License Plates

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Alaska License Plates

License plates were first issued to all motor vehicles in 1921 in Alaska Territory.  Prior to 1921, the Territory of Alaska issued license plates to for-hire vehicles only.  Alaska became a State in 1959 so all license plates issued prior to 1959 were issued by the Territory of Alaska.

The first slogan appeared on Alaska’s license plates in 1966 "1867 NORTH TO THE FUTURE 1967" embossed on the bottom. This slogan was used without the year (1867 & 1967) from 1970 through 1975. In 1968, Alaska introduced this slogan on its license plates "THE LAST FRONTIER". This slogan was used until 2007 but the license plate is still used. Alaska introduced the first graphic on its license plates in 1948 48 and was used until 1975 –except for the years 1966 and 1967 where a totem pole replaced the flag. The flag and totem poles were embossed on the license plate. In 1977, Alaska issued a license plate with printed graphics of a Kodiak bear, a mountain range and ALASKA on retro-reflective white.

Original Alaska Territory license plates are among the rarest in the world because so few were issued. Alaska is still a low-density populated state and the amount of motor vehicles are lowest in the union. In the days of Alaska as a territory, cities including Fairbanks, Anchorage, Juneau, Wrangell, Haines and Ketchikan issued front license plates in approximate size: 4” x 7”. During the years of the second world war, Alaska’s license plates were made of fiberboard (1945 through 1947). These plates are rare and only a few may exist.