You must replace your license plates and registration stickers immediately if they’re lost, stolen, damaged, or made illegible in any way. Here’s how you request duplicate or substitute license plates and stickers.
To replace your license plates, you’ll need:
- A completed application for your plate type.
- Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents (REG 156) for standard, disabled person/veteran, exempt, foreign organization, off-highway vehicle, or two-dolly plates.
- Special Interest License Plate Application (REG 17) for special interest license plates.
- Special Recognition License Plate Application (REG 17A) for special recognition plates.
- Application for Special Equipment Identification Plate (REG 88) for special equipment ID plates.
- Motorized Bicycle (Moped) Instructions/Application (REG 230) for motorized bicycle (moped) plates.
- A police report (if your plates were stolen).
- Any remaining license plates in your possession; these must be surrendered to DMV.
- Applicable fees.
If your plates were lost or stolen, you need to get substitute license plates with a new configuration. Otherwise, you can order duplicate plates if you have special plates.
Ordering Replacement Plates In-Person at DMV
To get your replacement plates in person at your nearest DMV:
- Submit your completed application.
- Show a valid California driver license or identification (DL/ID) card. If your DL/ID card is from another state or country, you must also show one of the following:
- Valid passport.
- Military ID card.
- ID card issued by a state or U.S. government agency.
- Student ID card issued by a college or university.
- ID card issued by a California-based employer.
- If your current address is different from the address in DMV records, you must show:
- Proof of vehicle ownership (for example, a copy of your title or your registration card).
- A police report, if your license plates were stolen.
- A Verification of Vehicle (REG 31) form completed by the California Highway Patrol (CHP), if replacement license plates were issued within the last 90 days.
- Surrender the remaining license plate(s).
- Pay the duplicate or substitute license plate fee.
Ordering Replacement Plates by Mail
To get your replacement plates by mail, you must:
- Be the registered owner of the vehicle.
- Have the same address that appears in DMV records.
- Submit a completed application.
- Surrender the remaining license plate(s).
- Pay a duplicate or substitute license plate fee.
- Mail the application, fee, and license plate(s) to the address on the form. If there is no address on the form, mail to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
PO Box 942869
Sacramento, CA 94269-0001
Replacing Registration Stickers
If the year sticker for your currently registered vehicle was lost, stolen, damaged, or is illegible, you must request a replacement sticker and pay a substitute sticker fee.
Submit a completed Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents (REG 156) and the fee to the address on the form or your local DMV office.
You may obtain a replacement month sticker at no cost from your local DMV or by calling our contact center at 1-800-777-0133 (if eligible).
Frequently Asked Questions
No, replacement license plates and stickers cannot be issued to vehicles that aren’t currently registered. You may obtain replacement license plates at the time you complete your vehicle registration renewal.
If you don’t receive your license plates and/or stickers and registration card within eight weeks of submitting an application, call us at 1-800-777-0133 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday to verify that they were issued.
If originals were mailed and not received, send a completed Application for Replacement Plates, Stickers, Documents (REG 156) to the address on the form to obtain replacements at no additional charge. You may legally operate your vehicle until you receive your new stickers and registration from DMV.(California Vehicle Code (CVC) §4606)Law enforcement agencies provide a grace period for receipt of mailed stickers, license plates, and registration.
Need something else?
Find the full list of applicable forms to replace license plates and registration stickers.
Find the fees for ordering substitute or duplicate license plates and replacement registration stickers.
Renew Your Vehicle Registration
You need to renew your vehicle registration every 1-5 years in California, depending on the vehicle. Make sure your registration is up-to-date.