Vehicle registration plates of Virginia

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The U.S. state of Virginia first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1906. Plates are currently issued by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Motor vehicle registration statistics[edit]

As of 2008, the DMV has 7,698,416 active registrations, 1,696,795 (22%) of which are special or personalized plates.[1] In 2008, 1,624,146 pairs of license plates were sold, with 831,361 of them being personalized plates.[2]

Passenger baseplates 1944 to present[edit]

In 1956, the U.S. states and Canadian provinces came to an agreement with the Automobile Manufacturers Association that fixed 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 state's first license plate that complied with these standards.

Image First issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1944 Embossed black numbers on yellow plate; "1944 - VA" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 468-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1945 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "19 - VIRGINIA - 45" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 475-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1946 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "VIRGINIA - 1946" embossed in white block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 524-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1947 Embossed black numbers on aluminum plate; "19 VIRGINIA 47" embossed in black block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 567-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1948 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "1948 VIRGINIA" embossed in white block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 642-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1949 Embossed black numbers on aluminum plate; "VIRGINIA 1949" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 698-000
Virginia 1950 378-641.jpg 1950 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "1950 VIRGINIA" embossed in white block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 783-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1951 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "19 VIRGINIA 51" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999 Revalidated for 1952 with black tabs, due to metal conservation for the Korean War.[3]
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A145-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1953 Embossed orange numbers on blue plate; "19 VIRGINIA 53" embossed in orange block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 940-000
1954 Virginia license plate.JPG 1954 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "VIRGINIA 1954" embossed in white block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 999-999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1955 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "1955 VIRGINIA" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A122-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1956 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "19 VIRGINIA 56" embossed in white block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A178-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1957 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "VIRGINIA 1957" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A223-000
1958 Virginia license plate.JPG 1958 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "1958 VIRGINIA" embossed in white block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A232-000
1959 Virginia license plate.JPG 1959 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "19 VIRGINIA 59" embossed in black block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A259-000
1960 Virginia license plate.jpg 1960 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "VIRGINIA 1960" embossed in white block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A240-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1961 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "1961 VIRGINIA" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A273-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1962 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "19 VIRGINIA 62" embossed in white block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A344-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1963 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "VIRGINIA 1963" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A425-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1964 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "1964 VIRGINIA" embossed in white block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A504-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1965 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "19 VIRGINIA 65" embossed in black block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A545-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1966 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "VIRGINIA 1966" embossed in white block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A626-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1967 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "1967 VIRGINIA" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A700-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1968 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "19 VIRGINIA 68" embossed in white block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A788-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1969 Embossed black numbers on white plate; "VIRGINIA 1969" embossed in black block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A857-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1970 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "1970 VIRGINIA" embossed in white block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to approximately A966-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1971 Embossed black numbers on white plate, with or without border line; "19 VIRGINIA 71" embossed in black block letters above numbers none 123-456 1 to 999-999
A123-456 A-100 to
A999-999
ABC 123 AAA 001 to AAD 999
B12-345 B-1 to approximately B54-000
1972 Virginia License Plate.jpg 1972 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "VIRGINIA 1972" embossed in white block letters above numbers none ABC-123 AAA-001 to DZZ-999
Virginia 1974 CJV-477.jpg 1973 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; "VIRGINIA" embossed in blue block letters centered above numbers none ABC-123 AAA-101 to SZZ-999 Revalidated with stickers until 1984.
VA 1983.jpg 1979 Similar to 1973 base, but reflective and with wider dies, and "Virginia" screened in blue serifed letters none ABC-123 AAA-101 to ZZZ-999 (see right) Still currently revalidated. Serials started at UAA-101 and ran to ZZZ-999, followed by AAA-101 through SZZ-999 as 1973 plates were invalidated; letters I, O and Q not used until 1988, when all series with these letters in the first position were issued, followed by all series with T in the first position, and finally all remaining series with I, O or Q in the second and/or third positions (ending with ZZQ-999).[4]
Virginia license plate 1994.jpg 1993 Embossed dark blue numbers on reflective white plate; "Virginia" screened in blue serifed letters centered above numbers none ABC-1234 ZZZ-9999 to approximately ZXX-1000 Serials progress backwards.
VA 2002.jpg 1993 As above, but with state name in all capital letters ZXW-9999 to approximately XYN-1000
2002 Virginia License Plate Sample.jpg 2002 Embossed dark blue numbers on reflective white plate; "VIRGINIA" screened in blue serifed letters centered above numbers "400th Anniversary" in red block letters centered below numbers, with a red ship graphic between the two words, plus "1607" to the left and "2007" to the right ABC-1234 Exclusively from JAA-1000 to JAX-9999; intermittently from JAY-1000 to JDC-9999 Issued in advance of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America. The slogan was originally printed on a white sticker, before it started to be screened directly onto the plate at around the JAM series.[4]
2003 Virginia License Plate Sample.jpg 2003 As above, but with state name in red Intermittently from JAY-1000 to JDC-9999; exclusively from JDD-1000 to KCW-9999
2002 Virginia License Plate.jpg 2006 Embossed dark blue numbers on reflective white plate; "VIRGINIA" screened in red serifed letters centered above numbers; Jamestown 400th Anniversary logo screened in bottom left corner and "2007" in bottom right corner "JAMESTOWN" screened in blue block letters and "AMERICA'S 400TH ANNIVERSARY" in red serifed letters, both centered below numbers ABC-1234 KCX-1000 to KNP-9999
VA 2002.jpg 2008 Embossed dark blue numbers on reflective white plate; "VIRGINIA" screened in blue serifed letters centered above numbers none ABC-1234 XXP-9999 to approximately WLM-1000 Return to 1993 base. Serials progress backwards as before.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 2014 "VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS" screened in black block letters, plus a red heart for the second 'V', centered below numbers VAA-0000 to VHW-9999 (as of July 18, 2015)[5]

