Page 1 of 2 12 Last
  1. #1
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    192

    License plates in your state

    Im curious to know the ins and outs of license plates in the state where you work.

    In Missouri for example, a license plate beginning with a number is a truck, van or SUV. Generally from what I have seen it was registered to a truck and then transfered when the owner sold the truck and bought a SUV or van. One number followed by a letter is registered as under 18k pounds. Two numbers at the beginning are 18k pounds or higher.

    Car plates, vans or SUV have a letter at the beginning.

    What about your state? I see Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Oklahoma plates all the time and always wonder if their plates are legal. I can only run plates through dispatch. Its very easy for me to pick out a bogus plate from Missouri. Truck plates on a car, car plates on a truck.

    Another thing about plates here in Missouri....farm plats. I loath farm plates. They have 3 months after they expire to renew them. I see people driving around all the time with 3 month out of date tags on a truck. Then the day before the 4th month they have new tags on them.

    Texas you drive me nuts. Why aren't there month and year tags on the plates?

  2. #2
    Forum Member
    Item9's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    1,129
    Illinois has so many stupid plates I can't believe it. Half of them don't make sense, and you have to run them in crazy ways.

    Some plates have their own 'type code' to run the plate with. Some specialty plates have to be run as "other". Some will come back as both. Some will come back as another type of specialty plate when you run it as "other", but the proper plate if you run it with the correct type code.

    Sometimes you have to add text to the plate to run it. For instance, some specialty plates can be run just by typing the plate and selecting a type code. If it's a personalized plate, you might have to add -PV or whatever the type is to the end of the plate.

    We also got a newer version of environment friendly plates that are white text on a light green background. I have good eyes and I still can't read them half the time.

    Standard plates are always 7 digits, but either start with a letter or number as the first. I don't know why. Maybe another Illinoisian can educate me.

    Our temporary plates are the only ones that make sense. They are always 3 digits, 1 letter, 3 digits, and the letters are issued in order of expiration date. If everyone has "N" in the middle, and I see a "L", it's probably expired.

    At least we don't have to enter the expiration date like with some states.

  3. #3
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    485
    Here is a little trivial quirk regarding Missouri plates. The expiration year is in the center of the plate. It is a little sticky tab that is pasted on the plate when you renew it. If you see some expiration tabs that have the license plate number pre-printed on the tab, that means the plates were ordered online and the plate and tab match. It is NOT significant that the year tab is not preprinted wth the plate number. It merely means the plates were renewed at a local DMV office.

  4. #4
    Retired Sergeant - CHP
    SgtCHP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Left Coast
    Posts
    6,252
    Here, this site should be informative for you:

    License Plates of North America, 1969-Present
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


  5. #5
    It's Complicated
    Iowa #1603's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    16,593
    Iowa is a bit strange.................read this (the last entry is the present plate)
    http://www.15q.net/ia.html

    Starting this last month they ran out of 123XXX plate numbers so they started issuing the same plate in XXX123 order

    THEN you get into all the specialty plates available---as noted below


    http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ovs/plates/plates.htm

    http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ovs/newPlates2011.html
    "Arguing with idiots is like playing chess with a pigeon - no matter how good you are, the pigeon will still crap all over the board and strut around like it won anyway."



    I don't know it all, I know a little about a lot and a lot about a little---slamdunc


    I have discussed religion and politics over morning coffee with men who have killed people, you don't scare me.

  6. #6
    Forum Member
    littlesimo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    37
    A hard but tell tail sign to spot an expired or illegit plate from IL is the expiration tag. If you run it and it comes back anything other than valid, check the sticker. In very fine print, the actual plate will be imprinted on the expiration sticker. So if someone stole, swapped, or did something illegal with the plate/sticker, that could be a good indicator. If there is NO tag number, then it could be a DMV issued one (first time sticker or late renewal). WI, month is always at the bottom left, year is always bottom right of the plate. Technically, swapped is illegal, but most out of state agencies won't know that. WI and IL both do a yearly color coded system much like other states. Colors change by expiration year.

