Vehicle registration plates of Connecticut

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The U.S. state of Connecticut began requiring its residents to display license plates on their motor vehicles in 1905. Since then, Connecticut has used a variety of license plate designs, and has issued different designs for passenger, non-passenger, and, more recently, optional plate types that often require an additional fee.

Plates are issued in pairs, one each for the rear and front of the vehicle, for most classes of vehicles. For most classes of vehicles, plate validation stickers, or metal date tabs in earlier decades, were discontinued in favor of windshield stickers beginning in September 2006. (Windshield stickers were no longer required beginning in 2010.) Vehicles that do not have a windshield, or are part of fleets that frequently rotate plates among vehicles, continue to receive plate stickers.

Connecticut, as a rule, skips the number 0 as the leading digit in its plates, with the exception of dealer plates.

Passenger plates 1905 to 1956[edit]

1905-1936: Annual dated plates.

1937-1947: First multi-year base: black on natural aluminum with "CONN" embossed at lower right. Validated annually with metal tabs.

1948-1956: Black on reflective off-white with "CT" embossed at lower right. Validated annually with metal tabs.

Image First issued Description Slogan Serial format Serials issued
Connecticut 1914 7952.jpg 1914 White lettering on green background; CONN on left side, 1914 on right side. none
Connecticut 1926 A-1845.jpg 1926 Black lettering on dark yellow background, CONN. 1926 at bottom. none

Passenger plates 1956 to present[edit]

In 1956, the U.S. states and Canadian provinces came to an agreement with the Automobile Manufacturers Association that standardized the size for license plates for vehicles, except those for motorcycles, at six inches in height by twelve inches in width, with standardized mounting holes. The 1956 (dated 1957) issue was the first Connecticut license plate that complied with these standards.

1957-1974: White on blue with "CONNECTICUT" embossed at bottom left, the first time the full state name has appeared on plates. Validated annually with metal tabs from 1957 through 1963 and with stickers from 1964 through 2001, although issuance of this base ceased in 1974.

1974-1976: Blue on reflective white. The slogan "Constitution State" made its debut on this base, but the plates did not hold up well and were recalled in 1990. Validated with stickers.

1976-1987: Reflective white on blue with "CONNECTICUT" at bottom and "Constitution State" at top. These plates were retired during the period September 2000 through August 2002. Validated with stickers.

1987-2000: Reflective white on blue with "CONNECTICUT" at top, slogan at bottom, and a silhouette of Connecticut in the top left. These were retired during the same period as their predecessors. Validated with stickers.

2000–present: Navy on screened blue, white, and navy with "CONNECTICUT" at top, slogan at bottom, and a silhouette in the top left. Validation stickers issued through August 2006 for expiration dates through August 2008. Windshield stickers were issued beginning September 2006 through September 2010. Connecticut has the technology able to scan the registration plates which is the reason for no more windshield registration stickers. The current Connecticut base plate was issued beginning in January 2000 to new registrants. In September 2000, motorists with existing white-on-blue plates were issued new plates bearing their plate permutation, meaning that permutations issued 1957 can be seen on the current base plates.

From 1980 through 1987, all passenger plates were issued as a rear-only plate. Since then, all passenger plates have been issued in pairs.


Image First issued Description Slogan Serial format Serials issued
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1956 White reflective (glass beads) on blue with border line; CONNECTICUT embossed in rectangular font starting at lower left; registration number in same font at bottom left none 123·456
AB·1234
100·000 to 999·999
AA·1000 to NZ·9999
Connecticut 1971 GX-7113.jpg 1957 White reflective (glass beads) on blue with border line; CONNECTICUT embossed in rectangular font starting at lower left; registration number sticker at bottom left none 123·456
AB·1234
100·000 to 999·999
AA·1000 to NZ·9999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1974 Embossed blue on reflective white with border line; CONNECTICUT embossed in wide rectangular font centered below numbers; registration sticker at top right CONSTITUTION STATE embossed in smaller version of plate letters above numbers AB·12341 PA·1000 to TM·9999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1976 Embossed white reflective (glass beads) on blue with border line; CONNECTICUT embossed in plain font centered below numbers; registration sticker at bottom right CONSTITUTION STATE embossed in same letters as CONNECTICUT above numbers, spanning entire top of plate AB·12341 TM·1000 to ZZ·9999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1980 123·ABC1 100·AAA to 999·EVX, excluding C series
Connecticut 1987 Base License Plate.jpg 1987 Embossed white reflective (glass beads) on blue with border line; CONNECTICUT embossed in plain font centered above numbers; state icon embossed in top left corner; registration sticker at top right CONSTITUTION STATE embossed in same letters as CONNECTICUT below numbers, spanning entire plate 123·ABC1 100·EVY to 999·NZM, excluding I and L series
Connecticut license plate.jpg 2000 Dark blue embossed numbers on reflective sky blue gradient fade with embossed border line; dark blue Connecticut screened in serifed font centered at top, with state icon screened at top left corner; registration sticker at top right (until 9/2006) Constitution State (same letters as Connecticut but slightly smaller, centered at bottom) 123·ABC2 100·NZN to 999·ZZW, excluding O, Q, and V series
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 2013 1ABCD2, now
1AB·CD2
New license plate format
Started issue in July 2013 at 0AAAA0. (zeroes) The dot has returned, resulting in a 1AB·CD2 format. Current low is 5AG·RS4.

