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Vehicle registration plates of North Carolina

The U.S. state of North Carolina first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display license plates in 1913.

Contents

  • Passenger baseplates 1913 to present 1
  • Non-passenger types 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Passenger baseplates 1913 to present

In 1956, the U.S. states and Canadian provinces came to an agreement with the Automobile Manufacturers Association that fixed the size for license plates for vehicles, except those for motorcycles, at six inches in height by twelve inches in width, with standardized mounting holes. The 1955 (dated 1956) issue was the first North Carolina license plate that complied with these standards.
Image Dates issued Design Slogan Serial format Serials issued Notes
1913 Black base with white letters none 1234 unknown Validation date 6/30/13. "N. C." on right side of plate
1914 White base with red letters none 1234 unknown Validation date 6/30/14.
1915 Green base with white letters none 1234 unknown Validation date 6/30/15.
1916 White base with black letters none 1234 unknown Validation date 6/30/16.
1917 Dark blue base with white letters none 1234 unknown First year of stamped metal. From the collection of Richard Watson. Validation date 6/30/17.
1918 White base with dark blue letters none 12-345 unknown Validation date 6/30/18.
1919 Dark blue base with white letters none 12-345 unknown Validation date 6/30/19.
1920 Yellow base with black letters none 12-345 unknown Validation date 6/30/20.
1921 Brown base with white letters none 12-345 unknown Validation date 6/30/21.
1922 White base with dark blue lettering none 123-456 unknown Validation date 6/30/22.
1923 Green base with white lettering none 12345 unknown Validation date 6/30/23.
1924 White base with red lettering none 123-456 unknown Validation date 6/30/24.
1925 Blue base with white lettering none 123-456 unknown Validation date 6/30/25.
1926 Yellow base with black lettering none 123-456 unknown Validation date 6/30/26.
1927 White base with red lettering none 123-456 unknown Some reason that "E" replaced the expiration date.
1928 Green base with white lettering none 123-456 unknown Last use of abbreviation "N.C."
1929 Blue base with white lettering none 123-456 unknown First use of full state name "NORTH CAROLINA"
1930 Brown base with white lettering none 123-456 unknown
1931 Blue base with yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1932 Yellow base with black lettering none 123-456 unknown
1933 Blue base with white lettering none 123-456 unknown
1934 Black base with yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1935 Black base with silver lettering none 123-456 unknown
1936 Black base with green lettering none 123-456 unknown
1937 Black base with yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1938 Yellow base with black lettering none 123-456 unknown
1939 Red base with white lettering none 123-456 unknown
1940 White base with red lettering none 123-456 unknown
1941 Black base with yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1942 Yellow base with black lettering none 123-456 unknown Red tab attached over date at bottom for 1943 due to wartime steel shortages. This took the place of issuing new plates for 1943.
1943 Yellow base with black lettering with black A43 Tab none 123-456 unknown Black tab attached over date at bottom for 1943 due to wartime steel shortages.
1944 Black base with yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1945 Yellow base with black lettering none 123-456 unknown
1946 Black base with yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1947 Yellow base with black lettering none 123-456 unknown
1948 Black base with Yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1949 Yellow base with black lettering none 123-456 unknown From the personal collection of Richard Watson.
1950 Black base with embossed yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1951 White base with embossed red lettering none 123-456 unknown
1952 Red base with embossed white lettering none 123-456 unknown
1953 Black base with embossed yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown

1954 Yellow base with embossed black lettering and rims DRIVE SAFELY embossed at bottom 123-456 unknown 2 versions of the 1954 plates 1 with the full state name NORTH CAROLINA and 1 with the abbrivation N.C and DRIVE SAFELY
1955 Black base with embossed yellow lettering none 123-456 unknown
1956 Yellow base with embossed black lettering and rims DRIVE SAFELY embossed at top A-1234
AB-1234
Serials progressed as follows: A-1 through A-9999, AA-1 through AZ-9999, B-1 through B-9999, BA-1 through BZ-9999, etc. This continued until 1973. Letters G, I, O and Q not used; this practice continued until 1969.[1]
1957 Black base with embossed yellow lettering and rims DRIVE SAFELY embossed at top A-1234
AB-1234
1958 Yellow base with embossed black lettering and rims DRIVE SAFELY embossed at top A-1234
AB-1234
1959 Black base with embossed yellow lettering and rims none A-1234
AB-1234
1960 Yellow base with embossed black lettering and rims DRIVE SAFELY embossed on top A-1234
AB-1234
1961 Black base with embossed yellow lettering and rims DRIVE SAFELY embossed on top A-1234
AB-1234
1962 Yellow base with embossed black lettering and rims DRIVE SAFELY embossed on top A-1234
AB-1234
1963 Black base with embossed yellow lettering and rims DRIVE SAFELY embossed on bottom A-1234
AB-1234
1964 Yellow base with black lettering none A-1234
AB-1234
1965 Black base with yellow lettering none A-1234
AB-1234
1966 Yellow base with black lettering none A-1234
AB-1234
1967 Green on white none A-1234
AB-1234
1968 Red on white none A-1234
AB-1234
1969 Green on white none A-1234
AB-1234
Letters G, I, O, Q and U not used. This practice continues today.[1]
1970 Red on white none A-1234
AB-1234
1971 Green on white none A-1234
AB-1234
1972 Blue on white none A-1234
AB-1234
1973 Red on white none ABC-123 AAA-101 to approximately HVA-999
1974 Green on white none ABC-123 AAA-101 to approximately JBA-999
1975 Red on white First in Freedom ABC-123 AAA-101 to approximately PMZ-999
1978 none PNA-101 to approximately ZRZ-999
1982 Blue on reflective white with Wright Flyer graphic First in Flight ABC-123 ZSA-101 to ZZZ-999 Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 1982 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first and, to date, only time North Carolina has been so honored. Also, first time in NC history that registration stickers are issued instead of replacing the license plate itself.
ABC-12 AAA-11 to ZZZ-99
ABC-123 AAA-101 to JAY-999
1985 ABC-1234 ANA-1001 to approximately WTF-1973 A through M not used as second letters in serials (so AZZ was followed by BNA, BZZ was followed by CNA and so on); this practice continued until ZZZ-9999 was issued in 2011. OBX started to be issued in 1999 as a special series for Dare County, and continues to be issued as such today.
early 2007 Red on reflective white with Wright Flyer graphic First in Flight ABC-1234 WTF-1995 to approximately ZND-9999
late 2009 Blue on reflective white with Wright Flyer graphic First in Flight ABC-1234 ZNE-1001 to ZZZ-9999 Switched back to blue lettering, following complaints that the red lettering was too hard to read from a distance.
late 2011 AAA-1001 to DKL-9999 (as of September 14, 2015) A through M used as second letters in serials (so AMZ was followed by BAA, BMZ was followed by CAA and so on); this practice should continue until ZMZ-9999 is issued.
late 2015 Blue on reflective white First In Freedom ABC-1234 PAA-1001 to present May 20, 1975 and April 12, 1976 and state flag added to the plate

Non-passenger types

Image Type Dates issued Design Serial format Serials issued Notes
Apportioned Truck 2006–present Embossed blue on white with border line; "N.C. PERMANENT" at top; "APPORTIONED" at bottom LA-1234
MA-1234
LA-1001 to
MC-9999;
MH-1001 to
present
For Hire 2006–present Embossed blue on white with border line; "NORTH CAROLINA" at bottom; "FOR HIRE" at top ZA-1234 ZB-1001 to present
Manufacturer Embossed blue on white with border line; "NORTH CAROLINA" at bottom; "MANUFACTURER" at top MF-1234 MF-1001 to present
Motorcycle 1999–present Embossed blue on white with border line; "N.C." at top 1A2345 1A0001 to present Letter advances before leftmost number (so the progression is 1A-1Z, 2A-2Z, etc.). G, I, O, Q and U not used.
Multi-Year Trailer 1993–present Embossed black on white with border line; "NORTH CAROLINA" at top; "MULTI YEAR" at bottom AA-12345 AY-10000 to AZ-99999;
AA-10000 to present
Permanent trailer plate obtained for a one-time fee.
Taxi 2006–present Embossed blue on white with border line; "NORTH CAROLINA" at bottom; "TAXI" at top TA-1234 TA-1001 to present
Trailer 1995–present Embossed red on white with border line; "NORTH CAROLINA" at bottom; "TRAILER" at top AB-12345 AN-10000 to
AX-99999;
BA-10000 to present
A temporary license plate on a motorcycle in North Carolina.

References

  1. ^ a b

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
  • North Carolina license plates 1969-present
  • Gallery of North Carolina License Plates, 1913-present (by Rick Kretschmer)
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