    WI, all newer (black lettering) plates will have a sticker for weight class (alphabetical). Only one sticker is provided, so if it is not on the back plate, illegal. Truck plates for WI always start with one or two letters first, then go with numbers. Older plates (red) had a over/under two letter combination with numbers following. Biggest difference, red letters were included with the plate when you run it. Black letters, the stickered weight class didn't count.

    IL truck plates (smaller trucks) have a letter code too. Most common is a standard pickup plate, it will have the plate number and to the right side in small red print, it will say "B truck". When you run the plate, you have to include the B with it, Example: "12345-B" The "-" has to be included too. This is also true of specialty plates. You add the "-_ _" with whatever characters you have at the end, top down.

    Sample http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/de...uide/cubs.html
    this would be "CUBS-CC".

    Best advice, if you are interested in research or knowledge, go to the DMV sites of the most common plates you see or adjacent states and look into their requirements. Biggest thing you need to remember is reciprocity too. Example, WI and IL are both two plate states. In either state, you can only stop a vehicle in the state you have jurisdiction for the missing LIC plate. So if I'm patroling in WI but see an IL car with no front plate, even though I know it's illegal (former IL LEO), I can't stop the vehicle for it. It's not PC per state requirements. Something to keep in mind.

    Check out this link for sticker color. Not always up to date, but decent.
    http://www.andrewturnbull.net/plates/sticker.html
    Found this site searching
    http://www.ricksplates.com/
    Discretion is the better part of valor.

    I'd rather be known as a really good witness, than as a really dead hero.

    Its always something. You never know what, but there is always more to the story.

  7. #7
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom S View Post
    Here is a little trivial quirk regarding Missouri plates. The expiration year is in the center of the plate. It is a little sticky tab that is pasted on the plate when you renew it. If you see some expiration tabs that have the license plate number pre-printed on the tab, that means the plates were ordered online and the plate and tab match. It is NOT significant that the year tab is not preprinted wth the plate number. It merely means the plates were renewed at a local DMV office.
    Im sure you have seen the new stickers they have now. The ones with the license plate digits and letters on the sticker with the year it's self? Can't stand those things. 2011 tags with just the year on them were white. Now these new stickers are using white for the 2012 year. Who ever choose that color needs to be slapped. I have heard they will be rolling these new tags out all over the state to the local DMVs. Last I heard only a few DMVs in St. Louis and Springfield had them or you could get them with online renewal. Very frustrating.

  8. #8
    Lather it like its stolen
    CityCopDC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    5,445
    Maryland has gone completely insane. It use to be the first three characters were letters= A car.
    If it started with an "M" or was a bunch of numbers then an "M" it was an suv/truck. Now....its what the hell...

  9. #9
    Equal Height Equal Light

    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,415
    Nevada has specialty plates now for everything from "supporting children's art" to "hot august nights" to cat neutering, it's ridiculous. We have a little book we have to consult in order to run some of them.

  10. #10
    Another Day in Paradise
    T295's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    120
    I think that Iowa #1603 about covered most of our State’s plates….

    From my experience, the only IA plates that have to be run in a special way (at least in our system) are Apportioned (mostly big trucks/trailers).

    Learned the hard way a couple weeks ago that Nebraska is more than a little messed up in their numbering system. The same license plate number can be issued to any number of different vehicles: (Semi) Truck Tractors, Semi-Trailers, etc. and the only difference is the auxiliary wording on the plate. I had a NE Semi Trailer that I could not get to come back properly for the life of me (not by License Plate Number or by VIN). I ran all of the information through dispatch and they got the same results that I did. To cut the story short, I ended up seizing the plate only to find out the next day that it was legitimate! Oh well, live and learn!
    'nil carborundum illegitimi'

    Any and all statements made solely represent my opinion and do not reflect an official opinion, belief, or policy of any department or agency to which I am employed. Furthermore, I am in no way authorized to speak on behalf of any department or agency.

