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Officially called “Prestige” plates or “Personalized” plates, they are far more often referred to as vanity plates. New Mexico introduced them in 1967 but several years elapsed before they became particularly popular in this state. They are available for cars, trucks and motorcycles, with an extra annual fee charged over and above regular registration fees.  See also Motorcycle Vanity.

Though more restrictive theNew Mexico Vanity (Prestige, Personalized) License Plates first few years they were available, today the rules are much more flexible. Chile plates may have 1 to 6 characters; yellow plates, 1 to 7 characters; and turquoise plates 1 to 8 characters. Motorcycle vanities, because of their smaller size, are more limited: Chile, 1 to 5 characters; yellow and turquoise, 1 to 6 characters.  The characters can include the zia symbol, spaces, apostrophes and dashes, along with any combination of letters and numbers, including the Spanish Ñ. At present, the Ñ is not available for motorcycle plates, but a few seemingly authentic examples from the early 1980s are known to exist. The MVD is authorized to reject a requested character set if it is found to be derogatory or obscene, or if it falsely states or implies that the driver or vehicle represents the authority of a governmental agency or official.



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