example license plate

Rick Kretschmer's License Plate Archives 

example license plate

Future Features

Works in progress, coming attractions, and other stuff I might someday do


This page illustrates some of the license plate-related projects I'm either currently working on, or am planning to start some time in the future.  In most cases I don't yet have web pages for these plate categories.  These various projects are ordered roughly according to priority or likelihood of ever happening. 

Latest noteworthy updates to this page
  • February 8, 2018  –  Added a link to the new "Virginia passenger car plate history 1933-1972 page, and removed the corresponding entry in the list of projects I'm working on. 
  • December 1, 2017  –  Added link to the new "Pennsylvania sample and prototype plate history" page.  Updated the Pennsylvania non-passenger plate history section, including both the text and photos, to reflect this new page.  Added new sections for Illinois sample plate history, North Carolina trailer plate history, and 1977 Canadian passenger car plates.  Re-ordered the existing sections based on my current priorities. 

Ongoing updates to existing plate pages

It seems that no matter how much I try, I never manage to get completely caught up in making updates to the various pages on this site.  Sometimes I'm pretty close, and other times I have quite a backlog of updates that need to be made.  Anyway, at any given point in time, I almost certainly have a number of new plates in my collection, new candid photos I've taken of plates in current use, and additional plate photos contributed by others, that haven't yet made it onto the appropriate web pages. 

(I've decided to stop showing "plates that I've recently photographed and/or edited in preparation for being included on one of my web pages" in this section.  Almost always, I was just posting pics of plates that I had already recently added to the site, and sometimes months would go by before I'd change the pics here.  Instead, I now have a new page called Recent Site Updates where I show a few of the very newest plate photos I've added.  I pledge to keep that page current.) 

Plate Daddy online license plate store


If I ever start up an online license plate store, I've always wanted to use the name "Plate Daddy" for it.  In 2008, I claimed for myself the most obvious and intuitive web address to go with that store name.  It's been sitting there unused all these years waiting for me to do something with it. 

I've recently become a lot more motivated to actually create that online license plate store, and as time permits, I'll work to make that a reality.  So, hopefully one day soon, you'll be able to go visit www.platedaddy.com and see something more than a placeholder page.  When that happens, I'll move my plate inventory there and remove my trade/sale page from this site. 

Illinois passenger car plate history pages

1920 Illinois passenger car 1943 Illinois passenger car 1960 Illinois passenger car 1979 Illinois passenger car

I'm working on acquiring one of every year of Illinois passenger car plates, and I already show them on my Illinois passenger car plate gallery page.  I intend to also document the history of these plates, like I already have for several other states.  This kind of project keeps me involved with license plates even when my plate fund runs dry and I can't buy any more plates for my collection. 

Illinois sample plate history

2001 base Illinois passenger sample

I've recently acquired several Illinois sample plates, enough to make it worthwhile to create a new page to show and describe them.  Right now I just have this one photo handy, though. 

Dental-related license plates

2014 Kentucky oral health speciaty plate 2014 Mississippi dental health speciaty plate 1980 Missouri vanity plate "MOLAR-1" 1980s-90s New York dentist plate 1974 Texas vanity plate "BA-B2TH"

My daughter-in-law recently graduated from dental school and is now in private practice.  With her encoragement, I've acquired a bunch of plates related to dentistry and oral health for the purpose of making a display for her waiting room or office.  I'll also make a web page featuring these same plates so that everyone can enjoy them. 

North Carolina trailer plate history

1977 North Carolina trailer 1996 North Carolina trailer undated North Carolina apportioned trailer undated North Carolina multi-year trailer

I already have history pages for North Carolina passenger car plates from 1942-1974 and 1975-present, and for truck plates from 1942-present.  The next most common plate type is trailer plates, and their usage is often not obvious, as shown by some of the examples above.  Therefore, trailer plates are often mistaken for other plate types and the source of confusion.  I intend to address that situation by documenting them on their own history page. 

Canadian 1977 passenger car plates

(No photo available)

I've pretty much resisted collecting anything but U.S. plates thus far, but the idea of completing a Canadian 1977 passenger car set to compliment my U.S. 1977 passenger car set is growing on me.  I remember regularly seeing Quebec and Ontario plates on U.S. streets and highways back then.  It shouldn't be that hard to finish, as I only need twelve plates, one each for the ten provinces and two territories.  Unfortunately, I don't yet have one of these to show you. 

U.S. Forces in Germany plate history page

1978 U.S. Forces in Germany 198x-1988 U.S. Forces in Germany 1989-2002 U.S. Forces in Germany
U.S. Forces in Germany plate designs used from 1973-1983, 1983-1998, and 1989-2002. 
(Green plate and solid white plate were once in my trade box.) 

U.S. Forces in Germany plates were issued to members of the U.S. military for use on their personal vehicles while stationed in (West) Germany between 1946 and 2005.  Today, they're not used while in Germany, but are issued as temporary plates for the personal vehicles of service members returning from Germany, to give them time to get their vehicles registered in a U.S. state. 

