New Jersey License Plate Search Online

New Jersey License Plates

A New Jersey license plate is an identification plate, or tag issued by New Jersey authorities and affixed to the front or rear of a vehicle to serve as a unique identifier for the vehicle. License plates are issued in the state by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) upon the completion of registration for a vehicle. Per state law, all motor vehicles, with an exception for certain categories, are required to be registered with the MVC. When you complete your vehicle's titling and registration process, you will be issued two license plates – one for the front and the other for the rear. Trailers, motorcycles, motorized bicycles, and autocycles are issued only one license plate.

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission issues the following types of license plates:

  • Standard Issue: The standard issue license plate is the default license plate type issued to passenger vehicles
  • Dedicated Plates: A dedicated plate carries a connotation of the customer's special interest. Approved dedicated plates by the New Jersey MVC include conserve wildlife, pinelands, animal-friendly, and organ-donor
  • Personalized Plates: A personalized plate is customized according to the interest of the customer but must be approved by the MVC
  • Specialty or Organizational Plates: An organizational plate is issued to a member of a qualified community, non-profit service, alumni organization in New Jersey. It can also commemorate the civic contributions and achievements of a group. The New Jersey MVC also issues three additional plate types in this category: volunteer workers, military personnel, and professionals
  • Sports Plates: The sports plate is typically issued to an individual opting to showcase their personal inclinations to registered sports trademarks such as NHL, MLB, MBA, and NASCAR
  • Special Vehicle Plates: The special license plate is issued to owners of modified antique automobiles manufactured prior to 1949 that are registered in a New Jersey street rod club or an affiliate of the National Street Rod Association Incorporated
  • Disability Plates: A disability plate is issued for a vehicle registered either to the qualified individual with a disability or to one family member who provides the qualified person with transportation

New Jersey License Plate Design and Formats

New Jersey's standard license plate design has a reflective yellow to gradient white background and the word "New Jersey" shown at the center top. There are black outlines for registration stickers at the top, and the actual serial character for the plate in black font is centered in the middle of the design but with the first three characters separated from the rest by a state-shaped separator. The standard-issue design also has "Garden State" screened at the bottom in a black font.

New Jersey personalized plates have a minimum of three letters but no more than seven characters in a combination of letters and numbers. Special interest plates can be personalized with up to five characters.

Standard license plate:

Special license plates:

* Source: New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

New Jersey Vanity License Plate

Vanity license plates are personalized or custom plates that allow a vehicle owner to choose a specific combination of letters, numbers, or both to reflect their name, hobby, personal preference, or another unique message. Vanity license plates are personalized plates that allow vehicle owners to choose a specific combination of serials (alphanumeric) to reflect their personal preferences or any other unique message.

Note that any combination of numbers, alphabetic characters, or both carrying connotations offensive to good taste and decency, are not accepted by the MVC for use in personalized plates. The MVC issues personalized license plates to passenger vehicles, motorcycles, and commercial codes 11 and 15 vehicles. Motorcycle plates issued as personalized plates are limited to five spaces.

Some license plate combinations are reserved for groups or special vehicles, such as government agencies, automobile dealers, doctors, and automobile collectors. These plates are not available to the public as personalized plates.

Personalized license plate combinations in New Jersey are limited to a minimum of three letters and no more than seven characters, including letters, numbers, or a combination of both. Punctuation marks and symbols, such as the silhouette of New Jersey, are not allowed. Each character takes up a full space on the plate, and the plate can accommodate a maximum of seven characters or spaces.

The same combination can be issued for more than one vehicle owned or leased by the same person, but no more than six spaces can be used. Additional sets of plates will be denoted with a smaller dash number (-2, -3) following the registration number (for instance, JOHN-2, KIERAN-3). A separate application and a $50 fee are required for each additional set of plates. Combinations consisting of three letters and the numbers 1 through 20 are considered "Courtesy Plates", and approval from the Senator of your election district is required before submitting your request. The MVC charges a $30 fee for a "Courtesy Plate".

