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Chapter 7 – Special Plates

01/14/2014
4:11 PM

Section A.  Registration Plates Issued to Qualifying Members of the General Public
Section B.  Replacement Plates
Section C.  "WELCOME" and Fun Plates
 

Section A: Registration Plates Issued to Qualifying Members of the General Public

Revised November 22, 2017
 

The registration plates described below are those available to qualifying members of the general public for use on passenger vehicles, trucks (including non-commercial class 11 and 12 trucks, regardless of weight, and farm trucks if DGVW is less than 26,001 lbs.) and motorcycles registered in New Mexico. They do not include government, state agency, elected officials or commercial vehicle plates, or those plates that are unique to specific vehicle types, such as manufactured homes, recreational vehicles (RVs) or trailers. Exception: a recreational vehicle may have an armed forces veteran, disabled veteran, purple heart, medal of honor, ex-prisoner of war, Pearl Harbor survivor or patriot plate (§66-3-408)

Some of the plates require specific application forms and verification that the necessary requirements have been met. The Special Plates Unit of the Motor Vehicle Division will review all applications for completeness and accuracy. If additional information is needed, an applicant may be contacted by phone or in writing. Links are provided to specific application forms when required.

Please note: The plate fees quoted below include a $2.00 administrative fee, if applicable, but do not include regular vehicle title or registration fees.

Standard Registration Plates (§66-3-14)

A person who registers a vehicle in New Mexico can acquire the traditional yellow, turquoise or Chile Capital registration plate. The balloon and turquoise centennial plates are no longer in production. No special application is required. The standard yellow, turquoise or chile capital plate can be requested at the time of initial registration of a qualified vehicle. After initial registration these (and most New Mexico license plates) are validated by a sticker issued when registration renewal fees are paid.

yellow turquoise

Fee: None, except for Chile Capital replacement plates $17.00 in person or $7.25 online, initially. Vehicle owners who currently have a specialty plate can switch to the chile plate at no additional cost. No added fee upon registration renewal.
Application form: None
Sample (not for registration) yellow and turquoise WELCOME plates and yellow, turquoise and chile Fun plates are also available, and can be ordered in Tapestry, for $9.99 each (see Chapter 7, Section C). Sample plates may also be exchanged with other states and government agencies in exchange for samples from their jurisdiction.


Prestige (Vanity) Plates (§66-3-15)

Any owner of a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle, may apply for the issuance of a special “prestige” or “vanity” registration plate. The traditional yellow and turquoise designs and the Chile plates are available, for both regular and motorcycle prestige plates. Only alphanumeric characters (letters and numbers) can be used.

turquoise vanity

A yellow prestige plate may have 1-7 characters (1-6 characters for a motorcycle). A turquoise prestige plate may have 1-8 characters (1-6 characters for a motorcycle). A Chile prestige plate may have 1-6 characters (1-5 characters for a motorcycle).  The characters can include any combination of letters and numbers. A requested character set may be rejected if 1) it duplicates any existing plate; 2) the division finds it to be derogatory or obscene; or 3) it falsely states or implies that the vehicle or the driver represents the authority of a governmental agency or official. Special characters such as the Zia symbol, hash tag, asterisk, dash, underscore, space, or any other special characters are not allowed.

Fee: $17.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal

Application form: Online application

Limited Mobility (§66-3-16)

This plate is available for use on motor vehicles and motorcycles owned by a person with a significant mobility limitation, i.e. a person who: (1) cannot walk 100 feet without stopping to rest; (2) cannot walk without the use of a brace, cane or crutch or without assistance from another person, a prosthetic device, a wheelchair or other assistive device; (3) is restricted by lung disease to such an extent that the person's forced respiratory volume, when exhaling for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one liter or the arterial oxygen tension is less than sixty millimeters on room air at rest; (4) uses portable oxygen; (5) has a severe cardiac condition; or (6) is so severely limited in the ability to walk due to an arthritic, neurologic or orthopedic condition that the person cannot ascend or descend more than ten stair steps.

 
 


Fee: None
Application form: MVD10270
 

Horseless Carriage (§66-3-27)

A "horseless carriage" is a motor vehicle at least 35 years old, owned as a collector's item and used solely for exhibition and educational purposes. Upon transfer of ownership of a horseless carriage, the registration plate remains with the vehicle. A horseless carriage plate must be revalidated every five years.

   

Fee: $17.50 initially, then $9.50 every five years upon revalidation
Application form: MVD10056
?

