Personalized plates with a special background design

Requirements

Personalized plates with a special background design allow you to put your personalized message on a special background design. You can purchase them for use on most vehicle types currently licensed in Washington State.

Acceptable messages

Your personalized plate:

  • Can have:
    • Standard-size plates: 1–7 characters (letters, numbers, hyphens, or spaces).
    • Motorcycle and small trailer plates: 1–6 characters (letters, numbers, hyphens, or spaces).
    (The stacked letters on most special background designs aren’t printed on personalized plates, and don’t count as characters.)
  • Can’t have:

To see if the plate you want is available, look up personalized plates.

Background designs available

You can request a personalized plate with most available special design plate backgrounds, except the following:

How to apply

If you don’t have personalized plates, or already have standard special design plates:

  1. Check to make sure the personalized plate you want is available and that your choice meets personalized plate requirements.
  2. Complete a Personalized License Plate Application.
  3. Submit your application and all licensing fees:
    • By mail to:
      Vehicle Licensing
      Department of Licensing
      PO Box 9909
      Olympia, WA 98507-8500
    • In person at:
      King County Licensing Section
      500 4th Ave, #401
      Seattle, WA 98104

If you already have standard personalized plates:

Visit a vehicle licensing office to add a special background design.

How to renew

There are 3 ways to renew:

Remember to update your Good To Go! account

If you have a Good To Go! electronic tolling pass, be sure to update the license plate number and contact information on your account when you get your new personalized plate. You can update your account with the Department of Transportation:

Fees

First-time fees

The total cost of your personalized plates with a special background design will depend on the type of vehicle you are licensing and the type of license plates you already have. Please contact a vehicle licensing office to determine the exact cost for new plates.

Renewal fees

When you renew the tabs for your personalized plates with a special background design, you must pay all the following fees:

If your tabs are due to expire within 6 months, you can calculate your vehicle tab fees to find out how much it will cost to renew.

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