Vehicle registration plates of Alaska

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Current Alaska license plate

Alaska first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1921, while still an organized incorporated territory of the United States. It was admitted to the Union as the 49th state in January 1959.

State law requires two license plates, one on the front and one on the rear, to be displayed on a motor vehicle, with the exception of motorcycles and trailers. Only the rear plate is required to be stickered.[1]

Passenger plates 1921 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 1955 (dated 1956) issue was the first Alaska license plate that complied with these standards.

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1921 Black on yellow AUTO LICENCE 123 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1922 Orange on black none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1923 White on dark blue none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1924 Black on orange none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1925 White on red none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1926 Black on green none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1927 White on dark blue none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1928 Red on light yellow none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1929 White on maroon none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1930 White on dark blue none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1931 Black on gray none 123 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1932 White on dark blue none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1933 White on red none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1934 White on green none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1935 Black on orange none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1936 Dark blue on white none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1937 White on dark blue none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1938 Red on white none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1939 Black on gray none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1940 Black on orange none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1941 White on green none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1942 Black on white none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1943 White on blue none 1234 unknown Revaildated for 1944 (Old registrations) With tabs.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1944 (New Registrations) White on black none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1945 White on green none 1234 unknown First year of fiberboard plates due to steel shortage on WWII
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1946 White on maroon none 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1947 Yellow on black none 1234 unknown Last year of fiberboard plates
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1948 Embossed blue numbers on golden yellow plate; embossed territorial flag at left; "ALASKA — 1948" embossed in blue block letters at bottom none 12345 1 to approximately 15000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1949 Embossed blue numbers on white plate; blue lines at top and bottom borders; embossed territorial flag at left; "ALASKA — 1949" embossed in blue block letters at bottom none 12345 1 to approximately 20000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1950 Embossed black numbers on orange plate with border line; embossed territorial flag at left; "ALASKA — 1950" embossed in black block letters at bottom none 12345 1 to approximately 26000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1951 Embossed blue numbers on golden yellow plate with border line; embossed territorial flag at left; "ALASKA — 1951" embossed in blue block letters at top none 12345 1 to approximately 35000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1952 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; embossed territorial flag at left; "ALASKA — 1952" embossed in blue block letters at top none 12345 1 to approximately 35000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1953–55 Embossed blue numbers on golden yellow plate with border line; embossed territorial flag at left; "ALASKA" embossed in blue block letters centered at top; "53" embossed in top right corner none 12345 1 to approximately 96000 Revalidated for 1954 with white tabs, and for 1955 with black tabs.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1956–57 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; embossed territorial flag at left; "ALASKA" embossed in blue block letters centered at top; "56" embossed in top right corner none 12345 1 to approximately 63000 Revalidated for 1957 with red tabs.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1958–59 Embossed blue numbers on golden yellow plate with border line; embossed territorial/state flag at left; "ALASKA" embossed in blue block letters centered at top; "58" embossed in top right corner none 12345 1 to approximately 74000 Revalidated for 1959 with white tabs.
Alaska 1960 7724.jpg 1960–61 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; embossed state flag at left; "ALASKA" embossed in blue block letters centered at top; "60" embossed in top right corner none 12345 1 to approximately 93000 Revalidated for 1961 with blue tabs.
1962 Alaska license plate.JPG 1962–65 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; embossed state flag at left; "ALASKA" embossed in blue block letters centered at bottom; "62" embossed in bottom right corner none 12345 1 to 99999 Revalidated for 1963 with blue tabs, and for 1964 and 1965 with stickers.
A1234 A1000 to approximately E3250
AK 69306.jpg 1966–67 Embossed yellow numbers on blue plate with border line; embossed yellow eagle totem pole at left; "ALASKA" embossed in yellow stylized letters centered at top; embossed yellow box in top right corner containing debossed "66" in blue "NORTH TO THE FUTURE" embossed in yellow block letters centered at bottom, with "1867" to the left and "1967" to the right 12345 1 to 99999 Commemorated the centennial of the Alaska Purchase. Revalidated for 1967 with stickers.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1968–69 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; embossed state flag at left; "ALASKA" embossed in blue block letters centered at top; embossed blue box in top right corner containing debossed "68" in white "THE GREAT LAND" embossed in blue block letters centered at bottom 12345 1 to 99999 Revalidated for 1969 with stickers.
B1234 B1000 to approximately B7250
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1970 Embossed blue numbers on golden yellow plate with border line; embossed state flag at left; "ALASKA–U.S.A." embossed in blue block letters centered at top; embossed blue box in top right corner containing debossed "70" in golden yellow "NORTH TO THE FUTURE" embossed in small blue block letters centered at bottom 12345 1 to 99999 All plates were valid without stickers until the end of the year of issue, then revalidated with stickers until the end of 1975.
A1234 A1 to approximately A5200
AK E 865.jpg 1971 As above, but with additional embossed blue box in top left corner containing debossed "71" in golden yellow B1 to approximately E1100
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1972–73 As above, but with box in top right corner containing debossed "72" instead of "70" G1 to G9999; K1 to approximately M9999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1973 Embossed blue numbers on golden yellow plate; border line around plate and around revalidation sticker spot in top left corner; embossed state flag in the center between letters and digits; "ALASKA" embossed in blue block letters centered at top; "73" embossed in top right corner none ABC 123 AAA 100 to AAD 999 Not issued; considered prototypes (see 1973 plate controversy section below).
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1974 As 1970, 1971 and 1972–73 plates, but with "ALASKA" centered at top, border line around revalidation sticker spot in top left corner, and "74" embossed in top right corner "NORTH TO THE FUTURE" as on 1970, 1971 and 1972–73 plates AB123 AA100 to DB699
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1975 As above, but with "75" embossed in top right corner DB700 to ED999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1976–80 Embossed red numbers on reflective white plate; standing brown Kodiak bear screened in the center between letters and digits, with pale brown mountain and forest landscape in the background; "ALASKA" embossed in red serifed letters centered at top none ABC 123 AAA 100 to ASZ 999
1982 Alaska License Plate.jpg 1981–96 Embossed blue numbers on reflective golden yellow plate; screened state flag in the center between letters and digits; "ALASKA" screened in blue serifed letters centered at top; indented top corners for revalidation stickers "The Last Frontier" screened in blue serifed letters centered at bottom ABC 123 BAA 100 to DJX 999
US number plate - Alaska Centennial - EBM 468.jpg 1997 – October
2004
Embossed black numbers on reflective graphic plate featuring a blue sky, yellow rising sun, white mountains fading to golden yellow at the bottom, and black silhouettes of gold prospectors from the top center to the bottom left corner; "ALASKA" screened in golden yellow serifed letters, plus mining equipment for the second 'A', centered at top "Gold Rush" screened in golden yellow serifed letters offset to right below state name; "Centennial" screened in black serifed letters at bottom, also offset to right ABC 123 DJY 100 to ERT 999 Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new standard-issue license plate of 1998 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first time Alaska was so honored. Co-recipient with Idaho.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg October
2004
As 1981–97 base, but without indented top corners "The Last Frontier" as on 1981–97 base ABC 123 ERU 100 to approximately ERV 489 Serials stamped on leftover 1981–97 blanks, before production of all-embossed variants began (below).
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg October
2004 –
June 2005
As above, but with embossed state name and flag "THE LAST FRONTIER" embossed in blue block letters centered at bottom ABC 123 ERV 490 to EUB 999
2007 Alaska License Plate.jpg July
2005 –
December 31, 2007
As above, but with larger stars in flag EUC 100 to FGE 999
Alaska Statehood license plate.jpg January 1, 2008 – December 31, 2009[1][2][3] Embossed dark blue numbers on reflective graphic plate featuring a yellow sky, gradient orange sunburst and white mountains fading to blue at the bottom; Alaska 50 logo (featuring the state flag) screened at left; "ALASKA" screened in dark blue block letters centered at top "CELEBRATING STATEHOOD 1959-2009" screened in red block letters on white section of mountains, offset to right ABC123 FGF100 to FUW999 Also used for vanity plates.
2007 Alaska License Plate.jpg January 1, 2010 – present As 2005–07 base "THE LAST FRONTIER" as from 2004–07 ABC 123 GAA 100 to GZZ 999; KAA 100 to KAU 999 (as of October 19, 2016)

