohio license plate can be put on passenger cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs, as well as trailers and motorcycles that weigh less than 400 pounds.

Standard license plates are issued in any of the following scenarios:

The replacement of special interest license plates with standard plates
Purchase of a new vehicle
Replacing damaged, stolen or lost license plates

Ohio Personalized Plates

A personalized plate, also known as a vanity plate, gives you the freedom to express your unique personality on the road by selecting any combination of letters and numbers that is legal in your state.

If you want to personalize your vehicle, you can apply for a personalized license plate in Ohio. The fee for a personalized plate is $50, and you can apply in person at a deputy registrar agency or online at the Ohio BMV website. You can also mail the special order plate application form to the address listed on the form.

P.O. Box
16520 Columbus
Ohio 43216-6520

Ohio has a few rules and restrictions for vanity plate customization. First off, you're limited to just seven characters (think of it as a mini Instagram bio for your car). And while you can mix and match letters and numbers to your heart's content, you won't be able to add any punctuation or special characters to the mix (sorry, no hashtags here).

Of course, anything offensive or inappropriate is off-limits. Also, your personalized plate can't make any references to illegal activities or substances (we don't want any trouble with the law). Finally, be sure to pick something unique—no copycatting allowed!

The Ohio BMV will review and approve your custom license plate application after you submit it. If your application does not follow the guidelines or if the combination of characters is already in use, the BMV will probably reject it.

Ohio Specialty Plates

Ohio, like many other states, lets you show your support for a cause or organization through a specialty license plate. From supporting military troops to showcasing your love for history, there is a specialty plate to fit your interests.

Some of the money from the fees for these plates goes to funding related programs and projects. This means that you can show off your passion and help your community at the same time.

Ohio specialty license plates cost from $35 to $50, depending on the organization you choose.

Here are the special interest license plates Ohio offers:

Organizational plate designs

Air Force
Alzheimer's association
American legion
Animal friendly
Arthritis foundation
Autism society
Boy scouts
Breast cancer awareness
Children's hospital
Coast guard
Columbus Blue Jackets
Ducks Unlimited
Fraternal order of police
Gold Star family
Habitat for humanity
Heart disease awareness
Humane society
Kiwanis international
Lake Erie
Ohio State university
Ohio Wildlife Conservation
Prostate cancer awareness
Purple Heart
Rotary international
Special Olympics
Statehouse license plate
Support our troops
University of Akron
University of Cincinnati
University of Dayton
University of Toledo
Wright State university

Collegiate plate designs

Bowling Green State university
Case Western Reserve university
Cleveland State university
Kent State university
Miami university
Ohio Dominican university
Ohio Northern university
Ohio State university
Ohio university
Shawnee State university
The university of Akron
The university of Cincinnati
The university of Dayton
The university of Findlay
The university of Mount Union
The university of Toledo
University of Northwestern Ohio
University of Rio Grande
University of Toledo
Ursuline College
Walsh university
Wright State university
Xavier university
Youngstown State university

Company plate designs

Classic Carriers
Continental Express
Dutch Maid
Jaro, Inc.
Kuhnle Bros.

Historical plate

Professional sports teams plate designs

Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Cavaliers
Columbus Blue Jackets
Cincinnati Reds
Cleveland guardians
Columbus Crew
Cleveland Browns
FC Cincinnati

