New Mexico Vanity License Plates

Vanity license plates have been a popular way for individuals to express themselves through their vehicles for years. In the state of New Mexico, this tradition continues. Many drivers customize their license plates to showcase their individuality, beliefs, or affiliations. In addition to vanity plates, New Mexico offers a variety of special recognition plates, including military and veteran plates. This article will outline the process of acquiring vanity license plates in New Mexico, the limitations and restrictions, and the relevant fees.

Application Process

Applying for a vanity license plate in New Mexico is a fairly straightforward process. Applicants need to complete a 'Personalized Plate Application' form, which can be found on the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) website. The form requires applicants to provide their vehicle information, personal details, and their desired personalized plate text.
The chosen vanity plate text is subject to availability, so it's a good idea to have a few alternatives. The text can be a combination of letters, numbers, spaces, or hyphens. Once the form is completed and signed, it must be mailed to the New Mexico MVD, along with the appropriate fees.

Temporary Tags

While waiting for their personalized license plate, drivers will be issued a temporary tag, often called a temporary registration or permit. This tag is valid for a specified period, usually 30 days, and allows the driver to legally use the vehicle while the vanity plate is being produced.

Limitations and Restrictions

Vanity plates in New Mexico are subject to certain rules and regulations to ensure they maintain a level of public decency and safety. The New Mexico MVD has the right to deny any vanity plate text that it deems inappropriate, including offensive language, discriminatory messages, or misleading content (such as resembling a government, law enforcement, or other official plate).
The vanity plate text should be between 1 and 7 characters long. This count includes spaces and hyphens. All texts must be clearly distinguishable and not already in use by another driver.

Military and Veteran Plates

New Mexico offers a variety of specialty license plates to honor the service of military personnel and veterans. These plates often require proof of service, such as a DD-214, military ID, or other official documentation proving eligibility.
Some of the military and veteran plates available in New Mexico include:
  • Army Veteran
  • Navy Veteran
  • Air Force Veteran
  • Coast Guard Veteran
  • Purple Heart Recipient
  • Gold Star Family
  • Prisoner of War
Each of these plates has its own design and symbolism, proudly displaying the service and sacrifices made by the vehicle's owner or their family.


The fees for vanity plates in New Mexico vary based on the type of plate requested. As of this writing, the fee for a standard vanity plate is $17.00 per year, in addition to the standard registration fees.
The fee for military and veteran plates also varies. Some, like the Gold Star Family plate, are provided free of charge, while others have an additional fee. It's recommended to check the most current fee schedule on the New Mexico MVD website.
Vanity license plates provide a unique way for individuals to express themselves and their interests. In New Mexico, the process of obtaining these plates is straightforward and offers a wide variety of options, including military and veteran plates. It's important to remember the limitations and restrictions set forth by the state and to understand the associated fees when applying for your vanity plate.