The Plush-crested Jay occurs in south central South America. The northernmost localities are in southern Amazonia on the upper Madeira and Tapajós rivers south through Mato Grosso all the way to northern Rio Grande do Sul, and southeast to São Paulo, Brazil. It occurs west to Bolivia, from Beni south to Tarija, and east to the Brazilian border. The Plush-crested Jay occurs throughout Paraguay. It also occurs in northern Argentina, extending south to found Tucumán and Catamarca in the west, and to Chaco, northeastern Santa Fe, and Entre Ríos in the east; and in northern and central Uruguay.
The elevational range of the Plush-crested Jay extends up to 2500 m in the Andes of Bolivia (Krabbe et al. 1996), but in most of its range it occurs below 1500 m (Ridgely and Tudor 1989, Parker et al. 1996).