Medal of Honor (§66-3-409)

A distinctive Medal of Honor plate is available for any person who has been awarded the Medal of Honor and submits proof satisfactory to the division that he has been awarded that medal. No fee, including the regular registration fee, shall be collected for the issuance of a Medal of Honor plate.?

   
   

Fee: None for plate or registration
Application form: MVD10353
 

Prisoner of War (§66-3-411)
Prisoner of War (POW) plates are available to any person, or to the surviving spouse of a deceased person, who was held as a prisoner of war by an enemy of the United States during any armed conflict, upon submission of proof satisfactory to the division. If the applicant is the surviving spouse, a copy of the marriage certificate and death certificate must accompany the application. No fee, including the regular registration fee, shall be collected for issuance of a POW plate.?

 
 

Fee: None for plate or registration
Application form: MVD10353

 

50% Disabled Veteran (§66-3-412)

The 50 percent disabled veteran plate is available for up to two vehicles, including motorcycles, to a veteran of the armed forces of the United States, upon the submission of proof satisfactory to the department that he was fifty percent disabled while serving in the armed forces of the United States. No fee, including the regular registration fee, shall be collected for issuance of the 50 percent disabled veteran plate.

A 50 percent disabled veteran who would also qualify for the limited mobility (HP) plate may elect to have the disability wheelchair symbol included on his disabled veteran plate.

 
   

Fee: None for plate or registration
Application form: MVD10353
 

National Guard (§66-3-413)

The National Guard plate is available to any person who is an active member of the New Mexico national guard, upon the submission by the person of proof satisfactory to the division that the person is currently a member of the guard. No fee, including the regular registration fee, shall be collected for issuance of a National Guard plate.

 

Fee: None for plate or registration
Application form: MVD10247


Purple Heart (§66-3-414)

The Purple Heart plate is issued for up to two vehicles to any person who is a veteran and a bona fide Purple Heart recipient and submits proof that he has been awarded that medal. An active-duty Purple Heart recipient, though not by some definitions a “veteran” may still have a Purple Heart plate. No fee, including the regular registration fee, shall be collected for issuance of a Purple Heart plate.?

 
 

Fee: None for plate or registration
Application form: MVD10353
 

Pearl Harbor Survivor (§66-3-415)

The Pearl Harbor Survivor plate is available to any person who submits satisfactory proof to the division that he or she: (1) was a member of the United States armed forces on December 7, 1941; (2) received an honorable discharge from the United States armed forces; and (3) was on station on December 7, 1941 during the hours of 7:55 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Hawaii time at Pearl Harbor, the island of Oahu, or offshore at a distance not exceeding three miles. No fee, other than the registration fee, shall be collected for issuance of a Pearl Harbor Survivor plate.

 

Fee: None, other than regular registration fees
Application form: MVD10353


Collegiate (§§ 66-3-416 and 66-3-424.34)

Any state-supported higher educational institution in New Mexico may request that the division issue a special collegiate registration plate for that institution. The plate’s color and design are determined by the division in consultation with the institution. Collegiate plates are currently available for UNM, NMSU, New Mexico Tech, Eastern, Western, Northern, Highlands, New Mexico Military Institute, Central NM Community College and New Mexico Junior College. $25.00 of the fee collected for each special collegiate registration plate is distributed to the higher educational institution for which the registration plate is issued.

   

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD11322

 

Amateur Radio Operator (§66-3-417)

The Radio Operator plate is available to any New Mexico resident who holds an official commercial or amateur radio station license in good standing issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) or who is a bona fide employee of such license holder. CB radio licensees are not eligible for the Radio Operator plate. The plate shall be inscribed with the official call letters of the applicant as assigned by the FCC; and the words "amateur radio operator" shall be inscribed on the registration plate upon request of the applicant. The stated legislative purpose for the issuance of special Radio Operator registration plates is to readily identify personnel in aid of the performance of necessary duties for civil defense in the communications field.

 

Fee: $5.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD10200
?


Armed Forces Veterans (§§ 66-3-419, 66.3.412.1, 66-3-424.20 and 66-3-424.21)

§66-3-419 and §66-3-412.1 authorize special registration plates and motorcycle plates for Armed Forces Veterans. §66-3-424.20 and §66-3-424.21 add specific authorization for a Women Armed Forces Veterans plate and motorcycle plate. Armed Forces Veterans plates are available for any individual who is a veteran of the armed forces of the United States or is retired from the national guard or military reserves, with proof satisfactory to the department of honorable discharge from the armed forces or of retirement from the national guard or military reserves. Each armed forces veteran may elect to receive a veteran-designation decal to be placed across the top of the plate, centered above the registration number. Available decals include:

