Iowa DOT News

Iowa DOT offers more convenient way to get numbered “blackout plates”

AMES, Iowa – Aug. 26, 2019 – With the popularity of Iowa’s new blackout license plates, the Iowa Department of Transportation will now be providing a supply of the non-personalized, alpha-numeric version of the blackout specialty license plate to your local county treasurer’s office.

Beginning Sept. 3, you will be able to exchange any plates for non-personalized blackout plates at your local county treasurer’s office, saving the two- to three-week order processing time if ordered online or by mail. Your new blackout plates will not have the same letter/number combination as your current plates.

Simply bring your existing plates into your county treasurer’s office after Sept. 3 and pay for and pick up your new plates. The blackout plates are considered a specialty plate, so there is an additional fee to get them.

Due at the time you pick up your non-personalized blackout plates:

  • $35 initial fee for the blackout plate fee

Due the next time you renew your non-personalized blackout plate:

  • $10 annual registration fee for the Blackout Plate renewal

Due to the change, non-personalized blackout plates will no longer be available to order online. To expedite your order, please do not mail applications for the non-personalized blackout plates after Sept. 3.

No change for ordering personalized blackout plates

The process to order personalized blackout plates has not changed.  If you currently have non-personalized, alpha-numeric plates of any type or are seeking a new personalized message, you may order personalized plates online at or by mailing in the form with payment.  If you have a current personalized plate and want to keep the text, you need to use the mail-in form.

Due at the time you order your new, personalized plates:

  • $60 initial fee ($25 personalization fee + $35 for blackout plate fee)

Due the next time you renew your personalized blackout plate:

  • $15 annual registration fee ($5 validation fee + $10 for the blackout plate fee)

Costs of specialty and personalized plates are set by the Iowa Legislature.




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