Give Your Car a Cause

Did you know Chesapeake Bay plates help restore the Chesapeake Bay and other natural resources of our region? Simply by purchasing a Chesapeake plate for only $20, car owners can show their support for the environment. And with the Plate Perks Program, you can make your $20 investment back quickly!

For only $20, you can purchase Treasure the Chesapeake license plates online and they will be mailed directly to your home. Your contribution is distributed through the non-profit Chesapeake Bay Trust in the form of grants to schools, community groups, and other not-for-profits for K-12 environmental education, restoration and protection of our waterways.

Our impact extends beyond feet of shoreline restored or number of trees planted: it is also measured in lives touched as people gain a new appreciation for the Bay and the land and water within its watershed.

Learn about how to get discounts with your Bay plate

Learn about Bay-friendly car dealerships

Use the links below to order your Bay Plate today!

TWO WAYS TO ORDER YOUR

CHESAPEAKE BAY PLATE TODAY:

Order online, OR download, print, and mail the pdf form.

When mailing the form, please include a check or money order made payable to the MVA. Checks must include name and address, driver’s license number (soundex number), and home and/or work phone number.

Bay Plate: Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get a Chesapeake Bay license plate?

The Chesapeake Bay license plate is available online at the MVA website, at MVA branches, your local tag & title service, or you can ask your car dealership when purchasing your car!  Click here for MVA online services.

If I order a Bay plate online, how do I return my existing plates?

You would return your plate at any MVA Branch location.

If I already have a personalized “vanity” plate, can I re-order it on the new Chesapeake Bay plate background? How much will it cost?

Yes. The standard license plate replacement cost of $20 applies. You will need to apply for substitute plates with stickers online.  When ordering, screen two allows you to select a “Chesapeake Bay Plate” as your preferred plate.  Click here to order substitute plates online.

For Current Bay Plate Owners:

I have the previous Bay Plate with the heron on it already.  I want a new Bay Plate with the crab and the bridge.   How do I get one?

You can order a Bay Plate Online!  On the second screen of the ordering system, select “Chesapeake Bay Plate” as your preferred option. Click here to order your Bay Plate now!

I have a Bay Plate already, and I like my bay plate number.  I’d like to keep the same number but have it on the new crab/bridge bay plate background.  Can I keep my number?

Unfortunately, you are not able to keep the same number on a new bay plate (unless it’s a vanity plate; i.e., you paid $50 for a specific set of numbers/letters).   If you’d like the new bay plate, you will be getting a new number on your plate.

I have the previous Bay Plate with the heron already.  Can I keep it or do I have to get the new Bay license plate?

Customers who have a Bay Plate with the heron on it can keep and continue to use those plates, and in most cases can transfer it to any new vehicle you purchase/obtain.

For People Who Do Not Yet Own Bay Plates:

I don’t have a Bay Plate yet, how much is it?  Does the new bay plate cost any more than the old bay plate?

Bay plates are $20.  $10 goes through the Chesapeake Bay Trust for environment-related grants, and $10 is kept to administer the program by the MVA.

I don’t have a Bay Plate yet, what is the easiest way for me to get one?

You can order a Bay Plate online with MVA Online Services.

  • Scroll down to “To Request a Background Scene Plate.”
  • Click “Online”
  • Click “Vehicle Services” (under the car icon).
  • Scroll down to “Order a New License Plate/Tag” on the left-hand side menu.
  • On the second page of the ordering system, select “Chesapeake Bay Plate” as your preferred option.

I don’t have a Bay Plate yet.  I’d like one, but I’d like to keep my current plate number and have it on the new crab/bridge bay plate background.  Can I keep my number? 

Unfortunately, you are not able to keep the same number on a new bay plate (unless it’s a vanity plate; i.e., you paid $50 for a specific set of numbers/letters).   If you’d like the new bay plate, you will be getting a new number on your plate.