Vehicle registration plates of West Virginia

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Current West Virginia license plate

The U.S. state of West Virginia first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1905. Currently in West Virginia, only rear license plates are used.

Passenger baseplates 1905 to present[edit]

In 1956, the U.S. states and Canadian provinces came to an agreement with the Automobile Manufacturers Association that standardized 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 1956–57 (dated 1957) issue was the first West Virginia license plate that complied with these standards.

Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1905 "Licensed" 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1906 Gray on dark blue "Licensed" 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1907-09 Black on white "Licensed" 1234 unknown
1909 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1909 Black on scarlet "Licensed" 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1910 White on dark blue "Licensed" 1234 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1911 Black on white "Licensed" 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1912- June 1913 White on forrest green "License" 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg July 1913 - July 1914 Yellow on black "License" 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg August 1914 - June 1915 White on sky blue "License" 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg July 1915 - June 1916 White on red "License" 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg July 1916 - June 1917 Navy on white "Licensed" 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg July 1917 - June 1918 Embossed yellow numbers on black plate with border line; "W.VA 17-18" embossed in yellow block letters at right none 12345 unknown First embossed plate since 1905
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg July 1918 - June 1919 Embossed black numbers on white plate with border line; "W.VA 18-19" embossed in black block letters at right none 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg July 1919 -1920 Embossed white numbers on black plate with border line; "W.VA 19-20" embossed in white block letters at right none 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1921 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate with border line; "WVA 1921" embossed in white block letters at right none 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1922 Embossed black numbers on tan plate with border line; "WVA 1922" embossed in black block letters at right none 12345 unknown
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1923 Embossed red numbers on white plate; "WEST VIRGINIA 1923" embossed in red block letters at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 141-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1924 Embossed white numbers on maroon plate; "WEST VIRGINIA 1924" embossed in white block letters at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 165-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1925 Embossed dark blue numbers on orange plate; "WEST VIRGINIA 1925" embossed in dark blue block letters at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 173-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1926 Embossed white numbers on dark blue plate; "WEST VIRGINIA 1926" embossed in white block letters at top none 123-456 1 to approximately 211-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1927 Embossed black numbers on gray plate; "WEST VIRGINIA 1927" embossed in black block letters at top none 123-456 1 to approximately 207-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1928 Embossed white numbers on dark green plate; "WEST VIRGINIA 1928" embossed in white block letters at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 217-000
1929 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1929 Embossed orange numbers on black plate; "WEST VIRGINIA 1929" embossed in orange block letters at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 232-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1930 Embossed black numbers on gray plate; "W. VA. – 1930" embossed in black block letters centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 223-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1931 Embossed yellow numbers on black plate; "W. VA. – 1931" embossed in yellow block letters centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 213-000
West Virginia 1932 100-436.jpg 1932 Embossed white numbers on black plate; "W. VA. – 1932" embossed in white block letters centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 192-000
1933 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1933–34 As 1931 base, but with "W. VA. – 1933" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 214-000 Validated from January 1 through June 30, 1934 with windshield stickers.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1934–35 Embossed black numbers on yellow plate; "W. VA.-34-35" embossed in black block letters centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 207-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1935–36 Embossed yellow numbers on black plate; "W. VA.-35-36" embossed in yellow block letters centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 219-000
1936-37 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1936–37 Embossed black numbers on yellow plate; "W. VA.-36-37" embossed in black block letters centered at top none 123-456 1 to approximately 224-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1937–38 Embossed yellow numbers on black plate; "W. VA.-37-38" embossed in yellow block letters centered at top none 123-456 1 to approximately 237-000
1938-39 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1938–39 Embossed black numbers on yellow plate; "W. VA.-38-39" embossed in black block letters centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 236-000
1939-40 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1939–40 Embossed yellow numbers on black plate; "W. VA.-39-40" embossed in yellow block letters centered at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 245-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1940–41 As 1938–39 base, but with "W. VA.-40-41" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 258-000
1942 West Virginia license plate.jpg Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1941–44 Embossed yellow numbers on black plate with border line; "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-42" embossed in yellow block letters at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 349-000 Revalidated until June 30, 1943 with tabs, and then until June 30, 1944 with windshield stickers, due to metal conservation for World War II.
1945 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1944–45 Embossed black numbers on yellow plate with border line; "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-45" embossed in black block letters at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 214-000
1946 West Virginia license plate.JPG 1945–46 As 1941–44 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-46" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 239-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1946–47 As 1944–45 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-47" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 250-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1947–48 As 1941–44 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-48" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 282-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1948–49 As 1944–45 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-49" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 312-000
