Vehicle registration plates of Minnesota

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Current Minnesota license plate

The U.S. state of Minnesota first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1909.

Passenger plates 1909 to present[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.[1] The 1954 (dated 1955) issue was the first Minnesota license plate that complied with these standards.

Since 1989, Minnesota law has required license plates to be replaced every seven years, due to deterioration of the reflective material.[2]

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1909 Silver numbers on orange flat metal plate; vertical "MINN" and "1909" in silver at left and right respectively none 1234 1 to approximately 7000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1910 Gold numbers on black flat metal plate; vertical "MINN" and "1910" in gold at left and right respectively none 12345 1 to approximately 12000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1911 White numbers on dark blue porcelain plate; vertical "MINN" and "1911" in white at left and right respectively none 12345 1 to approximately 20000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1912–14 Black numbers on silver plate; vertical "MINN" in black at left and "1912", "1913" and "1914" at right none 12345 1 to approximately 67000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1915–16 Red numbers on silver plate; vertical "MINNESOTA" at left and "1915", "1916" and "1917" at right none 123456 1 to approximately 139000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1917 As above, but with vertical "MINN" in red at left 139001 to approximately 191000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1918–20 Embossed white numbers on black plate; vertical "MINN" at left and "1918", "1919" and "1920" at right none 123456 1 to approximately 325000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1920 As above, but with only "1920" at right 325001 to approximately 333000
1921 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1921 Embossed black numbers on sky blue plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "21" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A142-000 Weight classes introduced, with A used for vehicles weighing 2,000 lb or less, and B for vehicles above 2,000 lb. This practice continued until 1940.
B123-456 B1 to approximately B160-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1922 Embossed black numbers on off-white plate; vertical "MINN" at right; "22" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A176-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B175-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1923 Embossed brown numbers on gray plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "23" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A224-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B173-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1924 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at left; "24" in bottom right corner none 123-456A 1A to approximately 242-000A
123-456B 1B to approximately 222-000B
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1925 Embossed black numbers on silver plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "25" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A268-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B256-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1926 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "26" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A249-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B302-000
1927 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1927 Embossed light green numbers on dark green plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "27" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A258-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B293-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1928 Embossed black numbers on tan plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "28" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A243-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B326-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1929 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "29" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A245-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B379-000
1930 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1930 Embossed black numbers on silver plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "30" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A196-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B428-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1931 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "31" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A130-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B453-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1932 Embossed golden yellow numbers on maroon plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "32" in bottom left corner none A123-456 A1 to approximately A111-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B457-000
1933 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1933 As 1930 base, but with "33" in bottom left corner none A12-345 A1 to approximately A94-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B475-000
1934 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1934 As 1931 base, but with "34" in bottom left corner none A12-345 A1 to approximately A89-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B499-000
1935 Minnesota license plate.JPG 1935 As 1932 base, but with "35" in bottom left corner none A12-345 A1 to approximately A72-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B545-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1936 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "36" in bottom left corner none A12-345 A1 to approximately A58-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B612-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1937 Embossed black numbers on silver plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "37" in bottom left corner none A12-345 A1 to approximately A40-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B664-000
1938 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1938 Embossed silver numbers on black plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "38" in bottom left corner none A12-345 A1 to approximately A25-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B674-000
1939 Minnesota license plate.JPG 1939 Embossed black numbers on golden yellow plate with border line; vertical "MINN" at right; "39" in bottom left corner none A12-345 A1 to approximately A15-000
B123-456 B1 to approximately B696-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Minnesota 1940 342-577.jpg 1940 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "MINN - 1940" or "MINNESOTA 1940" (see right) centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 734-000 The abbreviated state name was used on plates with serials of up to four digits (1 through 9999), and the full state name on plates with five- or six-digit serials. This practice continued until 1949.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1941 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1941 Embossed black numbers on silver plate with border line; "MINN - 1941" or "MINNESOTA 1941" centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 763-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1942 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1942–43 Embossed red numbers on cream plate with border line; "MINN - 1942" or "MINNESOTA 1942" centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 748-000 Revalidated for 1943 with black tabs, due to metal conservation for World War II.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1944 MN license plate.jpg 1944 Embossed white numbers on navy blue plate with border line; "MINN - 1944" or "MINNESOTA 1944" centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 641-000
