Below are some photos of plates in my collection. I will slowly add more pictures to this page, so please keep checking back. NEW! Now you can click on the plate photos for a larger picture.
Above are several photos of my garage. Here is where I basically display by one-per-jurisdiction collection. Included are all my international plates, one for each state and province, as well as many Indian tribes and US Forces issues.
Presidential Inaugural license plates have been issued every four years since 1933, with the exception of 1945, due to the war. These plates have always been issued in pairs. In the early years, these plates were available only to VIPs and vehicles in the Inaugural parade. In recent years, they have been available to anyone who wants to pay for them. The above plate has been professionally restored to its original colors, and is made of light-weight aluminum.
The above photo shows one of Tennessee's world-famous "state-shape" plates. Tennessee first issued these unique plates in 1936 and continued using them through 1956, when Federal law mandated that all US license plates be a uniform 6 by 12 inches. Today, these state-shape issues remain highly sought-after by many collectors.
The above are radiator seals from Texas. In the early years, Texas issued an undated base plate in 1917 which was revalidated by these seals. The seals for 1917-1919 were round, while those for 1920-1922 were rectangular. In 1923 the state issued a dated baseplate that was renewed in 1924 with the red rectangular seal shown above.
Many states experimented with different materials over the years, but few were as creative as Arizona. This 1933 Arizona plate was actually made out of solid copper! Arizona used copper from 1932 through 1934, and remains the only state to ever use this metal in their license plates.
In the early years, many states issued license plates made of porcelain-coated steel. As the numbers of cars increased over the years, states gradually dropped this method of plate production in favor of steel or other materials. This first-issue Washington DC plate also illustrates the use of undated, multi-year plates by some jurisdictions. This particular plate design was issued between 1907 and 1917. One can narrow down the year based on the plate number - this one dates from 1914.
Another famous plate...the Alaska bear plate. This was first issued for 1976, and contained a small Bicentennial date under the stickers. This style was used until 1982. This particular plate is now very popular with collectors due to its attractive design.
Although Alaska had a picture of a bear on their plates, the Northwest Territories of Canada did one better by cutting their plates in the shape of a polar bear. These plates have become extremely popular among license plate collectors and non-collectors alike for its truly unique design. This particular issue commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). This style first appeared for 1970 and continues to the present day. The newly-created territory of Nunavut, carved out of part of the Northwest Territories is also using the bear design on their newly-issued plates.
Canal Zone plates were issued beginning in 1910 for vehicles operating within the Panama Canal Zone. Plates were used until 1979, when Panama regained control of the Canal. A few 1980 issues were manufactured for administration vehicles assisting in the transfer of control. The 1937 issue above is the oldest one in my collection.