As the tracking and issuing of specialty license plates is handled by each state's Department of Motor Vehicles, the methods for checking availability vary based on a driver's state. For example, Florida allows users to conduct an availability search online, whereas California requires drivers to check during the purchasing process.
To use the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle's online personalized license plate search tool, a users needs to first choose the Motor Vehicles, Tags and Titles section from the main navigation bar and then choose the listing for License Plates, as of April 2015. This page contains numerous links for services about renewing and ordering license plates and registration tags, such as the personalized plate search tool. In this tool, users can search up to five different plate configurations with a limit of up to seven characters per plate. Search results contain the availability of the entered plate and a link to view the different types of plates that a driver can order with that personalization.
To find out if a different state offers a license plate search tool, one must search the licensing section of that state's website. Drivers can also visit a local office to speak to an associate about site functions or in-person searches.