Pennsylvania License Plate Information Summary
Pennsylvania license plates are issued the first time you register a vehicle in the state or buy your first car. Once you have your initial plate, you can transfer it to a new vehicle you purchase. You will also get a sticker that indicates when you need to renew your registration and your Pennsylvania license plate.
Pennsylvania License Plates Offered
Pennsylvania offers standard, vanity, disability and organizational license plates. Contact PennDOT for more information.
You only need to have a license plate on the rear of your vehicle. You can put your registration sticker anywhere on the plate that does not obscure the numbers.
Your dealership can issue you a temporary Pennsylvania license plate that's good for 90 days. You can also apply for your own temporary license plate at PennDOT, though we recommend simply buying new plates while you're there.
When You Need To Get Pennsylvania License Plates
You need to get Pennsylvania license plates within 20 days of moving to the state. With temporary tags, you have 90 days. If you buy your vehicle in a private sale and don't get temporary tags, you need to get your plate on the day of sale.
Keeping Your License Plates Up To Date
You need to renew your license plates when you renew your registration. You should get a reminder notice in the mail. When you renew your Pennsylvania license plate, you will get a new sticker as well.
If Your Pennsylvania License Plate Is Stolen
You do not need to file a police report if your Pennsylvania license plate is damaged or stolen. Instead, you must get a new plate through the mail.
- Fill out Form MV-44, and send it to the address on the form.
- Be sure to enclose a check or money order for $11 to cover the cost of the new plate.
Transferring Or Surrendering Your License Plates
It costs $2 to transfer your license plate from an older vehicle to a newer one you have purchased.
You must surrender your plate if you move out of state or cancel your auto insurance.
You can do so at a PennDOT office, or mail them to:
- Bureau of Motor Vehicles
- Return Tag Unit
- P.O. Box 68597
- Harrisburg, PA 17106
Pennsylvania License Plate Costs
- A standard Pennsylvania license plate is $37.
- A plate for a motorcycle is $17.