Standard Registration Plates
Pennsylvania's Standard Registration Plate
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, www.visitPA.com.
Pennsylvania also offers Special Fund,
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 Schedule of Fees,” for additional fee information.
Illegible Registration Plate Replacement
A registration plate is deemed illegible when one or more numbers or letters cannot be recognized from 50 feet or if the registration plate shows any blistering, peeling, discoloration or loss of reflectivity. When a registration plate becomes illegible, PennDOT has two main ways of replacing them.
First, 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. Vehicle safety inspection mechanics are authorized representatives of PennDOT for purposes of determining if a registration plate is legible.
To apply for a free standard registration plate, the vehicle owner should visit any official Pennsylvania inspection station for verification that their registration 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 registration 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 the completed Form MV-46 or Form MV-44 (PDF) to PennDOT in order to receive a replacement registration plate free of charge.
For more information about this program, please reference the Registration Plate Re-Issuance Fact Sheet (Illegible Registration Plate Replacement) FAQ.
Second, the law also allows PennDOT to order a general registration plate reissuance. Standard issue passenger registration plates that start with the tag configuration 'D', 'E', 'F', and truck registration plates that start with the tag configuration 'Y' are the oldest on the road and need to be replaced. So, if you have a standard issue registration plate beginning with a 'D', 'E', 'F' or 'Y' configurations, you will get a new registration plate the next time your registration plate is transferred to a different vehicle.
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
as a "dead tag" on the vehicle record. By returning your Pennsylvania registration plate to PennDOT, this will help protect you.