God-themed license plate

Rick Kretschmer's License Plate Archives 

God-themed license plate

Rick's God and Country License Plates

 

This page features my collection of real license plates that have God's name in the plate design. 

Latest noteworthy updates to this page
  • January 31, 2017  –  Added a thumbnails of a new variation of the current Georgia plates, and a thumbnail of a Pennsylvania plate in actual use, which I'd like to add to my collection.  Other minor text updates. 
  • April 7, 2016  –  Added a photo and discussion of an Abia, Nigeria God's Own State standard passenger car plate. 
  • February 6, 2016  –  Added photos and discussion of the Montana In God We Trust plate and the motorcycle version of the standard Ohio plate, which includes the slogan With God All Things Are Possible

Introduction

Separation of church and state?  Not on this page! 

Now before you get all riled up, please realize that the statement immediately above was made tongue-in-cheek.  I fully endorse the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prescribes the boundaries between government and religion.  And at least by my own interpretation, none of the plates pictured on this page violate this amendment in any way. 

Shown on this page are license plates that feature God's name on them.  I'm not talking about novelty plates from the local Christian bookstore, or even vanity plates that slipped past the censors – these state-issued real license plates all mention God somewhere in the actual plate design.  The mixing of religion with patriotism or state pride is the common theme.  The slogans themselves are all expressions that have stood the tests of both time and lawsuits from atheists. 

My God and country license plate set

Alabama POW generation 1
Alabama POW generation 2
Alabama  God Bless America (POW)

The Alabama former prisoner of war plate is the granddaddy of all "God" plates.  This plate type is reported to have been introduced in 1981 or so, and has always had the legend God Bless America.  Several different versions have been made over the years; I believe the two plates shown represent the first two generations. 

Alabama POW plates are often seen in use, or found in used condition, without any registration stickers attached.  The top plate shown at left is one of these.  It turns out that Alabama allows motorists qualifying for such plates to registrer one vehicle free of charge, and the corresponding plate is issued and used without expiration stickers.  Second and subsequent vehicles owned by an ex-POW may also receive these same plates, but the registration isn't free, and they're used with expiration stickers like any other plate. 

embossed Alabama God Bless America
flat Alabama God Bless America without sticker boxes
flat Alabama God Bless America with sticker boxes
second-generation Alabama God Bless America
Alabama  God Bless America

Alabama introduced this no-extra-cost optional issue in October 2006, and it quickly became quite a popular choice.  When I visited Alabama in June 2007 I saw them everywhere.  I know of at least six variations of the first-generation plate.  Early issues like the top one shown at left had embossed serial characters, but the majority were completely flat.  These plates could have either serial prefixes or suffixes; in both cases, the letters began at "AM" and have progressed from there.  The letters got into the early Bx series before the first-generation plate was discontinued. 

There's also two versions of the graphic sheeting on the first-gen plate; one with sticker boxes larger than the actual stickers, and the other without visible sticker boxes.  As far as I know, the sticker box version was introduced after the serial numbers went flat, but since then, the state seemed to alternate between the two versions of sheeting. 

The second generation of this plate came out in the beginning of 2014, and as the older plates expired during 2014, they were replaced with the new version.  The second-gen plate has black plate numbers with letters in positions five and six, starting from "AA" and progressing upward.  The flag graphic in the background is also less obtrusive, just touching the tops of the plate number digits. 

Additional versions
embossed Alabama God Bless America flat Alabama God Bless America with sticker boxes flat Alabama God Bless America without sticker boxes
 
Arizona In God We Trust
Arizona  In God We Trust

The Arizona In God We Trust plate was introduced in March 2012 and costs $25 per year in addition to the normal registration fees.  The stylized rays coming from the rising (or setting) sun are meant to resemble the design of the Arizona state flag.  Otherwise, I find it a refreshing change to see a God-themed plate depict a scene from nature rather than symbols of national or state pride. 