Non-passenger types[edit]

Image Type First issued Design Serial format Serials issued Notes
Virginia disabled person license plate.JPG Disabled person 1993 blue on reflective white with blue screened state name Embossed International Symbol of Access at left.

Optional types[edit]

Virginia offers over 200 optional license plates.[1] Most can be personalized for an additional fee.

Image Type Dates issued Design Serial format Serials issued Notes
VA 1976.jpg Independence Bicentennial 1975–82 Embossed blue numbers on white plate with border line; blue bust of George Washington and thirteen red stars (representing the original colonies) screened in the center; "Virginia" and "1776 Independence Bicentennial 1976" screened in red serifed letters centered at top and bottom respectively 123-456 100-001 to 500-000 Still currently revalidated.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Autumn Leaves 1997–8 Embossed dark blue numbers on white plate; ten orange and yellow gradient leaves behind numbers; "Virginia" screened in black handwritten font centered at top 1234-AAB 1000-AAA to approximately 9999-AAD Revised design introduced in response to visibility concerns surrounding the original design.[6]
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1998 to present As above, but with leaves around edge of plate 1234-BAB 1000-BAA to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Patriot 1997 to present Similar to passenger base, but with a graphic of a Revolutionary War fifer at the far right 123ABC 101AAA to present
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg George Washington Bicentennial 1999 to ? Dark blue on Flag of the United States with image of Washington. 1234WB 1001WB to ? Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 1999 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first and, to date, only time Virginia has been so honored.

Type codes[edit]

Code Prefix Suffix
AA cardinal
AB I'm Animal Friendly
AC cardinal Averett College
Averett University
AE cardinal Virginia Aviation
AG cardinal
AJ cardinal
AK Alpha Kappa Alpha
AL Antique (blue/yellow) Fight Terrorism (A/L)
AM Texas A&M University
AN Fight Terrorism (A/N)
AP Appalachian State University Alpha Phi Alpha
Appalachian Trail
AQ Antique (blue/yellow)
AS National Air and Space Museum
AT Antique (blue/yellow) Virginians for the Arts
AU Auburn University
AW Antique (blue/yellow)
AX Alexandria
AY Antique (blue/yellow)
BA Wildlife Conservationist - bass
BB
BC Bridgewater College Breast Cancer
BD Wildlife Conservationist - bear
BF Bluefield College Tiger Swallowtail - State Insect
BG Airborne (173 ABN BDE Sky Soldiers)
BH Tiger Swallowtail - State Insect
BI Share the Road
BQ Antique (blue/yellow)
BR Blue Ridge Community College Blue Ridge Parkway
BT Wildlife Conservationist - brook trout
BU BoatUS
BV cardinal
BW Bowler
BZ Bronze Star Bronze Star - Valor

References[edit]

  1. ^ Special and Personalized License Plates Report, accessed March 29, 2009
  2. ^ DMV Business Profile, accessed March 29, 2009
  3. ^ Pang, Andrew. "Virginia License Plates from 1906-". licensepl8s.com. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Virginia License Plates". licenseplates.tropikordia.com. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Virginia License Plates". LicensePlates.cc. Retrieved April 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ Chernicky, David (September 23, 1997). "Autumn Leaves Fall Into Place On Plate". Daily Press (Newport News). Retrieved July 18, 2015. 

External links[edit]