  11. #11
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    252
    Quote Originally Posted by Item9 View Post
    Illinois has so many stupid plates I can't believe it. Half of them don't make sense, and you have to run them in crazy ways.

    Some plates have their own 'type code' to run the plate with. Some specialty plates have to be run as "other". Some will come back as both. Some will come back as another type of specialty plate when you run it as "other", but the proper plate if you run it with the correct type code.

    Sometimes you have to add text to the plate to run it. For instance, some specialty plates can be run just by typing the plate and selecting a type code. If it's a personalized plate, you might have to add -PV or whatever the type is to the end of the plate.

    We also got a newer version of environment friendly plates that are white text on a light green background. I have good eyes and I still can't read them half the time.

    Standard plates are always 7 digits, but either start with a letter or number as the first. I don't know why. Maybe another Illinoisian can educate me.

    Our temporary plates are the only ones that make sense. They are always 3 digits, 1 letter, 3 digits, and the letters are issued in order of expiration date. If everyone has "N" in the middle, and I see a "L", it's probably expired.

    At least we don't have to enter the expiration date like with some states.
    I agree we have wayyyyy to many plates. If its not a b truck plate or temp tags I just run it through dispatch.

  12. #12
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    94129 and midwest
    Posts
    18
    Hey CHP SGT. a little help please. As I recall you can figure the exact expiration day by taking the last number in the plate, double it and add 10. Example...the last # is 6 x 2 = 12. Add 10 and the plate expires on the 22nd day of the month sticker.
    Last edited by bigred94550; 03-27-2012 at 08:02 PM. Reason: deleted

  13. #13
    Former Deputy Sheriff
    VA Dutch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,825

    Here in VA, we have 200+ "specialty tags" that cover everything from pro-life & the NRA to bowling leagues and the AFL-CIO. We also have scenic plates, wildlife, "great seal" and even military-related plates. You name it, we have it! Our standard license plates are blue letters on a white background.

    The month and year tabs are supposed to be displayed on BOTH front & rear plates (unlike MD and some other states), unless it is a government-owned vehicle (state or municipal plates do not expire), antique/vintage car or a 'permanent' tag on a commercial vehicle. The year tabs for rental cars are always orange and purple for dealers.

    To see a list of our myriad plates available, go to the DMV web page ( http://www.dmvnow.com ) and they will show up in living color.

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

  14. #14
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Upland, Ca
    Posts
    2,228
    Quote Originally Posted by bigred94550 View Post
    Hey CHP SGT. a little help please. As I recall you can figure the exact expiration day by taking the last number in the plate, double it and add 10. Example...the last # is 6 x 2 = 12. Add 10 and the plate expires on the 22nd day of the month sticker.
    I never heard that before, but on both my cars I did what you said and yes it did come to the date my reg. expires..
    Retired LASD

  15. #15
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    217
    Agreed that IL has too many plates. I spend a lot of time practicing running all the funky plates. Now I can run many of the specialty plates just as quickly as the regular plates. At least in I-WIN, the truck plate is 8 "t-clicks" down the menu, so I just TAB into the plate section, hit T 8 times, and bam... Got the truck plate.

    A good thing about our stickers is that they have the plate of the vehicle that it was issued to on the sticker itself. I have half a dozen arrests for stolen stickers. Second conviction for it is a Class 4 felony.

    The only thing I would ask of the SOS is to take away the "12-12" dating system on the stickers, and just make it "DEC" how it used to be. We know if it's a yellow sticker it expires in 2012, so put the three letters so I can read it easier please...

  16. #16
    "Retired"
    ChiTownDet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Chicago,Illinois
    Posts
    3,341
    Up until a few years ago, the stickers didn't have the plate # on Ill. plates. They were stealing them all the time from cars. The Dec. expiration was for "fleet" type vehicles, company, corp. Was a way to spot a city/county/state veh with straight plates. All rental cars were Dec., also. Haven't really kept up on them as I usually run through the radio or at my desk.