1950 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1949–50 As 1941–44 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-50" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 339-000
1951 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1950–51 As 1944–45 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-51" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 365-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1951–52 As 1941–44 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-52" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 377-000
1953 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1952–53 As 1944–45 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-53" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 379-000
1954 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1953–54 As 1941–44 base, but with "W. VA. EXP.-6-30-54" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 399-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1954–55 As 1944–45 base, but with "WEST VIRGINIA 54" embossed at bottom none 123-456 1 to approximately 418-000
1956 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1955–56 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "WEST VIRGINIA 56" embossed in white block letters below numbers none 123-456 1 to approximately 436-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1956–57 Embossed yellow numbers on dark blue plate with border line; "WEST VIRGINIA" embossed in yellow block letters centered below numbers; "19" embossed in bottom left corner and "57" in bottom right corner none 123-456 1 to approximately 461-000
1958 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1957–58 Embossed green numbers on white plate with border line; "WEST VIRGINIA" embossed in green block letters centered below numbers; "58" embossed in bottom right corner none 123-456 1 to approximately 469-000
1959 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1958–59 Embossed white numbers on green plate with border line; "WEST VIRGINIA" embossed in white block letters centered below numbers; "19" embossed in bottom left corner and "59" in bottom right corner none 123-456 1 to approximately 478-000
1960 West Virginia license plate.JPG 1959–60 Embossed red numbers on white plate with border line; "WEST VIRGINIA" embossed in red block letters centered below numbers; "19" embossed in bottom left corner and "60" in bottom right corner none 123-456 1 to approximately 471-000
West Virginia 1961 106-321.jpg 1960–61 Embossed white numbers on dark red plate with border line; "WEST VIRGINIA" embossed in white block letters centered below numbers; "19" embossed in bottom left corner and "61" in bottom right corner none 123-456 1 to 141-826[1]
1961 West Virginia debossed license plate.jpg As above, but with elements debossed 141-827 to approximately 476-000
1962 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1961–62 As 1957–58 base, but with "19" embossed in bottom left corner and "62" in bottom right corner none 123-456 1 to approximately 488-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1962–63 Debossed yellow numbers on blue plate with border line; "WEST VIRGINIA" debossed in yellow block letters centered below numbers; "19" debossed in bottom left corner and "63" in bottom right corner "1863 CENTENNIAL 1963" debossed in yellow block letters above numbers 123-456 1 to approximately 490-000
West Virginia 1964 14-717.jpg 1963–64 Embossed blue numbers on yellow plate with border line; "WEST VIRGINIA" embossed in blue block letters centered below numbers; "19" embossed in bottom left corner and "64" in bottom right corner "1863 CENTENNIAL 1963" embossed in blue block letters above numbers 123-456 1 to approximately 521-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1964–65 As 1962–63 base, but with "65" debossed in bottom right corner "MOUNTAIN STATE" debossed in yellow block letters centered above numbers 123-456 1 to approximately 522-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1965–66 As 1963–64 base, but with "66" embossed in bottom right corner "MOUNTAIN STATE" embossed in blue block letters centered above numbers 123-456 1 to approximately 558-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1966–67 As 1962–63 base, but with "67" debossed in bottom right corner "MOUNTAIN STATE" as on 1964–65 base 123-456 1 to approximately 582-000
1968 West Virginia license plate.JPG 1967–68 As 1963–64 base, but with "68" embossed in bottom right corner "MOUNTAIN STATE" as on 1965–66 base 123-456 1 to approximately 603-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1968–69 As 1962–63 base, but with "69" debossed in bottom right corner "MOUNTAIN STATE" as on 1964–65 base 123-456 1 to approximately 625-000
1970 West Virginia license plate.jpg 1969–70 As 1963–64 base, but with "70" embossed in bottom right corner "MOUNTAIN STATE" as on 1965–66 base 123-456 1 to approximately 591-000
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1970–75 As 1963–64 base, but with sticker box in bottom right corner and no embossed year "MOUNTAIN STATE" as on 1965–66 base 0A-1234
AA-1234
First character corresponds to month of expiration (see right) 1 through 9 indicated January through September respectively, and O, N and D indicated October, November and December respectively. This system remains in use today.
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1976–82 Embossed dark blue numbers on white plate; yellow state icon with blue outline screened behind numbers at left; "WEST VIRGINIA" screened in dark blue block letters centered below numbers Dark blue bar screened at top with "Wild, Wonderful" in white italic serifed letters in the center 0A-1234
AA-1234
First character corresponds to month of expiration
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg 1982 – December 1994 As above, but without blue outline around state icon 0A-1234
0AB-123
AA-1234
AAB-123
Double-letter serials introduced for each month as single-letter serials were exhausted. These serials progressed as follows: both letters A through M only, then first letter N through Z and second letter A through M, then first letter A through M and second letter N through Z.
WV 2008.jpg January 1995 – December 2000 Embossed dark blue numbers on white plate; dark blue bar screened at top containing "West Virginia" in gold serifed letters in the center; thin gold stripe screened between dark blue bar and numbers "Wild, Wonderful" screened in dark blue serifed letters centered below numbers, with three stripes (two dark blue and one gold) screened on either side 0A-1234
0AB-123
AA-1234
AAB-123
First character corresponds to month of expiration Serials reset to A for all months; progression is as before but with double-letter serials progressing in standard order (AA-AZ, BA-BZ etc.). Serials S and SA-SZ reserved for optional Scenic plates.
WV 2006.jpg December 2000 – early 2006 "Wild, Wonderful" as before, plus "www.callwva.com" in dark blue serifed letters between state name and numbers, cutting off thin gold stripe in the middle
2011 West Virgnia License Plate.jpg early 2006 – present "Wild, Wonderful" as before; web address dropped

Optional types[edit]

Image Type Dates issued Design Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.jpg Scenic 1996–present Embossed dark blue numbers on mountain scene with white and orange sky, pale blue mountains and dark blue forest; "West Virginia" and "Wild, Wonderful" screened in dark blue serifed letters centered above and below numbers respectively 0S-1234
0SA-123
AS-1234
ASA-123
First character corresponds to month of expiration Similar monthly serial formats to passenger base, but with serials progressing S, then SA, SB, SC etc. "www.callwva.com" appeared between state name and numbers during the early and mid-2000s.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "West Virginia License Plates - Variations". licenseplates.tropikordia.com. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 

External links[edit]