Notes

  • 1 Plus remakes of serials issued on previous bases: 123-456 and AB-1234[clarification needed]
  • 1 Plus remakes of serials issued on previous bases: 123-456, AB-1234, and 123-ABC (serials from 100-AAA to 999-NZM)[clarification needed]
  • 2 Plus remakes of serials issued on previous bases: 123-456, AB-1234, and 123-ABC (serials from 100-AAA to 999-NZM)[clarification needed]

Current plate types[edit]

Non-passenger types[edit]

Image Type Serial
format
Design Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg All Terrain G·1234 Motorcycle-sized.
HAMRadio LicensePlate.gif Amateur Radio (various) Embossed lightning bolt divider in serial. These plates are issued to amateur (ham) radio operators.

This type started in the 1950s. The operator's callsign is the registration number, with the neat lightning bolt separator.

Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Preserve the Sound (various) "Constitution State" legend;
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Ambulance 123
1234
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Apportioned 12345·A Red serial. This type seems to have started in Connecticut in the mid-1980s, in the 1000-A series. Eventually the numbering format moved to 12345-A.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Bus 1234
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Camp Trailer 123·456 "Camp Tr." legend. This type started in 1924, with plates similar to regular commercial plates except for a 'B-' prefix. This continued until 1932 when "Camp Tr." was spelled out for the first time, and the 'B-' was dropped.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Camper 12345
123·456
Connecticut Combination license plate.jpg Combination 1000·CA "Constitution State" legend; "COMB" embossed vertically at right. This type started in 1922, with the same size, colors and format as regular passenger plates but with a 'C' prefix. Previously CA·1234, C·12345, 12345, 123·CAB, 1C·2345, 12C·345 on past bases remade on the current base; 12345·C, 1CA·234, and 12C·A34 on the current base.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Combination - Handicapped 123·R
123·S
123·T
"Constitution State" legend. Wheelchair embossed to right of serial; "COMB" embossed vertically to right of wheelchair.
Connecticut Commercial license plate.jpg Commercial A·12345 "Constitution State" legend with "COMM" embossed vertically at left. Red serial.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Connecticut News Photographer 12·C/N/P "Constitution State" legend.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Construction 1234 Red serial. These plates are generally used on heavy equipment with limited to no highway use.

This type appears to have started sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Early American - Motorcycle 1234 Black on white.
Early American - Passenger 1A-123 Black on white. Early American plates are issued for use on collectable vehicles at least 20 years old. The earliest of the "Early American" plates were issued in 1952. These were porcelain plates, black on a white background. Previous sequence of 12345 has reached 99999 and shifted to the new format.
Factory 1234 Blue serial through at least 1821; red serial from at least 2399. This type started in the mid-1920s, with a "FAC" legend slanted downwards on the right side of the plate after the serial number.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Farm 1234
12345
Red serials through at least 37638; blue serials by at least 44132. This type started in 1933.
2001 Connecticut Fire Apparatus Sample License Plate.jpg Fire Apparatus 1234 Red serial.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Handicapped - Passenger 123·A
1234·Z
1234·Y (backwards issue)
"Constitution State" legend. Wheelchair embossed at right.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Hearse U·123
U·8123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Interstate Z1234Z
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Medical Doctor MD·1234 MD·0001 to MD·0999 followed MD·1000 to MD·9999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg New York Press NYP·123 NYP·001 to NYP·099 followed NYP·100 to NYP·999.


Used by news reporters to park in Working Press zones in New York City.[1][2][3]

Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Livery L1234L These plates are used on limousines and for-hire cars (but not taxis).

The 'Livery' type started in 1910 and was used on vehicles which transported people for a charge.

Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Medal of Honor 1
CT 2004 MC.jpg Motorcycle 123·456 This type started in 1903. From 1903 through 1911, the registrant supplied their own (homemade) plates.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Motorcycle - Handicapped 123·M Wheelchair embossed to right of serial.
Municipal AB
12·AB
123·AB
ABC
12·ABC
123·ABC
These plates are used on town/city government vehicles - police cars to dump trucks.

