Apply for personalised number plates

All number plates must be issued by the Motor Vehicle Registry (MVR) office.

It is an offence to display number plates on a vehicle that are not approved by MVR.

When you register a vehicle, you will be issued general issue number plates - unless you apply for personalised number plates.

You can apply for personalised number plates for all privately-registered vehicles.

Right to display

In the Northern Territory (NT), permission to display number plates on your vehicle is called the right to display.

Your personalised number plates will be available for other customers to order if you lose the right to display.

Find out how to transfer the right to display number plates.

Character combinations

You will need to create a combination of characters, but it must not contain any of the following:

  • obscene, blasphemous, offensive, sexually explicit, violent or discriminatory characters
  • any combination or substitution of numbers or letters where there is potential misrepresentation that the number plate be mistaken for another number plate – e.g. 5 substituted for S or 1 for I
  • names or initials of countries or states – e.g. NSW, USA, AUST
  • a combination of letters that represent government departments and authorities – e.g. POLICE
  • a combination of letters forming MVR number plate prefixes – e.g. TAXI, TV, MB, CV
  • a diamond character that leads or ends the number plate
  • registered trademark or company name, unless you have the authority to display
  • any combination restricted by law including Australian Defence Force
  • other restrictions determined by the MVR office.

Conditions for personalised number plates

The following conditions apply to all personalised plates:

  • All number plates remain the property of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. You are paying a fee for the right to display particular or personalised number plates only, and not for the purchase of the number plates.
  • All plates ordered must be fitted to a current NT registered vehicle within 12 months of notification that the plates are available to collect. Your right to display may be withdrawn if the plates are not fitted to an NT registered vehicle within the 12 month period following notification.
  • If the registration of the vehicle is allowed to lapse, you will keep the right to display the plate for 12 months. Your right to display may expire if the plates are not fitted to an NT registered vehicle within the 12 month period immediately following the last day of registration.
  • All plate applications are accepted subject to final approval by the Registrar of Motor Vehicles.
  • Where an application for a specific sequence has been rejected, the applicant may either:
    • apply for a fee refund or
    • submit an alternative choice.
  • The reasons a customer gives for wanting a certain number plate are completely irrelevant as to whether or not the number plate is acceptable.
  • If complaints are received about a personalised number plate, the Registrar may choose to withdraw the plate from circulation and offer the owner an alternative number.
  • To collect the new number plates, the registered owner must return the number plates previously attached to the motor vehicle or trailer to MVR.

How to apply

Before you apply, find out the types of personalised and special number plates and fees.

It takes about 6 to 8 weeks for your number plates to be ready after your order is approved by MVR.

You can apply online or in person.

Go to MVR plates online.

On the online system, you can't order the following:

  • remakes of standard issue number plates - lost, missing or stolen
  • souvenir number plates
  • remakes of special series, commemorative number plates and so on
  • commercial passenger vehicles (CPV) number plates - taxi, substitute taxi, minibus, motor omnibus, limousine, special passenger vehicle, private hire and tourist vehicle
  • pastoral car and pastoral motorcycle number plates
  • consular number plates.

Fill in the R1 apply for personalised number plate form PDF (966.8 KB) and submit it in person at an MVR office.

You can pay by MasterCard, Visa, BasicsCard, cash or EFTPOS.

Collecting your personalised number plates

When it's ready to collect from your chosen MVR office, a letter will be posted to your nominated address.

To collect the personalised number plates, you must:

If you ordered it as a gift, you will need authority from the registered owner to collect the number plates.

Once you receive your number plates, you must attach them to your registered vehicle as soon as possible.

Read more about fitting your number plates.


For more information, email

Last updated: 14 October 2022

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