How to Get Your Plates

It's easy to reserve your Oregon gray whale license plates:

  1. Purchase a voucher online for only $40, of which $35 will directly support the research, graduate education, and public outreach programs of the OSU Marine Mammal Institute. We will be selling vouchers through early May 2018, then the Oregon DMV will begin the plate production process.
  2. Keep your vouchers in a safe place! We will notify you when you can go to the DMV to exchange your voucher for your new whale plates. We anticipate that the plates will be ready in the first quarter of 2019.

Note: There will be other applicable DMV registration and/or plate fees when the plates become available. Please read the FAQ for details. For questions not answered through the FAQ, please contact our office at whaleplate@oregonstate.edu. Thank you for your support!

Purchase Voucher Online Now

We share the Oregon Coast with the other animals that live here. Show your pride in the Oregon Coast and its amazing marine life with the Marine Mammal Institute's Gray Whale "Coastal Playground" vehicle license plate.

Every purchase supports the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute, meaning the license plates are more than distinctive and stylish — they also help support whale research, graduate student education, and public outreach.

You can be one of the first to own the new plate by purchasing a voucher. We will be selling vouchers through early May 2018, then the Oregon DMV will begin the plate production process. You will be notified when your plate is available at the DMV. Read the press release here.

Thank you!

General Conditions and FAQs

  • Your purchase of a voucher is a transaction between you and the Marine Mammal Institute. For a proposed special registration plate to qualify for production, the MMI must sell at least 3,000 vouchers and submit them to Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) with payment. This proposed special registration plate is not available for purchase from the DMV at this time.
  • If your voucher is lost, stolen, or damaged, you must contact the MMI for a replacement.
  • Your purchase of this voucher is at your own risk and does not guarantee you will receive a special registration plate.
  • If for any reason the proposed special registration plate does not qualify for production, the MMI — not the DMV — will refund your money.
  • If the proposed special registration plate qualifies for production, the MMI will notify you when you may redeem your voucher with the DMV for your new plates.
  • 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.

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.

The total cost of a set of plates depends upon when and how a vehicle owner applies for a new set. Here are two common scenarios:

1. Vouchers exchanged for new plates within 120 days before a vehicle’s stickers expire:
Whale plate surcharge: $40 ($0 with prepaid voucher) 
Plate fee: $24 for the pair
Plate replacement fee: $5
Registration renewal: $112 (Multnomah County residents add $38)
Total: $181 ($219 in Multnomah County)

2. Vouchers exchanged for new plates more than 120 days before a vehicle’s stickers expire:
Whale plate surcharge: $40 ($0 with prepaid voucher)
Plate fee: $24 for the pair
Plate replacement fee: $10
Total: $74 (registration and renewal fees due prior to sticker expiration)

Once 3,000 plate vouchers have been sold, the DMV will begin the production process. Purchasers of the vouchers will be notified once the plates are available. The manufacture and distribution process takes several months. We anticipate that the plates will be ready in the first quarter of 2019. Read the press release here.
To give the whale plate voucher as a gift, purchase the voucher in your own name and address (both billing and delivery). When you receive the voucher in the mail, 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.
Yes. Like other Oregon license plates, the gray whale license plate may be customized for an additional DMV charge. Applications for custom plates will be accepted by DMV once the whale plates go on sale.
Yes, you will be able to maintain your current custom 6-character configuration on a whale plate, for an additional DMV charge. Applications for replacement custom plates will be accepted by DMV once the whale plates go on sale.
Whale plates are only available with passenger vehicles registered in the State of Oregon. Souvenir plates are not available at this time.
No. Voucher purchase requires confirmation that you have read and understand the Terms and Conditions, so all voucher purchases must be made online. If you are unable to purchase the voucher online, please contact our office at 541-867-0202, or whaleplate@oregonstate.edu. You may also purchase the whale license plate at Oregon DMV branches once they are made available to the public.

About the Design

Renowned wildlife illustrator Pieter Folkens created the lifelike image depicting the gray whale cow and calf, which has been placed on a two-tone, blue background. A lighthouse sits in the upper left corner of the plate and across the bottom, the plate reads “Coastal Playground.”

The coast is a wonderful place to come and play for ourselves, but other mammals live and play there also.