Louisiana

Louisiana License Plates

Louisiana cities (New Orleans, Shreveport, Alexandria and Monroe) registered the first license plates in 1903. The earliest license plates in Louisiana were made of leather and later porcelain.  

In 1954, the word YAMS was embossed on Louisiana license plates –believed to be a counter to Idaho’s Famous Potatoes license plates. The slogan SPORTMEN’S PARADISE was embossed/stamped on Louisiana’s 1958, 1961, 1962 and 1963 license plates. This was changed to SPORTMAN’S PARADISE in 1959, 1964 through 1973, 1984, 1989 and 1993 Louisiana license plates. The 1960 Louisiana license plate commemorated one hundred years of Louisiana State University and was embossed with LSU CENTENNIAL. The 1974 and 1977 Louisiana license plates were embossed with BAYOU STATE at the top.

The main graphic icon on Louisiana’s license plates is a Pelican – embossed on the center of plate, except for 1950 where the pelican was a color decal. This icon was first on the 1932 issue and was used until 1939. The other graphic used was introduced in 1940 and used again in 1941 – a map of the state of Louisiana embossed on the center of plate. The 1989 Louisiana license plate was first to show a screened mother pelican with baby pelicans. The state name was positioned at the bottom of license plate in blue except for USA in red.

From 1922 through 1929, Louisiana issued two sets of license plate colors – one for vehicles up to 23 horsepower and the other for vehicles over 23 horse power. Louisiana license plates issued from 1929 through 1932 carried FRONT and REAR embossing or stampings. In 1944, to save metal for World war II, license plates were made of fiberboard.

Reflective paint was used to coat embossed or stamped areas of Louisiana license plates beginning in 1955 and continued through 1967. Retro-reflective foil was first introduced in 1968 (white) and continues today.  The state of Louisiana, like many American states, has an avid car collector group.


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Bill Prather Glasgow Kentucky

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