How to Check If a Vanity Plate Is Taken

by Nick Davis

Available from your area's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), vanity license plates are a way of expressing yourself via your automobile. The plates, also known as special interest license plates, let you place a combination of letters and numbers to spell out a message. If the message is already claimed by someone else, you cannot use it. Each vanity plate is unique and fees vary from area to area. Before obtaining your vanity plate, you need to check to see if the message is already taken by someone else.

Visiting the DMV

Write down on a piece of paper the message you want on your vanity plate. Visit your area's DMV office.

Give the representative your vanity plate message. Ask the DMV representative to perform a search through your state's license plate records to see if your vanity plate message is available.

Complete the vanity plate application, if your message is not already taken, and give it to the DMV representative for processing.

Calling the DMV

Write down on a piece of paper the message you want on your vanity plate. Call your area's DMV office.

Ask the DMV representative to perform a search through your state's license plate records to see if your vanity plate message is available. Provide the representative your vanity plate message.

Visit your area's Department of Motor Vehicles to complete the vanity plate application, if your message is not already taken.

Online

Write down on a piece of paper the message you want on your vanity plate. Call your area's DMV office.

Ask the DMV representative for the address of the website for checking to see if a vanity plate message is already taken. Write down the website address on a piece of paper.

Open your computer's Internet browser. Enter the website's address in the “Address” box at the top of your browser's screen. Press the “Enter” or “Return” key on your computer's keyboard.

Enter your message in the website's search box and click “Search” or similar wording. Follow the website's on-screen prompts to order your vanity plate if your message is not already taken.

Tip

  • check Note, your plate will not be made immediately. The DMV representative or DMV website will tell you when your vanity plate will be ready for pickup.

Items you will need

About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera wv license plate image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com