Vehicle registration plates of Delaware

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The U.S. state of Delaware first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1909. All license plates issued since 1942 can still be used with current stickers. Authorized reproductions of porcelain enamel license plates can be obtained through a private vendor,[1] provided they fall within the state's guidelines. 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 first Delaware license plate that complied with these standards was issued in 1958.

Passenger plates 1909 to present[edit]

Image First issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
1939-Delaware-license-plate.jpg 1939 White embossed lettering on maroon base, aluminum plate. none. 12♦3451 1 to 869992
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1942 white on black, porcelain enamel plate. The first permanent license plate issued by the state phasing out annual replacements that had been the norm from 1909 thru the war time material shortages associated with World War II. The design incorporated a simple "DEL." at top surrounded by insert tab spaces - month/day to left, year to right. Diamond (for the Diamond State) served as comma between 3rd and 4th digits. No diamond on registration numbers below 1000. Month and day insert tabs for all Delaware renewals were 3/31, 6/30, 9/30, 12/31. Year tabs issues from "42" to "62" and phased out in favor of stickers for renewals after 1962. Inserts alternated between gold on blue for odd years, and blue on gold for even years. March inserts were black on white, June white on green, September and December both white on red. none. 12♦3451 1 to 869992 5.5"x9.5" in porcelain enamel
renewed with metal tabs
authorized modern reproductions allowed
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1947 Polished stainless steel numbers riveted on black painted stainless steel base plate. Base embossed with Delaware on top. Insert space at bottom. Insert format continued as original. none 123456 (variable number of digits) 1 to 2000002 plates vaired in size:
5-digit 9.5 x 5.5 in
6 digit 11 x 5.5 in
renewed with metal tabs
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1951 Reflective white scotchlite painted stainless steel numbers riveted on black painted stainless steel base plate. Base plate embossed with Delaware on top. Insert spaces at bottom. Insert format continued as original. none 1234561 1 to 2000002 plates were smaller than the 6 digit plates if they were 5 digits or lower.
renewed with metal tabs
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1958 Reflective gold numbers riveted on dark blue, Delaware at top, insert spaces bottom. Insert format continued as original. none 1234561 4 to approx 2250002-3 first plate in federally mandated 6 x 12 in size

renewed with metal tabs

1969 Delaware License Plate.jpg 1962 gold on dark blue The First State at top, Delaware at bottom. Insert spaces removed as inserts phased out in favor of stickers beginning with 1963 renewal dates. 1234561 4 to 10000002-3
Circa 1990s-2000s Delaware License Plate.jpg 1969 gold on dark blue with gold border The First State on top 1234561 4 to 10000002-3 Several variations of the font used for the serial exist.

Some replacement plates have riveted numbers.


2013 Delaware License Plate.jpg
2008 gold on dark blue with gold border The First State on top 1234561 4 to 9999992-3 Plates have a beveled edge around the plate as opposed to the previous all-flat plates

Notes:
1. Variable number of digits
2 The state recycles numbers, so they can be found on any base.

3 Registration numbers 1,2,3 reserved for Governor, Lt. Governor, and Sec of State. These are special issue gold background with state coat of arms.

Non-passenger types[edit]

Delaware does not use leading zeros on its plates, so serials are composed of a variable number of digits.

Image Type Slogan Serial format Notes
Commercial The First State C123456
CL123456
Dealer The First State D12345
Disabled Person The First State HP12345
Motorcycle none 12345
Pleasure/Commercial The First State PC123456 Issued to station wagons and sport utility vehicles.
Recreational Trailer The First State RT1234
Recreational Vehicle The First State RV12345
State-Owned The First State S1234
Temporary Registration The First State XC123456 Delaware started issuing temporary tags with an all-numeric format, then moved to the letter X as a prefix, then XA, XB and the current prefix XC.

Optional types[edit]

Delaware does not use leading zeros on its plates, so serials are composed of a variable number of digits.

Image Type Serial format Notes
Centennial of Delaware License Plates Remakes of passenger serials:
123456
Remakes of pleasure/commercial serials:
PC123456
Issued from October 1, 2008, until December 31, 2009.[2] Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 2008 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first and, to date, only time Delaware has been so honored.[3]
Disabled American Veterans 123DAV
Duck Remakes of passenger serials:
123456
A portion of the proceeds from this license plate's sales benefit Delaware's two National Estuary Program's: the Center for the Inland Bays[4] and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.[5] These funds are used to improve the health of Delaware's coastal waterways and bays, or "estuaries."
Lighthouse Remakes of passenger serials:
123456
Remakes of pleasure/commercial serials:
PC123456
A portion of the proceeds from this license plate's sales benefit Delaware's two National Estuary Program's: the Center for the Inland Bays[6] and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.[7] These funds are used to improve the health of Delaware's coastal waterways and bays, or "estuaries."
Lighthouse—Personalized various A portion of the proceeds from this license plate's sales benefit Delaware's two National Estuary Program's: the Center for the Inland Bays[8] and the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.[9] These funds are used to improve the health of Delaware's coastal waterways and bays, or "estuaries."
Passenger—Personalized various
Purple Heart PH1234
State Representative Legislators' initials:
A. B. C.
Telephone Pioneers TP1234
University of Delaware UD1234
Volunteer Firefighter VF1234

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.dehistoricplate.com/ Delaware Historic Plate Company
  2. ^ Centennial License Plates
  3. ^ [1].
  4. ^ [2].
  5. ^ [3].
  6. ^ [4].
  7. ^ [5].
  8. ^ [6].
  9. ^ [7].

External links[edit]