Missouri

Missouri License Plates

To collect tax revenues, cities and counties were quick to register motor vehicles in Missouri. The state of Missouri enacted laws to register motor vehicles in 1907 and cars were seen with two license plates, one issued by the state of Missouri and the other by the county or city. St Louis county in Missouri issued porcelain license plates in 1904. The state-issued license plates were made of leather, wood, steel and brass. All Missouri license plates had the letters MO and the year embossed/stamped vertically on the right hand side. The 1920 Missouri license plate changed to a horizontal embossing/stamping on the bottom center. Missouri never issued a license plate without dates.

The first specialty license plate issued by the state of Missouri was in 1976 to celebrate 200 years of the declaration of independence. The special design was embossed/stamped on the top of license plate. Missouri introduced the slogan SHOW ME STATE in 1980 and this slogan is still used today. License plate colors for Missouri were: yellow, Red, Blue, White, green, Black, Orange, Dark Blue, Light Green, Orange, Brown, Gray, Tan, Black, Tan and Maroon.  Maroon license plates were first issued in 1948 and used through 1997 –except for these years: 1968 – Green, 1969 &1970 – White, 1972 through 1976 – Reflective White, 1976 – Blue, 1977 – Red, 1978 – Black, 1979 – Blue, 1980 – Maroon (reintroduced). 
 
The 1942 Missouri license plates were re-validated with a 1943 date strip made of metal.  Nearing the end of the year 1943, the supply of 1942 license plates was finished and a soybean fiberboard license plate was used.  The license plates of Missouri had practical designs over the years which clearly shows the name of the state, the date and the license plate number.  Apart from the 1911 issue (Aluminum on Yellow), all of Missouri license plates had a good color contrast.


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Charles Tupper

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