Vehicle registration plates of Maryland

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Current Maryland standard license plate

The U.S. state of Maryland first required its residents to register their motor vehicles in 1904. Registrants had to provide their own license plates for display until 1910, when the state began to supply plates.[1]

Passenger baseplates[edit]

1910 to 1970[edit]

In 1956, the U.S. states and Canadian provinces came to an agreement with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the Automobile Manufacturers Association and the National Safety Council that standardized the size for license plates for vehicles (except those for motorcycles) at 6 inches (15 cm) in height by 12 inches (30 cm) in width, with standardized mounting holes.[2] The 1956 (expired March 31, 1957) issue was the first Maryland license plate that complied with these standards.

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Maryland license plate, 1910.png 1910 Black on yellow none 1234
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1911 White on black porcelain none 1234
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1912 Blue on white porcelain none 1234
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1913 Yellow on black porcelain none 12345
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1914 White on green porcelain none 12345
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1915 White on blue none 12345
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1916 Yellow on blue none 12345
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1917 Green on white none 12-345
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1918 White on blue none 12-345
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1919 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "MD·1919" centered at bottom none 123-456 20-000 to approximately 109-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1920 Embossed white numbers on red plate; "MD·1920" centered at top none 123-456 20-000 to approximately 113-000
1921 Maryland license plate.jpg 1921 Embossed red numbers on white plate with border line; "MD·1921" centered at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 138-000
1922 Maryland license plate.jpg 1922 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; "MARYLAND·1922" centered at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 151-000 First use of the full state name.
1923 Maryland license plate.jpg 1923 Embossed black numbers on yellow plate with border line; "MARYLAND·1923" centered at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 185-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1924 Embossed orange numbers on black plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1924" centered at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 223-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1925 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1925" centered at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 242-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1926 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1926" centered at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 275-000
Maryland 1927 license plate.jpg 1927 Embossed black numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1927" centered at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 288-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1928 Embossed white numbers on blue plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1928" centered at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 305-000
1929 Maryland plate.jpg 1929 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1929" centered at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 325-000
1930 Maryland license plate.jpg 1930 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1930" centered at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 342-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1931 Embossed white numbers on red plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1931" centered at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 386-000
1932 Maryland license plate.jpg 1932 Embossed red numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1932" centered at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 389-000
1933 Maryland license plate.jpg 1933 Embossed white numbers on blue plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1933" centered at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 385-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1934 Embossed yellow numbers on black plate with border line; "MARYLAND" centered at top; "1634" in top left corner and "1934" in top right corner "TERCENTENARY" centered at bottom 123-456 30-000 to approximately 374-000 Commemorated the 300th anniversary of the settlement of Maryland.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1935 Embossed dark blue numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1935" centered at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 381-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1936–37 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1936" centered at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 396-000 Valid until March 31, 1937.
1937 Maryland license plate.jpg 1937–38 Embossed black numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND 1937" centered at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 409-000
