Kentucky

Kentucky License Plates

A law enacted by Kentucky in 1904 permitted the operation of motor vehicles. However, this law covered the issue of motor vehicles not alarming horses. The cities of Kentucky issued license plates made of brass and porcelain. From 1910 through 1913, Kentucky issued porcelain license plates. The first slogan appeared on Kentucky rear license plates in 1929 and 1930 and proclaimed FOR PROGRESS. In 1951, the word TOUR was embossed/stamped before the state name and continued through 1957. In 1988, the slogan BLUEGRASS STATE was introduced and was used through 1993. Kentucky introduced counties on its license plates in 1927 and this continues today. The county name was embossed or stamped on the license plate until 1988 when a decal was introduced.

Details of a law enacted in 1910 concerning license plates have been lost, so letters (B, L, M and G) appearing on the bottom of Kentucky's license plates have no explanation. From 1929 to 1932, front and rear Kentucky license plates were different. The front 1929 and 1930 license plates had the county name while the rear were embossed/stamped with FOR PROGRESS. In 1931 and 1932, the front Kentucky license plates showed the county name while the rear license plates were embossed/stamped with KENTUCKY.

Kentucky license plates were very utilitarian with high visible fonts for the number, state name, county name and year. Retro-reflective foil was implemented in 1988 and continues today.  Kentucky has issued many different color bases for their license plates: White, Black, Blue, Brown, Orange, Gray, Dark Blue, Green, Maroon, Cream-Yellow, Yellow, Silver and Aluminum. Collectors eagerly seek old Kentucky license plates for their antique show cars, and the state has a large group of car collectors.


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Tom R - Kalamazoo, Michigan

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