The following definitions apply to OAR 735-046-0000 through 735-046-0050:
(1) “Current Issue” means any registration plate type, plate background or plate series approved by DMV for issuance.
(2) “Current use” means any registration plate type, plate background or plate series that is no longer issued, but is approved for registration renewal or for special interest registration, or is a permanent registration plate. Examples of current use registration plates include:
(a) Passenger vehicle plates issued 1961 or later; and
(b) Motorcycle or moped plates issued 1968 or later.
(3) “Custom plates” mean customized registration plates authorized under ORS 805.240.
(4) “DMV” means the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division of the Department of Transportation.
(5) “Plate choice” means the numbers or letters, or combination of numbers and letters (characters), requested by an applicant for custom plates. For purposes of custom plates, the letter “O” and the number “zero” are identical. A plate choice does not include a plate’s background, design, method of validation, or any other information DMV may require.
(6) “Plate configuration” means a unique combination of numbers or letters that have been or may be assigned to registration plates.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 802.010,
805.103, 805.200 & 805.220
Stats. Implemented: ORS 803.535, 805.103, 805.200, 805.220, 805.240 & 805.242
Hist.: MV 1-1981, f. & ef. 2-5-81; MV 1-1983, f. & ef. 1-28-83; MV 9-1987, f. & ef. 9-1-87; Administrative Renumbering 3-1988, Renumbered from 735-071-0058; MV 25-1988, f. & cert. ef. 10-3-88; MV 48-1989, f. & cert. ef. 11-16-89; DMV 9-1994, f. & cert. ef. 9-30-94; DMV 8-1997, f. & cert. ef. 10-16-97; DMV 15-2008, f. & cert. ef. 6-23-08; DMV 22-2008, f. & cert. ef. 9-11-08; DMV 3-2014, f. & cert. ef. 5-19-14
Custom Plates: Application and Standards
(1) A person who wishes to obtain custom plates must submit an application for custom plates and all applicable fees to DMV. Custom plate choices:
(a) May not be reserved in advance of application and payment of required fees; and
(b) Are approved and assigned by DMV on a first-come, first-served basis. When two or more applications requesting an identical plate choice are received, DMV will consider for approval the first one received with the required fees, without regard to whether the first application received is an original application for a custom plate or an application for renewal of a custom plate that has been expired for more than 30 days. “Application,” as used in this subsection, may include application by phone, provided DMV is in possession of the required fees.
(2) Except as provided for in OAR 735-046-0020, an applicant for custom plates must qualify for Oregon title and registration for the vehicle listed on the custom plate application.
(3) A custom plate choice is assigned to a vehicle at the time the plate is issued by DMV.
(4) A custom plate choice must:
(a) Be compatible with DMV’s computer system;
(b) Not be identical to any plate configuration reserved for:
(A) Qualified Congressional Medal of Honor recipients;
(B) Current Oregon office holders;
(C) An Honorary Consul as defined under Oregon Laws 2009, chapter 621; or
(D) The Governor, unless the custom plate is being issued under the provisions of OAR 735-046-0050;
(c) Not begin with the letters CMH, MOH, ORE, SEN, REP, USS, or USR and be followed by numbers;
(d) Be alphabetic or numeric characters, or alphanumeric characters. A plate choice may not include punctuation or symbols other than a dash or space;
(e) Include at least one alphabetic or numeric character;
(f) Be limited to no more than six alphabetic characters, numeric characters, spaces or dashes, except that a seventh character may be a space or dash;
(g) Except as provided in section (5) of this rule, not be identical to any other plate configuration in current use. The use of a space or a dash within a plate choice is not considered when determining whether the plate is identical to another plate configuration.
(5) In addition to other provisions of this rule, all of the following apply to approval of a plate choice that is identical to a plate configuration that is in current use:
(a) DMV may approve a plate choice that conflicts with a plate configuration currently in use for motor vehicles registered under ORS 803.420(1) (i.e., passenger plated vehicles) if:
(A) The specific plate configuration requested has previously been issued and is not still in inventory or reserved for future issuance;
(B) The previously issued plates bearing the plate choice are surrendered to DMV with the custom plate request, or are no longer in circulation. If there is any question about such plates being in circulation, it is the applicant’s responsibility to satisfy DMV that the plates have been destroyed, surrendered to DMV or another jurisdiction, or are not available for use on a vehicle; and
(C) The plate choice is to be assigned to a vehicle that qualifies for registration under ORS 803.420(1).