1939 Maryland license plate.jpg 1938–39 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "MARYLAND EX-3-31-39" at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 508-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1939–40 Embossed green numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND EX-3-31-40" at bottom none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 522-000
1941 Maryland license plate.jpg 1940–41 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; "MARYLAND EX-3-31-41" at top none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 544-000
1942 Maryland license plate.jpg 1941–44 Embossed black numbers on silver plate with border line; "MARYLAND" centered at top; "3-31" in top left corner and "1942" in top right corner "DRIVE CAREFULLY" centered at bottom 123-456 30-000 to approximately 654-000 Revalidated until March 31, 1943 with yellow tabs, then until March 31, 1944 with black tabs, due to metal conservation for World War II.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1944–47 Embossed silver numbers on black plate with border line; "MARYLAND" centered at top; "3-31" in top left corner and "1945" in top right corner "DRIVE CAREFULLY" centered at bottom 123-456 30-000 to approximately 688-000 Revalidated until March 31, 1946 with silver tabs, then until March 31, 1947 with yellow tabs.
1951 Maryland license plate.jpg 1947–51 Embossed black numbers on silver plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "48" centered at top and bottom respectively none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 795-000 Revalidated until March 31, 1949 with black tabs, then until March 31, 1950 with red tabs, and finally until March 31, 1951 with black tabs.
1953 Maryland license plate.jpg 1951–53 Embossed silver numbers on black plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "MARCH 52" centered at top and bottom respectively none 123-456 30-000 to approximately 795-000 Revalidated until March 31, 1953 with white tabs.
1954 Maryland License Plate.JPG 1953–54 Embossed yellow numbers on black plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "54" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB-12-34 AA-10-01 to approximately JF-65-00 For each two-letter series, only the letters A through H, and J, were used.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1954–55 Embossed black numbers on golden yellow plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "55" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB♦12♦34 Letter K added to two-letter series.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1955–56 Embossed red numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "56" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB:12:34
1956-57 Maryland license plate.jpg 1956–57 Embossed dark green numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "EXP-3-31-57" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB-12-34
1957-58 Maryland License Plate.JPG 1957–58 Embossed white numbers on dark green plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "EXP-3-31-58" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB-12-34 Letter L added to two-letter series.
1958-59 Maryland license plate.jpg 1958–59 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "EXP-3-31-59" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB:12:34
1960 Maryland license plate.jpg 1959–60 Embossed white numbers on blue plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "EXP-3-31-60" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB♦12♦34
1960-61 Maryland license plate.JPG 1960–61 Embossed black numbers on turquoise plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "EXP-3-31-61" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB:12:34
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1961–62 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "EXP-3-31-62" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB-12-34 AA-10-01 to approximately FY-47-00 Letters M through Z (excluding O, Q and U) added to two-letter series.
1962-63 Maryland license plate.jpg 1962–63 Embossed white numbers on blue plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "EXP-3-31-63" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB♦12♦34 AA♦10♦01 to approximately FN♦98♦00
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1963–64 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND" and "EXP-3-31-64" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB:12:34 AA:10:01 to approximately FX:92:00
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1964–65 Embossed white numbers on blue plate with border line; "EXP-3-31-65" and "MARYLAND" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB-1234 AA-1001 to approximately GF-1300
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1965–66 Embossed black numbers on golden yellow plate with border line; "EXP-3-31-66" and "MARYLAND" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB♦1234 AA♦1001 to approximately GP♦7800
1966-67 Maryland license plate.JPG 1966–67 Embossed golden yellow numbers on black plate with border line; "EXP-3-31-67" and "MARYLAND" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB:1234 AA:1001 to approximately GZ:9000
1967-68 Maryland license plate.JPG 1967–68 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; "EXP-3-31-68" and "MARYLAND" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB-1234 AA-1001 to approximately HG-8000
1968-69 Maryland license plate.JPG 1968–69 Embossed white numbers on blue plate with border line; "EXP-3-31-69" and "MARYLAND" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB♦1234 AA♦1001 to approximately HT♦5900
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1969–70 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; "EXP-3-31-70" and "MARYLAND" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB 1234 AA 1001 to approximately JB 9300

