How to Get Commercial License Plates

by Sameerah BlueUpdated June 29, 2023
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Having to put your business on hold because your company vehicles don't have the right license plates or vehicle registration can cost you time and money. The best way to prevent these kinds of holds is to make sure that your company vehicle for commercial purposes has the proper license plates from the beginning. In most gov states the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has streamlined their process by allowing you to make appointments and download forms online, taking a lot of the hassle and stress out of getting a commercial license plate. You will still have to make a trip to the DMV, but now you won't have to spend your entire day there.

1. Contact the DMV

Contact the DMV and apply for a commercial driver license. You can get the application forms for a commercial driver license from your local DMV office. Some states will allow you to download the forms online, but you will still have to submit the forms in person.

2. Take your Driver Test

Take your driver test. Even if you already have a driver license for personal use the DMV may still require you to take both a written and a road test to show that you are capable of operating a commercial vehicle. This is especially Important if you have an out-of-state license Once you pass the tests you will be issued a commercial driver license. Most DMV offices will allow you to make an appointment online for both the written and road tests.

3. Register your Vehicle

Register your vehicle with commercial vehicle registration. After you have a commercial driver license you will have to register the vehicle with the DMV to get your commercial license plates. Take your commercial driver license, proof of insurance, title, and any other ownership papers into the DMV. And bring your credit card for registration fees, sales tax, and vehicle use tax. Once you have shown that you are the registered owner of the vehicle you will be issued your commercial license plates and decals for your commercial motor vehicle.


if your commercial truck, pick-up truck, semi-trailer or vehicle will go outside of the country, you’ll need a international registration plan. this is not necessary for intrastate travel.


Depending on your type of vehicle, like if it hauls hazardous materials or is a heavy vehicle, you might need a gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) for weight limits. This is your responsibility as the vehicle owner.

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