In this paper, a rational absolute nodal coordinate formulation (RANCF) thin plate element is developed and its use in the analysis of curved geometry is demonstrated. RANCF finite elements are the rational counterpart of the nonrational absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF) finite elements which employ rational polynomials as basis or blending functions. RANCF finite elements can be used in the accurate geometric modeling and analysis of flexible continuum bodies with complex geometrical shapes that cannot be correctly described using nonrational finite elements. In this investigation, the weights, which enter into the formulation of the RANCF finite element and form an additional set of geometric parameters, are assumed to be nonzero constants in order to accurately represent the initial geometry and at the same time preserve the desirable ANCF features, including a constant mass matrix and zero centrifugal and Coriolis generalized inertia forces. A procedure for defining the control points and weights of a Bezier surface defined in a parametric form is used in order to be able to efficiently create RANCF/ANCF FE meshes in a straightforward manner. This procedure leads to a set of linear algebraic equations whose solution defines the RANCF coordinates and weights without the need for an iterative procedure. In order to be able to correctly describe the ANCF and RANCF gradient deficient FE geometry, a square matrix of position vector gradients is formulated and used to calculate the FE elastic forces. As discussed in this paper, the proposed finite element allows for describing exactly circular and conic sections and can be effectively used in the geometry and analysis modeling of multibody system (MBS) components including tires. The proposed RANCF finite element is compared with other nonrational ANCF plate elements. Several numerical examples are presented in order to demonstrate the use of the proposed RANCF thin plate element. In particular, the FE models of a set of rational surfaces, which include conic sections and tires, are developed.