Standard California license plates verify registration and help identify passenger vehicles, commercial motor vehicles, motorcycles, permanent trailers, trailer coaches, and park trailers.
Standard license plates are issued when you:
- Buy a new vehicle.
- Replace lost, stolen, or damaged plates.
- Surrender special interest license plates.
Passenger Vehicles Statutory Authority: California Vehicle Code (CVC) §§4850, 9250 and Revenue and Taxation Code (RT) §§10751, 10752
Commercial Motor Vehicles Statutory Authority: CVC §§4840, 9250.1, 9400 and RT §§10751, 10752
Motorcycles Statutory Authority: CVC §§4850, 9250.1 and RT §§ 10751, 10752
Permanent Trailers Statutory Authority: CVC §§5011, 5014.1, 5017
In 2001, the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) program went into effect for trailers with expiring registration and trailers 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.
Trailers Statutory Authority: CVC §§4850, 9250.1 and RT §§10751, 10752
Trailers designed for human habitation or human occupancy are exempt from the Permanent Trailer Identification (PTI) program and receive trailer license plates. These include:
- Trailer coaches
- Park trailers
Need something else?
California License Plates
License plates verify that your vehicle is registered, identify the type of registration you have, and help connect vehicles to their owners.
Replacement Plates & Stickers
Were your license plates or registration stickers lost, stolen, or damaged? Replace them!
Renew Your Vehicle Registration
You need to renew your vehicle registration every 1-5 years in California, depending on the vehicle. Keep your registration up-to-date.