According to the law governing the issuance of personalized license plates in New Jersey, individuals with certain recent convictions are ineligible to receive such plates. Specifically, personalized plates may not be issued to anyone convicted of the following offenses within the last 10 years:

  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or while ability is impaired by alcohol, or refusing to undergo a breathalyzer test
  • Reckless driving
  • Individuals convicted of vehicular homicide

Additionally, individuals whose driving privileges in New Jersey have been revoked or suspended for any reason within the two years preceding the date of application are ineligible for personalized or courtesy plates. However, they may reapply for such plates two years after their driving privileges are restored.

You can order a personalized license plate online except if the vehicle is leased. If the vehicle is leased, contact the MVC's Special Plates Unit at (609) 292-6500 ext. 5061. Note that when using the online option to complete your application, your MyMVC account number will be required.

You can also apply for a vanity plate by completing the Personalized License Plate Application (SP-1 form). Send the completed application and a $50 check or money order made payable to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to:

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
Special Plate Unit
PO Box 15
Trenton, NJ 08666-0015

Vanity license plates will be issued to the registered owner stated on the application. However, the plates may be reissued to a different name, but another $50 will be required. The New Jersey MVC honors vanity license plate requests on a first-come, first-serve basis. If your registration expires for a period of more than two years, an additional $50 fee will be required to reactivate the use of the vanity license plates. For more information on New Jersey vanity plates, see the Information About Personalized License Plates.

Most Popular License Plate in New Jersey

Common special interest plates in license plate numbers in New Jersey are:

New Jersey License Plate Lookup

A license plate lookup is the process of retrieving information about a vehicle registered to a particular license plate number. This information can include details about the vehicle's make, year, model, and history (such as accident reports or insurance status). You may need to conduct a license plate look-up when buying a used vehicle in order to check the history of a vehicle and verify the Vehicle Identification Number.

You can look up vehicle records with a license plate number by visiting a NJMVC location. Alternatively, you can use the Recordsfinder website to perform an online license plate lookup. Note that personal information associated with motor vehicle records is prohibited from disclosure. Hence, the Recordsfinder website will only reveal non-sensitive information. However, law enforcement, pursuant to legal permission, may be able to assess sensitive information at an NJMVC location.

New Jersey Reverse License Plate Search

Both a license plate search and a reverse license plate number search allow you to obtain vehicle-related details online, and both terms are often used interchangeably. Recordsfinder offers services for conducting both license plate and reverse license plate searches. However, Recordsfinder complies with federal and state laws to protect the privacy of sensitive motorists' records by making only non-sensitive information available in a reverse license plate search.

What Do I Need to Get a License Plate in New Jersey?

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission issues license plates after you have completed the title and registration for your vehicle. If you bought your vehicle from a dealership in New Jersey, the dealership will handle the vehicle registration and title work for you. However, if you did not receive a title from the dealer, you must title your vehicle within 10 days of the purchase date to avoid a penalty fee.

If you purchase a new vehicle from an out-of-state dealer, verify the specific titling process required by New Jersey with the dealership, as this process may differ. Vehicle titles may be acquired at an MVC Vehicle Center, but the vehicle owner must appear in person. MVC vehicle Centers require that you schedule an appointment prior to your visit. The Center requires that you pay sales tax on the actual vehicle price and show the Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO) with the sales tax-satisfied stamp.

The following requirements apply when titling a vehicle:

  • If the vehicle is financed, you must provide the lien holder's address and Entity Identification Number. The original vehicle title will be sent to the lien holder
  • Passenger vehicles or light-duty trucks weighing less than 8,500 pounds that are 2009 model year and later are required to comply with California Low Emission Vehicle Program standards
  • New vehicles may be subject to New Jersey's Luxury and Fuel Inefficient Surcharge (LFIS). If the vehicle qualifies for the Surcharge, you must calculate an additional 0.4% of the gross sales or lease price
  • For your convenience, the MVC accepts American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Discover, checks, money orders, and cash
  • The title fee for a standard vehicle is $60, $85 for a financed vehicle with one lien, $110 for a financed vehicle with two liens

For more information on titling a vehicle in New Jersey, see the vehicle title page of the NJMVC website.

