Vehicle registration plates of Washington (state)

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The U.S. state of Washington first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1916.

Passenger baseplates 1916 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 first Washington license plate that complied with these standards was a modification of the 1954 plate, introduced in January 1956.

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
1916 Washington license plate.jpg 1916 Embossed white lettering and border on navy base; "WN" embossed at left and "1916" embossed at right none 123456 unknown
1917 Washington license plate.jpg 1917 Embossed white lettering and border on lavender base; "WN" embossed at left and "X17" embossed at right none 123456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1918 Embossed white lettering and border on black base; "WN" embossed at left and "X18" embossed at right none 123456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1919 Black lettering with yellow base painted on porcelain-coated steel; "WN" above "X19" painted in black letters on yellow base none 123456 unknown
1920 Washington license plate.jpg 1920 As above but with "WN" above "X20" painted in black letters on white field none 123456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Early 1921 Embossed white lettering and border on forrest green base; "WN" above "X21" embossed at left of lettering none 123456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Late 1921 Embossed black lettering on sea blue base; "WN" above "X21" embossed at left of lettering none 123456 unknown Numbers above 80000 are normal plates.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1922 Embossed white lettering on brown base; "WN" above "X22" embossed at left of lettering none 123456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1923 Embossed dark blue lettering on off-white base; "WN" above "X23" embossed at left of lettering none 123456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1924 Embossed off-white lettering on dark blue base; "WN" above "X24" embossed at left of lettering none 123456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1925 Embossed periwinkle lettering on aluminum base; "WN" above "X25" embossed at left of lettering none 123456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1926 Embossed white numbers on green base; "X26" embossed at left and state name embossed at bottom none 123-456 unknown First use of full state name on passenger plates.
1927 Washington license plate.jpg 1927 Embossed green numbers on white base; "X27" embossed at left and state name embossed at bottom none 123-456 unknown
1928 Washington license plate.jpg 1928 Embossed black lettering and border on orange base; "X" and "-28" embossed at left and right of state name at bottom none 123-456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1929 Embossed white lettering and border on green base; "X" and "-29" embossed at left and right of state name at bottom none 123-456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1930 Embossed green lettering and border on white base; "30" and "X" embossed at left and right of state name at bottom none 123-456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1931 Embossed white lettering and border on green base; "X" and "31" embossed at left and right of state name at bottom none 123-456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1932 Embossed green lettering and border on white base; "X" and "32" embossed at left of state name at bottom none 123-456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1933 Embossed white lettering and border on green base; "X" and "33" embossed at left and right of state name at top none 123-456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1934 Embossed green lettering and border on white base; "X" and "34" embossed at left and right of state name at bottom none 123-456 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1935 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; "WASHINGTON" embossed in white block letters centered at bottom; "X" embossed in bottom left corner and "35" in bottom right corner none 123-456
A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1936 Embossed dark blue numbers on white plate with border line; "WASHINGTON" embossed in dark blue block letters centered at bottom; "19" embossed in bottom left corner and "36" in bottom right corner none A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1937 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; "WASHINGTON 1937" embossed in white block letters at top none A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
1938 Washington license plate.jpg 1938 Embossed green numbers on white plate with border line; "1938 WASHINGTON" embossed in green block letters at top none A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1939 Embossed golden yellow numbers on green plate with border line; "STATE OF WASHINGTON" embossed in golden yellow block letters at bottom "GOLDEN JUBILEE" embossed in golden yellow block letters centered at top, with "1889" to the left and "1939" to the right A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Commemorated Washington's 50 years of statehood.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1940 Embossed green numbers on white plate with border line; "WASHINGTON 1940" embossed in green block letters at bottom none A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1941 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "WASHINGTON 1941" embossed in white block letters at top none A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
1942 Washington license plate.jpg 1942–44 Embossed green numbers on white plate; "WASHINGTON 1942" embossed in green block letters at bottom none A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Revalidated for 1943 and 1944 with windshield stickers, due to metal conservation for World War II.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1944 (New Registrations Only) Embossed green numbers on white plate; "WASHINGTON 1944" embossed in green block letters at bottom none 123456 unknown Numbers are from windshield stickers
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1945–46 Embossed green numbers on white plate; "WASHINGTON 1945" embossed in green block letters at top none A-12345
AB-1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Revalidated for 1946 with windshield stickers.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1947–48 Embossed green numbers on unpainted aluminum plate; "WASHINGTON 1947" embossed in green block letters at bottom none A·12·345
AB·1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Revalidated for 1948 with windshield stickers.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1949 Embossed green numbers on unpainted aluminum plate; "WASHINGTON 1949" embossed in green block letters at top none A·12·345
AB·1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
1950 Washington license plate.jpg 1950 Embossed green numbers on white plate; "WASHINGTON 50" embossed in green block letters at bottom none A123·456
AB·1234
County-coded
(A or AB)
Revalidated for 1951 with silver tabs, for 1952 with windshield stickers, and for 1953 with green tabs.
1951 Washington license plate.jpg 1951–53 As above, but with "51" instead of "50" Single plate issued only to new registrants. Revalidated for 1952 and 1953 in the same manner as for 1950 plates.
1954 Washington license plate.jpg 1954–55 Embossed white numbers on green plate; "54 WASHINGTON" embossed in white block letters at bottom none 123-456 A
12-345 AB
County-coded
(A or AB)
Revalidated for 1955 with silver tabs, for 1956 with white tabs, and for 1957 with green tabs.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1956–57 As above, but to 6" x 12" size, and with narrower dies and border line Validated for 1956 and 1957 in the same manner as for 1954–55 plates.
1960 Washington Vehicle License Plate.jpg 1958–62 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "WASHINGTON" embossed in white block letters centered at bottom none ABC 123 County-coded
Washington 1963 MAF 756.jpg 1963–64 Embossed green numbers on non-reflective white plate with border line; "WASH. 63" embossed in green block letters centered at bottom none ABC 123 (pickup trucks and vehicles registered to companies used AB 1234) County-coded (discontinued after 1981)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1965–67 As above, but with "WASHINGTON" centered at bottom
Washington 1980 DNK 845.jpg 1968–82 As above, but reflective, and with "WASHINGTON" at top, offset to left
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1983–86 As above, but with "WASHINGTON" screened rather than embossed
Washington 1988 plate.jpg 1987 – late
1990
Embossed dark blue numbers on reflective white plate with light blue Mount Rainier graphic and dark blue border line; "Washington" screened in red serifed letters centered at top "Centennial Celebration" screened in red serifed letters centered at bottom 123-ABC 000-AAA to 999-DGP
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg late 1990 – July
1998
none 000-DGQ to 999-JNZ
Washington 1998 plate.jpg July 1998 –
December 31, 2009
As above, but without dark blue border line, and with "WASHINGTON" screened in red block letters at top, offset to left "EVERGREEN STATE" screened in red block letters centered at bottom 000-JOA to 999-ZZZ
WA license plate 2011.jpg January 1, 2010 – present ABC1234[1] AAA0000 to BES9999 (as of April 1, 2017)