  17. #17
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    192
    Forgot to mention, 18k or higher plates expire in December no matter when they were purchase.

    For those of you with ALPR systems; how are they working with regular and with the more complex plates?

  18. #18
    Forum Member
    A.D.D Cop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    641
    ............................

  19. #19
    Forum Member
    A.D.D Cop's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    CA
    Posts
    641
    Quote Originally Posted by bigred94550 View Post
    Hey CHP SGT. a little help please. As I recall you can figure the exact expiration day by taking the last number in the plate, double it and add 10. Example...the last # is 6 x 2 = 12. Add 10 and the plate expires on the 22nd day of the month sticker.
    I have also never heard of this. I tried it an it didn't work. But I have a truck so my plate starts with a number, then has a letter, and the rest is numbers. Example: 1A23456

  20. #20
    Forum Member
    MargeGunderson's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    1,039
    In Washington state, cars used to have three numbers followed by three letters; new plates now have three letters followed by four numbers. Trucks had and still have five numbers with a letter on each side. (A12345B).

    We also have dozens of specialty ones, which usually have the logo (college, sports team, environmental cause, Purple Heart, firefighter, etc) on the left followed by four or five numbers, and personalized plates can be between two and seven letters and/or numbers.
    "Snort-laughter is the best medicine"
    ----- Mussel Bound


    Don't forget to laugh today. The more implausible it seems, the more you need to.

  21. #21
    Forum Member

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    552
    Quote Originally Posted by MargeGunderson View Post
    We also have dozens of specialty ones, which usually have the logo (college, sports team, environmental cause, Purple Heart, firefighter, etc) on the left followed by four or five numbers, and personalized plates can be between two and seven letters and/or numbers.
    With each state issuing dozens of different tag styles, what really bugs me are those license plate frames that cover up the state name. It was one thing when there were only 50 basic plate types, with a little experience, you tell the state just by the general design of the tag (yellow characters on blue, California, etc.). Now you have no idea.

    And why do people even have them, anyway? They're so ugly. I get it if the frame has something personal to the driver on it (their college, fraternity, etc.), but the vast majority of them are just dealership frames. Not only are they ugly, but why would someone want to drive around providing free advertising for some car dealership? First thing I did when i bought my car was take those things off and throw them away.

  22. #22
    Another Day in Paradise
    T295's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    120
    Quote Originally Posted by BTR1701 View Post
    ...license plate frames...
    Depending on how you interpret our state code, those frames aren't even legal. Don't know if it would stand up as enough PC if it just covers up the state name (maybe if it covers up the validation sticker...)

    321.37 Display of plates.
    ~
    3. It is unlawful for the owner of a vehicle to place any frame around or over the registration plate which does not permit full view of all numerals and letters printed on the registration plate.

    Quote Originally Posted by BTR1701 View Post
    ....dealership frames. Not only are they ugly, but why would someone want to drive around providing free advertising for some car dealership? First thing I did when i bought my car was take those things off and throw them away.
    I even go so far as to sticker/decals, etc. off - no free advertising from me!
    'nil carborundum illegitimi'

    Any and all statements made solely represent my opinion and do not reflect an official opinion, belief, or policy of any department or agency to which I am employed. Furthermore, I am in no way authorized to speak on behalf of any department or agency.

  23. #23
    Salty Dog

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    California Central Coast
    Posts
    7,067
    California:
    Private passenger vehicles: 1 digit, 3 alpha, 3 digits (1ABC123). Older plates are 3 alpha, 3 digits (ABC123) or vice versa. Passenger plates with "ZZ" as the first two alphas are for-hire cars, whether limos or conventional body (1ZZY123). Those plates will usually have "Livery" printed on them.
    Commercial registration (commercial vehicles and private pickup trucks): 1 digit, 1 alpha, 5 digits (1A23456), or 5 digits, 1 alpha, 1 digit (12345A1). Older plates are 5 digits and 1 alpha (12345A). Privately-owned pickups can have a passenger plate if they have a permanently-attached shell under which cargo is not carried.
    Motorcycles: 1 or 2 digits, 1 alpha, 4 digits (12AB3456).
    Trailers: 1 digit, 2 alpha, 4 digits (1AB2345).
    Exempt (government-owned): 7 digits. "Exempt" printed across top of plate. They are exempt from paying registration fees, and the registration will show as expiring in 2099. (1234567)
    Disabled: 5 digits + DP (run plate including the "DP" as alphas) 12345DP).

