NC Coastal Federation License Plate

The North Carolina coast is spectacular. When you purchase a North Carolina Coastal Federation license plate, you help keep our coastal waters healthy and beautiful.

Your License Plate Protects Water Quality

North Carolina’s clean coastal waters are important to many people, supporting swimming, fishing, boating, and many other uses. It’s hard to imagine how different our coast would be if the waters were too polluted for residents and visitors to enjoy. 

However, growing coastal populations result in changes to the coastal landscape through roadways, new development, and large-scale agriculture. Intense rainstorms generate stormwater runoff, which can cause flooding and pollution of our coastal waters. 

Revenues from the Coastal Federation’s license plate supports our work to protect and restore water quality. In 2022, we will:

How Your License Plate Made a Difference Last Year

Funding from the license plate last year helped the Federation protect and restore our coast from Currituck to Brunswick County:

  • Created 5 acres of oysters habitat in 2021, that filter out water borne contamination as part of the 50 Million Oyster Initiative.
  • Installed numerous stormwater reduction measures, including techniques that used low-impact development (LID), that reduce stormwater runoff from development projects.
  • Helped to restored 3,000 acres of wetlands in 4 coastal counties

Frequently Asked Questions

If I have the old design, do I have to get the new one?

No. You can keep the plate with the old design. However, if you order a new plate, you will receive the new design.

If I already have a federation license plate, how do I update it to the new design?

The new design can be requested at any license plate agency or by mail. The plates are mailed from Raleigh. If it is time for you to renew your plate, you can ask for the same text or number you currently have on the new background at your renewal. If you choose to get the new plate at any other time, you will have to pay replacement plate fees.

Can you put the federation plate on all vehicles?

Specialized plates may be purchased for automobiles, trailers and trucks with weight up to 26,000 pounds. Unfortunately, because of plate size, they cannot be purchased for motorcycles.

Can I personalize my plate?

Yes you can, but it is not required. There will be four spaces available for personalization. There is an additional $30 charge for personalization. You may request your personalized plate at any time. If you wish to do so with this application, please remit a check for $60 and list your first three choices on the application.

Can I change my mind?

We hope you’ll always want to support the coast, but should you change your mind, you may go back to a regular license plate at any time.

How much does it cost each year?

  • Standard NC license plate renewals cost $20 to $25 for the annual license fee (price varies from county to county).
  • Specialty plates cost an additional $30 ($20 goes to the Coastal Federation and $10 supports state projects, including including highway beautification, handicapped accessibility and visitors centers).
  • You can opt to personalize the plate for an additional $30 (Specialty plates have four spaces available — some of our favorites are TIDE, WAVE, FISH and NCCF).

How does purchasing a plate help the federation?

The federation will receive $20 per plate as a contribution, which will be used to support restoration, protection and education projects.

In addition to providing more than $80,000 a year for federation projects, our license plates provide about $40,000 annually to the State of North Carolina for important travel and tourism investments, including highway beautification, handicapped accessibility and visitors centers.

Will I receive updates from the federation once I get my plate?

No, unfortunately the federation does not receive any information from the DMV about the generous individuals who support the coast through a specialty plate. Please click here to let us know who you are and receive a complimentary 6-month membership, or click here to sign up for our monthly e-newsletter to keep up with coastal happenings, events and volunteer opportunities.

Can I give directly to the federation instead of purchasing a plate?

Yes! You can click here to join the federation, and give directly to support our beautiful coast. As a member of the federation, you will also enjoy these membership benefits.

More Questions

Call Division of Motor Vehicles at  919-715-7000 to learn more about your license plate order. Call the federation at 252-393-8185 to learn more about the plate program.

Buy a plate online today Visit your local license bureau