Yeah, very good question. I tried to have the plate associated with the car right from the dealer because I had it in my possession before I took delivery - they insisted that it is not possible, I still believe it is, ask your dealer, they may be more enthusiastic about the idea.
I had to wait until our metal plates were delivered in the mail and take them and the personalized plates to the DMV to have the personalized ones associated.
My degree is in physics also, guess only physics majors will get it and that is okay with me.
Darren Schurig (Yiiikes)
BMW i3 in the garage
Ionic Silver, Mega, 20" wheels, Technology and Driving Assist package