Nevada license plates have been issued in the current Sunset design since 2001. When you obtain new plates, the DMV charges a Prison Industry fee of 50 cents per plate in addition to any registration fees due. Personalized and specialty plates carry additional fees.
A registration renewal is not required if you are simply changing license plates and the registration is not due. The DMV will charge a $5 substitute plate fee in addition to any applicable plate fees. You must visit a DMV Full Service office or a County Assessor office which offers vehicle registration services to obtain new plates.
License Plate Display
Nevada law requires most vehicles to display front and rear license plates at all times, except motorcycles and trailers, which require only a rear plate. You must display both plates if the vehicle is designed for a front plate or if the manufacturer offers an add-on bracket or frame.
Front plates are optional only if 1) the vehicle was not designed for a front plate and 2) the manufacturer did not provide an add-on bracket or other means of displaying the front plate. (NRS 482.275)
The DMV issues two plates (except motorcycles and trailers). If the second plate is not displayed, it is the owner's responsibility to store the second plate and surrender or return both plates to the department at the appropriate time.
License plates must at all times be securely fastened to the vehicle so as to prevent the plate from swinging and at a height not less than 12 inches from the ground, measuring from the bottom of such plate, in a place and position to be clearly visible. It must be maintained free from foreign materials and in a condition to be clearly legible.
License plate specifications call for plates to be readable from a distance of 100 feet during daylight. At night, plates must be readable from 110 feet and visible from 1,500 feet when lit by standard headlights. (NRS 482.270)
Registration decals which indicate the month and year of expiration are placed on the upper right-hand corner of the rear plate. Your registration expires on the exact date listed on the slip; it is not valid until the end of the month.
Nevada license plates are issued to people and businesses, not to vehicles. You may transfer your existing plates to a new vehicle. Plate transfers between individuals require a witnessed statement which can be completed at the DMV at the time of registration.
Motorcycles and trailers under 1,000 pounds gross weight are issued small plates. Trailers 1,000 pounds and over are issued a full-size plate.
Frames & Covers
Plate frames or covers are not prohibited as long as the above requirements are met and the plate is clearly legible.
Selling A Vehicle
Keep your license plates if you are selling a vehicle! Nevada license plates are issued to people and businesses, not to vehicles. Nevada law requires you to either use the plates on another vehicle or turn them in for cancellation within 30 days of the sale. If you wish to retain personalized plates for a longer period, you must surrender the decal. See Selling A Vehicle and Plate Surrender/Refunds.
The buyer must get insurance and a movement permit from the DMV to be able to drive the vehicle on public streets. If you wish to give your plates to the buyer, for example on a classic vehicle, you must complete a License Plate Release (SP 67). Registration fee credits will not be transferred.
Plates You May See
Issued to auto dealers for use on vehicles held for sale in the dealers inventory. The DMV issues similar plates to other automotive businesses such as body shops, transporters and wreckers.
Plates with the word "LOAN" are issued to dealers for use on vehicles they loan to customers.
Exempt plates are issued to state and local government entities which are exempt from paying Nevada Governmental Services Taxes. See Exempt License Plates.
Issued to trucking firms, bus lines and other businesses which pay registration fees to multiple states. See Motor Carrier. Similar white plates without the word "Apportioned" are issued by Motor Carrier for vehicles used within Nevada only and for trailers.
Several plate styles are no longer issued by the Nevada DMV but remain valid for registration. See Discontinued Plates.