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What You Need to Know About License Plate Registration

A license plate is a unique identifier for a motor vehicle. It is typically alphanumeric, but can also be surface printed or embossed. Some jurisdictions have a separate numbering system for government and police vehicles, while others replate their motoring public on a rolling basis.

One of the first things you should know about license plate registration is that you will have to pay a fee before you can receive your new plate. This may be a set amount or a per plate fee. In addition, there may be fees for issuance of special plates. You can find detailed information on this topic from your county tax collector.

Most state governments issue standard-sized license plates that are 6 inches wide by 12 inches long. These plates are usually white with a light blue or tan background. They are used on passenger cars and trucks, but can be used on some utility vehicles. Unlike standard passenger license plates, some police cars and fire trucks have a color coded sticker that is inverted. There are several types of specialty plates, as well, but these tend to be more expensive.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) in Florida offers a number of specialty license plates, but they can be costly. For example, the Purple Heart plate recognizes the service of the military’s valiant heroes, while the United States Postal Service uses a unique identification number on the body of their vehicles.

Specialty license plates are often not practical for large fleet operators, but they can be of interest to other business owners. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers a list of available specialty license plates on their website. Besides offering these plates, Florida provides free license plate registration for active members of the U.S. Reserve or Florida National Guard. Applicants must meet a few criteria to qualify. Among them are: a 100% service connected disability rating, proof of Florida insurance, and a resident of the state.

Embossed or surface-printed specialty plates are available for those who have the money to spend. Other specialty plates include the POW specialty plate, which celebrates the valor of prisoners of war. Another one is the Amateur Radio call sign, which is standardized nationwide under the FCC and the ITU.

Those who want to display a license plate with a bit more oomph can purchase a vanity plate. A vanity plate is a type of specialty plate that is not tied to a specific vehicle. Examples of vanity plates are those with a nature scene or school logo. Additionally, some states have a program that allows the alums of a particular school to obtain a specialty license plate to commemorate their school.

The best way to determine which license plate is right for you is to check with your local tax collector. Many counties compete over the cost of vehicle registration fees. Typically, you can save some money by registering your vehicle on Oahu or Hawaii, where you can get a discount for purchasing your new or used vehicle.

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