Frequently Asked Questions

Buy a plate now on | WHALE TAIL® Grants | Preguntas Realizadas con Frecuencia

What is the WHALE TAIL® Coastal Protection License Plate?

The Coastal Protection (or "WHALE TAIL®") Plate is an official license plate issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles for vehicles registered in California. Proceeds from the sale of these plates will benefit the California Coastal Commission's Adopt-A-Beach® Program, Coastal Cleanup Day and other coastal protection and restoration projects throughout the state.

How do I order a WHALE TAIL® Plate?

Visit to order your plate.

How much does the WHALE TAIL® Plate cost?

$50 over the usual registration fee, with a $40 annual renewal fee. Personalized plates are $103 for the first year, with a $83 renewal fee.

How much money will go to coastal conservation programs?

After the costs of producing the plates are met, approximately half of the funds will go towards coastal education, protection and restoration programs, and the rest will go to the California Environmental License Plate Fund, which funds environmental programs throughout the state.

Can I personalize my WHALE TAIL® Plate?

Yes. When you order your plate, you can also apply for a personalized plate. You may use a combination that is no more than seven characters, and does not already exist on any other California license plate. A new personalized plate will cost $103, with a $83 renewal fee.

How can I find out if my personalized choice is available?

You may check the current listings by calling (800) 777-0133, going in person to any DMV, or by searching the personalized plate database (On California DMV's site) to see if your choice is available!

Can I keep my current license plate number?

Unfortunately you won't be able to keep your old plate; DMV rules don't allow it. Your new license plate will have a number taken from the special series of numbers reserved for the WHALE TAIL® Plates. Commercial plates are also available.

If I already have a personalized plate, can I transfer the message to a WHALE TAIL® Plate?

Yes. You can convert your current personalized message to a new WHALE TAIL® License Plate for a fee of $103.

Can I give the WHALE TAIL® Plate as a gift?

Yes, simply fill in the gift information on the form, including the name and address of the recipient.

More questions?

Call 1-800-COAST-4U or email

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