New York

New York License Plate History

New York is one of the first states which manufactured license plates in large quantities, after starting small in 1902.  The popularity of motor vehicles, combined with the high population and wealth, enabled New York to become the first state to issue 1,000,000 license plates, though California reached this milestone later the same year. The original New York license plates were porcelain, then riveted numbers on metal, but were soon changed to embossed metal in 1913. The state abbreviation "NY" was always present on New York license plates. In 1913 New York also began to emboss the year on each license plate. The metal used was steel and these disintegrated quickly in New York’s salt laden winter streets. New York state issued new license plates yearly, with the year of issue embossed on the plate.

From 1920 the New York license plate was approximately 5 x 14 inches. In 1929, New York’s license plate size was changed to 6 x 14 inches. This size was used until 1957 when the state of New York adopted the Society of Automotive Engineers standard for license plates: 6 x 12 inches with 4 standard locations for screw holes.

In 1939 and 1940 in honor of the event, New York issued a license plate embossed with "NEW YORK’S WORLD’S FAIR".  The state did the same in 1964 when a plate was issued embossed with "NY WORLD’S FAIR" (the same plate was used in 1965 with a vertical decal issued and applied to plate on right hand corner). "NY THE EMPIRE STATE" was first embossed on New York license plates in 1951 and continued until 1963. New York issued its first license plate with retro-reflective foil from 3M in 1974, the color of the plate was reflective golden orange, or a deep reflective yellow.

The year 1986 was historic for New York license plates, the first year the state issued license plates with graphics. The Statue of Liberty was printed in red and the state printed in a deep blue, in addition to two horizontal red lines printed above and below the top and bottom mounting holes. The color of the retro-reflective foil was reflective white.

In 2001, New York issued another license plate with artwork printed on reflective white, on which the slogan "THE EMPIRE STATE" was re-introduced. The most unpopular license plate from New York was issued in 2010 in deep reflective yellow and deep blue. Car collectors despise this design and question the issuing authority's choice of colors and graphic design. Custom plates are not embossed with the exception of the border. This is not an attractive license plate design and the state may want to listen to New Yorkers and change this “ghastly” deep reflective yellow and deep blue quickly.


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Paul - Canterbury, New Zealand

Thanks for the plates, took 11 days to arrive (new record from USA to NZ, is usually a minimum of 21 days with other items), better plates than I expected, hope to do business again in the future. A+Paul D

Mark - Bensenville, Illinois

I am very happy with the way these plates look.Thanks,Mark.

Joyce - Catlettsburg, Kentucky

In January, you sent me some replacement letters for a license plate I ordered from you a few years ago. I have just now taken the time to replace those letters and I wanted you to know how much I appreciate you for sending the letters.Thank you so much and should I ever need or want to buy another license plate, I will be in touch.Have a nice day.Joyce

Jamie L - Southampton, United Kingdom

Just want to let you know that I have just received my new plates from you and would like to say thank you very much for them.They will look very nice on my VW beetle.Thanks once again!

James R - Canton, MI

received my plates today they look just the way I EXPECTED.,thanks for a fast job and perfect appearance.

Andre -

Thanks for the plate!I received it yesterday and it looks fantastic, you guys did a great job!

Harvey Horowitz Avon Lake Ohio

I just received my order #99941. I am so pleased with the quality, the professional packaging to protect the plates, and the rapid processing and delivery of the product.These plates are perfect for my 1988 MZB 560 SL.It's nice to see a company such as yours in the marketplace that truly cares about quality and professionalism.

Rob - Wrentham, Massachusetts

To whom it may concern:I am amazed at the timeliness, quality, professional packaging, handling, and execution of my order for your reproduction license plate! Add my name to the SEVERELY satisfied customers list, because your work is nothing short of perfect. Worth every penny of the $100 you charged me! Thanks for a great surprise of opening the package and finding the item exceed my expectations by a wide margin.Cordially,Rob E.

Lanny - Fairview, Oregon

Elmer, Received the MKC 319 plate on Monday the 16th. A top-notch product with fast delivery as always.- Lanny

Van's Construction Unlimited, INC - Michigan

Good morning,We just received our custom logo plates for our business vehicles and wanted to send you a quick email to let you know that we are very happy with the purchase. The plates are exactly what we wanted and look fantastic! We want to commend you on your great customer service (thanks Jerry for all your time to make sure everything was perfect) and the phenomenal turn around time between order and delivery.Again, thank you guys for a job fantastically done!

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