(b) For motor vehicles other than those registered under ORS 803.420(1), specifically, vehicles that are not passenger plated vehicles, DMV may approve a plate choice that is identical to a plate configuration that is in current use if:
(A) The vehicle to which the custom plates are to be issued is of a different type than the vehicle to which the plates bearing the identical plate configuration are in current use or could be issued. For example, a plate choice that is identical to a disabled veteran plate configuration (for example D00001) will not be assigned to a custom plate issued to either a passenger vehicle or motor home. A plate choice that is identical to a motor home plate configuration (for example H00001) will not be assigned to a custom plate issued to a motor home but can be assigned to a custom plate issued to a passenger vehicle;
(B) The plate choice requested is not currently assigned to a registration plate; and
(C) The plate choice requested will not be assigned to a future plate series.
(6) DMV will not approve a custom plate choice, including plate choices that would do so by means of foreign or slang words or phrases, by use of phonetic, numeric or reverse spelling, or by being viewed in mirror image, that:
(a) Would have the effect of alarming, threatening, offending or misleading a reasonable person. Such choices may include, but are not limited to, combinations of letters, numbers or both that:
(A) Refer to intimate bodily parts or to sexual or excretory acts or functions;
(B) Refer in an alarming or offensive manner to a person or class of persons on the basis of race, color, gender, ethnic heritage, national origin, or other characteristic;
(C) Suggest that the vehicle to which the custom plate is issued is an official vehicle of a public agency or official, when it is in fact not such a vehicle; or
(D) Refer to illegal acts.
(b) Refer to alcoholic beverages, or controlled substances or paraphernalia used in the consumption thereof by combinations of letters, numbers or both.
(7) DMV may use any reliable lexicological source to determine the meaning of any word, symbol or phrase.
(8) When reviewing a plate choice for approval, DMV need not consider the applicant’s subjective intent or declared meaning.
(9) DMV will approve the transfer of registration plates that are not from a current issue of plates as custom plates under the provisions of ORS 805.242. All of the following apply to such a transfer:
(a) For vehicles that require two registration plates, the applicant must have two registration plates available for transfer to the vehicle;
(b) The registration plates being transferred must not be so old, damaged, mutilated or otherwise rendered illegible as to be not useful for purposes of identification;
(c) The registration plates being transferred must be from a series in current use;
(d) The registration plates may only be transferred to a vehicle type that is otherwise eligible for custom plates; and
(e) The registration plates may only be transferred to a vehicle of the same registration type to which they were originally issued (e.g., passenger vehicle to passenger vehicle).
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 802.010, 805.103, 805.200, 805.205 & 805.220
Stats. Implemented: ORS 803.420, 803.535, 805.103, 805.200, 805.220, 805.240, 805.242 & 805.250
Hist.: MV 25-1988, f. & cert. ef. 10-3-88; MV 48-1989, f. & cert. ef. 11-16-89; DMV 9-1994, f. & cert. ef. 9-30-94; DMV 8-1997, f. & cert. ef. 10-16-97; DMV 23-2007(Temp), f. 12-24-07, cert. ef. 1-1-08 thru 6-27-08; DMV 15-2008, f. & cert. ef. 6-23-08; DMV 22-2008, f. & cert. ef. 9-11-08; DMV 15-2009(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-24-09 thru 2-17-10; DMV 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 1-28-10
Custom Plates -- Application for Plates as a Gift
(1) DMV shall allow persons other than the owner of a vehicle to apply for a custom plate choice when:
(a) The plates are to be provided to the vehicle owner as a gift;
(b) The vehicle to which the plates are to be assigned is currently titled in Oregon; and
(c) The plates are to be given to the vehicle owner no more than 120 days from the date of application.
(2) To obtain approval for a custom plate choice, the person who is giving the gift shall make application to DMV. All of the following must be provided:
(a) Application for custom plates including the plate choice;
(b) Custom plate fees;
(c) Any applicable registration and plate manufacturing fees;
(d) Name and address of the applicant (person giving the gift);
(e) Name and address of the vehicle owner (person to receive the plates);
(f) Date plates are needed; and
(g) At least one vehicle identifier (current plate number or vehicle identification number) of the vehicle to which the plates are to be assigned.
(3) If the custom plate choice is approved DMV shall provide the plates to the applicant together with an application for registration and a letter that shall explain registration requirements. The applicant shall provide the application and letter to the vehicle owner along with the plates. DMV shall not at that time provide:
(a) A vehicle registration card;
(b) Registration stickers for the plates; or
(c) Any other documentation that would assign the plates to a particular vehicle or authorize the use of a vehicle over the highways, with such plates.