1970 to present[edit]

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Maryland 1975 KX 1972.jpg April
1970 – March
1975
Embossed white numbers on blue plate; border line around plate and around sticker spot in bottom right corner; "MARYLAND" embossed in white block letters centered at bottom; "71" embossed in bottom left corner none AB 1234 AA 1001 to approximately SC 4300
1976 Maryland License Plate.jpg April
1975 – March
1980
Embossed red numbers on white plate; border line around plate and around sticker spot in top right corner; "MARYLAND" embossed in red block letters centered at top none ABC 123 AAA 001 to approximately HNB 999
1980 Maryland License Plate.jpg April
1980 – January 1986
Embossed black numbers on white plate with border line; "MARYLAND" embossed in black block letters centered at top none ABC 123 AAA 001 to approximately KHN 999
1986 Maryland License Plate.jpg February 1986 – September 2004 Embossed black numbers on white plate; shield with design of the state flag screened in the center; "Maryland" screened in black italic serifed letters centered at top none ABC 123 NAA 001 to ZZZ 999, then AAA 001 to MZZ 999 (from mid-1992) Modification of the optional 350th Anniversary base introduced in 1983 (see below). Two-year renewals started on July 1, 1992.
MD 2004.jpg September 2004 – February 2005 1AB C23 1AA A01 to 9AK Z99
Maryland Passenger Sample License Plate 2005.jpg February 2005 – November 2006 "www.maryland.gov" screened in black italic serifed letters centered at bottom 1AL A01 to 9CM Z99
2005 Maryland Sample License Plate.jpg November – December 2006 1CN A01 to 9CN Z99 Manufactured in New Jersey using that state's number dies, while the plate production facility at the Maryland State Prison was closed for three weeks due to inmate unrest.[3]
Maryland Passenger Sample License Plate 2005.jpg December 2006 –
June 13, 2010
1CP A01 to approximately 4GD J47[4] Identical to 2005–06 plates.
Maryland Passenger Sample License Plate 2010.jpg June 14, 2010[5]– September 25, 2016 War of 1812 200th anniversary commemorative design with U.S. flag and Fort McHenry silhouette. Blue on reflective white. State name in blue (with capital-letter sized, but lower-case shaped, "Y"). "War of 1812" text under state name in red. Was to be issued until 2015, but was extended. Commemorates both the Bicentennial, and the anniversary of the writing of the United States National Anthem by Francis Scott Key. www.starspangled200.org 1A/B2345 1M/D0000 to 9M/D9999; 1A/A0000 to approximately 7C/N9999 Serials issued on passenger cars (class A), trucks (class E) and multi-purpose vehicles (SUVs and minivans, class M).
MVA MDProud LicensePlate 390px.png September 26, 2016[6]– present Embossed black numbers on white plate; state flag screened in bottom half; "Maryland" screened in red italic serifed letters centered at top none 1AB2345 8CN0000[7] to 7DB9999 (as of October 9, 2017)

Optional types[edit]

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.svg December 1975 – February 1977 Embossed blue numbers on white plate; blue graphic screened in top left corner featuring the Fort McHenry cannons; "MARYLAND" screened in red serifed letters centered at bottom; "1776" and "1976" screened in blue italic serifed characters on either side of state name "BICENTENNIAL" screened in blue serifed letters centered at top, with a red star on either side 123 ABC 001 AAA to approximately 999 AFH Last issued February 1977, but remained valid until March 31, 1980.
Maryland 1984 license plate.jpg August 1983 – February 1986 Embossed black numbers on white plate; shield with design of the state flag screened in the center; "Maryland" screened in black italic serifed letters centered at top; "1634" and "1984" screened in black block characters on either side of state name "350th Anniversary" screened in black italic serifed letters centered at bottom 123 ABC 001 AAA to approximately 999 AKE Commemorated the 350th anniversary of the settlement of Maryland. Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 1984 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first and, to date, only time Maryland has been so honored. Adopted as standard passenger base from 1986 to 2010 (see above).
Maryland Treasure the Chesapeake Sample License Plate Version 1.jpg December 1990 – January 2004 Embossed dark green numbers on white plate; blue heron graphic screened in the center and dark green reed graphics at bottom corners; "Maryland" screened in blue serifed letters centered at top "Treasure the Chesapeake" screened in blue block letters centered at bottom 123 ABC (passenger) 001 BAY to 999 BAY; 001 AAA to 899 BNN
ABC 12D (multi-purpose vehicle) BAY 01A to BAY 99Z; AAA 01A to AEY 99W[4]
Maryland Treasure the Chesapeake Sample License Plate.jpg January 2004 – present Embossed black numbers on graphic plate featuring gradient blue sky, white sea, a heron and reeds at far left, and a Chesapeake blue crab on sand in bottom right corner; "MARYLAND" screened in white serifed letters centered at top "Treasure the Chesapeake" screened in blue italic block letters centered at bottom 12345C/A
12345B/Y
1234D/A ♿
00001C/B to 99999C/B; 00001B/Y to 99999B/Y; 00001C/A to 99999C/A; 00001C/C to present Same serial formats used for passenger and multi-purpose vehicles.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg July 2001 – present Embossed black numbers on graphic plate featuring orange and yellow gradient sky, green and white rolling hills, and a red farmhouse with a white silo and a green tree; "Maryland" screened in yellow italic serifed letters centered at top "Our Farms, Our Future" screened in two lines of yellow italic serifed letters in bottom right corner A123456 A000001 to present Issued in celebration of Maryland's agricultural heritage. Same serial format used for passenger and multi-purpose vehicles.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg January 1 – December 31, 2014 Embossed black numbers on yellow plate with border line; "MARYLAND" screened in black block letters centered at top "1910 VINTAGE" screened in black block letters centered at bottom VR12345 (passenger car)
VG12345 (antique vehicles)
VR1234♿ (handicapped)
VR00001 to approximately VR00760 Special reproduction of Maryland's first license plate. Serials VR00300 and up were issued to the general public, while VR00001 to VR00299 were issued by special request.

