New Hampshire License Plates
The state of New Hampshire required license plates to identify motor vehicles in the year 1905, the first year of issue. The series of New Hampshire license plates from 1905 through 1911 were undated. Porcelain license plates were issued in New Hampshire for these years: 1905 – 1911 and 1913 – 1918.
In 1957 the word SCENIC was embossed/stamped on the top of New Hampshire license plates and was used through 1970, except for 1963 when PHOTOSCENIC was embossed/stamped on the top of New Hampshire license plates. New Hampshire embossed/stamped LIVE FREE OR DIE on the top of license plates from 1971 through 1993.
The first graphic on new Hampshire license plates appeared in 1926 –The Old Man of the Mountains illustration which was embossed on the left hand side of the license plate. This illustration mimics a natural rock formation found in New Hampshire. However, this design crowded the number on the 1926 New Hampshire license plate such that it was discontinued only after one year. The first screen printed New Hampshire license plate was introduced in 1987 with the Old Man of the Mountains illustration tucked between the words New Hampshire.
In 1912, New Hampshire issued an embossed steel license plate. The paint on this plate literally fell off as soon as it was installed, so the state returned to porcelain license plates in 1913 and did not use steel until 1919 when they were sure the painting of the steel was more durable. New Hampshire did not adopt retro-reflective license plates until 1979 when a reflective white base was selected with green embossing.