Military license plate

Additional disabled veteran
Air force commendation medal with valor
Air force cross
Air medal
Air medal for valor
Airman's medal
Air National guard
Army commendation medal with V device
Army distinguished service cross
Army national guard
Bronze star medal
Bronze star with V device
Coast guard combat action ribbon
Coast guard commendation medal with V device
Coast guard cross
Coast guard medal
Combat action badge
Combat action medal
Combat action ribbon
Combat infantryman badge
Combat infantryman badge 2nd
Combat infantryman badge 3rd
Combat medical badge
Congressional medal of honor
Disabled veteran
Distinguished flying cross
Distinguished flying cross with V device
Expeditionary medal
Expeditionary medal with service star
Former Prisoner of War
GWOT Afghanistan medal
GWOT Civilian service medal
GWOT expeditionary medal
GWOT Iraq medal
GWOT services medal
Honorably discharged veteran
Korea defense
Korea service medal with service star
Korea veteran during conflict
National defense service medal with service star
National defense
National guard
Navy and marine corps medal
Navy cross
Navy marine corps commendation medal
Ohio national guard Ohio cross
Operation inherent resolve
Pearl Harbor
Persian Gulf veteran
Purple Heart
Purple heart disability
Silver star medal
Soldier's medal
Southwest Asian service medal with service star
Joint service commendation medal with V device
U.S. armed forces active duty
U.S. armed forces reserves
U.S. armed forces retired
U.S. army aviation active
U.S. army aviation retired
U.S. army aviation veteran
USMC Vietnam veteran
U.S. Space Force
U.S. Paratrooper
U.S. uniformed services public health service
U.S. uniformed services NOAA
Vietnam service medal with service star
Vietnam veteran during conflict
Vietnam veteran
Women veterans U.S. armed forces
Women veterans U.S. armed forces retired
Women veterans U.S. uniformed services NOAA
World War I veteran
World War II veteran

Disability License Plates and Placards

If you or someone you know has a disability that affects their mobility, Ohio offers a disability license plate or a placard that will make life a little easier. Not only do these plates help identify vehicles that need extra accessibility features, but they can also give people with disabilities access to parking spots that are set aside just for them.
To be eligible for these plates, you must submit a physician or chiropractor's certification of eligibility for license plates for persons with disabilities (form BMV 4834) to the Ohio BMV.

On the certification form, a medical professional (MD, DC, DCh, DCn, or NP) must attest to the applicant's disability and parking needs.

Accessible license plates don't cost any extra, above the standard vehicle registration fee.

In addition to the standard "Accessible Veteran" plate, Ohio provides a special accessible military plate for disabled veterans. Any disabled veteran who qualifies for the disabled veterans license plate may instead apply for a military license plate, as long as they meet the military license plate qualifications, and they are exempt from paying any additional fees.

Ohio Title Transfers

In the state of Ohio, titling and registration are done at the same time. When purchasing a used car, you will need to provide your local Ohio BMV office with the following:

Vehicle title certificate
A completed application for certificate of title to a motor vehicle (Form BMV 3774)
A proper form of ID
Odometer Disclosure Statement

See our guide to transferring an Ohio car title for more information on the process.

Ohio Vehicle Registration

The registration fee in Ohio varies from $31 to $35. To apply for an Ohio license plate, you must have a valid Ohio car registration card from the Ohio BMV. To register your vehicle, you will first need to transfer the title.

You will need to submit the following documents to your local BMV office:

Present proof of ownership
Proof of social security number
Power of attorney for ohio vehicle registration (Form BMV 5736) (if applicable)
Emissions inspections (if applicable)
Registration fee

Ohio Emissions Testing

Ohio takes clean air seriously and requires emissions testing to make sure that your car meets state and federal emissions standards. This helps cut down on pollution and protect the environment.

The following counties require emissions testing:

1. Cuyahoga
2. Geauga
3. Lake
4. Lorain
5. Medina
6. Portage
7. Summit

Requirements: In the counties listed above, cars are required to undergo emissions testing every two years. This includes both passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles, as well as hybrids and electric cars.
Locations: there are emissions testing locations throughout the state, and you can find the one nearest to you on the BMV website as well. Some locations are appointment-only, so be sure to check before you go.
Fees: the fee for emissions testing in Ohio is $18 for most vehicles, but some larger commercial vehicles may be subject to higher fees.

If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you will be required to have it repaired and retested before you can renew your registration.

If you are a new resident of Ohio, you must pass an emissions test before registering your vehicle with the Ohio BMV (if applicable).