Arkansas In God We Trust
Arkansas  In God We Trust

Arkansas' In God We Trust plate went with a state pride theme rather than the usual patriotic theme.  Shown in the graphic are the state capitol building and the state flag, but the American flag is nowhere to be found.  The strange, all-alphabetic plate number isn't a vanity; these plates are sequentially issued this way, I presume starting at A/R AAAA. 

Florida In God We Trust
Florida In God We Trust
Florida  In God We Trust

Florida offers this standard-base design with the legend In God We Trust embossed at the bottom as a no-extra-cost alternative to similar plates with either the state nickname Sunshine State or the name of the motorist's county.  The standard-base "God" plates originally had the serial format 000*0Gx, but then advanced into the 000*0Hx series and beyond, and now can also have the first letter at the beginning of the alphabet. 

These two plates differ slightly in that the orange graphic on the older plate has a brown stem, while the newer plate has a green stem.  This change was made as a cost-cutting measure. 

Georgia In God We Trust
Georgia In God We Trust
Georgia In God We Trust
Georgia In God We Trust
Georgia  In God We Trust

Rather than issue a separate plate, since the beginning of 2011 Georgia has allowed motorists to affix an In God We Trust sticker at the bottom of their otherwise-standard plates, instead of displaying the county name.  The gray plate at top is an older design with the new sticker placed overtop of the existing county sticker, while the white plate second from the top was issued in 2011 with a "natural" (no other sticker underneath) In God We Trust sticker instead of a county sticker. 

In May 2012, Georgia discontinued the Georgia.gov plate design, and began issuing two new passenger car plate designs in its place.  These are the two plates shown at bottom left.  The fully graphic Peach State is the standard-issue plate, but the white-background plate is a no-cost option.  Both of these plates are flat with screened serial numbers, and also have screened county names in the usual location at the bottom center.  The In God We Trust sticker may be placed over the screened county name if desired, as was done on both of these plates.  I've been told that Georgia is now also screening the words In God We Trust onto some plates at the time of manufacture, and that these plates do not cost extra.  I've yet to see one of these in person, though. 

Despite its busy design, the Peach State plate is reasonably legible, though a space between the letters and numbers would have helped.  However, I'm sure the legibility of the new white-background plate must be an issue for law enforcement.  The peach graphic in the center of the plate interferes with the readability of the third letter and first number. 

In about 2015, Georgia switched suppliers for the sheeting used to make its plates.  The difference isn't evident in the photos, but the new plates have much crisper, more detailed graphics.  At about the same time, the font of the plate numbers was changed slightly, with two versions, one with slightly taller characters than the other and different spacing.  The plates with the new sheeting and fonts are shown in the thumbnails below, which may be enlarged by clicking on them. 

Additional versions
Georgia In God We Trust
 
Iowa God Bless America
Iowa God Bless America motorcycle
Iowa  God Bless America
close-up of Iowa GBA motorcycle logo

Iowa worked overtime on the patriotic theme of this plate design.  There's a U.S. map outline, the American flag, and the Statue of Liberty all in a single image.  By contrast, the God Bless America legend is rather subtle.  But Iowa gets extra credit for being the first state outside of the Bible Belt with the guts to issue a God plate.  Shown are both the full-sized and motorcycle versions.  Also shown is a close-up of the rather tiny graphic on the motorcycle plate. 

blue Indiana In God We Trust without recycle logo
blue Indiana In God We Trust with recycle logo
white Indiana In God We Trust
Indiana  In God We Trust

Indiana introduced this plate type with the blue background in 2007 as a no-extra-cost optional plate, and as in Alabama, it became quite popular.  The stacked prefix letters were reported to cause difficulties for law enforcement; the letters varied from plate to plate, and their small size made them hard to read at any distance.  Some time after this plate was introduced, a small recycling logo was added to the lower left corner.  The "10" and "69" stickers in the lower right corners of these plates indicate that the motorists resided in Clark and Ripley Counties, respectively. 

