License Plates

Sunset Plate

Standard Plates

When you obtain new standard plates, the DMV charges a Plate Cost Recovery Fee of $3.00 per plate and a Prison Industry fee of 50 cents per plate in addition to any registration fees due. Personalized and specialty plates carry additional fees.

A registration renewal is not required if you are simply changing license plates on the same vehicle and the registration is not due. The DMV will charge a $5 substitute plate fee in addition to any applicable plate fees.

If you are swapping plates between vehicles, you must renew the registration for a full year, present evidence of insurance and a smog check if needed. Credit will be given for the unused portion of the current registration.

Motor Carriers

Vehicles 26,001 pounds or heavier must be regsitered through Motor Carrier.

License Plate Display Top ↑

Nevada law requires most vehicles to display front and rear license plates at all times, except motorcycles and trailers, which require only a rear plate. You must display both plates if the vehicle is designed for a front plate or if the manufacturer offers an add-on bracket or frame.

Front plates are optional only if 1) the vehicle was not designed for a front plate and 2) the manufacturer did not provide an add-on bracket or other means of displaying the front plate. (NRS 482.275)

The DMV issues two plates (except motorcycles and trailers). If the second plate is not displayed, it is the owner's responsibility to store the second plate and surrender or return both plates to the department at the appropriate time.

License plates must at all times be securely fastened to the vehicle so as to prevent the plate from swinging and at a height not less than 12 inches from the ground, measuring from the bottom of such plate, in a place and position to be clearly visible. It must be maintained free from foreign materials and in a condition to be clearly legible.

License plate specifications call for plates to be readable from a distance of 100 feet during daylight. At night, plates must be readable from 110 feet when lit by standard headlights. Rear plates must display a decal with the month and year of expiration. (NRS 482.270)

The DMV reissues most plates every eight years to help ensure plates are readable and in good condition. See Rolling License Plate Reissue.


Registration decals which indicate the month and year of expiration are placed on the upper right-hand corner of the rear plate. Your registration expires on the exact date listed on the slip; it is not valid until the end of the month.

Nevada license plates are issued to people and businesses, not to vehicles. You may transfer your existing plates to a new vehicle. Plate transfers between individuals require a witnessed statement which can be completed at the DMV at the time of registration.

Plate Size

Motorcycles and trailers under 1,000 pounds gross weight are issued small plates. Trailers 1,000 pounds and over are issued a full-size plate.

Frames & Covers

Plate frames or covers are not prohibited as long as the above requirements are met and the plate is clearly legible.

Selling A Vehicle Top ↑

Keep your license plates if you are selling a vehicle! Nevada license plates are issued to people and businesses, not to vehicles. Nevada law requires you to either use the plates on another vehicle or turn them in for cancellation within 30 days of the sale for standard plates or within 60 days for special plates. If you wish to retain personalized plates for a longer period, you must surrender the decal. See Selling A Vehicle and Plate Surrender/Refunds.

The buyer must get insurance and a movement permit from the DMV to be able to drive the vehicle on public streets. If you wish to give your plates to the buyer, for example personalized plates on a classic vehicle, you must complete a License Plate Release (SP 67). Registration fee credits will not be transferred.

Plates You May See Top ↑

Dealer Plate


Issued to auto dealers for use on vehicles held for sale in the dealers inventory. The DMV issues similar plates to other automotive businesses such as body shops, transporters and wreckers.

Loan Plate


Plates with the word "LOAN" are issued to dealers for use on vehicles they loan to customers.

Exempt License Plate - Click for larger image


Exempt plates are issued to state and local government entities which are exempt from paying Nevada Governmental Services Taxes. See Exempt License Plates.

Apportioned License Plate


Issued to trucking firms, bus lines and other businesses which pay registration fees to multiple states. See Motor Carrier. Similar white plates without the word "Apportioned" are issued by Motor Carrier for vehicles used within Nevada only and for trailers.

Nevada Commemorative Plate


Several plate styles are no longer issued by the Nevada DMV but remain valid for registration. See Discontinued Plates.

Special license plates are also issued to a number of Nevada law enforcement agencies, state elected officials and the Nevada congressional delegation. Plate "1" belongs to the Nevada Governor. "2" belongs to the Lieutenant Governor.