Vehicle registration plates of Texas

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Current "Texas Classic" passenger license plate

The U.S. state of Texas first required its residents to register their motor vehicles in 1907. Registrants had to provide their own license plates for display, with serial numbers assigned by their county of residence, until the state began to supply plates in 1917.[1]

Passenger baseplates[edit]

1917 to 1974[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 first Texas license plate that complied with these standards was a modification of the 1955 plate, introduced towards the end of that year.

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
1917-1921 Texas license plate.jpg 1917–22 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; vertical "TEX" at right none 123456 1 to approximately 767000 Validated for 1917, 1918 and 1919 with round seals, and for 1920, 1921 and 1922 with rectangular seals.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1923–24 Embossed white numbers and star separator on black plate with border line; vertical "TEXAS" at both left and right none 123-456 1 to approximately 999-999 Validated for 1924 with rectangular seals.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1925 Embossed white numbers and star separator on maroon plate with border line; vertical "TEXAS" and "1925" at left and right respectively none 123-456 1 to approximately 935-000 First dated plate.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1926 Embossed black numbers and star separator on gray plate with border line; vertical "TEX-26" at right none 123-456 1 to approximately 997-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1927 Embossed white numbers and star separator on green plate with border line; vertical "1927" and "TEXAS" at left and right respectively none 123-456 1 to
999-999
A12-345 A00-000 to approximately A69-000
Texas 1928 license plate.jpg Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1928 Embossed white numbers and star separator on dark brown plate with border line; vertical "TEX-28" at right; vertical "FRONT" or "REAR" at left none 123-456
1-234-567
1 to approximately 1-114-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svgBlank License Plate Shape.svg 1929 Embossed orange numbers and star separator on black plate with border line; "TEXAS–1929" centered at bottom; vertical "FRONT" or "REAR" at left none 123-456
1-234-567
1 to approximately 1-195-000
Texas 1930 license plate.jpg Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1930 Embossed dark blue numbers and star separator on golden yellow plate with border line; "TEXAS–1930" centered at top; vertical "FRONT" or "REAR" at left none 123-456
1-234-567
1 to approximately 1-358-000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1931 Embossed white numbers and star separator on black plate with border line; vertical "TEX" and "31" at right none 123-456
A1-2345
Texas 1932 license plate.jpg 1932 Embossed white numbers and star separator on green plate with border line; "TEXAS–1932" centered at bottom none 123-456
A12-345
Texas 1933 license plate.jpg 1933 Embossed orange numbers and star separator on white plate with border line; "TEXAS–1933" centered at top none 123-456
A12-345
Texas 1934 license plate.jpg 1934 Embossed black numbers and star separator on orange plate with border line; "TEXAS – 1934" centered at bottom none 123-456
A12-345
Texas 1935 license plate.jpg 1935 Embossed white numbers and star separator on maroon plate with border line; "TEXAS–1935" centered at top none 123-456
A12-345
Texas 1936 license plate.jpg 1936 Embossed dark blue numbers on lemon yellow plate with border line; vertical "TEX" used as separator; "19" at bottom left and "36" at bottom right "CENTENNIAL" centered at bottom 123-456
A12-345
Commemorated the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Republic of Texas.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1937 Embossed ivory numbers and star separator on black plate with border line; "TEXAS–1937" centered at top none 123-456
A12-345
Texas 1938 license plate.jpg 1938 Embossed black numbers and star separator on white plate with border line; "TEXAS–1938" centered at bottom none 123-456
A12-345
Texas 1939 license plate.jpg 1939 Embossed dark purple numbers and star separator on golden yellow plate; "TEXAS 1939" at top none 123-456
A12-345
TEXAS 1940.png 1940 Embossed dark purple numbers and star separator on white plate; "19 TEXAS 40" at top none 123-456
A12-345
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1941 Embossed golden yellow numbers and star separator on black plate; "TEXAS 1941" at top none 123-456
A12-345
Texas 1942 license plate.jpg 1942–44 Embossed black numbers and star separator on golden yellow plate; "TEXAS-42" at bottom none 123-456
A12-345
Revalidated for 1943 with black tabs, and for 1944 with green tabs, due to metal conservation for World War II.
TEXAS 1945 license plate.jpg 1945 Embossed black numbers on golden yellow plate; "TEXAS-45" at top, offset to right none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately H/L4000
