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New License Plates for Nevada Vehicle Owners

If you live in the great state of Nevada, your DMV has made several registration related changes. From a new standard plate design, a new specialty plate honoring heroes, and changes to plate replacement requirements, it was a busy 2016 for the DMV. Every vehicle owner in the state will eventually be affected by these changes, so it’s important to learn about them whether you are a long time resident or recent transplant.

A New Standard Plate Design

The Governor of Nevada announced the decision for the change was to highlight some of the most recognized elements in the geography. The Silver State, well known for its mountainous terrain, is represented with iconic elements of its territory like the Ruby Mountains, the desert in Red Rock Canyon, and the beautiful Lake Tahoe among other things with the new plate design. Once you’ve requested your plate, the DMV will mail it straight to you. The DMV expects to mail at least 380,000 plates this year.

Brave Men and Woman Honored

Nevada has dozens of specialty plates available that allows vehicle in owners in the state to display a unique design and support a cause. Few would argue against a specialty license plate that honors Silver and Bronze Star medal veteran recipients. In honor of combat veterans, the Nevada DMV released the Silver Star and Bronze Star Specialty plates. These are a welcome addition to the over 20 veteran specialty plates that Nevada offers.

Mandatory Plate Replacements

In July, 2016, the state DMV announced that mandatory plate replacements was in effect for license plates 8 years or older. Because older plates can become faded and sometimes unreadable, replacements with the same plate number and design are being issued to vehicle owner’s after they renew. The new standard “Home Means Nevada” plate design must be requested if desired. Additionally, not all vehicle owners will be issued new plates even though they may have had them more than 8 years. The state will be replacing these over time and will notify owners with mailers when they are up for plate replacement. Thereafter, every vehicle owner will be issued a new plate every 8 years. While this process is new in Nevada, states like Florida have had this mandatory plate replacement in process for years.

Not all plates fall under the mandatory plate replacement law. Some exempt styles include Blue plates manufactured through December 1981, Circa 1982 Replica plates manufactured up until June 2015, and 125th and 150th Nevada State Anniversary plates. For those that do receive new plate replacements, the old plates should be mailed back to the DMV address provided on the notice.

While the DMV has budgeted for most of the cost of these mandatory plate replacements, there some associated fees. This includes fees such as Plate Cost Recovery Fee ($3.50), Prison Industry fee (50 cents) and a Technology fee ($1) for plate replacements in some areas of the state.

Proper Plate Placement

With all these changes to Nevada plates the last few months, you might be left with some unanswered questions.

  • Front and Rear License plates – Nevada laws requires that most all vehicle have both a front and rear license plate fixed to the vehicle. Exceptions include vehicles not originally designed with front license plate mounts or for which the manufacturer did not provide add-on brackets, motorcycles, and trailers. If you are issued a second plate and your vehicle is exempt, you must return the second plate to the DMV
  • Decal placement – Decals are to be placed on the upper right hand corner of the rear plate. If you are receiving a new plate, you may get the decal before the plate. It is imperative that you hold on to the decal until you get your new plate in the mail and affix the new decal to the new plate and not the old plate which you will eventually return.


  • Selling your vehicle, keep or surrender the plate – Whether you have recently received a new plate or have been using the same plate for years, remember that the plate it issued to your name (or that of your business). If you sell the vehicle, the new owner must obtain their own plates and you can either transfer yours or turn it in to the DMV for cancelation.



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