Personalized plates on leased auto in california

hi all,
just wondering what the procedure is for using personalized plates on a leased auto in california. the dmv letter i received says that if the new plates are to be used on a vehicle registered in the name of a leasing company, i will need a letter from the company giving me permission to use the plates on the vehicle. the vehicle is registered under toyota lease trust lsr and me as lse. Will I still need a letter from them even though I am a co-registered owner with Toyota?

will they give me a problem when i pick up the plates without the letter? or will i definitely need a letter from toyota/lexus?

thanks in advance!

I have personalized plates on my car that is financed through Lexus Financial. AAA didnt give me any hassle on changing to my personalized plates

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Thanks Calvin. I wish I had AAA. I called up dmv today and the lady in the phone said “ how did you order the plates? You are not supposed to if you have a leased auto”. She then asked me for the plate number. I said thanks and hung up right away.

In CA the plates belong to a person (not a car) but get assigned to a vehicle of the appropriate class. So you keep vanity plates forever and move them between vehicles, or just keep them if assigned to no vehicles (if they don’t have reg stickers they aren’t valid to drive on).

Your leasing company can send you a POA letter to take to DMV or AAA to switch the tags. That’s how I got the classic CA plate on my lease. Just remember TFS owns the car, you as lessor are just renting it.

Thanks jeisensc
I will ask Lexus for the letter just in case dmv needs it.

Thanks all! Have a nice weekend

Exactly. Funnily, its $40 for a new vanity plates and $55 to transfer the plates…

Recently ordered personalized plates online and checked “no” in the box asking whether it’s a leased car. Got the plates at DMV office no problem. The car is mercedes but I don’t think it matters.

I also transferred plates from one leased car to another with no issues.

Thanks Pavlon
Seems like it will depend on the dmv clerk on how they interpret the rules. At least i have time to wait for Lexus to send me the letter since dmv is closed for who knows how long.

When I was in CA and leased through MBFS, I just completed the whole personal plates request and paid online. There was nothing to it but it has been a few years so not sure if the process has changed. Once the plate was ready, you go line up at the tag pickup line and that was pretty much it.

Thanks LL
Here’s hoping dmv will be easy to deal with!

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Effective immediately, customers whose transactions require an in-office visit will be served on an appointment-only basis. Due to customer demand, there are currently no appointments available . DMV will continue to provide updates on the status of available appointments. Please continue to check the DMV website for the most current information.

Two bmws and both on personal plates - CA DMV. Just applied and went to collect them.

thanks trism,
i plan to make an appointment so crossing my fingers i don’t have to stand in that line!

thanks jeisenc! i’ll make sure to check everyday for appointments.

thanks amm,
that gives me some hope it will be an easy process.

Cmon man, use some common sense. No one should be exposing DMV staff or taking up one of the few available appointments for something as non-essential as vanity plates.

Your vanity can wait.

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Thanks max for your comment. California only gives you 30 days after the last notice to pick it up. Will you pay for my new plates if dmv cancels it after the 30 days? I’ll definitely give up my appointment spot for you or for someone who really needs the spot if you can do that. If dmv didn’t want me to come in, they wouldn’t have sent me the notice last week telling me to come in when they open up again. Lots of things can be done on the dmv website in lieu of going in. You should be targeting those people, not me. Exchanging plates is not one of those things that can be done via the Internet.

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Hey man that’s a tough comment. The DMV is a public service. And they want these types of upsells so don’t tell yourself otherwise that this isn’t common even during omicron. Now that plates get shipped to the home max can rest easy knowing no one was hurt trying to purchase the services our state government offers.

You do you on your plates and the more you spend the more you fuel our economy. Get vaxxed stay safe and wear a mask. And deck out your car with custom plates if that’s your prerogative!!!