Non-passenger types[edit]

Image Type Dates issued Design Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Motorcycle 1976–86 Embossed green on white with border line; "WASHINGTON" at top, offset to left 123456 000001 to approximately 297000 Revalidated until 2000.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1987–99 Similar to 1987–98 passenger plates, but with "Washington" offset to left and no slogan 123456 400000 to approximately 601999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1999–2008 Similar to current passenger plates, but without slogan 602000 to 999999
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 2008–present 1A2345 0A0000 to 9E9999 (as of September 17, 2016)
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Truck 1987–90 As 1987–90 passenger plates 12345-A 00000-H to 11999-T
WA 1992 97795-U.jpg 1990–95 As 1990–98 passenger plates 12000-T to 99999-Z
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1995–99 A12345B A00000A to A18999E
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1999–present As current passenger plates A19000E to C99999J (as of March 17, 2017)

County coding[edit]

County 1- or 2-letter code, 1935-57
King A
Pierce B
Spokane C
Snohomish D
Yakima E
Whatcom F
Clark G
Grays Harbor H
Kitsap I
Thurston J
Chelan K
Lewis L
Skagit M
Cowlitz N
Walla Walla O
Whitman P
Clallam Q
Benton R
Kittitas S
Lincoln T
Okanogan U
Pacific V
Stevens W
Mason X
Jefferson Y
Klickitat Z
Adams AD
Asotin AN
Columbia CO
Douglas DO
Franklin FN
Ferry FY
Garfield GA
Grant GT
Island IS
Pend Oreille PO
Skamania SA
San Juan SJ
Wahkiakum WA

References[edit]

External links[edit]