(4) To use the plates for operation of a vehicle, the vehicle owner shall make application for registration to DMV, and comply with requirements for registration (other than any fees previously submitted). In making application the vehicle owner shall submit a completed and signed application for registration.
(5) Upon receipt of all registration requirements, DMV shall issue a registration card and registration stickers for use on the vehicle.
(6) If the vehicle owner fails to make application for registration of the vehicle with the custom plate choice, within 120 days from the date the plate(s) are released by DMV:
(a) The plate choice shall become available for approval for another applicant, should DMV receive such a request; and
(b) The vehicle owner shall return the plate(s) to DMV.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616 & ORS 184.619
Stats. Implemented: ORS 805.240
Hist.: MV 25-1988, f. & cert. ef. 10-3-88; DMV 8-1997, f. & cert. ef. 10-16-97
Custom Plates -- Issuance, Renewal and Transfer
(1) Custom plates shall only be issued to vehicles of the types described in this section. Vehicle types for which custom plates may be issued include:
(a) Motor vehicles that would be registered under ORS 803.420(1) if special registration plates were not requested (for example, passenger vehicles such as cars or lightweight trucks);
(b) Travel trailers;
(d) Motor homes;
(e) Mopeds; and
(2) Custom plates shall not be approved for vehicles registered under registration provisions for which issuance of a special registration plate is required, or for which DMV routinely issues special plates (for example, disabled veteran or farm).
(3) Vehicles issued custom plates are subject to the same requirements as they would be if they did not have special plates (i.e., mandatory insurance or Department of Environmental Quality inspection) as specified by rule or law.
(4) If the custom plate is not renewed within 30 days from the expiration of the vehicle registration period, or if the plate(s) is surrendered to DMV, the custom plate choice shall be considered available for approval and assignment on a first come, first served basis, upon application by any applicant. The owner of the vehicle to which the custom plate was originally issued may again be assigned that plate choice if:
(a) A custom plate with that plate choice has not already been issued for use on another applicant's vehicle;
(b) The applicant otherwise complies with requirements for registration of the vehicle;
(c) DMV approves the plate choice for use; and
(d) There is no application pending for the plate choice by another applicant, as established by OAR 735-046-0010(2).
(5) Custom plates are assigned to specific vehicles and shall remain with that vehicle except as otherwise provided in this rule or by statute. All of the following apply to custom plate transfers:
(a) When a vehicle bearing a custom plate is sold, assigned or otherwise transferred, and the owner (seller) chooses to retain the custom plate choice for transfer to another vehicle, it shall be the responsibility of the owner (seller) to:
(A) Remove the plates from the vehicle prior to the sale or transfer, or make arrangements with the purchaser to remove the plates from that vehicle; and
(B) Comply with requirements for transfer of the plates or plate choice to another vehicle, including making application to DMV and paying any required fees.
(b) If the owner (seller) does not retain the plates prior to the sale or transfer, and is unable to make arrangements for removal of the plates from that vehicle, the plates and that plate choice shall remain assigned to that vehicle except as otherwise provided in rule or statute.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616 & ORS 184.619
Stats. Implemented: ORS 805.240
Hist.: MV 25-1988, f. & cert. ef. 10-3-88; MV 48-1989, f. & cert. ef. 11-16-89; DMV 8-1997, f. & cert. ef. 10-16-97
Custom Plates -- Review of Custom Plate and Recall
(1) DMV may at any time review a custom plate to determine compliance with OAR 735-046-0000 through 735-046-0050 and any written department policy.
(2) DMV shall recall a custom plate without regard to the date first issued if DMV determines that it violates any administrative rule or written department policy.
(3) Upon notification that a custom plate is being recalled, the vehicle owner:
(a) Shall surrender the plate(s) to DMV within 10 days; and
(b) May apply for approval of a new custom plate choice without payment of an additional fee.
(4) If the vehicle owner of the recalled plate does not apply for a new custom plate or the requested plate choice is not approved, DMV shall issue a regular registration plate and refund the customized registration plate fee applicable for the current vehicle registration period.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616 & ORS 184.619
Stats. Implemented: ORS 805.240
Hist.: MV 25-1988, f. & cert. ef. 10-3-88; DMV 9-1994, f. & cert. ef. 9-30-94; DMV 8-1997, f. & cert. ef. 10-16-97
Congressional Medal of Honor, Elected Official and Consular Corps Plates
(1) Requirements and Qualifications. In addition to all other requirements for registration, an applicant for Congressional Medal of Honor plates, elected official plates or consular corps plates must submit to DMV an application for registration and all applicable fees, including any fee required for the custom plate requested. At the time of application, the applicant must be the registered owner of the vehicle listed on the application and:
(a) For Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, meet the qualifications for issuance of Congressional Medal of Honor plates under ORS 805.103 and this rule;
(b) For elected officials, meet the qualifications of ORS 805.220, and hold the office specified on the application. DMV may contact the Secretary of State to verify compliance with this subsection;
(c) For consular corps plates, provide proof to DMV that the applicant is appointed by a foreign government as an honorary consul and is acting in that capacity. Proof under this subsection is a copy of the applicant’s current Consular Identification Card issued by the U.S. Department of State, Office of Protocol.
