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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Chris - Chicago, Illinois

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

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

Fayaz Mawji

I got the plate frames yesterday and love it. Fayaz

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.

Dave H - Peoria Heights, IL

I just received my british plate (1958 MGA) and it is a work of art. Thank you.

Brenda C - Princeton, West Virginia

My license plate was perfect! Thank you very much for such a outstanding job. What greatservice, received in 3 days. I'm already worrying about getting it chipped, my husband said I should had ordered two. So near future I will be returning

Farrell - Tallahassee, Florida

My custom license plate is wonderful, awesome! Thanks so much!

Justin - Macgregor, Australia

G'dayNumber plate arrived last week, it looks fantastic. Thank you for meeting my requirements. It is a gift for someone, I can't wait to see it on the car.Thanks againRegards,Justin

Hussain Delaware

Hi,I'm in love with my new plates, very best quality and printing. Thanks a lot!5 Stars Rated Company!Best Regards.

Ramon - La Habra, California

Just wanted to tell you that I ABSOLUTELY love my mirror plate.It got home SUPER FAST, like in two days fast!!! You have a client for life!!!THANK YOU!!!- Ramon

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