To register a vehicle with the NJMVC, follow these steps:

  • Schedule an appointment with the NJMVC
  • Bring the following to your appointment:
  • Title
  • Driver's license or other acceptable photo ID
  • New Jersey insurance card or company name & policy number
  • Completed Form BA-49 (Vehicle Registration Application Form)
  • Power of attorney if another individual other than the purchaser is signing the documents
  • Dealer reassignment documentation, if applicable
  • if the vehicle is leased or financed, lien holder information and financing statement
  • If transferred from another state, a completed Application for Certificate of Ownership
  • Motor Vehicle Commission Entity Identification Number if the purchaser is a company or business
  • If the vehicle is purchased at auction and the vehicle is non-titled, the following are required:
    • Notarized bill of sale
    • The last previously issued registration document
    • Pencil tracing or photograph of the VIN plate
  • A purchase order if the vehicle is transferred from a state-issuing title but the title does not have a New Jersey Dealer Tax Stamp
  • If transferred from a state not issuing titles:
    • Notarized statement from the seller, including the vehicle's manufacture year, make, VIN, and selling price
    • Pencil tracing or photo of the VIN
    • The last vehicle registration card from the seller

Note that the vehicle registration fee varies depending on the type of vehicle. To calculate the approximate registration fee, use the NJMVC Registration Fee Calculator. For more information on completing a vehicle registration process with the NJMVC, see the vehicle registration page of the Commission's website.

Differences Between a Passenger License Plate and a Commercial License Plate in New Jersey

While the NJMVC issues standard passenger license plates to passenger cars used for personal purposes, a commercial license plate is a license plate affixed to a commercial vehicle. The NJMVC lists vehicles classified as commercial vehicles on its commercial vehicle and registration information page.

Some key differences between passenger and commercial license plates in New Jersey are:

Features Passenger License Plate Commercial License Plate
Vehicle Use Personal For hire, profit, or compensation
Requirements for obtaining Completed vehicle titling and registration with the New Jersey MVC and payment for the appropriate fee Completed vehicle titling and registration process with the NJMVC. However, the vehicle must be registered as a commercial vehicle

How to Renew License Plate in New Jersey

Typically, the NJMVC will send you a vehicle registration renewal notice to the email on file with the Commission three months before your current vehicle registration expires. You can renew your license plates once you follow the steps in the notice to renew your registration.

You can renew your vehicle registration online, in person, or by mail. To renew your registration online, visit the NJMVC vehicle registration renewal portal. You will need to have the following items to use the portal for renewal:

  • Your registration renewal form
  • Valid insurance company identification and policy number
  • Valid credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express)

Note that you can only use the portal to complete a vehicle registration renewal if your vehicle class is listed in the NJMVC registration codes list. For more information on how the renewal portal works, see the NJMVC FAQs page.

If you are ineligible to renew your vehicle registration online, you must schedule an appointment with the NJMVC to renew your registration. Bring the following to your appointment:

  • Registration Renewal Notice or Vehicle Identification Number
  • Your insurance card or company name and policy number
  • License plate number
  • Proof of ID (Driver's license or other acceptable ID document
  • Power of Attorney if renewing a registration for another individual
  • The amount due as indicated in your registration renewal notice. Payment can be made by cash, money order, checks (payable to NJMVC), credit or debit card
  • Completed Application for Vehicle Registration (Form BA-49)

At the NJMVC:

  • Complete the Registration Renewal document, front and back
  • Pay the fee and submit the required documents at the designated registration window

If completing your renewal by mail, include the following in your submission and ensure the address can be seen through the envelope window:

  • Completed Registration Renewal Notice. Both front and back must be filled out
  • Return envelope provided along with the notice
  • Check or money order (made payable to NJMVC) for the amount indicated in your renewal notice
  • Submit the NJMVC address specified in the renewal notice

For more information on vehicle registration renewal, see the registration renewal page of the NJMVC website.

