New York

New York License Plate History

New York is one of the first states which manufactured license plates in large quantities, after starting small in 1902.  The popularity of motor vehicles, combined with the high population and wealth, enabled New York to become the first state to issue 1,000,000 license plates, though California reached this milestone later the same year. The original New York license plates were porcelain, then riveted numbers on metal, but were soon changed to embossed metal in 1913. The state abbreviation "NY" was always present on New York license plates. In 1913 New York also began to emboss the year on each license plate. The metal used was steel and these disintegrated quickly in New York’s salt laden winter streets. New York state issued new license plates yearly, with the year of issue embossed on the plate.

From 1920 the New York license plate was approximately 5 x 14 inches. In 1929, New York’s license plate size was changed to 6 x 14 inches. This size was used until 1957 when the state of New York adopted the Society of Automotive Engineers standard for license plates: 6 x 12 inches with 4 standard locations for screw holes.

In 1939 and 1940 in honor of the event, New York issued a license plate embossed with "NEW YORK’S WORLD’S FAIR".  The state did the same in 1964 when a plate was issued embossed with "NY WORLD’S FAIR" (the same plate was used in 1965 with a vertical decal issued and applied to plate on right hand corner). "NY THE EMPIRE STATE" was first embossed on New York license plates in 1951 and continued until 1963. New York issued its first license plate with retro-reflective foil from 3M in 1974, the color of the plate was reflective golden orange, or a deep reflective yellow.

The year 1986 was historic for New York license plates, the first year the state issued license plates with graphics. The Statue of Liberty was printed in red and the state printed in a deep blue, in addition to two horizontal red lines printed above and below the top and bottom mounting holes. The color of the retro-reflective foil was reflective white.

In 2001, New York issued another license plate with artwork printed on reflective white, on which the slogan "THE EMPIRE STATE" was re-introduced. The most unpopular license plate from New York was issued in 2010 in deep reflective yellow and deep blue. Car collectors despise this design and question the issuing authority's choice of colors and graphic design. Custom plates are not embossed with the exception of the border. This is not an attractive license plate design and the state may want to listen to New Yorkers and change this “ghastly” deep reflective yellow and deep blue quickly.


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Jason H - Covington, GA

Hey guys... I wasnt sure who to email. I got my license plate installed and I love it!!! You guys are the best... Here is a picture. Thanks again for the license plate....

James R - Canton, MI

received my plates today they look just the way I EXPECTED.,thanks for a fast job and perfect appearance.

Allan - Vernon Hills, Illinois

I received theplates today: "FRICKIN' AWESOME" Thank you sovery much, great work Elmer!Perl'

Carl B - Wellington, New Zealand

Hi Elmer!As per usual, when I make an enquiry into tracking numbers - it shows up at my door step LOL.It's AWESOME!! Exactly what I was after. Thanks HEAPS for these plates, you made my week. :-)If I require any custom or USA plates in future, I'll be coming back to you guys again and I'll inform others.

Justin - Macgregor, Australia

G'dayNumber plate arrived last week, it looks fantastic. Thank you for meeting my requirements. It is a gift for someone, I can't wait to see it on the car.Thanks againRegards,Justin

Steve Sierra

My order was on my desk when I arrived this morning. Thank you, great job the folks here in the corporate office were amazed at the quality. The embossed XLR8! wowed all, I've even had requests for plates of their own.I'll place an order for the new states that launch soon and may duplicate the order for our marketing department, these will be great on our conference room wall and our shuttles out in the markets.

Len S - Ocean Isle Beach, NC

Just wanted to say thanks for the plate for my 1959 Mercedes. Service was very fast and the plate looks great. Really gives the car the period look. Ive referred you to the Mercedes group I hang out with. I expect youll hear from a few of those guys too.

Bill F - Tulsa, OK

I just received shipment today and I am very pleased with the quality and appearance of the plate. Thank you. I will be sharing your web address with other corvette owners.

Pat Lee - Nashville, Tennessee

Thanks!Our order of several hundred plates with multiple cities and various delivery dates was produced without a hitch! Each and every one packed and delivered on the targeted date. Thank you for your attention to detail.Pat LeeVP Production DirectorGS&F

Caroline Alder

Thank you for the invoice,I just received the plates and they are beautiful!best regards,

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