It's not that I have any burning desire to collect these plates.  I didn't serve in the military and I've never been to Germany.  However, these plates are pretty easy to find in the U.S., as many service members brought them home and/or kept them as souvenirs, and from 1962 and the present, they've only had "USA" as the jursidiction name, with nothing to indicate their use or purpose.  People who aren't plate collectors or who are newbie plate collectors are therefore constantly asking me to explain these plates when they come across them.  I've concluded that the easiest way to reduce the repetitive questions is to create a page that shows and explains these plates. 

Additional Pennsylvania non-passenger plate history pages

1937 Pennsylvania liquid fuels permit 1957 Pennsylvania ham radio operator 1962 Pennsylvania temporary

As time permits, I continue researching and documenting the history of additional Pennsylvania plate types, and create new web pages to present my photos and research.  I've steadily assembled a photo library of various types of Pennsylvania non-passenger plates, including photos of plates I've acquired for my own collection, photos of plates in others' collections, and plates in actual use.  At this point, there are only a few stray categories of plates I have yet to cover.  These are going to be a low priority. 

Splitting out the Maryland "general info" page

1990 Maryland fleet trailer sticker 1992 Maryland special interest plate sticker 2009 Maryland pilot program smart sticker Maryland fleet trailer month sticker Maryland historic vehicle permanent sticker
1990 Maryland fleet trailer sticker; 1992 Maryland alternate color sticker used on Treasure the Chesapeake specialty plates; 2009 Maryland "smart sticker" pilot program sticker; Maryland fleet trailer month sticker; Maryland historic vehicle permanent registration sticker. 

I have an existing page called "General Information about Maryland license plates" that included information about vehicle class codes, plate expiration stickers, sample plates and error plates and other oddities.  I'd badly neglected this page for many years.  My intention was to split this page out into several separate pages, and to add new info and photos as I created each new page.  The first two of these, the sample and prototype plate page, and the license plate errors and oddities page, have been finished for some time now. 

I do still intend to create a page devoted solely to Maryland year and month plate stickers.  I've been putting this off for years now, mainly because I need to take close-up photos of the stickers on many Maryland plates in my collection, and I find photo-editing plate stickers to be particularly tedious. 

U.S. 1977 motorcycle plates

1977 Missouri motorcycle 1977 North Carolina motorcycle 1977 Pennsylvania motorcycle

I've created pages to show my nearly complete set of U.S. 1977 passenger car plates and my work-in-progress set of U.S. 1977 non-passenger plates, but I figure someday I'll also have a third page for U.S. 1977 motorcycle plates.  I'm not actively looking for these, but I've somehow managed to acquire these few so far.  Pennsylvania used an undated, unstickered motorcycle plate in 1977. 

Christian booster plates

Wilson's Mills Baptist Church booster plate

Don't hate me because I have a booster plate on a license plate web site!  I acquired the front booster plate promoting a church shown above, and decided that I should start collecting these in addition to actual license plates.  So, I'm now looking for additional front booster plates promoting specific Christian denominations, churches, schools, and organizations.  (I'm not looking for generic Christian novelty plates that you could buy at a Christian bookstore.) 

Illinois non-passenger plates

1978-79 Illinois state government vehicle 1980 Illinois trailer 2000 Illinois recreational trailer 1998 Illinois State University specialty plate 2006 Illinois Du Quoin State Fair special event plate
The 1978-79 plate was for a state government vehicle; the 2000 plate was issued to a recreational trailer. 

I'm not really looking for them, but as I happen to acquire various Illinois non-passenger, special interest, and special event plates, I'm hanging on to them rather than putting them into my trade box.  At some point in the future, I may start actively collecting these. 

Michigan 1976-1978 plate types

1977 Michigan passenger car 1976 Michigan nonprofit vehicle

The colorful and patriotic Michigan 1976 base plate, which was generally used through 1978, has always intrigued me.  I'm thinking that someday I might want to try to collect each Michigan plate type issued on this base.  So far, I just have the passenger car plate, at left, and one of several versions of non-profit organization vehicle plates, at right.  Non-profit plates and government vehilce plates on this base were used through the mid-1980s. 

Christian and biblical vanity plates

2010 Nevada vanity "GODSFAM" 1977 North Carolina vanity "316-JON"

I've collected God-themed special interest plates and church-related plate types for some time now.  So far I've mostly resisted collecting vanity plates with Christian messages or biblical references, as I'm generally bored by vanity plates.  I had this one God vanity that someone gave me, but I must admit I did buy this John 3:16 vanity that I came across.  Someday, I may become more intentional about seeking these out. 

U.S. Constitution-themed plates

2015 U.S. constitution limited edition 1991 Illinois "Bill of Rights" special event plate
>Pennsylvania limited edition plate commemorating the ratification of the U.S. Constitution (plate in actual use); 1991 Illinois special event plate commemorating the ratification of the Bill of Rights. 

I've long toyed with the idea of collecting plates related to the U.S. Constitution.  There are actually only a few kinds of these, but two of them are rather scarce and pricey.  I didn't know this Illinois special event plate even existed until I saw it on someone's sale table at a plate meet; now it's mine. 

Washington, D.C. license plates

1959 D.C. passenger 1960 D.C. passenger 1977 D.C. presidential inaugural special event plate undated D.C. clergy plate

Someday, but not anytime soon, I'd like to start collecting plates from the District of Columbia.  I lived in various Maryland suburbs in the greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and saw D.C. plates on the road regularly, for over 20 years. 

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