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An illustration of a 2GAT123 license plate on a period-appropriate "Golden State" base.

2GAT123 is a fictional license plate number that has appeared in a number of television shows and movies. It is used to prevent difficulties for a real person who might coincidentally have the same license plate number as one appearing in a movie.

Many states have reserved the number "123 SAM," "SAM 123," and in some cases the vanity license plate "SAMPLE" for use as sample and fictitious license plates.

The number almost always appears on a California license plate, and is characteristic of the numbering scheme used by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which began using the "1ABC123" numbering format for automobiles around the middle of 1980, replacing the exhausted "123 ABC" series. Plates in the 2GAT series would have been issued in mid-1987. At that time, California was issuing license plates on the "Golden State" base rather than the current "Script" base. "Golden State" California license plates were available as alternate option to the previous yellow-on-blue since 1982. It was issued from 2AAA000 to 2GPZ999.[1] Another commonly used fictional California license plate, 2FAN321, also would have been issued on a "Golden State" base in 1987.

GAT, like SAM and FAN, is a three-letter combination not used by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition, the California Department of Motor Vehicles does not use the letter "I", "O", or "Q" in the first or third position of the three-letter combination.[2] However, prop California license plates seen in television shows and movies frequently do.

Prop California license plates (or the numbers), are frequently reused on vehicles in different television show and movies. They are sometimes reused on different vehicles in different episodes of the same television series. Most prop license plates are in the 2, 3, and 4-series, but they are often used on new vehicles that would be issued a 5 or 6-series license number.

List of appearances[edit]

Movies in which a car bearing the license number 2GAT123 have appeared include Beverly Hills Cop II (1987), K-9 (1989), Eve of Destruction (1991), L.A. Story (1991), The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), When a Man Loves a Woman (1994), Go (1999), Pay It Forward (2000), The Perfect Nanny (2000), Traffic (2000), The Animal (2001), Crazy/Beautiful (2001), Mulholland Drive (2001), Training Day (2001), National Security (2003), S.W.A.T. (2003), Be Cool (2005), Harsh Times (2005), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005), Waist Deep (2006) and Role Models (2008), The Boy Next Door (2015).

The license plate number has also appeared on the television series Workaholics, Archer (TV series), Awkward., Beverly Hills, 90210, Charmed, Chuck, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Dark Blue, Go On, iCarly, John from Cincinnati, Justified, Key & Peele, Life, Lost, The Mentalist, Modern Family, NCIS: Los Angeles", Santa Clarita Diet, She Spies, Sleeper Cell, Two and a Half Men, The X-Files, You're The Worst and New Girl, commercials for Volkswagen and Miller High Life, and in the videogame True Crime: Streets of L.A..as well as Beverly Hillbillies and On The Case With Paula Zahn.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nicholson, David (2008-10-24). "California License Plates, 1969-present". 15q.net. 
  2. ^ "License Plate Introduction". California Department of Motor Vehicles. 2008-10-13.