Vehicle registration plates of Idaho

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1997-2008 Idaho license plate

The U.S. state of Idaho first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1913.

Passenger baseplates 1947 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 Idaho license plate that fully complied with these standards: the issues from 1952 through 1955 (dated 1953 through 1956) were all six inches in height by twelve inches in width, but had non-standard mounting holes.

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1947 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; embossed white graphic in the center featuring a skier and mountains; "19 IDAHO 47" embossed in white block letters centered at top "Vacation Wonderland" embossed in white block letters centered at bottom A 1234
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1948–49 Embossed black numbers on silver plate; baked potato sticker in the center; "IDAHO 48" embossed in wide black block letters centered at top "World Famous POTATOES" embossed in narrow black block letters centered at bottom A 1234
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A) Revalidated for 1949 with silver tabs.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1950 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "IDAHO 50" embossed in white block letters centered at top none A 1234
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Idaho 1951 license plate.JPG 1951–52 Embossed white numbers on maroon plate with border line; "IDAHO 51" embossed in white block letters centered at top none A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A) Revalidated for 1952 with silver tabs.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1953 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "IDAHO 53" embossed in wide white block letters centered at top "WORLD FAMOUS POTATO" embossed in narrow white block letters at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1954 Embossed black numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 54" embossed in black block letters centered at bottom none A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1955 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "IDAHO 55" embossed in white block letters centered at bottom none A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1956 Embossed black numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 56" embossed in wide black block letters centered at top "WORLD FAMOUS POTATO" embossed in narrow black block letters at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1957 Embossed white numbers on light green plate with border line; "IDAHO 57" embossed in wide white block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow white block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
1958 Idaho license plate.JPG 1958 Embossed dark green numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 58" embossed in wide dark green block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow dark green block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
1959 Idaho license plate.JPG 1959 Embossed white numbers on dark green plate with border line; "IDAHO 59" embossed in wide white block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow white block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
1960 Idaho license plate.JPG 1960 Embossed dark green numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 60" embossed in wide dark green block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow dark green block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1961 Embossed white numbers on dark green plate with border line; "IDAHO 61" embossed in wide white block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow white block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1962 Embossed dark green numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 62" embossed in wide dark green block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow dark green block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1963 Embossed white numbers on dark green plate with border line; "IDAHO 63" embossed in wide white block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow white block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
1964 Idaho license plate.JPG 1964 Embossed dark green numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 64" embossed in wide dark green block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow dark green block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
1965 Idaho license plate.JPG 1965 Embossed white numbers on dark green plate with border line; "IDAHO 65" embossed in wide white block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow white block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1966 Embossed dark green numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 66" embossed in wide dark green block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow dark green block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1967 Embossed white numbers on dark green plate with border line; "IDAHO 67" embossed in wide white block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in narrow white block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1968–70 Embossed green numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 68" embossed in green block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in green block letters centered at bottom A 12345
0/A 12345
0/A A1234
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1971–73 As above, but with simply "IDAHO" centered at top
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1974 Embossed green numbers on white plate with border line; "IDAHO 74" embossed in green block letters centered at top "FAMOUS POTATOES" embossed in green block letters centered at bottom A 12345
A A1234
0/A 12345
0/A A1234
0/A AB123
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1975–82 As above, but with simply "IDAHO" centered at top
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1982–85 Embossed green numbers on white plate; "IDAHO" screened in green block letters centered at top, with the 'A' resembling a mountain peak "Famous Potatoes" screened in green serifed letters centered at bottom Serials in each county continued from where the 1974–82 plates left off.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1985–87 Embossed green numbers on white plate; screened green lines above and below numbers; screened green Sawtooth Mountains graphic on top line at the right; "IDAHO" screened in green block letters to left of graphic, with the 'A' resembling a mountain peak "Famous Potatoes" screened in green serifed letters centered below numbers, just above bottom line Serials in each county continued from where the 1982–85 plates left off.
Idaho 1990 8B 58 507.jpg 1987 – early
1991
A 12345
0/A 12345
1/A A1234
2/C 123456
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A) Top line cut off at the left, allowing for taller county-code characters. This plate replaced all 1974–87 plates; serials in each county thus restarted from 1.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg early 1991 – September 1991 Narrow dies introduced, allowing for six-digit serials in Canyon County. (Ada County had already gone over to one-letter, four-digit serials after reaching 99999.)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg September 1991 – June
1997
Embossed dark blue numbers on mountain scene with red and white gradient sky, pale blue mountains and dark blue forest; tall dark blue tree screened at far right; "IDAHO" screened in white serifed letters in center of red section of sky "Scenic" screened in white handwritten font to left of state name, giving "Scenic Idaho"; "FAMOUS POTATOES" screened in white serifed letters in center of dark blue forest section A 123456
0/A 123456
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0/A) Modification of the optional Centennial base introduced in 1987 (see Optional types below). Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 1991 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the second time Idaho was so honored.
Idaho Plate 2007.jpg June 1997 – April
2008
As above, but with tall dark blue tree removed and red section of sky reduced in height A 123456
0A 12345
0A A1234
0A AB123
0A 1A234
0A 1234A
10B 1234
10B A123
Coded by county of issuance (A or 0A) Full-size county codes introduced in addition to design modifications, all for better visibility. Serials in each county continued from where the 1991–97 plates left off, but were now restricted to seven characters (including the county-code characters).
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg April 2008[1] – present As above, but with screened black numbers and full white border around plate Serials in each county continued from where the 1997–2008 plates left off.

