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
  • Firefighter
  • Fraternal order of police
  • Gold Star family
  • Habitat for humanity
  • Heart disease awareness
  • Humane society
  • Kiwanis international
  • Lake Erie
  • Masonic
  • Ohio State university
  • Ohio Wildlife Conservation
  • Prostate cancer awareness
  • Purple Heart
  • Rotary international
  • Shriner
  • 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.
  • Pohl

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
  • Grenada
  • Honorably discharged veteran
  • Korea defense
  • Korea service medal with service star
  • Korea veteran during conflict
  • Korea
  • Kosovo
  • Lebanon
  • 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
  • Panama
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Persian Gulf veteran
  • Purple Heart
  • Purple heart disability
  • Silver star medal
  • Soldier's medal
  • Somalia
  • 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
  • Title transfer fee: $15
  • Payment for Ohio sales tax: 5.75%

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

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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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