Indiana replaces its plates every five years, and so in 2012, the blue background In God We Trust plates were replaced with the mostly-white background design shown at bottom left.  This one uses full-sized letters in the plate number.  All elements are screened onto the plate – including not only the initial expiration year at the upper right corner, but also the expiration month and day at the upper left corner, and the county number at the lower right corner.  County number "02" is Allen County. 

Kansas In God We Trust
Kansas  In God We Trust

I don't claim to know much about Kansas In God We Trust plates.  They've been around at least since 2010, possibly longer, but there doesn't seem to be much information about them online.  Until recently, they were difficult for an east coast collector like me to find.  Now, in early 2015, that seems to have changed, though I'm not sure why.  It's not like Kansas has done a statewide replacement of this plate design. 

The wheat graphic on these plates brings to mind regular Kansas plates from the 1980s and '90s.  The state name and the national motto In God We Trust are easy to read up close, but the white letters with a blue outline are unfortunately illegible at any distance. 

Kentucky In God We Trust
Kentucky  In God We Trust

Kentucky introduced this optional, no-extra-cost In God We Trust at the start of 2011.  It looks much like the standard plate, except that the graphic that includes the state name, horse logo, and Unbridled Spirit and Bluegrass State legends was made significantly smaller in order to accommodate the new In God We Trust legend.  Plate numbers for this type began in the "L" series, but otherwise use the same serial format and plate number ranges as the standard plates. 

2000 Mississippi God Bless America
2004 Mississippi God Bless America
Mississippi  God Bless America

Mississippi takes the prize for making God's name the most prominent.  Proceeds from the sale of this plate benefit the Sunflower Consolidated School Preservation Commission.  Examples shown are an embossed 1997 base and a flat 2002 base.  The "30" sticker in the upper right corner of the latter plate is a county code which identifies the motorist as a resident of Jackson County. 

2000 Mississippi William Carey College
2010 Mississippi William Carey University
Mississippi  William Carey College / University
close-up of WCC logo

Ordinarily, I don't collect collegiate plates, not even for Christian colleges and universities.  However, these two for William Carey College and University actually mention God in the logo.  They read Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.  There's also a black-on-white version of this plate with the name William Carey College from before they changed their name.  The "24" sticker on the bottom plate is a code for Harrison County. 

2015 Missouri God Bless America
Missouri  God Bless America

Missouri introduced the first-generation God Bless America specialty plate in 2002.  The first-gen plate looks similar to the second-generation plate shown, excpet that it has the state name in capital letters and with a squiggly red line underneath.  Sales of this plate benefit a World War II Memorial fund. 

Missouri special interest plates aren't available with sequential plate numbers; they're only issued with vanity plate numbers.  Some motorists who don't really have anything to say on a vanity plate request a vanity number that "looks" sequential, such as this one with plate number GBA 7.  The year sticker is sideways because it was designed to be affixed vertically in the center of standard plates, but is supposed to be placed horizontally in the lower right corner of vanity plates.  I gather that all Missouri specialty plates have July expiration months. 

undated Montana In God We Trust
Montana  In God We Trust

Montana joined the God plate bandwagon in about 2009 or 2010 with this In God We Trust plate. 

Montana specialty plates all share this xxx000 numbering format, but there's no block of letters or numbers reserved for each plate type. Each specialty plate made, regardless of type, is assigned the next available number.  Montana uses expiration stickers on the rear plate only; obviously, then, this is a front plate. 

2007 North Carolina In God We Trust
2011 North Carolina In God We Trust
2014 North Carolina In God We Trust
North Carolina  In God We Trust

Shown at left are both embossed and flat versions of the first generation plate, issued between 2006 and early 2013, and also the second generation plate issued since early 2013.  The original design may still be renewed if desired.  North Carolina began using screened serial numbers on its special interest plates in the summer of 2008, and then stopped doing so in the fall of 2011. 