This type started in the mid-1970s. Prior to this, vehicles such as police cars used regular run-of-the-mill passenger car plates.

Letters signify municipality.
Municipal - Preserve the Sound AB
12·AB
123·AB
ABC
12·ABC
123·ABC
Uses a "MUNICIPAL CT" sticker in place of validation sticker. Letters signify municipality.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Official 1
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg School Bus 12S34
12A34 *Prior to this, school buses used Serv. Bus plates. School Bus plates launched in 1995 decals.*
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg School Bus/Livery Bus 1SL23
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Service Bus 12345 This type started sometime in the 1940s.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Snowmobile 12345 Motorcycle-sized.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg State Service Bus 123 These plates are typically used on buses belonging to the State Vocational schools, the State University system, and prisoner transport buses.

This type started sometime in the 1970s.

Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Taxi T1234T This type started in 1931, with a "TAXI" legend.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Trailer V·12345 Red serial. I am not sure when this type started. Others have reported examples as early as 1932. Generally the size and colors have been the same as Commercial plates.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Transporter 1234 All-embossed red on yellow. This type is believed to have started in the late 1940s. The plates have an all-numeric serial, and are captioned 'Trans.'.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Vanpool 1234
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Wrecker 1234
12345
All-embossed black on orange. These plates are used on tow trucks. A shop must first have Dealer or Repair plates in order to obtain Wrecker plates. Non-dealer or repair tow trucks use regular Commercial plates.

This type appears to have started in 1954

Optional issues[edit]

Image Type Serial
Format
Design Notes
CT IUOE 478.jpg
Optional Issues - Passenger 123·ABC
1ABC2
Types confirmed as using 1ABC2 format: Blue Knights, Combat Wounded, Ducks Unlimited, Fraternal Order of Police, Garden Clubs, Greenways, Laos War Veteran, Meriden, Norwich, Olympic Spirit, Silent Service, UCONN. Letters I, O, and Q are used in any letter position. Elks previously used 123-ELK; UCONN 1999 NCAA National Champions: 123·PEP; Olympic Spirit: 123·WIN; Penn State University: 123·PSU.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Special issues - Combination 1CAB2
Connecticut Caring For Pets Sample License Plate.jpg Caring for Pets 123·PET
123·DOG
123·CAT
123·TLC
123·WAG
123·WOF
1ABC2
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Keep Kids Safe 123·ZZY Previously 123·KID, 123·TOT, 123·ZZZ.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Olympic Spirit 123·WIN
1ABC2
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Police Memorial 123·OFC
1ABC2
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Preserve the Sound - Passenger 123·LAA LAK, LAL, LAM, LAN, LAO, LAP, LAR, LAS, and LAT series use Maine dies.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Preserve the Sound - Camp Trailer
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Preserve the Sound - Camper 123·LA "CAMP" embossed vertically.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Preserve the Sound - Combination 123·LA "COMB" printed vertically to left of serial. Serials issued in descending order from 999·LZ.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Preserve the Sound - Combination Handicapped 123L "COMB" printed vertically to left of serial.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Preserve the Sound - Commercial 123·CA "COMM" printed vertically to left of serial; red serial. Previously 000·LA, for which the high is 269·LC.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Preserve the Sound - Handicapped 123L
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg United We Stand - Passenger 1BAC2 Original format was 000·USA.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg United We Stand - Combination 1BCA2 "CO" and "MB" embossed vertically above and below separator dot. Original format was USA·123.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Passenger 123·VAA Originally 123·VET, then VAA and up.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Camper
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Combination 123·VSA "CO" and "MB" embossed vertically above and below separator dot. Originally 123·VET.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Combination Handicapped 1V·23 Wheelchair embossed at right of plate. Format of 1V23 followed by "COMB" embossed vertically through at least 1V13; switched to format of 1V·23 with "CO" and "MB" embossed vertically above and below a separator dot at 3V·56 or lower.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Commercial 123·VZA
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Handicapped 1V·23 Wheelchair embossed to left of serial. Previously 000·V
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Motorcycle "Veteran - MC" legend.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran with V/E/T 123 V/E/T
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - POW 123 P/O/W
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Volunteer Firefighter - Passenger 123·AB "Constitution State" slogan with small logo at right.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Volunteer Firefighter - Combination 123·CA "Constitution State" slogan with small logo at right.