How to Transfer a License Plate in New Jersey

If you are changing vehicles in New Jersey, the NJMVC allows you to transfer plates from the old vehicle to a new vehicle as long as the new vehicle is registered in the same as the old vehicle and both vehicles are in the same class. To complete a license plate transfer:

  • Visit an NJMVC motor vehicle agency
  • Provide the new title and registration you want to transfer, as well as proper photo identification

New Jersey License Plate Lookup Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I Find the Owner of a License Plate in New Jersey?

The federal Driver Privacy Protection Act and New Jersey's equivalent of this law make finding the owner of a license plate challenging. New Jersey's Driver's Privacy Protection Act makes the public disclosure of personal information contained in motor vehicle records illegal. The Act defines personal information to mean information identifying an individual, such as an individual's photograph, social security number, driver identification number, name, address other than the 5-digit zip code, telephone number, and medical or disability information. However, information on vehicular accidents, driver's status, and driving violations are removed from the definition of personal information.

Given these strict laws, you are unlikely to be able to find the owner of a license plate in New Jersey except in limited circumstances as allowed under the DPPA, such as when mandated by law for use by a government agency in carrying out its function or a private person or entity on behalf of a local, state, or federal agency in carrying out its functions.

Recordsfinder offers access to non-sensitive information on over 269 million registered vehicles across the US. Using the car's license plate number or VIN, you can find details like the vehicle's make, model, year of manufacture, and odometer readings. While this information will not reveal the identity of a license plate owner, it can still prove valuable when considering a used car.

Can I Get a Replacement for My Lost License Plate in New Jersey?

To replace lost license plates with new ones, you must first file an official police report with law enforcement in the area where the license plates were stolen and obtain a copy of the report for your records. Next, visit a motor vehicle agency and present the current registration and required identification. Finally, pay the $6 standard plates fee or the $11 fee for special interest or dedicated replacements.

What Do Police See When They Run Your License Plates in New Jersey?

New Jersey law enforcement may run your license plates for several reasons, including checking for outstanding warrants and confirming a vehicle's registration status. When they run your license plates, the police can see the following information:

  • The vehicle's registration status
  • The registered owner's details
  • Stolen vehicle alerts
  • Vehicle details, such as the make, model, year, and color
  • Outstanding warrants and criminal history

Can I Search License Plates for Free in New Jersey?

While comprehensive searches often require paid subscriptions, you can get valuable vehicle information using the free license plate lookups service option from Recordsfinder. This can be helpful when buying a used car to identify potential discrepancies between the listed VIN and the vehicle linked to the license plate, preventing purchases with cloned VINs. The free license plate look-up service Recordsfinder also offers basic details like the car's make, model, year, and engine type.

Using RecordsFinder, you can perform a free license plate lookup by providing the vehicle's plate to obtain extensive information, such as:

  • Model
  • Make
  • VIN
  • Body style
  • Engine type
  • Price
  • Year of manufacture
  • Tank

What Is the Penalty for Driving with an Expired License Plate in New Jersey?

If caught driving with an expired license plate in New Jersey, you may be fined up to $100. Also, in New Jersey, violations of motor vehicle regulations can result in points on a driver's record. A driver's license suspension may occur if they accumulate up to 12 points on your driver records.

Do I Need to Return License Plates in New Jersey?

If you have sold your vehicle and have no intention of using the old plates on a new vehicle, the NJMVC requires that you surrender the plates. To surrender license plates in New Jersey, visit a motor vehicle agency and deposit the unused plates in the drop box outside the agency. The agency will mail a receipt to you as proof that you surrendered the plates.

Can I Keep My New Jersey License Plate If I Move to Another State?

Per New Jersey requirements, any NJMVC-issued license plates no longer in use must be surrendered to the state. Hence, if you are moving or have moved to another state, return your New Jersey license plates to the NJMVC by visiting any of its motor vehicle agencies and dropping them in a drop box outside the agency. Alternatively, mail the plates to:

New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
P.O. Box 129
Trenton, New Jersey 08666-0129

You should enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope when returning license plates by mail. This envelope will be used to send you a receipt upon successfully surrendering your plates. This receipt is necessary as it indicates that the plates were properly returned and can be useful if any unwarranted charges arise.

