Established non-profit organizations that are registered with the Nevada Secretary of State or governmental agencies may request a specialty license plate. Plates may also be requested through the State Legislature.
The plate being requested must generate financial support for services to the community relating to public health, education, or general welfare. The plate may not promote, advertise or endorse any specific product, brand name, or service or promote any specific religion, faith or anti-religious belief.
The Nevada Legislature established two tiers of specialty license plates. Sponsoring agencies must choose one of the two tiers and post the appropriate surety bond with the application.
There is a cap on the number of plates issued in each tier. New plates are produced as openings become available in each tier in the order that applications were received.
The DMV conducts a review of plates each fall. Plates must maintain a minimum number of active registrations in order for the plate to be continued.
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Plates are requested using the following applications:
Proposed art work may be submitted with the application, but it is not required. Non-profits must meet financial reporting requirements established by the Nevada legislative auditor.
The application must include a budget which includes the proposed operating and administrative expenses of the organization. The applicant must amend and update the application if the organization has prepared a new budget before the plate is issued.
The Nevada Commission on Special License Plates reviews applications and recommends whether a plate should be issued. The Department of Motor Vehicles Plates makes the final determination.
On or before September 1 each year, the Commission compiles a list of plates it has recommended for approval and forwards this to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Plates which meet the application requirements are placed on the list for production. Plates are produced up to the maximum number allowed in each tier. See Annual Plate Review for the plates which have already been approved and are waiting for production.
When the Department has determined it will issue the plate, the Department will notify the person who requested the plate, the organization, and the Commission.
Upon the Department’s approval of a plate, the sponsoring organization must submit to the Commission, in writing, the methods and procedures used to award grants with the money received from the sale of license plates. The Commission shall review and approve the procedures.
Once a specialty plate has been approved for production, the sponsoring group meets with the DMV for guidelines on color, character placement and other plate requirements.
The group must then submit its formal proposed art work to the DMV, which may ask for changes based on technical factors. Once the design is agreed upon, the department will produce prototypes.
The prototypes are submitted to the Nevada Highway Patrol for field testing for legibility. Upon law enforcement approval, plates are given final approval or rejection by the DMV.
Production begins following the final approval. The DMV will distribute plates to its field offices, post the plate on its website and in display cases in some offices. Sponsoring groups are typically issued lower-numbered plates and they may purchase souvenir plates for fundraising.
For further information, see the Specialty Plate Development Process (SP 69) and contact:
DMV Special Plates
555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711-0875
(775) 684-4797 Fax
Non-profit groups must submit a balance sheet and a recent bank statement by September 1 of each fiscal year on a form provided by the Commission.
On or before July 1 of each fiscal year, non-profit groups must provide to the Commission and the DMV:
On or before July 1 of each fiscal year, a non-profit organization shall also post on the organization’s website or publish in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the organization is based, the most recent federal tax return of the organization, including any related tax schedules.
The Commission on Special License Plates may request the Legislative Commission to direct the Legislative Auditor to perform an audit of a sponsoring non-profit organization if the Commission has reason to believe that the organization has filed forms or records that are inadequate of inaccurate, has committed improper financial practices, has failed to use adequate methods to ensure money received from plates is expended solely for the benefit of the intended recipient, or determines that an audit is necessary to assist the Commission in administering any provisions of the law.
The Commission on Special License Plates may recommend that a plate be discontinued if the Nevada legislative auditor determines that a non-profit group has committed any acts of improper financial administration. The sponsoring group will be given an opportunity for a hearing. The DMV makes the final decision. (NRS 482.38279)
The DMV reviews the number of active vehicle registrations for each specialty plate in the fourth quarter of each year. The department will cease to issue plates which do not maintain the minimum number of active registrations required under their tier.
The DMV will complete its review of registrations by October 1. The department must notify any group or organization whose plate does not meet the 1,000 or 3,000 minimum. (All charitable plates currently fall under the 1,000 minimum.)
The DMV will review the registration figures of affected plates again on December 31. If the number of active registrations on December 31 is still below the minimum, the department will cease to issue the plate. See Discontinued Plates.
Nevada law prohibits the DMV from issuing more than 30 separate designs of specialty license plates at any one time. When plates are discontinued, the department may then approve new plates up to the maximum.
The following plates will be produced as others are discontinued during the annual plate review:
Organizations waiting for their plate to be produced must amend their application to include any name changes of any change in the group for which funds will be raised within 90 days of the change.
The department may produce up to five plates under the 3,000-plate tier. Three plates are in production. A plate has been approved for The Keep Memory Alive/Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and is currently under development.
The commission reviews proposed license plates and monitors the charitable groups receiving funds. It meets in between sessions of the Nevada Legislature.