Proceeds from these plates benefit the North Carolina National Guard Soldiers and Airmen Assistance Fund, hence the "S/A" suffix letters, for "Soldiers and Airmen".  The image of the yellow ribbon on the old-school version bears the words Support Our Troops.  This plate, with the legend In God We Trust across the top, is the only North Carolina plate with the biplane graphic that doesn't say First in Flight

Based on other plate designs that went from a small logo on a standard-backgroud plate to a fully-graphic version, the new version with the bald eagle graphic will be much more popular than the original ever was. 

2007 Ohio One Nation Under God
circa 2011 Ohio One Nation Under God
Ohio  One Nation Under God

This plate is probably the least interesting-looking of all the God plates issued by various states.  It didn't take much creativity to slap a flat, generic U.S. flag graphic onto the left side of the plate.  The design with the red band at top was issued sometime during or after 2004 through 2010, but may still be renewed.  The design with the light blue across the top is what was issued from mid-2010 until mid-year 2013; this particular plate was for the front of a vehicle and therefore has no expiration sticker.  The "48" and "23" stickers in the lower left corners indicate that the respective motorists resided in Lucas County and Fairfield County. 

2014 Ohio "With God All Things Are Possible" passenger car
2015 Ohio "With God All Things Are Possible" motorcycle
Ohio  With God All Things Are Possible
close-up of God slogan on passenger car plate
close-up of passenger car plate

close-up of God slogan on motorcycle plate
close-up of motorcycle plate

Congratulations to Ohio for daring to put God's name on their standard license plates!  Ohio introdued this design as its standard plate in April 2013.  Printed on the background of the plate are numerous Ohio-related slogans and references to Ohio symbols, landmarks, and historical events.  One of the slogans is With God All Things Are Possible, which is the official state motto. 

Passenger car plate numbers began at the letter prefix FWA and have progressed sequentially.  On plate numbers starting with "F", the word "God" is completely hidden by the crossbar of the "F", but it's mostly visible on plate numbers starting with "G", as shown above.  The word "God" fares slightly better on motorcycle plates; it's almost completely visible immediately to the left of the number "6". 

The "79" sticker in the lower left corner of the full-sized plate means the motorist lived in Tuscarawas County.  The "04" sticker at the bottom left of the motorcycle plate identifies the motorcyclist as residing in Ashtabula County. 

Oklahoma In God We Trust
Oklahoma  In God We Trust

Oklahoma introduced this extra-cost optional plate in 2010.  You can readily see that the design is essentially the same as the first-generation Indiana In God We Trust plate, which I'm sure made for even more headaches for law enforcement. 

embossed South Carolina In God We Trust
flat South Carolina In God We Trust
South Carolina  In God We Trust

South Carolina offers this plate as an optional issue at no additional cost.  The image in the center is a U.S. flag on a pole with the state flag underneath.  Demerits to South Carolina for using a low-contrast color for the slogan.  Since about late 2007, this plate has been issued with flat, rather than embossed, serial characters. 

Tennessee In God We Trust
Tennessee  In God We Trust

This plate is actually a special interest plate promoting the American Eagle Foundation, as evidenced by the www.eagles.org web address under the state name.  This group, according to their web site, is "dedicated to the preservation and protection of the majestic Bald Eagle, the U.S.A.'s National Symbol".  A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this plate support the group's public education and eagle care and recovery efforts. 

Texas God Bless America
Texas God Bless America
Texas  God Bless America

Texas has not used expiration stickers on their plates since 1994, instead using a windshield sticker to indicate that a vehicle's registration is current.  Proceeds from this extra-cost specialty plate benefit the Texas Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School Program.  These were originally issued with blue serial characters and state name, then later with black.  A motorcycle version of this plate is also available. 

Texas God Bless Texas
Texas God Bless Texas
Texas  God Bless Texas

Not only does Texas implore God to bless America, but also to specifically bless Texas.  This is the one of the few plate designs where God is associated with state pride rather than national patriotism.  Texans have never lacked state pride, that's for sure.  This is another extra-cost specialty plate that also benefits the Texas Department of Transportation's Safe Routes to School Program.  These were originally issued with blue serial characters and state name, then later with black.  A motorcycle version of this plate is also available. 