Texas 1946 license plate.jpg 1946 Embossed cream numbers on black plate; "TEXAS-46" at top, offset to right none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately J/B7000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1947 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "TEXAS-47" at bottom, offset to right none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately J/U7000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1948 Embossed golden yellow numbers on black plate; "TEXAS-48" at top, offset to right none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately K/U7000
1949 Texas license plate.JPG 1949 Embossed black numbers on golden yellow plate; "TEXAS-49" at bottom, offset to right none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately L/Y8000
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 1950 Embossed golden yellow numbers on black plate; "TEXAS-50" at top, offset to right none A/B1234 A/A10 to L/Z9999; U/A10 to approximately U/E3000
1951-Texas-License-plate.jpg 1951 Embossed black numbers on golden yellow plate; "TEXAS-51" at top, offset to right none A/B1234 A/A10 to L/Z9999; U/A10 to approximately U/R8000
Texas 1952 license plate.jpg 1952 As 1950 base, but with "TEXAS 52" at top none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately P/J2000
1953 Texas license plate.jpg 1953 As 1951 base, but with "TEXAS 53" at top none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately P/J4000
Texas 1954 DW9473.jpg 1954 As 1950 base, but with "TEXAS 54" at top none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately P/X9000
1955 Texas license plate.jpg 1955 As 1951 base, but with "TEXAS 55" at top none A/B1234 A/A10 to approximately R/E9999
Blank License Plate Shape.svg As above, but to 6" x 12" size, and with "TEXAS 55" centered at top AB1234 RF10 to approximately SD3000
1956 Texas license plate.jpg 1956 Embossed golden yellow numbers on black plate; "TEXAS 56" centered at top none AB1234 AA10 to approximately SV6000
1957 Texas license plate.JPG 1957 Embossed black numbers and star separator on white plate; "TEXAS 57" centered at top none AB-1234 AA-10 to approximately UR-3000
1958 Texas license plate 01.jpg 1958 Embossed white numbers and star separator on black plate; "TEXAS 58" centered at top none AB-1234 AA-10 to approximately TT-6000
TEXAS 1959.jpg 1959 As 1957 base, but with "TEXAS 59" centered at top none AB-1234 AA-10 to approximately UK-3000
1960 Texas license plate.jpg 1960 As 1958 base, but with "TEXAS 60" centered at top none AB-1234 AA-10 to approximately UN-7000
1958 Texas license plate 02.jpg 1961 Embossed black numbers and star separator on white plate; "TEXAS" centered at top; "61" at top right none AB-1234 AA-10 to approximately UY-9000
1962 Texas license plate.jpg 1962 Embossed white numbers and star separator on black plate; "TEXAS" centered at top; "62" at top right none AB-1234 AA-10 to approximately VZ-4000
1963 Texas license plate.jpg 1963 Embossed black numbers and star separator on white plate; "TEXAS" and "1963" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB-1234 AA-10 to approximately WS-7000
1964 Texas license plate.JPG 1964 Embossed white numbers and star separator on black plate; "TEXAS" and "1964" centered at top and bottom respectively none AB-1234 AA-10 to approximately YT-1000
Texas 1965 license plate.jpg 1965 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "19 TEXAS 65" at top none ABC 123 BBB 10 to approximately PHG 999 Vowels and Q not used in serials; this practice continued until 1975.[3]
Texas 1966 JDD52.jpg 1966 Embossed white numbers and star separator on black plate; "19 TEXAS 66" at top none ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately PYK-999
Texas 1967 CKK361.jpg 1967 Embossed black numbers and star separator on white plate; "19 TEXAS 67" at top none ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately RKN-999
1968 Texas license plate.JPG 1968 Embossed white numbers and star separator on black plate; "TEXAS" centered at top; "68" at bottom left and bottom right "HEMISFAIR" centered at bottom ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately RSM-999
Texas 1969 LKT75.jpg 1969 Embossed black numbers and star separator on reflective white plate; "19 TEXAS 69" at top none ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately RWV-999
Texas 1970 license plate.jpg 1970 Embossed blue numbers and star separator on reflective white plate; "19 TEXAS 70" at top none ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately SDN-999
Texas 1971 license plate.jpg 1971 Embossed black numbers and star separator on reflective white plate; "TEXAS 71" at top, offset to right none ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately SWD-999
Texas 1972 MSZ336.jpg 1972 Embossed green numbers and star separator on reflective white plate; "19 TEXAS 72" at top none ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately TKK-999
Texas 1973 license plate.jpg 1973 Embossed black numbers and star separator on reflective white plate; "19 TEXAS 73" at top none ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately VDD-999
Texas 1974 KJN 25.jpg 1974 Embossed red numbers and star separator on reflective white plate; "19 TEXAS 74" at top none ABC-123 BBB-10 to approximately VMG-999

