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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Jamie L - Southampton, United Kingdom

Just want to let you know that I have just received my new plates from you and would like to say thank you very much for them.They will look very nice on my VW beetle.Thanks once again!

Nelson - Palm City, Florida

This is my 4th order from your company. I appreciate the quality and the efficient service. Thanks!

Matthew A - Knoxville, TN

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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

Van's Construction Unlimited, INC - Michigan

Good morning,We just received our custom logo plates for our business vehicles and wanted to send you a quick email to let you know that we are very happy with the purchase. The plates are exactly what we wanted and look fantastic! We want to commend you on your great customer service (thanks Jerry for all your time to make sure everything was perfect) and the phenomenal turn around time between order and delivery.Again, thank you guys for a job fantastically done!

Charles S - Quebec, Canada

I got my plates!Wow!Great plates, quick shipment.Thank you so much

Andrew C Trushaw

New plate you guys made is great...

Charles - Ocilla, Georgia

Just wanted to tell you how impressed I am with the product you delivered. It is awesome! Better than the originals. Wife loved it (birthday gift), the other one for a good friend said the same. You guys certainly have my recommendation. Thanks again!

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

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.

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