Certain vehicles are exempt from emissions testing in Ohio. Exempted vehicles include the following:

Noncommercial vehicles that are older than 25 years old
Vehicles that have historical and collector registrations
Motor homes
Vehicles that have parade and exhibitions registrations
Recreation vehicles

How to Order An Ohio License Plate

You can order a license plate in Ohio by mail, online, or in person at a BMV office. Here are the steps for ordering license plates in Ohio:

1. Visit the Ohio BMV website or go to a deputy registrar agency in person.
2. Have your vehicle identification number (VIN), current Ohio driver's license or ID, and current vehicle registration available.
3. Choose the type of license plate you want: standard, personalized, or specialty.
4. If you're ordering a personalized plate, use the BMV's online Plate Availability Search tool to check if your desired combination is available.
5. If you're ordering a specialty plate, select the organization or cause you want to support and review the fees and requirements associated with that plate.
6. Fill out the required application forms online or in person, including the Ohio License Plate Application (form BMV 4809) and any other applicable forms for personalized or specialty plates.
7. Pay the applicable fees, which will vary depending on the type of plate you choose and any additional fees associated with your specific circumstances.
8. Receive your license plates in the mail or pick them up in person at the deputy registrar agency where you submitted your application.

Ohio License Plate Replacement Fees

The fee to replace lost license plates ranges from $12 to $13.25.

To get a replacement, you need to submit the following to the OH BMV:

1. Ohio driver's license or state ID card
2. Vehicle registrations that match the license plates you are replacing
3. A completed application for replacement plates (form BMV 4809)
4. Payment for the replacement plates fee, which varies depending on the type of plate you are replacing

How To Register An Out Of State Vehicle In Ohio?

If you are an established OH resident and you buy a car out of state, you can register it by mail.
If you are a new resident, you must register your out of state vehicle in person at your local BMV.

You will need to submit the following:

For registration by mail, download and fill out the application for out-of-state (Form BMV 4625).
For in person registration, fill out the application for out-of-state registration
Original Ohio title
VIN inspection
Emissions inspection certificate (if applicable)
Provide proof of insurance

Read our guide to purchasing a vehicle remotely if you're thinking about buying an out-of-state car from a private party.

How To Check If a Car Has Ohio Back Fees?

Before you buy a used car in Ohio, find out if it has any hidden fees. If it does, you could be responsible for them.

The first step is to get the vehicle identification number from the seller. With the VIN, you can contact your closest Ohio BMV location and request a title search. The Ohio BMV will be able to tell you if there are any unpaid fees associated with the car, such as a vehicle registration fee or unpaid parking tickets.

Make Sure to Have Car Insurance

Ohio requires liability insurance at a minimum. If you don’t have it, you won’t be able to register your car and legally drive it. Of course, you can opt for full coverage insurance if you want it. If you don’t have car insurance, get a quick quote here.

Easy Ohio Car Transactions with PrivateAuto

We make buying or selling a pre-owned vehicle simple. Ohio car buyers will find a great deal on the ride of their dreams.

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Ohio License Plates FAQ

How much is Ohio's registration renewal?

Vehicle registration in Ohio is available for one, two, or five years. To avoid fines, it is critical to renew your registration with the state before it expires. In Ohio, the cost of renewing your vehicle registration is $34.50.

After 30 days, a $10 late fee will be added to your registration.

The BMV provides the option of renewing the registration online, by phone, or in person.

- To renew your Ohio driver's license online, visit their renewal portal. You'll need your last four social security numbers, your license plate number, and the renewal fee to complete the process online.
- You can also reach the BMV by phone at 866-868-0006. This is followed by providing the social security number, and details for making the payment.
- In order to renew the registration in person, one must bring the renewal notice received in the mail to the deputy registrar's office. You must also include the vehicle's title, proof of insurance, registration authorization, power of attorney for Ohio vehicle registration form (if applicable) and vehicle registration fees.

All Ohio drivers whose cars are registered in their names will receive a registration renewal notice 90 days before the expiration date.

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