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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Gladys Orlando Florida

WE LOVE IT!!! Other people are asking where did we order our plate from. They will be ordering some soon.

Jacquline - Terre Haute, Indiana

License plate came..............it is positively beautiful! Thanks so much!Jacki"QUEEN BEE"

Chris - Chicago, Illinois

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

Rob - Wrentham, Massachusetts

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Richard - Naples Florida

I just want to say thank you itsPERFECT!!! and it looks fabulous on my car I will send a picture of mycar so you can see it GREAT JOB !!!THANK YOU RICHARD R.

Lanny - Fairview, Oregon

Elmer, Received the MKC 319 plate on Monday the 16th. A top-notch product with fast delivery as always.- Lanny

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.

Stephen W - Atkinson, NH

Hello, I recieved the plate and it is on my Unimog andit looks great. Thanks!

Joyce - Catlettsburg, Kentucky

In January, you sent me some replacement letters for a license plate I ordered from you a few years ago. I have just now taken the time to replace those letters and I wanted you to know how much I appreciate you for sending the letters.Thank you so much and should I ever need or want to buy another license plate, I will be in touch.Have a nice day.Joyce

Byron - Winfield, Pennsylvania

Thanks, you did good!

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