How to Get a Personalized License Plate in Iowa

Show your wit and wisdom to all your fellow Iowans every time you drive by adding a personalized license plate to your vehicle. And, with many specialty design plates to choose from, you can add even more personality to your unique message. Read on for more information about how to get a personalized license plate in Iowa.


  1. Image titled Market a Product Step 1
    Go to the Iowa Department of Transportation website,, and download an Application for Personalized Plates, Form #411222.
    • Obtain this application by clicking on one of the plate designs offered by the Iowa Department of Transportation. In addition to standard plates, you can choose plates that represent Iowa state universities, breast cancer awareness, natural resources, Armed Forces and more.
    • Fill the form out online and print, or print the application and fill it out manually.
  2. Image titled Buy a Stock Without a Stockbroker Step 10
    Select "New Application," "Reinstatement, Plate Needed" or "Reinstatement Only, No Plate Needed" as the reason for your application.
  3. Image titled Write a Letter for Proof of Income Step 1
    Print or type your name, address, current plate number (if applicable), county of residence, daytime phone number, and any leasing information, if applicable.
    • Include a copy of the leasing agreement with your application if the vehicle is leased.
    • Add lessee name and address if vehicle is not leased by you.
  4. Image titled Be a Successful Entrepreneur Step 3
    Check the appropriate box next to the Vehicle Type.
  5. Image titled Be a Successful Entrepreneur Step 2
    Enter up to 5 choices for your personalized license plate.
    • Explain the meaning of each choice in the box directly below each entry.
  6. Image titled Apply for a PhD in the US Step 21
    Mail the completed form and check or money order for $25 to the Iowa Department of Transportation Office of Vehicle Services, P.O. Box 9278, Des Moines, Iowa 50306.
  7. Image titled Prepare a Power of Attorney Step 11
    Pick up your plates from a local county treasurer's office once you are notified that they are ready.
    • Turn in your old plates when picking up your personalized plates, if applicable.


  • Pay an annual fee to retain your personalized license plates. Note that this fee is in addition to regular registration renewal fees. Fees vary depending on type of plate design chosen.
  • You can purchase a personalized license plate in Iowa as a gift. Fill in the Gift section of the application if you are ordering plates as a gift.
  • Applications may also be picked up at a local county treasurer's office or requested by mail from the Office of Vehicle Services in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • Personalized license plates in Iowa are allowed for passenger cars, motorcycles, large and small trailers, trucks, motor homes, travel trailers and tractor trailers.
  • You may use up to 7 characters, which include both letters and numbers, for a personalized license plate in Iowa. Motorcycles, small trailers and trucks for business trade use up to 6 characters and numbers. Plates can have a minimum of 2 characters.


  • Do not use numbers only.
  • Personalized license plates in Iowa are canceled if not used on a vehicle within 90 days. Voided plates are not refunded.
  • Do not use a duplication of letters, such as 000AAA or Z999.
  • Do not use profanity, obscenities, sexual connotations, or any words or phrases deemed offensive. Plate choices seen as offensive will be rejected.

Article Info

Categories: Personalized and Specialty License Plates