Texas One Nation Under God
Texas  One Nation Under God

This plate is a special interest plate that promotes the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men's fraternal service organization, and provides financial support to its charitable programs.  I imagine there's now also a black-numbered version of this plate design. 

Texas One State Under God
Texas  One State Under God

This plate was introduced in March 2012 and is one of many Texas specialty plate designs available from MyPlates, which is a company with a contract with the Texas DMV to "design, market, and sell new specialty license plates".  MyPlates plates are completely street-legal vehicle license plates.  This is one of very few U.S. license plates depicting an image of the Christian cross. 

Virginia In God We Trust
Virginia  In God We Trust

Virginia's In God We Trust special interest plate made its debut in 2012.  It costs the motorist an additional $10 each year to use this plate design rather than standard passenger car plates.  Sequentially-numbered plates use numbering format 0000xx, with a variety of letter suffixes, including "HM", "HZ", "TG", and "TR".  This plate was a gift from a vistor to this site.  Thanks, Jack! 

Abia, Nigeria God's Own State
Abia, Nigeria  God's Own State

U.S. states are not the only places in the world that put God's name on their license plates.  At least two states in the African nation of Nigeria have done so as well.  I have no idea whether that practice poses any potential conflict with Nigeria's constitution.  I assume it does not. 

This plate is a standard passenger car plate issued between 1992 and 2013.  All Nigerian passenger car plates from this period look the same, except for the state name and any slogan a state might want to put below their name (not all do).  The flag in the upper left corner is the Nigerian national flag.  I expected this plate to have metric dimensions, but it measures exactly 12-1/8 inches wide by 5-3/8 inches high. 

This plate is from the state of Abia.  Nigeria's official language is English, and Abia plates bear the slogan God's Own State.  Apparently, Abia doesn't offer an alternate plate design without the slogan for anyone who might object.  Unfortunately, both the state name and the word "God" are smeared a bit on this particuar example, no doubt a manufacturing defect. 

Additional God and country license plates I'm still looking for

Alabama  –  Former prisoner of war plates with POW prefix and God Bless America legend, with designs other than shown above. 
Alaska  –  Graphic plate with In God We Trust legend. 
2011 Florida In God We Trust Florida  –  Graphic specialty plate showing the U.S. and state flags along the bottom edge, with the legend In God We Trust screened on the left side of the plate.  (Harris plate) 
Kansas  –  Motorcycle version of the In God We Trust graphic plate. 
2016 Kentucky ROCK Cares / In God We Trust Kentucky  –  ROCK Cares In God We Trust graphic plate.  (candid photo of plate in use) 
Louisiana  –  Graphic plate showing U.S. and state flags with In God We Trust legend. 
Mississippi  –  William Carey College (not University) graphic plate on an all-white background. 
Missouri  –  God Bless America plate with the state name in blue capital letters and a squiggly red line underneath. 
Ohio  –  One Nation Under God plate on the current "slogans" base. 
2017 Pennsylvania In God We Trust Pennsylvania  –  In God We Trust plate.  (candid photo of plate in use) 
South Carolina  –  Graphic plate showing three crosses and the web address www.IBELIEVEsc.net
Texas  –  Motorcycle versions of the plates shown above. 
Utah  –  In God We Trust graphic plate. 
Virginia  –  Motorcycle version of the In God We Trust graphic plate. 
New! Feb. 2016 West Virginia  –  In God We Trust plate. 
Wisconsin  –  Graphic plate with In God We Trust legend. 
Nigeria, Rivers state  –  A Dedication to God and the Nation legend. 
Philippines  –  Christianization's 4th Centennial legend, circa 1965. 
Any other similar plate not shown or listed above, with the word "God", a graphic cross, or similar representation of God or Christianity integrated into the plate design. 

Related links

Page credits

Harris plate is from the collection of Buddy Harris. 


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