  • Medal of Honor recipient
  • Silver Star recipient
  • Bronze Star recipient
  • Navy Cross recipient
  • Distinguished Service Cross recipient
  • Air Force Cross recipient
  • Distinguished Flying Cross recipient
  • Combat Wounded
  • Merchant Marine
  • Atomic Veteran 
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor
  • Bataan Survivor
  • Navajo Code Talker
  • Vietnam Veteran
  • Korean Veteran
  • Disabled Korean Veteran
  • World War II Veteran
  • World War I Veteran
  • Grenada Veteran
  • Panama Veteran
  • Desert Storm Veteran
  • Iraqi Freedom Veteran 

 

 

 

Fee: $17.00 initially ($9.00 for motorcycles); no added fee upon regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD10353


Children's Trust Fund (§§ 66-3-420 and 66-3-420.1)

Any owner of a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle, may apply for a special children's artwork registration plate featuring artwork of the children of New Mexico. $25.00 of the fee collected for each plate ($15.00 for motorcycle plates) is distributed to the Children’s Trust Fund to develop innovative children's projects dedicated to preventing abuse and neglect of children; providing medical, psychological and other appropriate treatment for children who are victims of abuse or neglect; and developing community-based services aimed at the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect; and to manage projects of the Next Generation Fund.

 
 

Fee: $42.00 ($22.00 for motorcycles) initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD11195

 

New Mexico Mounted Patrol and Rangers (§66-3-421)

The division shall issue a special registration plate to any person who is a New Mexico Ranger or a member of the New Mexico Mounted Patrol, upon the submission of proof that the person is currently a New Mexico Ranger or a member of the New Mexico Mounted Patrol. Any person eligible for a Ranger or Mounted Patrol plate shall only be eligible for one such plate. 

Fee: None for plate or registration
Application form: None

 

Firefighters, Volunteer Firefighters and Retired Firefighters (§66-3-422 and 66-3-424.9)

Special Firefighter, Volunteer and Retired Firefighter plates are issued:

  • to a person employed as a New Mexico Firefighter, with proof that the person is currently employed as a New Mexico firefighter, including submission of a signed consent form from the fire chief;
  • to a person who is an active Volunteer Firefighter with a volunteer fire department recognized by the state fire marshal with proof that the person is currently an active member of a recognized volunteer fire department, including submission of a signed consent form from the fire chief; and
  • to a person who is a Retired Firefighter upon submission of proof that the person has retired from active employment as a New Mexico firefighter, including a letter of retirement from the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) or other retirement association.

$15.00 of the $27.00 fee collected for each special Firefighter and Volunteer Firefighter plate is deposited in the Firefighters’ Survivors Fund. When a person holding a special Firefighter or Volunteer Firefighter plate ceases to be employed as a firefighter or serve as an active volunteer firefighter, the person shall immediately remove the plate from the vehicle and return it in exchange for a regular registration plate. A firefighter who holds a special plate and retires may retain the special plate.

Fee: $27.00 upon initial registration
Application form: MVD11316


Year of Manufacture (§66-3-423)

The division may specially register and permit the use of year-of-manufacture license plates on motor vehicles that are 30 or more years old. The division shall inspect the year-of-manufacture plate to ensure that it is in good condition and that the number on the plate is not already assigned or in use. To qualify for use, the year-of-manufacture plate shall be an authentic plate issued in New Mexico during the motor vehicle's model year. Upon the sale or transfer of a motor vehicle bearing a year-of-manufacture plate, the plate may remain with the vehicle and be transferred to the new owner upon payment of a $10.00 fee in addition to regular registration fees.

Fee: $27.00 upon initial registration; $12.00 upon transfer to a new owner
Application form: MVD11317

 

Pet Care (Spay-Neuter) (§66-3-424.3)

The "Spay-Neuter" pet care special registration plate is available to any owner of a motor vehicle. $25.00 of the fee collected for each pet care special registration plate shall be paid to the state treasurer for credit to the Animal Care and Facility Fund, Statewide Spay and Neuter Subaccount.

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD11249

 

Fraternal Order of Police (§66-3-424.5)

The FOP special plate is available to any New Mexico member of the Fraternal Order of Police. When a person holding the special plate ceases to be a New Mexico member of the Fraternal Order of Police, he shall immediately remove the plate from the vehicle and return it in exchange for a regular registration plate.

