Maryland

Maryland License Plates

Maryland registered 9,000 vehicles from 1904 to 1910 when the state first started to issue license plates. In 1910, Maryland license plates were manufactured in a thin metal which was crudely embossed by hammering over wooden dies. From 1911 through 1914, license plates of Maryland were made of porcelain. Steel replaced porcelain in 1915. The first slogan to appear on Maryland’s license plates was TERCENTENARY to celebrate three hundred years of statehood in 1934. The state name Maryland or MD and the year was always embossed on license plates. The slogan DRIVE CAREFULLY appeared on all Maryland license plates starting in 1942 and ended in 1947.

Maryland embossed an expiration date on its license plates beginning in 1936 through 1947 and the expiration date was always: 3-31-year (2 digits of year). The expiration date reappeared in 1957 and ended in 1970 (03-31-70).

Maryland did not introduce retro-reflective 3M foil over an aluminum substrate until 1986 and this continues today to meet the US Department of Transportation (DOT) mandates. The first license plate with graphics was issued in 1976 to commemorate the nations Bi-centennial celebrations. Maryland’s first wide scale license plate with graphics was issued in 1993 and this issue is valid today.

In 1910, Maryland had no reciprocity laws with other states and because of its closeness to Washington, D.C. and Virginia, many vehicles were seen with three license plates (Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia). Maryland agreed in 1923 to enact reciprocity laws with these states. Maryland’s license plates were made by the state’s prison system, expect for 2005, due to violence. The state of New Jersey prison system manufactured Maryland’s license plates. 

Maryland has a large car collector population and many “old car shows” where collectors gather and show off their classic vehicles from January to December. Collectors have used our replica metal license plates for showing their vehicles and have won many Best in Class or Best of Show trophies.


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