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California Department of Motor Vehicles
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Standard License Plates

Standard California license plates are issued when you buy a new vehicle, replace lost, stolen, or mutilated plates, or turn in special interest license plates. License plates identify the type of registration you have (commercial, passenger, trailer, etc.) and provide law enforcement a means of locating the owner through DMV records. Standard license plates can be replaced by submitting an application for duplicate plates, or by visiting a DMV field office.

Passenger Vehicles

passenger vehicle license plate passenger vehicle license plate passenger vehicle license plate

passenger vehicle license plate passenger vehicle license plate passenger vehicle license plate

Exclusions: The letters I, O, and Q are not used in the first or third alpha positions of the alpha-numeric series.

Statutory Authority: Vehicle Code (VC) §§4850, 9250 and Revenue and Taxation Code (RT) §§10751, 10752


Commercial Motor Vehicles

commercial motor vehicle license plate commercial motor vehicle license plate commercial motor vehicle license plate

commercial motor vehicle license plate commercial motor vehicle license plate

Exclusions: The letters I and O are not used in the six-digit alpha-numeric series. I, O, and Q are not used in the seven-digit alpha-numeric series.

Statutory Authority: VC §§4840, 9250.1, 9400 and RT §§10751, 10752


Motorcycles

reflectorized motorcyclew license plate yellow on blue motorcycle license plate

Statutory Authority: VC §§4850, 9250.1 and RT §§ 10751, 10752


Permanent Trailer Identification License Plates

permanent trailer identification license plate

In 2001, the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) program went into effect with registrations expiring and trailers being registered for the first time in California on or after December 31, 2001. Camp trailers are subject to the new law, but trailer coaches, and park trailers are excluded. For more information on the PTI program follow this link.

Statutory Authority: VC §§5011, 5014.1, 5017


Trailer License Plates

reflectorized trailer license plate reflectorized trailer license plate reflectorized trailer license plate

yellow on blue trailer license plate

Issued to trailer coaches and park trailers.

Exclusions: The letters I, O, and Q are not used.

Statutory Authority: VC §§4850, 9250.1 and RT §§10751, 10752