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A Handy Guide To New Jersey License Plates

  • Driver's License
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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New Jersey license plates can reflect your own personal style in several ways. But what rules should you compulsorily follow, and how big a deal are license plates? Let’s fill you in.

Having proper license plates in New Jersey can really smoothen your driving experience. However, if you get carried away with things like fancy frames and personalization, you’ll likely have to face petty fines and hassles from the law. Therefore, if you’re driving in the Garden State, it’s best you know all about the myriad New Jersey license plate rules in place.

What rules should you follow for NJ license plates?

As per the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJ MVC), you will receive two license plates after titling and registering the vehicle. One should be attached at the front of the vehicle and the other at the back.

Ideally, the New Jersey license plates must be clear and visible at all times and should be illuminated enough so that they can be seen 50 feet away even at night-time. You should not conceal the license plates in any way – doing so can attract a pretty hefty fine!

are new jersey license plate frames legal?

What color are New Jersey license plates?

The NJ license plates are a distinctive goldfinch yellow which fades to pale yellow at the bottom of the plate. Letters and numbers are written in black. The bright yellow top allows the plates to be easily identified by anyone – even in broad daylight.

New Jersey license plates

Does New Jersey require a front license plate?

Yes, you will receive two NJ license plates when you complete titling and registering a vehicle. It is mandatory to have both a front license plate and a back license plate for all street vehicles except motorcycles.

Are license plate frames legal in New Jersey?

License plate frames in New Jersey are legal as long as they do not cover/obscure any of the lettering and numbers on the plate. However, if you slip up, you could be charged a $100 fine.

Also read: Are your license plate frames legit in New York?

Are license plate covers illegal in New Jersey?

Yes, it is illegal to use glass or plastic covers on your NJ license plates. They should also not be tinted or obscure the lettering on the plate in any way.

What are the different types of NJ license plates?

The New Jersey MVC allows you to sport the following types of plates:

  • Standard plates
  • Dedicated plates (Special interest)
  • Specialty plates (for organizations)
  • Special Vehicle plates (for custom/classic vehicles)
  • Sports plates
  • Plates for persons with disabilities (PwDs)

How to get a temporary license plate in NJ?

You can get a temporary license plate (or ‘temp tag’) from any licensed dealership. Usually, these temp tags will last for 30 days, within which time you can apply and renew your original license plate. However, keep an eye out for fraudulent dealerships – only those dealers that have authorization from the MVC can issue a temp tag.

Also read: How long does it take to get a license plate?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How much are license plates in NJ?

You will receive license plates after registering your vehicle with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. The registration costs are as follows:

  • Cars within 2 years old and weighing under 3500 lbs: $59
  • Cars older than 2 years and weighing under 3500 lbs: $46.50
  • All cars within 2 years old and weighing over 3500 lbs: $71.50
  • All cars older than 2 years and weighing over 3500 lbs: $84

Can you get pulled over for no front plate in New Jersey?

Yes, New Jersey is a two-plate state, which means you need a front plate and a back plate mandatorily. Driving without a front plate is just an invitation for John Law to give you a hefty fine – as much as $200!

Can I change the color of my New Jersey license plate?

Changing the color of your license plate falls under the ‘personalization’ of plates. You can change the color and customize it by paying a $50 fee at the NJ-MVC. You can download the Personalized Licence Plate Application (Form SP-1) and mail it to ‘New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Special Plate Unit, PO Box 15, Trenton, NJ 08666-0015.’

New Jersey license plates


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