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Florida uses one metal license plate with a series of alphanumeric numbering systems, or combination thereof, depending on the type of vehicle. The license plate is placed on the back of the vehicle with the renewal decal affixed to the upper right-hand corner. The decal denotes the month and year of expiration. Paper registration documents are also issued and include the license plate and decal numbers as well as the vehicle and owner details. This document should remain in the vehicle.
In addition to the standard license plate, Florida offers over 100 specialty license plates. To view images and additional fees due for each license plate, visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' specialty license plates page.
Subject to availability, for an additional fee you can also elect to personalize the letters/numbers on your standard or specialty license plate. These are often referred to as “vanity plates.” Before making a trip to your local tax collector’s office to make your reservation, use the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ personalized license plate check service to find out if the plate configuration you would like is available.
Personalized license plates may be issued to most types of vehicles, but there are some exceptions, such as semi-truck tractors, wreckers, and other specialized vehicles. If applying by mail or on another person’s behalf, an application for personalized license plate must be submitted to our office for review. The images below give an example of some of the different plate configurations available.
The license plate characters must be entered carefully on the application for personalized license plate to ensure that the license plate is ordered correctly. In addition, please note the following before submitting your application:
If ordering through the mail, the license plate characters must be entered carefully on the application for personalized license plate to ensure that the license plate is ordered correctly. The reservation will be placed exactly as indicated on the application.
If you want the configuration centered on the license plate, you must enter enough spaces before and after the configuration on the application to account for all allowable characters on the license plate. There are five allowable characters for a left logo and eight for a center logo.
Personalized specialty motorcycle plates are not automatically centered and can only have a maximum of six letters or numbers, including spaces and dashes.
If characters are not being printed over the center design, two spaces must be left in the center to allow for the design to be visible.
The law permits a maximum of seven alphanumeric characters on plates with a center logo. Spaces or hyphens may be used as long as the total number of digits does not exceed eight. License plates with a left logo must not exceed five characters, including spaces and dashes.
Personalized license plate orders take approximately 90 days to be manufactured and mailed to the customer's address of record.
Appointments are REQUIRED for all transactions. Appointments can only be scheduled through our online appointment system. We only serve Manatee County residents and businesses.