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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Kim - Port Republic, New Jersey

Just a quick note to thank you for the BEAUTIFUL license plate frame. It is extremely well made and far surpassed my expectations. You have an exceptional product! I have already realized a gain in my business (LaPalmaDance.com) and have new dance students coming each week!Thank you!SincerelyKim A.

Max B - St. Pete, FL

My wife ordered this plate for me for Xmas. Just wanted to say "thanks" for a great product. Happy New Year

Allan - Vernon Hills, Illinois

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

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

Scott - New York, New York

Here is a plate you made for me. The car won platinum at Cavallino and best ferrari at Mar a Lago all in Florida.Thanks,Scott

Chris - Palmerston, New Zealand

Hi Platemeister,Recently I ordered some SS 1966 black & yellow California plates and wondering where the order status was at.GOOD NEWS....The plates have arrived today. An extremely fast delivery from Florida to my home in Palmerston North New Zealand.Thank you for the very prompt delivery! Most excellent - and so are the plates!

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.

Su - Tilburg, Netherlands

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

Lester - North Charleston, South Carolina

ATTN: Customer ServiceTo whom it may concern,I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your company for producing a fine product. I have ordered about 8 plates from you over the past 10 years and have been delighted by every one of them.I recently ran into a miss communication with the printing of my latest plate. It was a gift for a friend of mine. I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to have the plate redone at a nominal fee. I understand the price of raw materials, shipping and handling and the other items that go with that. But all in all the recipient loved what was given to him thus eliminating the need to redo that plate. Thanks again.In the meantime I will get together additional information for new plates over the next couple of weeks. Again thank you for your assistance and your continued production of a quality product.Sincerely Yours,Lester

Larry - Pacific, Washington

Just a note to say thanks!! Great looking product and in a short time.Thanks,Larry

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