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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John R - Franklin, NJ

Folks, My plate arrived today and it is simply gorgeous.Thanks for taking the time to repeatedly Email back and forth about this, and to spend so long on the phone with me getting it exactly right. Its a rare event these days to receive exactly what you hoped and paid for. Im certain well do business again.

Miguel Gonzalez Jr. - Dallas, TX

I had seen this website about 6 months ago prior to purchasing my 2009 VW Jetta. When I finally bought the car I slowly started modifying it: 15" Kicker sub in a ported box, HID lights, smoked taillights, clear sidemarkers, and even a 2" shorty antenna. After debating with myself whether to make the purchase or not I finally gave in and ordered my German license plate with the Universal Holder. About a business week later the plates arrived and I was nervous & anxious to see how they had turned out...the product AMAZING! I still can't believe I only paid $36 for these plates that could easily have been sold for $150. The quality is top-notch and installation took about 5 minutes total. THANK YOU FOR HAVING SUCH GREAT PRODUCTS. I will definitely be recommending you guys.

Joe - Fairmont, West Virginia

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Tom R - Kalamazoo, Michigan

I just received my EU-style Michigan license plate and it's brilliantly done. It's an amazing reproduction of European license plates, the blue bar on the left features the letters MI and a very clear State of Michigan flag.I very much look forward to mounting it on my BMW Alpina to add that certain touch to the vehicle.Licenseplates.tv, anytime again! Keep up the great work and I shall recommend you to those in need for license plates.

Glenn C - Gallant, AL

Dear Sirs:The license plate that I recently ordered arrived in record time and it is exactly as depicted on your web site. I am very pleased with my order and want to express my appreciation to you for both the quality of your merchandise and the timely service that I received from your company.Thanks again so very much.

Su - Tilburg, Netherlands

Thank you so much!The plate is great!It is like you never heard of impossible.

Peg K - Esat Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

To Everyone At Licenseplates - Especially Mike:Thank you for a quality product. The prep work and samples we had to choose from were all top quality. The license plate arrived on the date you said. We love the vanity plate and have already received compliments from friends.I will certainly refer people who are interested in ordering a vanity license plate.

Richard A - Auckland, New Zealand

Plates received ok. Excellent service. Many thanks.

Bill D - Nashville, Tennessee

FANTASTIC PLATES. STAND OUT JUST RIGHT. I BOUGHT SEVERAL FOR MY 2008 MINI COOPERS CLUBMAN. SWITCH OUT

Lanny - Fairview, Oregon

Packagearrived 1-18-11. I'm very pleased with it, I'll probably be ordering anotherone with a different name also.-Lanny

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