Registration - Specialty Plates

Specialty license plates include an unusual feature such as your own personalized message. The MVA offers a variety of specialty plate features:

Before reviewing the application requirements associated with a specialty plate, note the following general stipulations:

  • Only certain classes of vehicles are eligible to display specialty license plates, and not all types of specialty license plates can be displayed on every eligible vehicle. Vehicle eligibility criteria and possible combinations of features are summarized below in the appendix.
  • Both ham (amateur radio operator) license plates and personalized message (vanity) license plates require additional preparation time (approximately 4 – 6 weeks). Therefore, a customer will receive regular plates if the vehicle is being registered for the first time until the plates can be ordered by the MVA and received by the customer. Once the plates have been received by the customer, the regular plates initially issued must be returned to the MVA.
  • If you want to combine a specialty license plate feature with disability plates (for example, disability plate with Chesapeake Bay background), you must first meet the requirements for obtaining disability license plates.

If you are registering the vehicle at the same time, be sure to also review the applicable vehicle registration requirements:



Fees:

  • The fee for registering a vehicle varies by the type of vehicle and/or its intended use. See Fees for Registration Plates for more information.
  • The additional fee charged for displaying specialty license plates on the vehicle depends upon whether the plates are being purchased for the first time (i.e., initial plate issuance), being renewed (i.e., renewal of license plates), or being requested to replace license plates currently issued to the vehicle (i.e., substitute license plates). The chart below provides the fees in each of these instances, for each type of plate feature.

Plate /
Ti​me of Request

Bay
P​lates

Agric. Plates

Combat Related Plates

Disabled Veteran Plates

Ham Plates

Organization
Plates

Pers​onal Message Plates

Initial Plate Issuance

$20 $20 $25 $0 $5 Per Yr.

With logo - $25

Without logo - $15

$50 Per Yr.

Plus an additional $20 replacement tag fee

Renewal of
Plates

$10 Per Yr.

$10 Per Yr.

$0

$0

$5 Per Yr.

With logo - $0

Without logo - $0

$50 Per Yr.

Substitute
Plates

$20

$20

$25

$0

$20

With logo - $25

Without logo - $15

$20

Notes:

  • All plate fees are in addition to standard registration fees.
  • Disabled veterans with a 100% disability are exempt from the yearly registration fee and additional fee charged for Disabled Veteran, Ham, Organizational or Combat Related plates. They are also exempt from paying the yearly registration fee for Bay or Agricultural plates though they must pay the initial fee.
  • National Guard members, members of the Fireman’s Association, and members of Volunteer Fire Departments organizational license plates are initially provided at no cost (gratis). However, there is a $20.00 charge for substitute license plates.
  • License plates issued to members of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) are considered organizational license plates and cost $25.00 at the initial time of issuance.



Contact Information:

For Chesapeake Bay and Agricultural license plates:

MVA
Mail In Registration Unit

6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

For combat-related, disabled veteran, ham (amateur radio operator), organizational, and personalized message (vanity) license plates:

MVA

Specialized Tag Unit
6601 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

For telephone questions:
MVA Customer Service Center:    1-410-768-7000
TTY/Hearing Impaired:                    1-301-729-4563

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How do I obtain Chesapeake Bay or Agricultural license plates for my vehicle?

You can apply for both types of plates on-line through the MVA's website or in person at any of the MVA’s full service branch offices. You also can mail your application to the MVA’s Mail In Registration Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying.

Typically, the application documents needed include:

Note that vehicles in the following classes only are permitted to display Chesapeake Bay or Agricultural license plates:

  • A (passenger car)
  • EPO (truck 26,000 lbs GVW or less)
  • EFT (Farm Trucks - Agricultural license plates only)
  • G (non-freight trailers
  • M (multi-purpose vehicle)

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How do I obtain combat-related license plates?

Combat-related license plates are issued in recognition of a customer’s military achievements. They can only be issued to a veteran or active member of the military who furnishes documentation proving receipt of the military award or honor recognized on the plates. Samples of combat-related license plates are available for you to view.

You can apply for the plates in person at any of the MVA’s full service branch offices. You also can mail your application to the MVA’s Specialty Tag Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying.

Typically, the application documents needed include:

  • Application for Military Related License Plates (form #VR-120) – Be sure to include the vehicle’s information.
  • Proof of combat-related award:
    • Copy of military discharge papers (form #DD214); or
    • Copy of document verifying award (e.g., Purple Heart Certificate); or
    • Written proof from the National Personnel Records Center that the applicant received the award.