1945 Minnesota license plate.JPG Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1945 As 1941 base, but with "MINN - 1945" or "MINNESOTA 1945" at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 633-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1946 As 1940 base, but with "MINN - 1946" or "MINNESOTA 1946" at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 660-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1947 Minnesota license plate.JPG 1947 As 1941 base, but with "MINN - 1947" or "MINNESOTA 1947" at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 717-000
1948 Minnesota license plate.JPG Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1948 As 1940 base, but with "MINN - 1948" or "MINNESOTA 1948" at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 801-000
Minnesota 1949 84-698.jpg 1949 Embossed black numbers on waffle-textured silver plate; "MINNESOTA" centered at top "1849 - CENTENNIAL - 1949" at bottom 123-456 1 to approximately 871-000 Commemorated the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Minnesota Territory.
Minnesota 1950 487-627.jpg 1950 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 50" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 123-456 1 to approximately 962-000 First use of the "10,000 Lakes" slogan.
1951 MN license plate.jpg 1951 Embossed black numbers on silver plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 51" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 123-456 1-234-567 1 to approximately 1-005-000
1952 Minnesota license plate.JPG 1952 Embossed blue numbers on gold plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 52" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 123-456 1 to approximately 994-000
1953 Minnesota license plate.JPG 1953 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 53" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 123-456
1-234-567
1 to approximately 1-040-000
1954 Minnesota license plate.JPG 1954 Embossed blue numbers on cream plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 54" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 123-456
1-234-567
1 to approximately 1-075-000
Minnesota 1955 LV 6371.jpg 1955 Embossed yellow numbers on maroon plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 55" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top AA 1234 First letter corresponds to congressional district of issue First 6" x 12" plate. Letters A, B, C, E, F, G, H, J and K were used to indicate the nine congressional districts of the time, in that order.
LA 1234
MA 1234
LA 1000 to approximately MD 9999 Mail-order issues.
Minnesota 1956 6H 1902.jpg Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1956–57 Embossed green numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 56" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 1A 1234 First number corresponds to congressional district of issue Revalidated for 1957 with gold tabs.
MA 1234 Mail-order issues.
Minnesota 1958 9C 1290.jpg Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1958–59 Embossed blue numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 58" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 1A 1234 First number corresponds to congressional district of issue Revalidated for 1959 with green tabs.
MA 1234 Mail-order issues.
Minnesota 1960 6E 1919.jpg Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1960–61 Embossed black numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 60" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" within embossed black bar centered at top 1A 1234 First number corresponds to congressional district of issue Revalidated for 1961 with blue tabs.
MA 1234 Mail-order issues.
Minnesota 1962 9E 9653.jpg Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1964 Minnesota license plate.jpg 1962–64 Embossed maroon numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "MINNESOTA" within embossed maroon bar centered at bottom; "19" at bottom left and "62" at bottom right "10,000 LAKES" within embossed maroon bar centered at top 1A 1234 First number corresponds to congressional district of issue Revalidated for 1963 with green tabs, and for 1964 with yellow tabs.
MA 1234 Mail-order issues.
Minnesota 1967 4HF 401.jpg 1965–67 Embossed green numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 65" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 1AB 123 First number corresponds to congressional district of issue Revalidated for 1966 and 1967 with stickers.
MAB 123 MAA 100 to approximately MLC 999 Mail-order issues.
Minnesota 1968 8SH 388.jpg Minnesota 1970 6NF 367.jpg 1968–70 Embossed blue numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "MINNESOTA" within embossed blue bar centered at bottom; "19" at bottom left and "68" at bottom right "10,000 LAKES" within embossed blue bar centered at top 1AB 123 First number corresponds to congressional district of issue Revalidated for 1969 and 1970 with stickers.
MAB 123 MAA 100 to approximately MNN 999 Mail-order issues.
Minnesota 1973 1SM 749.jpg 1971–73 Embossed green numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "19 MINNESOTA 71" at bottom "10,000 LAKES" centered at top 1AB 123 First number corresponds to congressional district of issue Revalidated for 1972 and 1973 with stickers.
MAB 123 MAA 100 to approximately MPA 999 Mail-order issues.
Minnesota 1977 ES 9550.jpg 1974–77 Embossed orange numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "MINNESOTA" centered at bottom; "19" at top left and "74" at top right "10,000 LAKES" centered at top AB 1234 AA 1000 to approximately PW 3999
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1977 Embossed blue numbers on reflective white plate with border line; "MINNESOTA" centered at top "10,000 LAKES" centered at bottom ABC 123 AAA 001 to CGZ 999
Minnesota 1980 plate.jpg 1978–82 Embossed blue numbers on reflective graphic plate featuring a lake scene with pale blue and white water, pale blue sky, green island and trees, and a small green canoe; "Minnesota" screened in light blue serifed letters centered at top "10,000 lakes" screened in light blue serifed letters centered at bottom ABC 123 CHA 001 to approximately FOR 999
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1982–87 ABC-123; state icon used as dash LAA-001 to approximately RME-999
Minnesota 1995 787-HDD.jpg 1987–93 As 1978–87 base, but with darker colors "EXPLORE" screened in blue serifed letters to left of state name, giving "Explore Minnesota"; "10,000 lakes" screened in same letters centered at bottom 123-ABC; state icon used as dash 001-AAA to approximately 999-HZK Replaced all 1977–87 plates.
Minnesota 1997 209-KQF.jpg 1993–97 001-HZL to approximately 999-PYW White section of water now fades into the light blue band at the bottom containing the "10,000 lakes" slogan.
Minnesota license plate 1997.gif 1997–2000 ABC-123; state icon used as dash AAA-001 to DBZ-999 Material changed from steel to aluminum.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2000 – June
2008
DCA-001 to XZZ-999;
SAA-001 to SZZ-999
White section of water increased in size; fade to light blue at bottom now occurs behind the "10,000 lakes" slogan. W, Y and Z not used as first letters in serials; S issued after X.
Minnesota license plate 2008.jpg June 2008 – June
2009
As 1987–2008 base, but with screened black numbers and state name in a different serifed font "EXPLORE" and "10,000 lakes" as on 1987–2008 base, but in a different serifed font 123-ABC; dark blue state icon used as dash 001-AAA to 999-XZZ Serials in this format with B as the first letter reserved for mail-order issues. F, S, Y and Z not used as first letters.[why?]
Minnesota license plate 2009.jpg June 2009 – September 2017 As before but with ".com" added to right of state name, giving "Explore Minnesota.com"
September 2017 – present ABC-123; dark blue state icon used as dash AAA-001 to BKE-999 (as of July 9, 2018)

