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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Debra Sanger Texas

I wanted to first share with you what a pleasure it was speaking with you directly to place my order. You made the ordering process flawless and made me feel secure in that my order was going to be nothing less than perfect. You went the extra mile in making sure that the plates would arrive in time for my anniversary when you certainly didnt have to accommodate my last minute findings and the flaw with your website.Secondly, sending them at an expedited speed and seeing that they got to me so timely will always be a treasured gesture. They arrived yesterday and I cant wait to present them. They are perfect.

Joe - Fairmont, West Virginia

Ijust wanted to let you know that my correspondent in Japan was very pleasedwith the plates and they fulfilled his specifications.Thanksagain for the timely execution of our order, and we will not hesitate to useyour services again should the need arise.Cheers,

Charlie

I just got my 4th plate from you today and I continue to be amazed by the quality of the product. Right down to the proper size and no-hole orientation of the 55 NY plate (I only learned that by going back and visiting the site). Thanks so much. You've helped to make several old cars of mine, my brother's and my best friend even more period-authentic. Great product and well worth the expense for something done with such a high level of quality! I guess that might be silly, since the originals were made by state prisoners ... but that's another story!!!

Bryan M - Valrico, FL

Hello Elmer and Ryan:I received these plates today and I have to tell you I am extremely pleased with them! They are great and exceeded my expectations! The spacing is perfect and so is the apostrophe. Great quality! Again, thank you thank you thank you! This is a dream realized after many, many years!

Farrell - Tallahassee, Florida

My custom license plate is wonderful, awesome! Thanks so much!

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.

Chris - Chicago, Illinois

Hi,I wanted to let you know how happy we are with the license plates! They came out awesome!Chris

Harvey Horowitz Avon Lake Ohio

I just received my order #99941. I am so pleased with the quality, the professional packaging to protect the plates, and the rapid processing and delivery of the product.These plates are perfect for my 1988 MZB 560 SL.It's nice to see a company such as yours in the marketplace that truly cares about quality and professionalism.

Larry W - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Elmer, I received the three Oklahoma Motorcycle Tags in the mail today (Monday). 2 1959 and 1 1968. They really look nice. Thank You

Brenda C - Princeton, West Virginia

My license plate was perfect! Thank you very much for such a outstanding job. What greatservice, received in 3 days. I'm already worrying about getting it chipped, my husband said I should had ordered two. So near future I will be returning

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