Where can I get an application for a temporary license plate?

Probably because of the amount of paperwork that’s required (copies of title/registration documents, proof of identification, proof of residency, proof of vehicle identification number, fees, etc.), most states require owners to apply for temporary license plates (or temporary permits or temporary registrations, as some states call them) in person at the DMV or other state motor vehicle licensing agency.

If this is the case for you, sweep through your state’s Web site and look to see if an temporary license plate application form is available online before heading out; it could save you some time.

No matter what state you live in, when you purchase a new or used vehicle from a dealership your salesperson will start most of the registration-related paperwork for you and issue you a temporary license plate or equivalent; therefore, the grid doesn’t reflect the dealership option.

Check your state in the grid below.

In Person Online By Mail By Phone
Alabama
x
In some cases, keeping the title or bill of sale in the vehicle will suffice until registration is complete.
Alaska
x
Valid for 60 days. The DMV can issue a 60-day extension, if necessary.
Arizona
x
Valid for 30 or 60 days. Authorized third-party offices can also issue.
Arkansas
x
Valid for 30 days.
California
x
x
Applying by mail is an option if you’re replacing a lost, stolen, or damaged plate.
Colorado
x
Connecticut
x
Valid for 10 days.
Delaware
x
Florida
x
Valid for 30 days.
Georgia
x
Valid for 30 days.
Hawaii
x
Idaho
x
Valid for 30 days.
Illinois
x
You’ll be mailed a packet including a temporary tag.
Indiana
x
Valid for 96 hours or 30 days.
Iowa
x
Valid for 45 days.
Kansas
x
Valid for 30 days.
Kentucky
x
You get temporary tags when you register the vehicle; use them until your permanent tags arrive in the mail.
Louisiana
x
Valid for 60 days.
Maine
x
x
In the case of registration/plate sticker renewal, you can use the state’s Rapid Renewal system to renew online and then print a temporary, 7-day registration until your stickers arrive.
Maryland
x
Valid for 30 days.
Massachusetts The RMV doesn’t issue temporary tags.
Michigan
x
Valid for 30 or 60 days.
Minnesota
x
Valid for 21 days, or 60 if you’re awaiting specialty plates.
Mississippi
x
Valid for 7 days.
Missouri
x
Montana
x
Valid for 40 days.
Nebraska
x
Valid for 30 days or as otherwise stated.
Nevada
x
Valid for 30 days.
New Hampshire
x
Valid for 20 days.
New Jersey
x
Valid for 20 days.
New Mexico
x
Valid for 30 days.
New York
x
Valid for 30 days.
North Carolina
x
Valid for 30 days.
North Dakota
x
Also available at law enforcement agencies. Valid for 30 days.
Ohio
x
Valid for 30 days.
Oklahoma You can only get temporary tags from dealerships for vehicles purchased at the dealership. Valid for 30 days.
Oregon
x
Valid for 21 days.
Pennsylvania
x
Valid for 90 days.
Rhode Island
x
Valid for 5 days.
South Carolina
x
Valid for 45 days.
South Dakota
x
Valid 5-15 days.
Tennessee
x
Generally only available for inspection or title problems.
Texas
x
Valid for 30 days.
Utah
x
Valid for 15 days.
Vermont
x
Valid for 60 days.
Virginia
x
Valid for 60 days.
Washington
x
Valid for up to 60 days.
West Virginia
x
x
Valid for up to 60 days. You can apply for title and registration by mail, but call ahead to ask if this option applies to temporary license plates, as well.
Wisconsin
x
x
x
Depending on the situation, temporary license plate agents might conduct the transaction online or by phone.
Wyoming
x
Valid for 30, 60, or 90 days depending on your situation.
Washington DC
x
Valid for 45 days for the purpose of getting a vehicle inspected and registered.

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