The IDOT is planning license plate replacements for all Iowa plates. A replacement has not been mandated since 1997 and plates are reaching the end of their usable life. In the past plates have been replaced all at once, but this time, the state is implementing a rolling system of replacements.
Older plates will be replaced first, with newer plates being replaced in later years. This year, plates issued in 1997 and 1998 will be replaced. In 2013 plates issued between 1998 and 2003 will be replaced, and in 2014 plates issued in 2004 for will be replaced. After that plates will need to be replaced every ten years. There will be no fee for the replacements, but if you want to replace license plates before they are required, there will be a $5 fee per plate. Another change will be coming soon. Sometime over summer, the IDOT will run out of plates with numbers before letters, and new plates with letters first will be issued. County Treasurer Jeff Garret says they don’t know exactly when the plates will run out, because each county has a back stock of plates, and counties will run out at different times. New plates will also have black letters instead of blue after law enforcement officials said black letters would be easier to read.