Vehicles in the following classes only are permitted to display combat-related license plates:

  • A (passenger car)
  • M (multi-purpose vehicle)
  • EPO (truck with a one ton or less manufacturer’s rate capacity)

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How do I obtain disabled veteran license plates?

Disabled veteran license plates are issued in recognition of a customer’s military service-related injuries. They can only be issued gratis (free of charge) to a veteran who is 100% disabled. The license plates are printed in two formats: with or without the universal symbol for disability (wheelchair).

Paid DAV plates are considered organization plates.

You can apply for the plates in person at any of the MVA’s full service branch offices. You also can mail your application to the MVA’s Specialty Tag Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying.

Typically, the application documents needed include:

Vehicles in the following classes are permitted to display disable veteran license plates:

  • A (passenger car)
  • M (multi-purpose vehicle)
  • EPO (truck with a one ton or less manufacturer’s rate capacity)

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How do I obtain ham (amateur radio operator) license plates?

Ham license plates can be issued only to individuals with an FCC license to operate an amateur, or ham, radio. Your FCC call sign will be the message imprinted on the license plates. A sample plate is available for you to view. Note it takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks for you to receive the plates.

You can apply for the plates in person at any of the MVA’s full service branch offices. You also can mail your application to the MVA’s Specialty Tag Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying.

Typically, the application documents needed include:

Vehicles in the following classes only are permitted to display ham license plates:

  • A (passenger car)
  • M (multi-purpose vehicle)
  • EPO (truck with a one ton or less manufacturer’s rate capacity)

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How do I obtain organizational license plates?

Organizational license plates are issued in recognition of the customer’s membership in an organization. They are only issued to individuals who are a member of an organization that has pre-arranged for the printing of these specially designed license plates. Samples of the organizational license plates are available for you to view.

Note that you must first obtain the Application/Certification for Organizational License Plates from your organization.  Then you can apply for the plates in person at any of the MVA’s full service branch offices. Your request will then be forwarded to the Glen Burnie office for processing. You also can mail your application to the MVA’s Specialty Tag Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying.

Typically, the application documents needed include:

  • Application/Certification for Organizational License Plates – You may obtain this form from your organization. Be sure to have the organization’s tag chair person sign the form and include the vehicle’s title number on it.

Vehicles in the following classes are permitted to display organizational license plates:

  • A (passenger car)
  • (motorcycle)
  • M (multi-purpose vehicle)
  • EPO (truck with a one ton or less manufacturer’s rate capacity)

Note: Organizational plates both logo and non-logo will not be available on the standard background.

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How do I obtain personalized message (vanity) license plates?

Personalized message (vanity) license plates have the customer’s special message imprinted on them. Depending upon the vehicle, you may request a message with at least 2 and up to 7 characters (numbers and/or letters). The MVA reserves the right to decline a requested message because it has already been issued or because it is objectionable. Note that it takes approximately 4 to 6 weeks for you to receive the plates.

You can apply for the plates online through the MVA's website or in person at any of the MVA’s full service branch offices. You also can mail your application to the MVA’s Specialty Tag Unit in the Glen Burnie office, or go to an MVA licensed tag and title service where they will assist you in applying.

Typically, the application documents needed include:

Vehicles in the following classes are permitted to display personalized message license plates:

  • A (passenger car)
  • M (multi-purpose vehicle)
  • D (motorcycle) where applicable
  • EPO (truck with a one ton or less manufacturer’s rate capacity)
  • G (non-freight trailers)
  • L(historic vehicle)
  • N (street rod).

Note: Class G, Class L and Class N personalized plates will be issued on the black and white background.

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APPENDIX

ELIGIBILITY FOR SPECIALTY LICENSE PLATE FEATURES BY VEHICLE CLASS

Vehicle Class/Plate Feature

Disability

Bay or Agric. Plates

Combat Related Plates

Disabled Vet​eran Plates

Ham Plates

Organi-
zation
Plates

Personal Message Plates

A
Passenger Car

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

D
Motorcycle

Yes No Yes No No Yes - where applicable Yes

EPO
Truck – 1 ton or less

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

EFT
Farm Truck

No Yes* No No No No No

G
Non-freight trailer

No Yes No No No No Yes

L
Historic vehicle

No No No No No No Yes

M
Multi-purpose vehicle

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

N
Street rod

No No No No No No No

Note (*): Farm trucks (class EFT) can only display Agricultural plates. They cannot display Bay license plates

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