Vehicle registration plates of the United States for 1903

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Massachusetts became the first state to officially issue vehicle license plates in 1903.[1][2] New York continued to require their residents to register their vehicles with the state, but the owner had to supply their own license plate. Connecticut, Minnesota, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia all began to require vehicle registration with the vehicle owners also supplying their own plate.[3][4] Each of the other states of the United States of America plus several of its territories did not require or issue license plates during 1903.[5][6][7][8]

Passenger baseplates[edit]

In the table below, a light green background indicates that the owner of the vehicle was required to provide their own license plates. These plates are called "prestate" by most collectors. In the prestate era many states only provided the license plate number on a small disc or on paper, and the owner was required to have their license plate(s) made. These early license plates were created from kits that could be purchased at a hardware store, may have been available from automobile clubs or associations, they were forged by blacksmiths or other tradesmen, or the owner may have made their own plate with whatever materials they had on hand. Prestate plates were made from a variety of materials, but most often were made of leather, steel, or wood.

Legend: Regular state issue plate(s) Prestate era plate(s) No plates issued by state or territory
Image State Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Alabama No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1912.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Alaska No prestate plates. Territory issued plates begin in 1921.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg American Samoa No prestate plates. Territory issued plates begin in 1924.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Arizona No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1914.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Arkansas No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1911.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg California Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1914.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Canal Zone No prestate plates. Territory issued plates begin in 1910.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Colorado No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1913.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Connecticut First year for prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1905.[9]
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Delaware Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1908.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg District of
Columbia
First year for prestate plates. District issued plates begin in 1907.[10]
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Florida Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1918.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Georgia No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1910.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Guam No prestate plates. Territory issued plates begin in 1916.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Hawai'i No prestate plates. Territory issued plates begin in 1922.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Idaho No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1913.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Illinois Prestate plates start in 1907. State issued plates begin in 1911.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Indiana Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1913.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Iowa Prestate plates start in 1904. State issued plates begin in 1911.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Kansas No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1913.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Kentucky No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1910.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Louisiana No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1915.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Maine No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1905.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Maryland Prestate plates start in 1904. State issued plates begin in 1910.
Massachusetts license plate 911.jpg Massachusetts White numbers on dark blue porcelain background none 1234
1
to
3241
First state to issue license plates.[11]
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Michigan Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1910.
First Minnesota license plate.jpg Minnesota First year for prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1909.[12] Photo shows the first Minnesota license plate. This was either made by the vehicle owner or he had it made.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Mississippi No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1912.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Missouri Prestate plates start in 1907. State issued plates begin in 1911.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Montana Prestate plates start in 1913. State issued plates begin in 1915.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Nebraska No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1915.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Nevada Prestate plates start in 1913. State issued plates begin in 1916.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg New Hampshire No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1905.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg New Jersey First year for prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1908.[13]
Blank License Plate Shape.svg New Mexico Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1912.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg New York Prestate plates started in 1901 State issued plates begin in 1910.[14]
Blank License Plate Shape.svg North Carolina Prestate plates start in 1909. State issued plates begin in 1913.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg North Dakota No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1911.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Northern Mariana
Islands
No prestate plates. Territory issued plates begin in 1944.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Ohio No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1908.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Oklahoma No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1915.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Oregon Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1911.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Pennsylvania First year for prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1906.[15]
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Puerto Rico No prestate plates. Territory issued plates begin in 1912.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Rhode Island No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1904.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg South Carolina No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1917.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg South Dakota Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1913.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Tennessee Prestate plates start in 1905. State issued plates begin in 1915.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Texas No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1917.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg U.S. Virgin Islands No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1917.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Utah Prestate plates start in 1909. State issued plates begin in 1915.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Vermont No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1905.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Virginia No prestate plates.State issued plates begin in 1906.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Washington Prestate plates start in 1906. State issued plates begin in 1915.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg West Virginia No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1905.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Wisconsin No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1905.
Blank License Plate Shape.svg Wyoming No prestate plates. State issued plates begin in 1913.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fox, Jams K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 53. ISBN 9781886777002.
  2. ^ Minard, Jeff; Stentiford, Tim (2004). A Moving History, 50 Years Of ALPCA. 100 Years Of License Plates. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company. p. 51. ISBN 1-56311-975-7.
  3. ^ Fox, James K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 23,27,57,71,87. ISBN 9781886777002.
  4. ^ Dragon, Rich (February 2013). "The Nation's Capitol, District of Columbia". Plates. Vol. 59 no. 1. Rumney Depot, New Hampshire: Automobile License Plate Collectors Association. pp. 6–7.
  5. ^ Fox, Jams K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. ISBN 9781886777002.
  6. ^ Minard, Jeff; Stentiford, Tim (2004). A Moving History, 50 Years Of ALPCA. 100 Years Of License Plates. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company. p. 58. ISBN 1-56311-975-7.
  7. ^ Crisler, Bob; Crisler, Chuck, eds. (2007). License Plate Values (7th ed.). King Publishing Company.
  8. ^ Martells, Jack (1980). Antique Automotive Collectbles. Chicago, Illinois: Contemporary Books, Inc. pp. 128–145. ISBN 0-8092-7205-9.
  9. ^ Fox, James K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 23. ISBN 9781886777002.
  10. ^ Fox, James K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 27. ISBN 9781886777002.
  11. ^ Fox, James K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 53. ISBN 9781886777002.
  12. ^ Fox, James K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 57. ISBN 9781886777002.
  13. ^ Fox, James K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 71. ISBN 9781886777002.
  14. ^ Fox, James K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 75. ISBN 9781886777002.
  15. ^ Fox, James K. (1997). License Plates of the United States: A Pictorial History 1903-To the Present. Jerico, New York: Interstate Directory Publishing Company. p. 87. ISBN 9781886777002.

External links[edit]