Standard California license plates are issued when you buy a new vehicle, replace lost, stolen, or mutilated plates, or turn in special interest license plates. License plates identify the type of registration you have (commercial, passenger, trailer, etc.) and provide law enforcement a means of locating the owner through DMV records. Standard license plates can be replaced by submitting an application for duplicate plates, or by visiting a DMV field office.
Exclusions: The letters I, O, and Q are not used in the first or third alpha positions of the alpha-numeric series.
Statutory Authority: Vehicle Code (VC) §§4850, 9250 and Revenue and Taxation Code (RT) §§10751, 10752
Commercial Motor Vehicles
Exclusions: The letters I and O are not used in the six-digit alpha-numeric series. I, O, and Q are not used in the seven-digit alpha-numeric series.
Statutory Authority: VC §§4840, 9250.1, 9400 and RT §§10751, 10752
Statutory Authority: VC §§4850, 9250.1 and RT §§ 10751, 10752
Permanent Trailer Identification License Plates
In 2001, the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) program went into effect with registrations expiring and trailers being registered for the first time in California on or after December 31, 2001. Camp trailers are subject to the new law, but trailer coaches, and park trailers are excluded. For more information on the PTI program follow this link.
Statutory Authority: VC §§5011, 5014.1, 5017
Trailer License Plates
Issued to trailer coaches and park trailers.
Exclusions: The letters I, O, and Q are not used.
Statutory Authority: VC §§4850, 9250.1 and RT §§10751, 10752