Washington License Plates

The State of Washington began registering motor vehicles in 1906 but only started to issue metal license plates in 1916. In 1920, some of the license plates issued by the State of Washington were made of porcelain. All of Washington’s license plates until 1925 were embossed with WN and the year of issue. In 1926, the full name WASHINGTON and the year were embossed on the license plate. The first slogan to appear on a Washington license plate was in 1939 "1889 – GOLDEN JUBILEE – 1939" was embossed on the top of a dark green license plate in yellow. Private motor vehicles were denoted by an X embossed on license plate.

Retro Reflective white film was introduced in 1968, the plate imprint was green. The first and only license plate with graphics (Mount Rainier) was issued in 1987 with the slogan Centennial Celebration. Washington’s early license plates were simple and utilitarian, and are a favorite with collectors of classic cars. During the second world war, license plates were issued to vehicles involved in the war effort with the embossing "VICTORY VEHICLE".   These license plates are in high demand with collectors of license plates and classic vehicles. Also during the second world war, the state of Washington renewed license plates by issuing embossed metal tags with the year of expiration to save metal for the war effort. The tags were placed over the expiration year originally embossed on license plate.


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

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Maude Beaunoyer

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