    California issues month and year registration tabs. The month goes in the top left corner, the year in the top right. Each year is a different color. The tabs have to be on the rear plate unless it's a tractor-trailer. When a car is sold, the plate stays on the car. California registration has no information about the color or model name of a car, just the body style.

    Then there are the special plates. That means commemorative plates for things like the 1984 Olympics that were held in El Lay, firefighter (only issued to verified firefighters), Yosemite National Park, ocean conservation, support for the arts, Medal of Honor recipient, Purple Heart recipient, ex-POW, 9-11 remembrance and probably a few more. There can also be a hand, heart or star as a character in the plate's number; the fee for that goes to a fund having to do with children. When running a plate with one of those characters, only run the letters and numbers; you don't have to do anything special for the symbol. "PP" printed in italic capital letters in one corner of the plate indicates a press photographer.

    Any plate except exempt can be personalized. Personalized plates will not follow any particular format for the type of vehicle, but are limited to seven characters.
    Last edited by ateamer; 03-30-2012 at 08:41 PM.
    Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. - Ronald Reagan

    I don't think It'll happen in the US because we don't trust our government. We are a country of skeptics, raised by skeptics, founded by skeptics. - Amaroq

  24. #24
    Forum Member
    littlesimo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    37
    The license plate covers, not brackets, are illegal in IL. In fact, when they put the law in place a few years ago, they banned all colors and the sale of them. So your local parts store is even forbidden from selling them. It was driven not from officer safety, but from revenue. IL IPASS system run by IDOT (and yes, we do call them IDIOT), is the tollway system by Rockford and Chicago and the cameras monitor your plates in case you go through without paying (cash or IPASS). Well the colored and extremely faded ones were causing the system to not read plates at the high or sharp angles they are set at.

    So loss of revenue, not officer safety, put the ban on plate covers.
    Discretion is the better part of valor.

    I'd rather be known as a really good witness, than as a really dead hero.

    Its always something. You never know what, but there is always more to the story.

  25. #25
    Luck in battle, boy.
    Jere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Missouri, USA
    Posts
    360
    Quote Originally Posted by showme View Post
    Im curious to know the ins and outs of license plates in the state where you work.

    In Missouri for example, a license plate beginning with a number is a truck, van or SUV. Generally from what I have seen it was registered to a truck and then transfered when the owner sold the truck and bought a SUV or van. One number followed by a letter is registered as under 18k pounds. Two numbers at the beginning are 18k pounds or higher.

    Car plates, vans or SUV have a letter at the beginning.

    What about your state? I see Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, and Oklahoma plates all the time and always wonder if their plates are legal. I can only run plates through dispatch. Its very easy for me to pick out a bogus plate from Missouri. Truck plates on a car, car plates on a truck.

    Another thing about plates here in Missouri....farm plats. I loath farm plates. They have 3 months after they expire to renew them. I see people driving around all the time with 3 month out of date tags on a truck. Then the day before the 4th month they have new tags on them.

    Texas you drive me nuts. Why aren't there month and year tags on the plates?
    I live in MO and the plate on my car not only starts with one number, but three numbers--followed with three letters. I got this plate number when I started driving and when they switched the plate style this last time they said I had to have the new plate and couldn't keep the old one (including my plate number). I took the new plate, waited a few months, then ordered personalized plates with my old tag number. It's not really personalized as it is the plate number given to me by the DMV.
    Support bacteria. They're the only culture some people have.

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Log in

Click here to log in or register