County coding[edit]

The following county codes have been used on standard-issue Idaho license plates since 1945. The naming convention is the order of the county in an alphabetical list followed by the first letter of the county name. For example, 2T indicates the second county beginning with T in an alphabetical list, or Twin Falls County. If only one county begins with a particular letter, the letter alone serves as the county code. Specialty and vanity license plates do not use county codes; some non-passenger types are county-coded, while others are not.

County Code
Ada 1A
Adams 2A
Bannock 1B
Bear Lake 2B
Benewah 3B
Bingham 4B
Blaine 5B
Boise 6B
Bonner 7B
Bonneville 8B
Boundary 9B
Butte 10B
Camas 1C
Canyon 2C
Caribou 3C
Cassia 4C
Clark 5C
Clearwater 6C
Custer 7C
Elmore E
Franklin 1F
Fremont 2F
Gem 1G
Gooding 2G
Idaho I
Jefferson 1J
Jerome 2J
Kootenai K
Latah 1L
Lemhi 2L
Lewis 3L
Lincoln 4L
Madison 1M
Minidoka 2M
Nez Perce N
Oneida 1O
Owyhee 2O
Payette 1P
Power 2P
Shoshone S
Teton 1T
Twin Falls 2T
Valley V
Washington W

Non-passenger types[edit]

Image Type Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Apportioned Tractor P/R/P AA 1234 P/R/P AA 1 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Apportioned Trailer P/R/P CA 1234 P/R/P CA 1 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Apportioned Truck P/R/P BA 1234 P/R/P BA 1 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Classic 1234 Serials became screened by 9991.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Commercial KA 1234 KA 1 to present Serials became screened around KL 5000.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Dealer D/L/R 1234-56
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Motorcycle MAB 123 MAA 1 to present Serials became screened between MPC 309 and MPH 714.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Old Timer 12
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Street Rod 123A
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Truck Coded by county of issuance:
  • A 12345T
  • A A1234T (following exhaustion of above format)
  • 0A 1234T
  • 0A A123T (following exhaustion of above format)
  • A 1T to A 99999T
  • A A1T to A Z9999T
  • 0A 1T to 0A 9999T
  • 0A A1T to 0A Z999T
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Utility Trailer 123 UAB 1 UAA to present Motorcycle-sized plate.

Government types[edit]

Image Type Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Ada County Sheriff AC123 AC1 to present At least some plates issued on "Celebrate Idaho Youth: America's Promise" base.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Department of Building Safety DBS 123 DBS 1 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Department of Labor J 12 J 1 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Fire Department F 1 F 1 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Gem County Sheriff GCS 123 GCS 1 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Idaho State Police ISP 123 ISP 1 to present

Optional types[edit]

Image Type First issued Design Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Idaho Centennial: 1890-1990 1987 Embossed dark blue numbers on mountain scene with red and white gradient sky, pale blue mountains and dark blue forest; two tall dark blue trees screened at far left; "IDAHO" and "CENTENNIAL" screened in white serifed letters centered at top and bottom respectively; "1890" screened in top left corner and "1990" in top right corner 12345C 1C to 99999C Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 1987 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first time Idaho was so honored. Adopted as standard passenger base from 1991 onwards (see above).

Since the introduction of this design, the plate has been colloquially referred to by Idahoans as the "nuclear winter" plate. It remains so to this day (with the most recent 2008 design retaining the characteristic features).

