Idaho License Plates
City governments were responsible for registering motor vehicles from 1909 through 1912. The first Idaho license plates were made of porcelain, brass and steel. The first slogan on Idaho’s license plates appeared in 1928 where the word POTATO at the bottom of plate was stamped/embossed, in addition to an image of a potato. The 1940 plate commemorated 50 YEARS OF STATEHOOD at the top and 1890 IDAHO 1940 at the bottom. The word SCENIC was used on all Idaho license plates issued between 1941 through 1946. The 1947 Idaho license plate has VACATION WONDERLAND and the image of skiers embossed/stamped on it. The 1948 Idaho license plate was embossed/stamped with WORLD FAMOUS POTATOES at the bottom. An image of a potato was placed between the county code and license plate number. In 1953 AND 1956 Idaho changed the slogan to read WORLD FAMOUS POTATO. Beginning in 1957 to present, all Idaho license plates were issued with the slogan FAMOUS POTATOES.
The 1928 potato Idaho license plate was the most popular issue in the United States. The detail of the embossing/stamping including the de-bossed potato “eyes” was an engineering marvel back in 1928. Retro-reflective film license plates were introduced in Idaho in 1972, green on reflective white. The state of Idaho has used retro-reflective film on its license plates continuously since 1972. The 1948 and 1949 Idaho license plates show screened images of potatoes with a dab of butter.
Idaho license plates for 1928, 1947 and 1948 are so rare that few are ever seen in public. The 1985 Idaho license plate base is same as the 1983, but was modified to show snow-capped mountains.