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Standard Registration PLATES

Pennsylvania's Standard Registration Plate
Image of a Standard Issue Pennsylvania License Plate

A First-Class Plate for a First-Class State. Did you know that in 1999, Pennsylvania became the first state to use its official website on its standard issue registration plate? In 2003, the design of the standard issue registration plate was modified to include the state's official tourism website,

Pennsylvania also offers Special Fund,  Military and Special Organization* registration plates, the majority of which can be personalized. For more information, please reference the Personalized Registration Plates Fact Sheet (PDF). Before applying, you can check availability of personalized registration plates online.
*Please contact your organization directly to obtain an application for a Special Organization Registration Plate.

Registration fees include the cost of a standard registration plate for first time issuance. Additional fees apply for specialty registration plates.  Refer to Form MV-70S (PDF), “Bureau of Motor Vehicle Fees,” for additional fee information.


Act 133 of 2008 eliminated the requirement for PennDOT to replace registration plates every 10 years. This measure  saved the commonwealth approximately $59 million over  three years. Prior to the law going into effect, PennDOT was required to replace registration plates every 10 years.

The law  allows PennDOT to replace a registration plate upon request of a vehicle owner when an authorized representative of PennDOT or law enforcement determines that a registration plate is illegible  Effective Jan. 26, 2009, safety  inspection mechanics are authorized representatives of PennDOT for purposes of  determining if the registration plate is legible.

NOTE: A registration plate is deemed illegible when one or more numbers or letters cannot be recognized from 50 feet or if the plate shows any blistering, peeling, discoloration or loss of reflectivity. 

To apply for a free standard registration plate, the vehicle owner should visit any official Pennsylvania inspection station for verification that their plate is illegible and receive Form MV-46, “Application to Replace Registration Plate,” from the station OR have a law enforcement official verify the need for a replacement plate on Form MV-44 (PDF), “Application for Duplicate Registration Card, Replacement Registration Plate or Weight Class Sticker,” obtained from PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services forms and publications. The vehicle owner is then responsible for signing and returning either Form MV-46 or Form MV-44  (PDF) to PennDOT in order to receive a replacement registration plate free of charge.

For more information, please reference the Registration Plate Re-Issuance Fact Sheet (Illegible Registration Plate Replacement) FAQ.

Returning a Registration Plate

If you are returning a Pennsylvania registration plate that is no longer valid or required, please return the Pennsylvania registration plate to: 

Bureau of Motor Vehicles 
Return Tag Unit 
P.O. Box 68597 
Harrisburg, PA 17106-8597 

Once your plate has been received by PennDOT, it will be marked as a "dead tag" on the vehicle record. By returning your Pennsylvania registration plate to PennDOT, this will help protect you.