Non-passenger plates[edit]

Image Type Dates issued Design Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Motorcycle 1976–80 Embossed blue numbers on white plate; "MINNESOTA" and "M.C." centered at top and bottom respectively 123-456 000-001 to approximately 350-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1981–90 As above, but with "10,000 LAKES" at bottom, offset to left M/A 12-345 M/L 00-001 to approximately M/R 65-000
1990–99 12-345 M/A 00-001 M/A to approximately 60-000 M/C
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1999–2008 As above, but with "FEB M.C." in place of slogan 60-001 M/C to approximately 24-000 M/G
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2008–present Similar to current passenger base; "MOTORCYCLE" centered at bottom and "FEB" at bottom left 12345MA 24001MG to present
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Truck 1997–2008 Embossed blue numbers on white plate; "MINNESOTA" and "10,000 LAKES" centered at top and bottom respectively; weight class sticker at right Y/A B1234 Y/A A0001 to approximately Y/B A1000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2008–present As current passenger base; "FEB" at bottom left and weight class sticker at right YAB1234 YBB0001 to present

References[edit]

  1. ^ Garrish, Christopher (October 2016). "Reconsidering the Standard Plate Size". Plates. Vol. 62 no. 5. Automobile License Plate Collectors Association. 
  2. ^ "Minnesota License Plates". allaboutlicenseplates.com. Retrieved June 11, 2016. 

External links[edit]