All plates issued since 1981 remain valid with proper validation.

Alternative passenger plates[edit]

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg May 7, 2015[4] – present Embossed red numbers on reflective graphic plate featuring a standing brown Kodiak bear in the center against a light blue sky, orange sunset and white mountains; "ALASKA" screened in dark blue serifed letters centered at top none ABC 123 JAA 100 to JEH 999 (as of October 19, 2016) Based on the 1975–81 bear plate. Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 2015 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the second time Alaska was so honored.

1973 plate controversy[edit]

A new plate design was to have been introduced in 1973, featuring the state flag in the center of the plate and a new ABC 123 serial format. During 1972, nine thousand pairs of these plates were produced, but before they could be issued they were rejected by Governor William A. Egan, who objected to the use of dots rather than stars in the state flag. The plates were instead considered prototypes, with their elements being used on future plates: the revalidation sticker box in the top left corner was used on the 1974 and 1975 versions of the 1970 plate; the ABC 123 serial format was adopted in 1976; and the "Last Frontier" plates issued since 1981 have the state flag in the center (with stars).

These prototype plates are common enough to be easily found among license plate collectors.

Non-passenger and optional types[edit]

Alaska offers a variety of optional plates that motorists may display upon the payment of an additional fee as well as non-passenger plate types that are displayed on vehicles for specialized uses.[1]

Image Type First issued Serial format Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Alaska State Trooper 123 AST
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Amateur Radio call sign
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Charitable/Church Exempt XYx 123
YYx 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Children's Trust KID 012
123 KID
KID-prefixed sequence started with 001.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Collector's Car HA 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Disabled Person HAB 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Disabled Veteran DAV 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Ex-Prisoner of War POW 012 Started with 001.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Farm Vehicle 1234 FA "Farm" legend.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Gold Star Family Personalized
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Historic Vehicle HA 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Iditarod IDT 123 or personalized
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg I Support Our Veterans 2007 Personalized
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Low-Speed Vehicle 2007 LSV 012 Started with 001.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Motorcycle 1234 Mx, 1234 Rx, 1234 Tx Same plates also issued to small trailers.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg National Guard VAB 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Pearl Harbor Survivor P/H 123 "PH" is stacked vertically and in center of plate.
Alaska 2015 Standard Gold plate.jpg Personalized - Passenger Six alphanumeric characters. Three different designs.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Prince William Sound College PWS 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Purple Heart VPH 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Support Our Troops! 2008 Available in personalized format.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg University of Alaska Anchorage UAA 123
UAA123
Two styles; newer style available in personalized format.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg University of Alaska Fairbanks UAF 123 Two styles; newer style available in personalized format.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg University of Alaska Southeast UAS 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Air Force VAB 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Army VAB 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Coast Guard VAB 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Marine Corps VAB 123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran - Navy VAB 123

References[edit]

External links[edit]