C12345 C1 to approximately C78000
1992 123 ABC 100 AAA to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Agriculture As per the current passenger base, but with a farm scene graphic screened at the far left featuring a red farmhouse, a silver silo and white clouds, and "AGRICULTURE" in white serifed letters on the dark blue forest section 1234A 1A to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Basque As per the current passenger base, but with a graphic of a green and white sheep wagon screened at the far left and "BASQUE" in white serifed letters on the dark blue forest section B1234 B0001 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Celebrate Idaho Youth: America's Promise 1234Y 1Y to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Colleges and Universities 1234S
12SAS
1AB2S
1S to 9999S
?
?
Idaho State University redesigned at least by transition to surface-printed serials.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Corvette: America's Sports Car As per the current passenger base, but with the Corvette logo screened at the far left, "Drive" in white italic serifed letters in the top left corner, and "America's Sports Car" in the same letters on the dark blue forest section 1234M 1M to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Discover Idaho: 1803 Lewis & Clark 1806 As per the current passenger base, but with a graphic of a pointing Native American Indian woman screened at the far left, "Discover" in white handwritten font to the left of the state name, and "1803 LEWIS & CLARK 1806" in white serifed letters on the dark blue forest section 1234L 1L to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Discover Idaho Heritage: Appaloosa 2003 1234B
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Early Detection Saves Lives c. 2009 unknown unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Elks USA c. 2009 unknown unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Fire Fighters 1234X 1X to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Forests Today and Tomorrow 1234F 1F to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Historic Idaho: Preserve Our Heritage As per the current passenger base, but with a graphic of a wooden house and trees screened at the far left, "Historic" in white handwritten font to the left of the state name, and "PRESERVE OUR HERITAGE" in white serifed letters on the dark blue forest section JA123
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Honoring Our Peace Officers As per the current passenger base, but with the logo of the Idaho Peace Officers' Memorial screened at the far left and "Honoring our Peace Officers" in white serifed letters on the dark blue forest section 1234J 1J to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Idaho Biking: Preserve Our Trails
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Ideas. Innovations. Idaho. As per the current passenger base, but with a graphic of a light bulb screened at the far left, with a yellow state shape as its filament, and "IDEAS. INNOVATIONS. IDAHO." in white block letters on the dark blue forest section U1234 U0001 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Mining: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow c. 2009 12345C 00001C to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg National Guard 1234G 1G to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg National Rifle Association c. 2009 unknown unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg On the Range c. 2009 12345B 00001B to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Purple Heart: Combat Wounded 1234H 1H to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Radio Amateur
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Sawtooth National Recreation Area As per the current passenger base, but with a graphic screened at the far left featuring a white mountain goat against a purple mountain and a white sun, and "Sawtooth National Recreation Area" in white block letters on the dark blue forest section 1234Z 1Z to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Scenic Idaho: Wild Rivers 1234U 1U to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Ski Idaho: Winter Wonderland As per the current passenger base, but with a graphic of a skier screened at the far left, "Ski" in white cursive letters to the left of the state name, and "WINTER WONDERLAND" in white serifed letters on the dark blue forest section 1234K 1K to 9999K
123AK 1AK to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Snowmobile: World's Best Trails 1234N 1N to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Special Olympics June 2008[2] As per the current passenger base, but with the logo of the 2009 Special Olympics World Winter Games screened at the far left and "SPECIAL OLYMPICS" in white block letters on the dark blue forest section unknown unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg State Capitol Restoration 1234R 1R to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Support Our Troops 12345S 00001S to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Supporting Rider Education As per the current passenger base, but with the logo of the Idaho STAR Motorcycle Safety Program, featuring three motorcyclists, screened at the far left and "Supporting Rider Education" in white block letters on the dark blue forest section 1234P 1P to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg The Gem State As per the current passenger base, but with a graphic screened at the far left consisting of a diamond, two quartz crystals and a star garnet, and "THE GEM STATE" in white serifed letters on the dark blue forest section 12345E 00001E to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Timeless Idaho Values: Boy Scouts 1234I 1I to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Veteran 1234V 1V to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Wilderness - Frank Church: River of No Return and Selway-Bitterroot
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Wildlife – bluebird 12345 1 to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Wildlife – cutthroat 2003 1234D 1D to 9999D
123AD 1AD to present
IDWildlifeElk.JPG Wildlife – elk 1998
redesigned c. 2008
1234E 1E to 9999E Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new optional license plate of 1998 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the third time Idaho was so honored. Co-recipient with Alaska.
123AE 1AE to 999ZE
12ABE 1AAE to 99ZZE
12A3E 1A0E to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg World Famous Potatoes As per the current passenger base, but with a graphic of a baked potato screened at the far left, "World" and "Famous" in white handwritten font on either side of the state name, and "Potatoes" in the same font on the dark blue forest section 1234T 1T to present
Optional license plate types

References[edit]

  1. ^ "March of the Flats". The Andrew Turnbull Network. Retrieved March 29, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Sale of new license plates to benefit 2009 Special Olympics World Games in Idaho". Idaho Transportation Department. June 6, 2008. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 

External links[edit]