Standard License Plates

Standard California license plates verify registration and help identify passenger vehicles, commercial motor vehicles, motorcycles, permanent trailers, trailer coaches, and park trailers.

Standard license plates are issued when you:

  • Buy a new vehicle.
  • Replace lost, stolen, or damaged plates.
  • Surrender special interest license plates.

You can also apply for special interest plates, special plates, Disabled Person (DP) plates, or Disabled Veteran (DV) plates.

Passenger Vehicles Statutory Authority: California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§4850, 9250 and Revenue and Taxation Code (RT) §§10751, 10752

Commercial Motor Vehicles Statutory Authority: CVC §§4840, 9250.1, 9400 and RT §§10751, 10752

Motorcycles Statutory Authority: CVC §§4850, 9250.1 and RT §§ 10751, 10752

Permanent Trailers Statutory Authority: CVC §§5011, 5014.1, 5017

In 2001, the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) program went into effect for trailers with expiring registration and trailers registered for the first time in California on or after December 31, 2001. Camp trailers are subject to the new law, but trailer coaches and park trailers are excluded.

Trailers Statutory Authority: CVC §§4850, 9250.1 and RT §§10751, 10752

Trailers designed for human habitation or human occupancy are exempt from the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) program and receive trailer license plates. These include:

  • Trailer coaches
  • Park trailers

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