Fee: $27.00 upon initial registration
Application form: MVD11303

 

Wildlife Artwork (§66-3-424.6)

The special “share with wildlife” registration plate, featuring artwork of New Mexico wildlife, is available for any private motor vehicle except a motorcycle. No personalized or vanity design variation of the special wildlife artwork registration plates shall be issued. $15.00 of the initial fee and the entire renewal fee collected is distributed to the Share with Wildlife Program of the Game Protection Fund.

Fee: $27.00 initially and $12.00 upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD10092

 

Route 66 (§66-3-424.8)

The owner of any vehicle may apply for issuance of a special Route 66 commemorative registration plate. $25.00 of the additional fee is distributed and appropriated to the Department of Transportation to fund the revitalization and preservation of historic Route 66 in New Mexico pursuant to the National Scenic Byways Program.

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD11259

 

Active-Duty Uniformed Service Members (§66-3-424.11)

A motor vehicle owner who is an active duty uniform service member may apply for the issuance of a special Active Duty registration plate.

Fee: $27.00 upon initial registration
Application form: MVD11267

 

Retired New Mexico State Police (§§ 66-3-424.2 and 66-3-424.13)

The special registration plate for retired New Mexico State Police officers is available to any person who is a retired New Mexico State Police officer, with submission of the officer's retirement commission from the New Mexico state police.

Fee: $27.00 upon initial registration
Application form: MVD11243

 

Organ Donor Awareness (§66-3-424.15)

The special Organ Donation Awareness registration plate is designed to promoting awareness about the urgent need for organ and tissue donation in New Mexico.

Fee: $12.00 upon initial registration
Application form: MVD10666

 

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) (§66-3-424.16)

The special registration plate for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) is available to any EMT who provides proof that he or she is an emergency medical technician licensed in New Mexico. When a person holding an EMT plate ceases to be an emergency medical technician, he shall immediately remove the plate from the vehicle and return it to the department, at which time it shall be exchanged for a regular registration plate.

Fee: $27.00 upon initial registration
Application form: MVD11248

 

Patriot (§66-3-424.17)

The Patriot registration plate is available to any motor vehicle owner who is a patriot. No proof of patriotism is required. $8.00 of the $27.00 fee collected for each Patriot plate is transferred to the Armed Forces Veterans License Fund, for the purpose of expanding services to rural areas of the state, including Native American communities and senior citizen centers.

Fee: $27.00 upon initial registration
Application form: MVD11300 

 

Adoption Awareness (§66-3-424.18)

The special Adoption Awareness registration plate is available to any motor vehicle owner, for the purpose of promoting child adoption and awareness of the need for adoption of children in New Mexico. 

Fee: $12.00 initially; no added fee upon registration renewal
Application form: MVD10101 

 

Cumbres & Toltec Railway (§66-3-424.19)

The Cumbres & Toltec Railway plate is available to any motor vehicle owner. $25.00 of the $40.00 fee collected for each Cumbres & Toltec Railway plate is distributed to the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad Commission.

Fee: $40.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD11309

 

Breast Cancer Awareness (§66-3-424.22)

The Breast Cancer Awareness plate is available to any motor vehicle owner. $25.00 of the $37.00 fee collected for each Breast Cancer Awareness plate is transferred to the New Mexico Department of Health for the purpose of funding breast cancer screening, outreach and education.

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD11244

 

Las Cruces (§66-3-424.23)

The City of Las Cruces registration plate is available only to motor vehicle owners who are residents of the City of Las Cruces. $25.00 of the $37.00 fee collected for each City of Las Cruces plate is appropriated to the city of Las Cruces Recreation Fund 2130.

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD10099

 

Gold Star Families (§66-3-424.24)

The Gold Star Family registration plate is available to the surviving parent, spouse, child or sibling of a service member killed in an armed conflict with an enemy of the United States.

Fee: $10.00 upon initial registration to child or sibling of service member. No fee including the regular registration fee for issuance of first plate issued to a surviving parent or spouse of service member. No fee other than regular registration fee for issuance of up to three additional plates issued to a surviving parent or spouse of service member.
Application form: MVD10100

 

Boy Scouts (§66-3-424.25)

The “100 Years of Scouting” special plate is available to any motor vehicle owner to celebrate the centennial of the Boy Scouts of America.

Fee: $12.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD10103

 

Santa Fe 400th (§66-3-424.26)

The Santa Fe 400th special plate is no longer available. Issuance of this special plate was limited to applications received on or before June 30, 2012. $25.00 of the $37.00 fee for issuance of the Santa Fe 400th plate was distributed to the City of Santa Fe to commemorate the city's 400th anniversary.  

Fee: (renewal only) Regular motor vehicle registration fee
Application form: N/A (no new applications/issuance)?