Although New Jersey expects vehicle owners to surrender their plates to the MVC before moving, you may be unable to turn them in for several reasons. For instance, your insurance company may request the plates after the cancellation of your insurance as a result of your out-of-state move. In another example, you may forget to surrender the plates. In any of these cases, it is unlikely that the NJMVC will penalize you for failing to turn the plates in. Therefore, you are likely to be able to register your car in the new state's DMV office without running afoul of the law.

What Size Are License Plates in New Jersey?

New Jersey standard-issue license plates measure 12 inches (width) by 6 inches (height).

How Long Can You Drive with Temporary License Plates in New Jersey?

New Jersey law enforcement will issue a citation if you drive your vehicle without license plates. If you are not buying your vehicle from a dealer who will provide you with a temporary tag, you will need to head to an MVC office to register your vehicle and receive your permanent license plates before driving it off the lot. However, the state allows non-residents to apply for a temporary vehicle registration at a motor vehicle agency if necessary.

You can get temporary license plates, also known as temporary tags, from a licensed dealer, allowing you to legally drive a new or newly acquired used vehicle for up to 30 days while the dealership processes the title transfer and completes the registration.

Dealers can obtain these tags by using the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission's (NJMVC) temp tag service, allowing them to print them. To do so, they must provide their dealer license number and other identifying information to confirm their eligibility for the service.

What Are the Steps to Renew a License Plate in New Jersey?

To renew your license plate, renew your vehicle registration by:

  • Visiting the NJMVC registration portal
  • On the portal, submit:
    • Your registration renewal form
    • Insurance company identification and policy number
    • Payment for the applicable fee using valid credit card (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express)

Alternatively, if you are not eligible for renewing your vehicle registration online:

  • Schedule an appointment with the NJMVC
  • Bring the following to your appointment:
    • Completed Application for Vehicle Registration (Form BA-49)
    • Registration Renewal Notice or Vehicle Identification Number
    • Your insurance card or company name and policy number
    • License plate number
    • Proof of ID (Driver's license or other acceptable ID document
    • Power of Attorney if renewing the registration for another individual
    • The amount due as indicated in your registration renewal notice. The fee may be paid by cash, money order, checks (made payable to NJMVC), or credit or debit card

What Do I Do If My License Plate Is Lost or Stolen in New Jersey?

New Jersey allows vehicle owners to replace lost or stolen license plates. However, there are specific steps to follow to obtain replacement plates:

For a vehicle currently in use:

  • File a report with local police and bring the report to an NJMVC motor vehicle agency near you
  • Complete a Vehicle Registration or Plate Status (Form BA-1) at the agency to report the license plates as lost or stolen
  • Save the verification to serve as proof that you notified the MVC

For a vehicle you no longer own:

  • Notify the NJMVC of the plate loss in writing
  • Provide a signed statement stating what happened and include a police report if the plates were stolen
  • Include in the statement, your name, mailing address, license plate number, and signature in the signed statement
  • Mail the statement to:
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission
Customer Advocacy Office
P.O. Box 403
Trenton, NJ 08666-0403

You will receive notification of the updated license plate status in the mail. Save the verification provided in the notification in a safe place as proof that you notified the NJMVC.

To replace lost or stolen plates with new plates containing the next available number:

  • Present the current registration and required identification at the NJMVC motor vehicle agency
  • Pay the standard plate fee of $6 or the $11 fee for special interest or dedicated replacements

How to Pay Parking Tickets in Alabama

Newark, New Jersey
State: New Jersey
County: Essex 
Pay by Mail: Link
Pay in Person: Link

Hours of Operation:
M-F 8:30AM-7PM & Sat. 8:30AM-12:30PM.

Pay in Person Address:
City of Newark Municipal Court 31 Green St. Newark, NJ. 973-733-6520.
Pay Online: Link To pay online click on logo below and have the following at your disposal: your original ticket, license plate number and Visa or MasterCard.
Jersey City, New Jersey
State: New Jersey
County: Hudson
Pay by Mail: Link

Mail a check or money order to the Violations Bureau.

Pay by Mail Address:
Violations Bureau
Pay in Person: Link
Pay in Person Address:
The Violations Bureau
Pay Online: Link