(2) For purposes of section (1) of this rule, the annual custom plate fee set forth in ORS 805.250(2)(a) for issuance or renewal of Congressional Medal of Honor plates is waived and is not a required fee.
(3) Elected official plates are assigned to a specific vehicle and — if requested by the applicant — are issued in addition to the regular registration plates issued to the vehicle. The fee for an elected official plate issued in addition to a regular series plate is the plate manufacturing fee established under ORS 803.570. Elected official plates may be transferred to another vehicle if:
(a) The vehicle to which the plates are to be transferred is registered in the name of the elected official who qualifies for the particular plate configuration; and
(b) The applicant submits to DMV a completed application that identifies the vehicle to which the elected official plates are to be assigned.
(4) Consular corps plates are assigned to a specific vehicle and may only be transferred to another vehicle under section (5) of this rule.
(5) Plate Transfer. In addition to all other requirements for transferring registration plates, an applicant for a plate transfer must submit to DMV a completed, signed application to transfer registration plates and all applicable fees. At the time of transfer, the applicant must be the registered owner of the vehicle listed on the application. There is no plate transfer fee for elected official plates.
(6) Plate Configurations. The following plate configurations are reserved as specified:
(a) For Congressional Medal of Honor recipients: Except as provided in paragraph (B) of this subsection, the applicant may choose the letter combination “MOH” or “CMH,” which will be followed by a single number from 1 to 9, to be designated by DMV;
(A) A total of 18 pairs of Congressional Medal of Honor plates are reserved for issuance to qualified Congressional Medal of Honor recipients.
(B) When a Congressional Medal of Honor plate configuration is issued, it will be removed from the list of available plates and will not be issued again. For example, after plate configuration “CMH 1” is issued, that configuration is no longer available. The next qualified applicant is issued the next available plate number in numeric order.
(b) For elected officials:
(A) Governor: “GOVERNOR 1”;
(B) Secretary of State: “SECRETARY OF STATE 2”;
(C) State Treasurer: “STATE TREASURER 3”;
(D) President of the Senate: “PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE 4”;
(E) President pro tempore of the Senate: “SENATE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE 4A”;
(F) Speaker of the House of Representatives: “SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 5”;
(G) Speaker pro tempore of the House: “SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE PRO TEMPORE 5A”;
(H) State Senators: “STATE SENATOR” followed by the applicable Senate district number;
(I) State Representatives: “STATE REP.” followed by the applicable House district number;
(J) U.S. Senator: “U.S. SENATOR” followed by the number 1 or 2, depending on seniority;
(K) U.S. Representative: “U.S. REP.” followed by the House District number; and
(c) For consular corps plates: “OFFICAL CONSULAR CORPS” followed by a number assigned by DMV.
(7) In addition to the elected official plate for the Governor under subsection (3)(b) of this rule, DMV will issue regular series plates to the Governor upon request from the Governor’s office. The fee for a regular series plate issued under this section is the plate manufacturing fee established under ORS 803.570.
(8) The plates must be removed from the vehicle to which they are assigned when the person no longer qualifies for elected official plates or consular corps plates because the term of office or appointment expires, or the person otherwise ceases to act in the official capacity required to qualify for the plates. After removing the plates from the vehicle, the person may surrender the plates to DMV or retain the plates as a souvenir.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, 184.619, 802.010, 805.103, 805.200, 805.205 & 805.220
Stats. Implemented: ORS 803.420, 803.530, 803.535, 805.103, 805.200, 805.220, 805.240, 805.242 & 805.250
Hist.: MV 25-1988, f. & cert. ef. 10-3-88; MV 13-1992, f. & cert. ef. 10-16-92; DMV 23-2007(Temp), f. 12-24-07, cert. ef. 1-1-08 thru 6-27-08; DMV 15-2008, f. & cert. ef. 6-23-08; DMV 22-2008, f. & cert. ef. 9-11-08; DMV 15-2009(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 8-24-09 thru 2-17-10; DMV 1-2010, f. & cert. ef. 1-28-10; DMV 23-2010, f. 12-22-10, cert. ef. 1-1-11
Graphic Registration Plate Series
(1) The graphic design plate produced as provided in chapter 572, Oregon Laws 1987, shall be issued as provided in section (2) of this rule to:
(a) Vehicles registered under ORS 803.420(1). This includes, but is not limited to the following vehicles:
(A) Motor trucks with a loaded weight of 8,000 pounds or less, except armored cars, wreckers, tow vehicles, hearses or ambulances;
(B) Vehicles commonly known as passenger cars; and
(C) Trailers with a loaded weight of 8,000 pounds or less, except travel trailers or trailers registered under a statute other than ORS 803.420(1).
