About decal plates

Decal plates are specialty plates that display a nonprofit organization decal (sticker). Only the decal plate can be used on a vehicle with an Iowa DOT-approved decal. View all approved decals.

Decal plates come in pairs for a passenger vehicle or truck and single plates for a large trailer, travel trailer, or truck tractor.

Can I personalize a decal plate?

Decal plates can be personalized up to 5 characters.

Do I need a decal for both the front plate and the back plate?

Yes, both plates need to have the DOT-approved decal affixed to be legal. The decal must be in the designated area and cannot cover any information printed on the plate.

Can I keep my personalized plate text if I get a decal plate?

Yes. Please contact Vehicle Services at 515-237-3110 or for assistance.

Where do I get a decal?

Decals are not issued by DOT. You must contact the approved organization to get decals.

What does it cost to get a decal?

Approved organizations choose whether to charge an amount for the decal and what that amount is. DOT does not receive any part of the money collected by an organization.

What does a decal plate cost?

View the decal plate cost and find out how to get a decal plate.

How does an organization qualify to issue a decal?

  • The primary activity or interest of the organization serves the community, contributes to the welfare of others, and is not discriminatory in its purpose, nature, activity, or name.
  • The name and purpose of the organization do not promote any specific product or brand name that is provided for sale.
  • The organization is a nonprofit corporation which is exempt from taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is organized under the laws of this state or authorized to do business within the state.

How do I apply to issue a decal?

  • Complete the Application Requesting a Non-Profit Organization Decal.
  • When submitting the application online, you will need to include the following:
    • Copy of the articles of incorporation for the organization.
    • Copy of the charter or by-laws for the organization.
    • Any Internal Revenue Service rulings concerning the organization's non-profit tax exemption status.
    • A color copy of the decal design.

Applications will be processed within 60 days of receipt of all required documentation.

What are the requirements for the decal?

  • Size must be no larger than 2.875 inches in width and 3 inches in height.
  • Cannot promote a specific religion, faith, or anti-religious sentiment.
  • Cannot have any sexual connotation.
  • Cannot be vulgar, prejudiced, hostile, insulting, or racially or ethnically degrading.

If my organization is a nonprofit but not a 501(c)(3), can I still qualify?

Iowa Code requires that an organization be a recognized 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Code.

How do I know if I am organized under the laws of Iowa?

These resources are maintained by, and assistance provided by the Iowa Secretary of State.

What if my organization is organized in another state?

The organization will need to be recognized as a foreign nonprofit in Iowa. Please consult the Iowa Secretary of State’s office for assistance.


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