License Plate Information

Updated June 2016

A-C | D-H | I-L | M | N | O-R | S-U | V-W
States Number of License
Plates Required
Number of Specialty,
Organizational, and Military License Plates
Ownership of License Plate after Transfer of Vehicle
Alabama 1 117

Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle. Owner may transfer plates to a new vehicle of the same class.2

Alaska 2

32

Plates remain with the vehicle upon transfer unless they are specialty plates.
Arizona 1

54

Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer. Owner may transfer plates to a new vehicle of the same class.2
Arkansas 1

100

Owner may transfer plates from one vehicle to another.2
California 21

14

Regular plates remain with vehicle upon transfer or sale.  Transfer of specialized plates to another vehicle is permitted provided proper transfer fees are included. 2
Colorado 2

88

If vehicle is bought or sold, there is no transfer of plates between the two different owners.
Connecticut 2

64

All plates are the property of the state and shall be returned to commissioner within 10 days of sale of the vehicle.
Delaware 1

120

If transferring within state, plates remain with the vehicle upon transfer or sale of vehicle. 
District of Columbia 2

28

License plates may not be transferred from one owner to another.
Florida 1

122

Owner retains ownership of license plate after transfer of vehicle and may transfer to another vehicle.
Georgia 1

208

Owner retains ownership of license plate after transfer unless he assigns it to new owner with the vehicle.
Guam No information

Not Available

 
Hawaii 2

19

Owner retains ownership of license plates after transfer of vehicle.
Idaho 21

86

Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may put them on another vehicle once registered.
Illinois 21

109

Owner must return plates to Secretary of State after transferring the vehicle or have them assigned to another vehicle upon payment of fees. A new law, effective July 1, 2016, stops any new specialty plate designs from going into production. Going forward, Illinois will switch to a generic specialty plate and a sticker to affix to a spot on the plate.
Indiana 1

100

Owner may transfer plates to new owner after transfer of vehicle as long as the vehicle from which the license plate is transferred is the same type of vehicle, and the vehicle has not been operated in Indiana for more than 31 days after the date of acquisition of the vehicle.
Iowa 21

70

Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2
Kansas 1

34

Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.
Kentucky 1

90

Plates remain with the vehicle upon transfer or sale of vehicle until tags expire.
Louisiana 1

174

All regular license plates must be removed or destroyed before transfer of ownership of vehicle.
Maine 21 19 The license plate expires when ownership of vehicle has transferred.  The registrant may request that plates and the registration number be assigned to another vehicle in that registrant’s name.
Maryland 21 More than 700 The license plate expires when ownership of vehicle has transferred. The former owner of a vehicle may transfer the registration plates from the sold vehicle to his new vehicle of the same class.
Massachusetts 21 53 Owner must remove license plate before vehicle is transferred to new owner.
Michigan 1 63 All regular license plates must be removed or destroyed before transfer of ownership of vehicle. Owner may retain to use on another vehicle. 2
Minnesota 21 67 Plates remain with the vehicle upon transfer unless they are specialty plates.
Mississippi 1 161 Owner must remove license plate before vehicle is transferred to new owner.
Missouri 2 199 The license plate expires when ownership of vehicle has transferred. Original owner may register another vehicle in the same category under the same number for a fee. 2
Montana 2 235 Owner must remove license plate before vehicle is transferred to new owner.
Nebraska 21 7 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.1
Nevada 21 28

Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.In 2011 the Nevada Legislature limited the number of specialty license plates in circulation to 30 at a given time.

New Hampshire 2 8 Owner may retain or transfer license plates to new owner. 2
New Jersey 2 85 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.
New Mexico 1 50 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.
New York 21 212 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2
North Carolina 1 143 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another one of his vehicles. 2
North Dakota 2 1 22 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2
Ohio 21 157 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2
Oklahoma 1 210 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2
Oregon 21 32 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2
Pennsylvania 1 408 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2
Puerto Rico 2 6 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another one of his vehicles. 2
Rhode Island 21 19 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2
South Carolina 1 163 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2 If no transfer desired, owner must send plates to DMV.
South Dakota 2 102 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle.
Tennessee 1 163 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles. 2
Texas 2 400

License plates may not be transferred to a different owner.

U.S. Virgin Islands 2 21 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles. 2
Utah 21 56 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles. 2 If no transfer desired, owner must send plates to DMV.
Vermont 2 26 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.
Virginia 21 264 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles. 2
Washington 21 48 Owner has the option of retaining license plates and using them on another vehicle of the same type.
West Virginia 1 98 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2  If no transfer desired, owner must send plates to DMV.
Wisconsin 2 88 Plates remain with the vehicle and new owner upon transfer or sale of vehicle.
Wyoming 2 14 Owner retains ownership of the license plate upon transfer of the vehicle and may transfer it to another of his vehicles.2 If no transfer desired, owner must send plates to DMV.
Total 1 plate 19    
Total 2 plate 34    

Including military, special organizations, universities, and any other specialty plate that is not considered "standard" or "standard vanity" by the state and can be obtained for use on any passenger vehicle. Does not include motorcycle, commercial or dealer plates.

1. Only one plate required for truck tractors, trailers, motorcycles and special equipment.
2. Application process to the DMV to transfer license plates from one vehicle to another may apply.
 

Source: AAA, Digest of Motor Laws, 2016; state DMV websites, 2016.