Martha's Vineyard License Plate

Frequently Asked Questions


What do I need to bring to the RMV to collect my plate?

You will need to bring a completed RMV-3 form signed by your car insurance provider. To obtain this form, call your car insurance provider and ask them to email or fax you a signed RMV-3 form for a plate swap. Bring this form with you to the RMV. As long as your current registration is in good standing (no outstanding excise taxes, fines, tickets, etc.) you will be able to leave with plates in hand that day. 


How much will the plate cost me?
A Martha’s Vineyard specialty license plate costs $40, in addition to a one-time RMV swap fee of $20 to process the conversion. The swap fee is payable when you pick up your plate at your local RMV. Going forward you will only be charged the added $40 upon renewal, all of which goes to Martha's Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) and Island nonprofits benefiting youth and elders.


Can I give a Martha's Vineyard License Plate as a gift?

Yes, as long as the person's car is registered in Massachusetts. The best way to do this is to write a check out to the Massachusetts RMV for $40 and give this printable gift certificate to the recipient. Once the person receives this gift, they will need to have their RMV-3 form from signed by their car insurance. To obtain this form, they will call their car insurance provider and ask them to email or fax them a signed RMV-3 form for a plate swap. They will need to bring the RMV-3 form, along with the gifted $40.00 check with them to the RMV. As long as their current registration is in good standing (no outstanding excise taxes, fines, tickets, etc.) they will be able to leave the RMV with plates in hand!


*If you are gifting the plate to a spouse/partner/child, in which you are on the same car insurance - you would be able to do these steps yourself prior to gifting - as long as you have all of the recipients information.



Is the special plate fee tax-deductible?

Yes, $28 is tax-deductible with your first-time order ($12 goes to the RMV for production costs) and the entire $40 specialty plate fee is a tax-deductible donation upon renewal.


How often are Special Plates renewed? 

The special plates are renewed every two years.


Does the cost of this new specialty plate include my vehicle registration fees?

No, your registration fees are not included during the new plate development process. You must renew your current vehicle registration. When RMV issues your new plate, the plate fee will be included in your next vehicle registration renewal.


Where does my money go? 

Your donation will be used to fund MVCS programs and an ever-growing range of education, health and human support services for individuals and families around the Island. MVCS has committed to donating 20% of net proceeds to other Island non-profits that benefit youth and elders.


Do you have to be a Massachusetts resident to purchase the plate?

No, anyone with a car registered in the state of Massachusetts may purchase the Martha's Vineyard specialty plate.


Is any vehicle eligible for the Specialty Plate?

Specialty plates are for passenger vehicles only. In addition: Your registration must be active and in good standing. You must be the registered owner of the vehicle.


Can I get this specialty plate on my commercial vehicle?

Not yet. There is legislation being proposed that would allow commercial vehicles to be able to have a specialty plate.


Can I put this new special plate on my leased vehicle?

Yes. You will need a Power of Attorney letter from your leasing agent in addition to a RMV-3 form signed by your car insurance provider. Car dealerships will not have MV plates available, so you will need to accept whatever plate the dealer puts on the vehicle and then make the swap at the your local RMV.


Can I get this new special plate for my motorcycle?

Not yet. There is legislation being proposed that would allow motorcycles to be able to have a specialty plate.


Where do I pick up my Martha's Vineyard specialty plate and what do I do with my old plates?

You will be notified by mail that your plates have been shipped to the requested Registry of Motor Vehicles branch listed on your application. Bring your registration and current plates (if applicable) to the branch at that time.


If I am applying for a specialty plate for more than one vehicle, do I need to fill out an application for each vehicle?

Yes, MassDOT requires a separate application and check for each specialty plate requested.


Can I personalize this new specialty plate?

No. Like all Massachusetts specialty license plates, the Martha's Vineyard specialty plates begin with two letters (“MV” as pictured above) and will be followed by up to four digits.


If I have an MV plate but buy a new car, can I transfer the MV plate to my new car?

Yes. If you are buying a new car at the dealership, the dealer should be able to transfer the plate. If you are leasing the car instead of buying it, it is a bit different. If you are leasing, it is easier for the dealer to put regular plates on the car and then transfer the plates at a registry office. In that case, you would need to have a power of attorney from the leasing company, allowing them to swap the plates, and an RMV-3 from the insurance company.


Can I select my plate number?
Special plates are randomly assigned. You may not request a particular plate number or retain your current plate number. If you are interested in our low number (1-99) auction, sign up for our mailing list here.


If I am not in Massachusetts to swap my plate when it’s ready, can I have someone do it on my behalf? Yes, as long none of the information on the originally submitted application has changed.


Where is my donation acknowledgement letter?

As noted above, when you register your Martha's Vineyard Specialty Plate, $28 is a tax-deductible donation to MVCS. Upon renewal the entire $40 is a tax-deductible donation to MVCS. For tax purposes, all you will need for documentation is your vehicle registration, which includes the Specialty Plate fee. If you need further documentation, you can include this GuideStar document.


How can I get more information?


You can contact the state's Specialty Plate Department at: 1-857-368-8031.


You can also contact the Martha's Vineyard License Plate Committee at info@mvlicenseplate.com