Non-passenger plates[edit]

Multi-purpose vehicles (such as minivans and sport utility vehicles), as well as pickup trucks and cargo vans, have traditionally been issued separate plate types. However, since June 14, 2010, trucks and multi-purpose vehicles have been issued passenger plates with the same serial format, first on the War of 1812 commemorative base and currently on the "Maryland Proud" base.

Image Type Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Motorcycle 1986–89 Similar to shield passenger base, but without shield none 12345D 00001D to 99999D
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1989–97 1234D5 0000D1 to 9999D9
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1997–2003 123D45 000D01 to 999D99
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2003–05 123M45 000M01 to approximately 740M00
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2005–06 www.maryland.gov 740M01 to 999M99
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2006–09 1D2345 0D0001 to 9D9999
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2009 – June 13, 2010 D12345 D00001 to approximately D39000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg June 14, 2010 – mid 2012 As War of 1812 passenger base www.StarSpangled200.org D39001 to D99999
Blank License Plate Shape.svg mid 2012 – present 12345Y 00001Y to present
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Multi-Purpose February 1986 – October 1997 Similar to shield passenger base, but without shield none 123456M 000001M to 999999M
Blank License Plate Shape.svg October 1997 – February 2003 M123456 M000001 to M999999
Blank License Plate Shape.svg February 2003 – February 2005 123M456 000M001 to 479M999
Blank License Plate Shape.svg February 2005 – April
2007
www.maryland.gov 480M000 to 999M999 895M000 through 909M999 were manufactured in New Jersey using that state's number dies, while the plate production facility at the Maryland State Prison was closed for three weeks due to inmate unrest.[3]
Blank License Plate Shape.svg April
2007 – June 13, 2010
12345M6 00000M1 to approximately 61999M9
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Truck February 1986 – December 1992 As shield passenger base none 123 456 300 001 to 999 999, then 000 001 to 299 999
(from 1989)
Blank License Plate Shape.svg December 1992 – February 2005 12A 345 00A 001 to 22R 999
Blank License Plate Shape.svg February 2005 – June 13, 2010 www.maryland.gov 23R 000 to approximately 99X 999

Government plates[edit]

Plates issued to state and local government agencies, including police and transit buses operated by a city or county or the state (for City of Baltimore).

Image Type First issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Local Government-owned vehicle Black on reflective white www.maryland.gov L/G 12345
Blank License Plate Shape.svg State Government-owned vehicle Black on reflective white www.maryland.gov S/G 12345

Organization plates[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Old Maryland License Plates". LeatherLicensePlates.com. Retrieved May 30, 2017. 
  2. ^ Garrish, Christopher (October 2016). "Reconsidering the Standard Plate Size". Plates. Vol. 62 no. 5. Automobile License Plate Collectors Association. 
  3. ^ a b "Current and Recent Maryland License Plates". Rick Kretschmer's License Plate Archives. Retrieved January 17, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Sage, Kit; Tanner, Eric. "licenseplates.cc Maryland highs page". Retrieved January 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ "FAQs for the New Maryland License Plate". Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission. Archived from the original on November 28, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Hogan unveils new, Maryland-flag themed license plates". The Baltimore Sun. August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016. 
  7. ^ Maryland Proud License Plate, from Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services

External links[edit]