1975 to present[edit]

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Texas 1975 FWY-332.jpg 1975 Black on reflective white, star separator none ABC-123 AAA-10 to approximately MMV-500 Letters I and O not used in serials; this practice continued until 1990. Staggered registration introduced 1978.
TEXAS 1980.jpg 1976–81 As above, but with state-shaped separator MMV-501 to ZZZ-999
Texas 1980s license plate 542 fjg.jpg 1982–84 123-ABC 001-AAA to 999-HEW
1985-86 Texas License Plate.jpg 1985–86 Dark blue on reflective white, screened red state-shaped separator Sesquicentennial 123-ABC 001-HEX to 974-PAY Commemorated the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Republic of Texas.
1986-89 Texas License Plate.jpg 1986–89 As above, but with bolder state name none 975-PAY to 999-ZZZ
Blue on white Texas license plate.jpg 1990 ABC-12D BBB-01B to BKW-99Z Vowels and Q not used in serials (as from 1965–74); this practice continues today.
TEXAS 1991.jpg 1990–91 Dark blue and red on reflective white, state flag screened to left of state name none ABC-12D BKX-01B to GTX-99Z
TEXAS 1993.jpg 1992–94 The Lone Star State GTY-01B to VJL-99J
TEXAS 1995.jpg 1995–96 State outline within abstract graphic. 150 Years of Statehood ABC-12D VJL-01K to WSJ-99F Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new standard-issue license plate of 1995 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first and, to date, only time Texas has been so honored. Co-recipient with Pennsylvania.
TEXAS 1997ISH.jpg 1996–97 As 1990–95 base The Lone Star State ABC-12D WSJ-01G to ZZZ-99Z Some late 'Z' series plates made on next series' graphic sheeting, with state flag to right of state name.
Texas 1995 C67 FLX.jpg 1998 As above, but with state flag to right of state name A12-BCD B01-BBB to J99-GPZ Some early 'B' series plates made on previous series' graphic sheeting, with state flag to left of state name.
TEXAS 2000.jpg 1999–2003 Dark blue numbers on reflective plate with graphic scene featuring a cowboy, oil fields, a Space Shuttle, stars and the moon; screened red state-shaped separator The Lone Star State A12-BCD J01-GRB to Z99-ZZZ
TEXAS 2005.jpg 2004–05 123-ABC 001-BBB to 999-HWL
Texas 2005 plate.jpg 2005–06 As above, but with a slightly smaller cowboy, the state flag added within the state-shaped separator, the national flag added to the Space Shuttle, and seven larger stars above the shuttle 001-HWM to 999-ZZZ The seven larger stars honored the astronauts killed in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster of 2003, which occurred over Texas.
TEXAS 2008.jpg 2007 –
June
2009
ABC-123 BBB-001 to approximately VLX-999
Texas license plate, 2009-2012.jpg July
2009 – June
2012
First standard-issue non-embossed license plate issued in Texas; features the Davis Mountains against a sky backdrop, with a lone star and streaks of red and blue in the upper-left corner; state motto is retained on the bottom The Lone Star State AB1-C234 BB0-B001 to DZ9-Z999
Texas license plate (June 2012).png July
2012 – present
New "Texas Classic" black lettering on white sheeting design with double security thread in the sheeting The Lone Star State ABC-1234 BBB-0001 to KVZ-9999 (as of June 4, 2018) Serials issued on both passenger vehicles and trucks.

Non-passenger types[edit]

Image Type First issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
TXDisabled.JPG Disabled 1986 Embossed dark blue on reflective white; "TEXAS" in red centered at top none 1AB Handicapped/disabled access CD 1BB Handicapped/disabled access BB to approximately
1WS Handicapped/disabled access ZZ
TXDisabled2.JPG 2005 Screened dark blue on reflective white; state flag within state shape at top right; "TEXAS" in blue centered at top The Lone Star State 1WW Handicapped/disabled access BB to approximately
1YP Handicapped/disabled access ZZ
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2007 Handicapped/disabled access 1ABCD Handicapped/disabled access 1YTBB to
Handicapped/disabled access 1ZZZZ;
Handicapped/disabled access 1BBBB to approximately
Handicapped/disabled access 1FNZZ
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 2012 As "Texas Classic" passenger base The Lone Star State Handicapped/disabled access 1GWBB to present
TEXAS TRUCK 1985ISH.jpg Truck 1985 As 1985 Sesquicentennial passenger base; "TRUCK" between state name and numbers Sesquicentennial 123-4AB 000-1CR to 299-9KK
Texas Truck license plate.jpg 1986 As above, but without slogan and years none 300-0KK to 999-9ZZ
1991 AB1-234 AA0-001 to ZZ9-999
1997 1AB-C23 1BB-B01 to 4LL-Z99
Texas Truck Space Shuttle 200 license plate.jpg 2000 As Space Shuttle passenger base; "TRUCK" between state name and numbers The Lone Star State 4LM-B01 to
9ZZ-Z99
2004 12A-BC3 01B-BB1 to
99L-XZ3
TRUCK 2009.jpg 2005 As revised Space Shuttle passenger base; "TRUCK" between state name and numbers 01L-YB3 to
99Z-ZZ9
2009 123-4AB 000-1AA to approximately 500-0BF
Texas Truck Dark base.jpg 2009 As sky passenger base; "TRUCK" between state name and numbers The Lone Star State AB1-2345 AA0-0001 to approximately
CB1-0000

Optional types[edit]

Image Type First issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.svg 4-H
Blank License Plate Shape.svg A Fine Cause
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Adopt-A-Beach
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Air Force Association
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Animal Friendly

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Old Texas License Plates". LeatherLicensePlates.com. Retrieved September 3, 2017. 
  2. ^ Garrish, Christopher (October 2016). "Reconsidering the Standard Plate Size". Plates. Vol. 62 no. 5. Automobile License Plate Collectors Association. 
  3. ^ "Texas License Plates". allaboutlicenseplates.com. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]