We are celebrating FIVE years of the Oregon gray whale license plate!

You can be one of more than 32,000 Oregonians who are already supporting marine mammal research, education, and outreach by purchasing and renewing a Coastal Playground license plate. These special plates are available at all Oregon DMV branches.

The license plate, which features the image of a gray whale mother and her calf, went on sale at Oregon Department of Motor Vehicle offices on February 1, 2019. The plates cost $40 to order or renew, with approximately $36 of each sale going directly to OSU’s Marine Mammal Institute based at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. 

We deeply appreciate your support!
Revenue from Coastal Playground license plate sales and renewals is making the following Marine Mammal Institute–led projects possible:
Your support is making a difference.

About the Design

Renowned wildlife illustrator Pieter Folkens created the lifelike image depicting the gray whale cow and calf that appears on the license plates. Emmy-award winning graphic artist Pete McKeeman added a two-toned background representing the sea and sky and highlighting a coastal lighthouse in the upper left corner. The bottom inscription reads “Coastal Playground,” reflecting the importance of the coast to marine animals and to coastal tourism.

Marine Mammal Institute founder Dr. Bruce Mate holds up the Coastal Playground license plate.

A Special Acknowledgment

We'd like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Oregon State Representative David Gomberg for his incredible support in working with the Oregon State Legislature to update and reform the Oregon Special License Plate Program. His efforts paved the way for the creation of the Coastal Playground gray whale license plate and so many other special plates that each benefit worthwhile nonprofit organizations.

Oregon State Representative David Gomberg holds up his Coastal Playground license plate.

Frequently Asked Questions

Good news! You can go into any Oregon DMV branch to purchase your plates. You may also be able to purchase a plate by mail. Contact the DMV for details.

In addition to regular title, registration, and plate fees, the specialty whale plate has a $40 surcharge due when you first order the plate and at each registration renewal. The surcharge is the same amount for four-year or two-year registration periods. Additionally, you will need to pay a one-time plate fee and plate replacement fee. Complete details can now be found on the Oregon DMV website

Yes! Like other Oregon license plates, the gray whale license plate may be customized for an additional DMV charge. Please inquire with the DMV about the application process.

Yes, you can maintain your current custom 6-character configuration on a whale plate, for an additional DMV charge. Applications for replacement custom plates are accepted at the DMV.

Souvenir plates are not available. Whale plates are only available with passenger vehicles registered in the State of Oregon. 

  • Take your original paper voucher to any Oregon DMV location to redeem it for your plates. You will need to complete the appropriate DMV form(s) and pay registration and other fees due (contact the DMV for details). 
  • Your purchase of a voucher is a transaction between you and the Marine Mammal Institute. If your voucher is lost, stolen, or damaged, contact the MMI for a replacement.
  • The sale of the voucher is a fundraising activity of the MMI. The DMV does not and will not control the means or manner of the sale and distribution of vouchers.

To give the whale plate voucher as a gift, sign as Purchaser and complete the bottom “Transfer of Voucher” section in the name of the person receiving the gift. Be sure that you also sign as Transferor in this section.