Annual types[edit]

Type Serial format Design Notes
Dealer - Motorcycle New MXA·0, MXAA·0, MXA·00, MXAA·00, MXA·000 "Dealer" legend. Numerical suffix signifies the dealership, which receives plates with sequential letters following the X.
Dealer - Motorcycle Used MDA·0, MDAA·0, MDA·00, MDAA·00, MDA·000 "Dealer" legend. Numerical suffix signifies the dealership, which receives plates with sequential letters following the D.
Dealer - Passenger New XA·0, XAA·0, XA·00, XAA·00, XA·000, XAA·000, XA·0000 "Dealer" legend. Numerical suffix signifies the dealership, which receives plates with sequential letters following the X.
Dealer - Passenger Used DA·0, DAA·0, DA·00, DAA·00, DA·000, DAA·000, DA·0000 "Dealer" legend. Numerical suffix signifies the dealership, which receives plates with sequential letters following the D.
Dealer - Special SX·0000 "Dealer" legend. Issued sequentially, not coded by dealership.
Dismantler DA·0000 "Dismantler" legend.
Repair RA·000, RA·0000 "Repair" legend. Numerical suffix signifies the repairer, which receives plates with sequential letters following the R.

Political types[edit]

On both flat blue on white and Preserve the Sound bases:

  • Assistant Majority Leader
  • Assistant Minority Leader
  • Deputy Majority Leader
  • Deputy Minority Leader

Municipality codes[edit]

Code Municipality
AS Ansonia
AV Avon
BA Barkhamsted
BD Bloomfield
BE Berlin
BF Beacon Falls
BK Brookfield
BL Bethel
BM Bethlehem
BPT Bridgeport
BR Branford
BT Bristol
BU Burlington
BW Bridgewater
BY Bethany
CH Cheshire
CL Clinton
CN Canton
CO Colchester
COR Cornwall
CR Chester
CU Columbia
CV Coventry
CW Cromwell
DA Danbury
DAR Darien
DE Derby
DR Deep River
DU Durham
EG East Granby
EH East Hartford
EHA East Haven
EL East Lyme
ELL Ellington
EM East Haddam
EN East Hampton
ENF Enfield
ES Essex
FA Fairfield
FN Farmington
FWD Farmington Woods District (Farmington/Avon)
GL Glastonbury
GO Goshen
GR Granby
GRO Groton
GLP Groton Long Point
GU Guilford
GW Greenwich
HE Hebron
HFD Hartford
HR Hartland
HN Hamden
KI Killingly
KW Killingworth
LD Ledyard
LE Lebanon
LFD Litchfield
LI Lisbon
MA Manchester
MDC Metropolitan District Commission, a non-profit municipal corporation that provides water to most of Hartford County
MDF Middlefield
MDN Madison
ME Meriden
MF Mansfield
MFD Milford
MN Middletown
MO Marlborough
MON Monroe
MTV Montville
NA Naugatuck
NB New Britain
NBR North Branford
NE Newington
NF New Fairfield
NFK Norfolk
NH New Haven
NHD New Hartford
NHN North Haven
NL New London
NM New Milford
NO Norwich
NT Newtown
NW Norwalk
NO Norwich
NWT Second Taxing District of City of Norwalk (South Norwalk Electric and Water)
OL Old Lyme
OR Orange
OS Old Saybrook
OX Oxford
PL Plainville
PO Portland
PRO Prospect
PT Putnam
PY Plymouth
RB Roxbury
RH Rocky Hill
RPV Regional Refuse District #1
SA Salem
SBY Southbury
SE Seymour
SF Stratford
SH Shelton
SI Simsbury
SO Southington
SOM Somers
ST Stamford
STF Stafford
STN Stonington
SU Suffield
SW South Windsor
TH Thomaston
TO Torrington
TR Trumbull
UN Union
VE Vernon
WAS Washington
WB Westbrook
WBY Waterbury
WF Wallingford
WFD Waterford
WH West Hartford
WIN Windsor
WL Windsor Locks
WM Windham
WN West Haven
WOO Woodbridge
WP Westport
WR Winchester/Winsted
WT Watertown
WTD Wethersfield
WY Woodbury

[4]

State agency plates[edit]

Most state agencies in Connecticut register their vehicles with state plates. The plate starts with a number to represent the agency that owns the vehicle. Some agencies, such as the Connecticut State Police, register some vehicles using regular passenger or combination plates.

Code Agency
1- Department of Motor Vehicles
2- Department of Transportation
5- Department of Administrative Services - Fleet vehicles, leased to other agencies
9- University of Connecticut (UCONN)
36- Western Connecticut State University - Police
46- Eastern Connecticut State University - Police
50- Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
56- Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection - State Police special vehicles (mobile crime lab, fire investigation unit, etc.)
58- Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security - CT-TF1 Urban Search & Rescue

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wasielewski, Joe. "Illustrated History of Connecticut License Plates". Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  2. ^ http://www.flickr.com/photos/triborough/6793883938/. Retrieved 12 September 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ "Media Parking in NYC". Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Wasielewski, Joe; Barnes, Mike. "Connecticut Municipal License Plate Codes". Retrieved 12 September 2013. 

External links[edit]