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License Plates

Overview

Picture of a collage of various state's license plates
This page provides information about the various license plates issued by the Oregon DMV.
 
Use the links below to go directly to any section:
Available License Plates
Use the links below to access information about the license plates most frequently issued by DMV:
Tree 
Salmon 
Crater Lake 
Cultural Trust 
-  Wine Country
Amateur (Ham) Radio Operator 
Antique Vehicle 
Special Interest Vehicle 
Oregon Masonic Family 
Oregon Professional Firefighters 
Oregon State Elks 
Share the Road    

Congressional Medal of Honor 
Disabled Veteran 
Ex-POW 
First Marine Division FMF 
Gold Star Family 
National Guard 
Non-Commission Officers Assoc 
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Purple Heart
U.S. Army Spec Forces Airborne
-  U.S. Merchant Marine 
Veterans for Human Rights 
Veterans Recognition 
Vietnam Veterans of America 

Important: This page provides information about the most common license plates, however, there are additional license plates (for house campers, trucks, etc.) that are not included here. Information about these plates may be found in our Oregon License Plate Manual (Form 735-6726). It is intended primarily for use by law enforcement and other agencies that must frequently deal with questions concerning vehicle registration.

License Plates Available for Specific Vehicle Types
Use the links below to access the license plates available (if any) for each type of vehicle:
Note: License plates for commercial vehicles are issued primarily by the Oregon Motor Carrier Transportation Division, not DMV.

License Plate Fees
License plate fees are not included in the vehicle registration fees. See the License Plate Fees section for more information. However, some license plates require an additional surcharge. Information on a plate's surcharge (if any) is found in the section above.  Additional surcharge fees for specialty registration and group license plates go to various funds:
  • The $100 additional surcharge per two-year period for Custom Plates supports Oregon passenger rail programs.
  • The additional $100 surcharge per set of plates for Pacific Wonderland plates goes to the Oregon State Capitol Foundation and the Oregon Historical Society.
  • The additional $30 surcharge per set of plates per two-year period for Salmon plates is divided equally between the Governor's Watershed Enhancement Board, designed to restore salmon habitats and improve the health of streams that support the salmon population, and State Parks and Recreation Department Fund.
  • The additional $20 surcharge per set of plates for Crater Lake plates goes to the Oregon Community Foundation for use on Crater Lake National Park projects.
  • The additional $30 surcharge per set of plates for Cultural plates goes to the Trust for Cultural Development to fund specific arts, heritage and humanities programs.
  • The additional $30 surcharge per set of plates for Wine Country plates goes to the Oregon Tourism Commission to support the promotion of agricultural and culinary tourism in Oregon.
  • The additional surcharges for group plates go to the various organizations.
Refer to the section above for more information on specific license plates.

License Plate Display
A single license plate is issued to mopeds, motorcycles, trailers, campers, antique vehicles, and special interest vehicles, while two license plates are issued to all other types of vehicles registered by DMV, including passenger vehicles and trucks (See ORS 803.525).

If only one license plate is issued, it must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle.  If two plates are issued, one must be displayed on the front of the vehicle and the other on the rear of the vehicle.  Plates must be in plain view so as to be easily read by the public and law enforcement (See ORS 803.540).

License plates may not be altered and must not be covered by any material that alters their appearance.  Furthermore, plate frames or holders must not prevent the numbers, letters, or tags/stickers from being readable (See ORS 803.550 for more information).
 
Note: In using the ORS link above, you will need to scroll down to find the correct ORS reference.

Tags/Stickers
When you get new Oregon license plates, you will receive both month and year validation tags/stickers for each plate issued.
 
Note: Permanently registered license plates do not receive tags/stickers and some license plates require a combination month & year tag/sticker.
 
Month tags/stickers contain a single number (1 through 12) denoting the month of expiration. Year tags/stickers contain a two-digit number 06, 07, 08, etc. denoting the year of expiration.  Combination tags/stickers contain both a single number (1 through 12) denoting the month of expiration and a two-digit number 06, 07, 08, etc. denoting the year of expiration.
 
When you renew the registration for most vehicles, you will only receive new year tag/stickers, as the registration month does not change. Contact DMV for a replacement if your month tag/sticker is damaged, missing, or was applied to the plate in the wrong place.

Tag/Sticker Placement 
Apply tags/stickers only in designated areas on license plates (see examples below).  Tags/Stickers must be readable on license plates and plate frames must not cover them.
 
To apply tags/stickers:
  • Affix the year tag/sticker on the bottom right side of the license plate.
  • Affix the month tag/sticker on the bottom left side of the license plate.
  • Affix combination month & year tag/sticker on the bottom center of the license plate. 
  • Apply tags/stickers to both front and rear license plates when a set of two plates is issued.
  • You may affix new tags/stickers directly on top of old tags/stickers (remove dirt and grease on old tag/sticker before applying new tag/sticker).
Examples
Tree, Pacific Wonderland, Salmon, Crater Lake, Cultural Trust, Wine Country & Veteran Group Plates all have the "Month" and "Year" tag/sticker areas clearly identified:        
Yellow background plates have indentations on bottom left and right for the tags/stickers:  
 
 

A few types of yellow background plates, like the heavy truck plate shown below, receive a combined month and year tag/sticker that is placed on the bottom middle of each plate:
 
 
 
For other examples of tag/sticker placement, refer to the Oregon License Plate Manual (Form 735-6726).

Applying for a New Type of Group Plate
If your non-profit or veterans-related group is interested in applying for group plates, please complete and submit the Veteran Group Plate Application (Form 735-7069) or the Non-Profit and Higher Education Group Plate Application (Form 735-7076) to DMV, or you may call (503) 945-5130.

Disposal of Old License Plates
After you replace your license plates, your old plates are no longer valid.  License plates are made of aluminum so they may be recycled. You can securely recycle or dispose of license plates in any of the following ways:
  • Deface or remove and destroy the month and year tags/stickers.  You may also bend or cut the plates so they are no longer usable, then recycle the plates.  Take care with the edges of the pieces as they may be sharp.  Check with your local recycling contact for aluminum recycling information.
  • Mail the plates to DMV at:
DMV
1905 Lana Avenue NE
Salem OR 97314
  • Deface or remove and destroy the month and year tags/stickers.  You may also bend or cut the plates so they are no longer usable, then place the plates in your garbage for disposal.   Take care with the edges of the pieces as they may be sharp. 
If none of the above options work for you, you may take the plates to your local DMV Office.  However, this may involve a wait time to see a DMV representative. 

History of Oregon License Plates
If you’re interested in seeing how Oregon license plates have evolved over the years, please visit the History Center Web site that shows images of selected plates dating back to 1911.

License Plate Manual
DMV provides a hardcopy Oregon Vehicle License Plate Manual (Form 735-6726) in English only.  It provides information about the various license plates issued in Oregon.  It is intended for use by law enforcement and other agencies that frequently deal with questions concerning vehicle registration.  Some previously-issued license plates do not appear in the manual, but may be legally used.  For questions concerning the legality of plates not listed in the manual, call DMV’s Customer Assistance Unit at (503) 945-5000.

Related Information
Additional information that may be relevant includes: