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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Robert Topeka, Kansas

Elmer, I received my new frame in the mail yesterday and upon inspection viewed near perfection with its quality. I appriciate the fast turnaround in replacment of my order. Your company has kept my confidence in its ability to provide a great product along with wonderful customer service.I had bought something in the past from Licenseplates.TV for one of my other cars and plan on making future purchases for my other vechicles in the future, thanks for making this decision and easy one.ThanksRobert

Chris - Western Cape, South Africa

Hi Elmer, thanks very much for those great plates(Iceland and old Monaco plate) and the incredible fast delivery.Great to do business with you, Regards Chris

Chris - Chicago, Illinois

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

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!!!

Hugh - Frisco, Texas

The plate turned out beautiful, many thanks.It tells a story at a glance...Regards,Hugh

Elaine - Hollywood, Florida

THANK YOU!!!I received the new plate I ordered today and you included the replacement letters for the broken plate. You are WONDERFUL!!!!!!Elaine

Freddy Five Points Alabama

Received my tag today, Saturday, it is a beauty.Thanks for the customer service you gave.Freddy

Jeff M - St. Petersberg, Florida

Hello:Wanted to let you know that I received my plate yesterday, and am very pleased. Your custom reproduction of a 1934 Florida plate is outstanding in every way, and the craftsmanship used to make it is obvious. I have purchased other plates from you folks, and the results have always been superb. Thank you, and keep up the good work.

Allan - Vernon Hills, Illinois

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

Mark - Bensenville, Illinois

I am very happy with the way these plates look.Thanks,Mark.

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