(b) Any vehicle covered in section (1) of this rule and registered with a customized plate(s) as provided in ORS 805.240;
(c) Government-owned or -operated vehicles of the type covered under ORS 803.420(1) issued plates other than government-owned vehicle registration plates as described in ORS 805.200;
(d) Elected official plates covered under ORS 805.220; and
(e) Oregon National Guard plates covered under ORS 805.200.
(2) Vehicles listed in section (1) of this rule shall be issued a plate bearing the graphic design:
(a) Upon the initial registration of the vehicle in Oregon;
(b) Upon application for replacement plate(s); and
(c) Any time a plate(s) would normally be issued to a vehicle (i.e., when a change in registration type or change in class occurs, such as when the weight of a pickup truck is reduced and its registration changes from heavy truck registration under ORS 803.420(9) to passenger truck registration under ORS 803.410(1)).
(3) Nothing in this rule shall be deemed to limit the issuance of special registration plates as described in ORS chapter 805.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, ORS 184.619 & ORS 805.115
Stats. Implemented: ORS 803.520 & ORS 803.535
Hist.: MV 23-1988, f. 6-29-88, cert. ef. 7-1-88; MV 14-1991, f. 9-18-91, cert. ef. 9-29-91; DMV 5-2000, f. & cert. ef. 8-10-00
Charitable Organization/Non-Profit -- Registration
(1) As used in this rule "charitable-nonprofit registration" means the registration established under ORS 803.420(11) for certain vehicles used exclusively as described in ORS 825.015 or ORS 825.017.
(2) "Charitable organization" is as defined in ORS 825.017. To qualify as a charitable organization under this rule, the organization shall first qualify as such with the Motor Carrier Transportation Division (MCTD) of the Oregon Department of Transportation.
(3) "Nonprofit" is as is defined in ORS 825.015.
(4) The Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division of the Department of Transportation (DMV) shall issue plates of a special design for vehicles registered under charitable-nonprofit registration. Such plates shall:
(a) Contain the prefix letters "CN" followed by numerals;
(b) Be validated by a sticker that reflects the month and year of the registration expiration; and
(c) Only be valid for display on vehicles that qualify for charitable-nonprofit registration, and which are operated within the restrictions placed on that type of registration.
(5) To be eligible for charitable-nonprofit registration the vehicle shall be a motor vehicle that has a loaded weight of more than 8,000 pounds, and that either:
(a) Has a seating capacity of fewer than 16 persons, and is used exclusively in nonprofit operation for commuting to job, job training or educational facilities; or
(b) Is owned or operated by a charitable organization or under contract with a charitable organization, and used exclusively in performing transportation, either one way or round trip, necessary to the operation of the charitable organization.
(6) For a vehicle to qualify for charitable-nonprofit registration the owner shall make application to DMV. All of the following apply to the initial registration of a vehicle under charitable-nonprofit registration:
(a) The applicant shall complete a certification on a form provided by DMV, or facsimile thereof, that shall include but may not be limited to a statement that:
(A) The vehicle shall be used exclusively as described in ORS 825.015 or 825.017;
(B) In the case of a vehicle being used by or under contract with a charitable organization, that the organization has an affidavit on file with MCTD as required under ORS 825.017; and
(C) That should the vehicle cease to be used for such purposes, or if the vehicle is sold to someone who does not qualify, that the charitable organization registration plates shall be surrendered to DMV.
(b) Plate manufacturing fees as established under OAR 735-032-0010 shall be required for the issuance of charitable-nonprofit registration plates.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 184.616, ORS 184.619, ORS 803.420(11), ORS 803.535 & ORS 805.200
Stats. Implemented: ORS 803.420 & ORS 805.200
Hist.: MV 55-1989, f. & cert. ef. 12-21-89; DMV 8-1997, f. & cert. ef. 10-16-97
Oregon State Archives • 800 Summer St. NE • Salem, OR 97310