Delaware License Plates

Delaware first registered motor vehicles in 1905, but few of these plates exist. In 1909, the mandate by the state of Delaware for motor vehicle license plates was passed and these were made of porcelain. All license plates issued by the state of Delaware since 1942 can still be used if they have current expiration decals. Delaware issued more porcelain plates than any other state in the union. In 1948, Delaware issued stainless steel license plates with polished stainless steel numbers riveted on. From 1909 to 1935, all Delaware license plates had the word DEL and the year.In 1936, DELAWARE replaced the abbreviated DEL on Delaware’s plates.

Like Maryland, Delaware issued license plates with an expiration date 3-31-41 in 1940. This practice ended in 1962. The slogan “THE FIRST STATE� appeared on Delaware license plates issued in 1963 and remains current, although new state issues do not have this slogan. The only graphics appearing on Delaware license plates was a small diamond embossed on the left and right side of serial numbers on plates between 1929 and 1935. Two distinct styles of the 1913 porcelain were used. The first had a vertical DEL on left side of license plate and 1913 on the right side. The second had DEL on top right and 13 on bottom right. Delaware re-introduced porcelain license plates in 1942 a full 20 years after other states stopped using this material.