 

Bass Fishing (§66-3-424.27)

The Bass Fishing special plate is available to any motor vehicle owner. $15.00 of the initial fee and $10.00 of each renewal fee shall be distributed to the Bass Habitat Management Program of the Game Protection Fund.

Fee: $27.00 initially and $12.00 upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD10105

 

Retired Law Enforcement Officer (§66-3-424.28)

Available to any retired New Mexico law enforcement officer, upon the submission of proof that the person is a retired New Mexico law enforcement officer.

 

Fee: $27.00 for initial issuance; no added fee upon registration renewal
Application form: MVD11094

 

4-H (§66-3-424.29)

The 4-H special plate is available to any motor vehicle owner to indicate support for 4-H. $25.00 of the $37.00 fee for the 4-H plate will be distributed to the New Mexico State University for the New Mexico State 4-H office and for 4-H youth programs in the state.

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD10104

 

Farm and Ranch (§66-3-424.30)

The special Farm and Ranch Community registration plate is available to any motor vehicle owner. $25.00 of the $37.00 fee for the Farm and Ranch Community plate will be distributed to the Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum for educational programs.

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD10106

 

Blood Donor (§66-3-424.31)

The special Blood Donor registration plate is available to any motor vehicle owner. $25.00 of the $37.00 fee for the Farm and Ranch Community plate will be distributed to the department of health for the purpose of funding blood donation outreach and education.

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD11308

 

New Mexico Amigos (§66-3-424.32)

The Amigos plate is available to a person who submits proof satisfactory to the division that the person is currently a member of New Mexico Amigos, including the submission of a letter from the president of New Mexico Amigos.

Fee: $12.00 for initial issuance; no added fee upon registration renewal
Application form: None

 

Autism Awareness (§66-3-424.33)

The owner of any vehicle may apply for issuance of a special autism awareness registration plate. $25.00 of the additional fee shall be distributed to the Department of Health for the purpose of funding autism research, outreach and education.

Fee: $37.00 initially and upon each regular registration renewal
Application form: MVD11201

 

 

Section B: Replacement Plates

Revised November 21, 2017
 

Statute (§66-3-24(A))

The applicable statute regarding replacement of lost or damaged plates is §66-3-24(A):

“In the event any registration evidence or registration plate is lost, mutilated or becomes illegible, the owner or legal representative or successor in interest of the owner of the vehicle for which the registration evidence or registration plate was issued as shown by the records of the division shall immediately make application for and may obtain a duplicate or a new registration under a new registration number as determined to be the most advisable by the division upon the applicant furnishing information satisfactory to the division.”
 

Replacement of Special Plates: 

Personalized special registration plates (prestige plates)

New prestige plates will only be issued to new applicants or in cases where there is a change of prestige symbols or in cases where the plate has been lost or damaged. The Special Plates Section of the Vehicle Services Bureau handles these transactions. A $17.00 replacement fee applies. In the case of a lost or damaged prestige plate, a duplicate plate will be issued.

Other special plates

All other special plates will be replaced if lost or damaged, for a $17.00 replacement plate fee. Unlike the prestige plate, the replacement plate for any other special plate will not be a duplicate, but will be issued with a new number. The Special Plates Section of the Vehicle Services Bureau also handles these transactions.

Reduced-fee exception

If the lost plate is a Horseless Carriage plate, the replacement fee is $12.00.

Replacement Plates with Same Plate Number

MVD can now issue a replacement plate with the same plate number.

A customer whose plate is damaged, destroyed, lost or stolen may request a replacement plate with the same number. The order will be placed through Tapestry, and the plate will be delivered to the customer by mail. If the plate is destroyed, lost or stolen the customer may purchase a temporary tag while they wait for the plate to be delivered. Otherwise, the customer may continue to display the original plate until they receive the new one in the mail.

If the replacement plate is not received by the customer, the customer may contact the Call Center to request a re-order at no charge. Additionally, the Call Center may issue a no-fee temp tag to keep the customer’s registration active until they receive the re-ordered replacement plate.

 

Section C: WELCOME” and Fun Plates

Revised November 21, 2017
 

Fun and "WELCOME" plates now available for MVD customers

Both Fun and WELCOME plates are now available for MVD customers and can be ordered in Tapestry. The cost is $9.99 each and “Not for Registration”  will be printed on the plate so they cannot be registered to a vehicle.

 

“Fun plates” are also available to MVD employees upon hire. 

  • Each new employee is entitled to two fun plates with the employee’s name on them.
  • One fun plate is to be used as the employee’s name identification at their work station.
  • Fun plates cannot be registered to a vehicle.
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