How to Get Custom License Plate in Texas

How to Get Custom License Plate in Texas

A few years back, getting a custom plate was something you’d do through the DMV. But in recent years, Texas has been using a company called My Plates to handle the process. In this post, I’m going to show you how to get custom license plate in Texas, including how much it costs, your personalized options, and the types of plates you can pick from It’s really up to you to decide if you want to spend your money on this or leave it to car enthusiasts to do it and let a private company profit from it. So, let’s get started.

How does ordering Texas custom plate work?

So, what happens is that you are ordering a plate from My Plates, a third party, but it is sent to your preferred DMV location. You can’t have the plates sent directly to your home. They have to go to the DMV, and then they link the plate to your car. When you have yours sent to your local DMV, you then go there, let them know which car it’s for, bring your paperwork, and they assign the plate to your car. After that, you can put the new plates on your car.

You can do this process anytime—right after buying a car or at any point while you own a car. It usually takes about 3–5 weeks. I’ve ordered a few plates myself, and most of them arrived in around 3 weeks. They’ll notify you when your plates are ready to pick up at your local DMV, and this is all managed by your county here in Texas. So, basically, you choose your plate on, pay for it, and then it gets shipped to your DMV. Then you go and link it to your car, put the plates on, and that’s it.

How to Get Custom License Plate in Texas

How to Get Custom License Plate in Texas

You’ll get to know how this process works. Back in the day, you could get these special plates directly from the DMV while registering your car. Now, the whole process is handled by a private company. You have to go through If you try to get a custom plate at the DMV, they’ll just direct you to the website. Let’s get started with the process.

1. Go to

So, first, visit the website. What I typically do first is click on ‘Start with a Design’. You can pick out the background before deciding on the letters. Now, there are two different price levels. You can choose to get custom license plate in Texas, which means both the numbers and letters and the background are personalized, or you can go for the “Background Only” option. For this option, you only choose the background, and you are given a random set of letters, just like a regular license plate would. The cost for the personalized Texas plates is $150. You’ll see the cost as you make your selections.

2. Select a Custom Texas License Plate

If you keep scrolling down, you’ll notice there are a lot of custom plates. You’ll see many black and white designs. Texas has some of the neatest license plates I’ve come across. There are plenty of designs featuring colors, the Texas flag, stars, and maps of Texas all over the place. If you pick the “Don’t Tread on Me” plate, you may want to pair it with a Punisher sticker—just a little tip.

And as you keep scrolling, you’ll find more and more Texas-themed options. Now, you can find college plates. You don’t just find Texas colleges. For example, if you attended the Colorado School of Mines, you can still get a Texas plate representing that school. There are lots of options for Iowa State, Grambling, Kansas State, Kilgore (which I think is actually in Texas), and Louisiana, among others. This means you can get out-of-state college plates in Texas, especially with so many people moving here.

As you keep scrolling down, you’ll see loads of UT and Texas University choices. There’s even the University of North Texas. If you keep scrolling, you will get to high schools and sports. There are plates for Austin FC, Dallas Cowboys, Mavs, Rockets, golf, scuba diving, and then charities.

As far as I know, there aren’t any restrictions on getting these charity plates. You can select the Mighty Fine Burgers plate. I’ve never actually tried Mighty Fine Burgers, but I love that you can have a burger on your plate. But if you keep looking, there are plenty of cool plates like a surfing one and lots of choices related to animals and the outdoors. Just keep scrolling; it feels like there’s an endless array of plates to choose from. So, the design is really up to the theme you would prefer to have on your vehicle.

3. Add a Message

The TX plates will tell you how many characters you can use, especially if you have a specific message in mind. Remember, you can pick your vehicle type—it could be for a passenger, motorcycle, trailer, or private bus. So, when you choose, let’s say, a passenger plate, you type in a message. It immediately shows if the message is available or not. In case it’s not, you can tweak it a bit, like changing ‘3’ to an ‘E’ or ‘U’ to a ‘V’ to see if that’s available.

You can even add special symbols such as hearts, a Texas sign, a star, a space, a period, or a dash. Though, I admit, figuring out how to add these symbols was a bit tricky. Just a suggestion; you can add “I Love Pizza” to your plate. It shows up exactly like that on the plate. Since you already have “I Love Pizza”, it’s not available for others.

4. Order the License Plate

So, if your personalized Texas license plate is available, scroll down and press ‘Order Now’. You will see the price to get custom license plate in Texas. This price is for getting a personalized message and a design on the back of your license plate. The prices are quite high now. It’s a lot more expensive than when the service wasn’t privatized. So, it used to cost about $50 to $70 for a custom plate, which is roughly three times less than what it costs now.

For the personalized license plates now, you have to pay $150 dollars for one year, $400 for 3 years, or $450 for 5 years. It ends up being a significant yearly expense. I’ve gone ahead and done this for all my cars, and sometimes I wonder if it is even a smart decision.

You can also choose not to customize the text on your license plate, and just add a picture to it. You can choose ‘Background Only’ which means the state will assign some random letters for the plate, but you’ll still get the burger picture. This selection doesn’t require anything special; you just click ‘Order Now’. The prices for this are much cheaper. They’re about one-third the cost of getting a personalized plate with custom text.

So, if you are not all about the specific letters on your plate and just want a unique background, this is a cheaper option. You can pick from many designs, like the clean ones, burger-themed, school-themed, and so on. If you add it to your cart, you’ll only have to pay $50 for 1 year. If you don’t have a promo code, you would just click ‘Next’. This is the part where you fill in your personal details and select your county to determine which county office the custom plates will be sent to.

5. Pick Up Your Personalized Texas Plate

Finally, your TX license plate is ready for processing. So, this is the last step you will take to get custom license plate in Texas. Once you’re done with this step, you’ll get an email confirming your order. When the plates arrive at the DMV, you’ll receive another email notifying you they’re ready for pickup.

As for the collection, you just need to bring your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and a title or registration document for the vehicle you want the plates for. There may be a small additional fee of about $3 at the DMV.


So, this is how you get custom license plate in Texas, whether it’s with personalized lettering focusing on the background design or with your custom message. This guide should help you decide if you would like to order your plate and how to get it done.

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