1977 U.S. motorcycle license plate

Rick Kretschmer's License Plate Archives 

1977 U.S. motorcycle license plate

Rick's 1977 U.S. Motorcycle Plates

(Yet another high school graduation year set)

 

On this page I display my collection of U.S. motorcycle plates from the year 1977.  Now up to 8 of 56 states and other jurisdictions in my collection and shown on this page. 

Latest noteworthy updates to this page
  • December 8, 2021  –  Brand new page! 

Introduction

Many license plate collectors, myself included, either have or are working on a "birth year set", which is a collection of license plates from every state from the year they were born.  Not only do I have a 1959 birth year set of U.S. passenger car plates, but also a 1977 high school graduation year set of U.S. passenger car plates.  1977 plates are more significant to me than those in my birth year set, because I actually remember seeing them in use. 

As I searched on eBay for U.S. 1977 passenger car plates to add to my collection, I couldn't help but notice the many 1977 plate types besides passenger car plates.  I found these to be interesting enough that I began a U.S. 1977 non-passenger plate set*, which, whenever possible, shows full-sized non-passenger plates with an embossed year "1977" or "77". 

Later, I also decided to build a U.S. 1977 motorcycle plate set.  1977 motorcycle plates are a lot easier to find, and a lot less expensive, than 1959 motorcycle plates.  And so, that's the subject of this page.  In the case of motorcycle plates, I'm not concerned whether the year 1977 is embossed on the plate, printed on a registration or expiration sticker, or not even present at all if that's how the plate was used in 1977. 

The plates on this page are arranged in alphabetical state name order, followed by other U.S. jurisdictions in alphabetical order.  Motorcycle plates are shown on the left, and thumbnails of 1977 regular passenger car plates are shown on the right for comparasion purposes.  All photos may be enlarged by clicking on them. 

You'll find quite a bit of variety in the sizes and shapes of these plates.  Standard dimensions for full-sized plates were agreed upon in the mid-1950s and implemented across all of North America almost immediately.  Standard dimensions of 4 inches by 7 inches for motorcycle plates were also developed if not at the same time, within a decade or so.  However, states only very gradually switched over to those dimensions, with Maryland being the last straggler in 2008.  Therefore, you'll see a lot of 4 by 7 inch plates, but also a lot of odd-sized plates in this 1977 set. 

* For the purpose of my U.S. 1977 non-passenger plate page, I use the term "non-passenger" rather loosely.  Usually among plate collectors, it refers to a plate that would not have been used on a personal passenger car or motorcycle.  By a strict definition, then, special interest plates, handicapped plates, vanity plates, and the like are usually not thought of as non-passenger plates.  On that page, however, anything other than a standard, sequentially-numbered passenger car plate is fair game for inclusion. 

My 1977 U.S. motorcycle license plates

As you can see, I'm only just getting started with this project. 

(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Alabama
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Alaska
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Arizona
Arkansas motorcycle
Arkansas

Arkansas motorcycle plates began using numbering format xx 00 in 1968 and 4 inch by 6 inch dimensions in 1969.  New plates were issued annually.  Starting in 1971, plate colors alternated between black-on-white in odd years and white-on-black in even years.  This all ended after the 1978 plate, except that the numbering format continued to maybe about 1980. 

Arkansas passenger
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
California
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Colorado
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Connecticut
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Delaware
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Florida
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Georgia
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Hawaii
Idaho motorcycle
Idaho

Idaho adopted the 4 inch by 7 inch North American standard dimensions for motorcycle plates in 1967.  Green-on-reflective-white multi-year base plates came out in 1968 and were renewed with stickers in subsequent years.  Motorcycle year stickers were completely different from passenger car stickers.  They do not seem to be applied in a consistent location.  What appears to be a vertical number 20 is actually a number 2 over a letter O, and is the county code for Owyhee County.  These motorcycle plates were apparently replaced in 1984 with plates that weren't identifiable by county. 

Idaho passenger
Idaho passenger
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Illinois
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Indiana
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Iowa
Kansas motorcycle
Kansas

Kansas motorcycle plates were similar in design and 4 inch by 8 inch dimensions between 1961 and 1988.  New plates were issued annually through 1974.  The 1975 plate was a multi-year base plate renewed with small little stickers through 1979.  The stacked letters H/V are a code indicating the biker lived in Harvey County. 

Kansas passenger
Kansas passenger
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Kentucky
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Louisiana
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Maine
Maryland motorcycle
Maryland

Maryland motorcycle plates were larger than most and were the last to adopt the North American standard dimensions, issuing plates in this 4-1/2 inch by 8-1/2 inch size starting with the 1971 base through 2008.  This undated red-on-white base was used between March 1975 and March 1980, but is known as the 1976 base.  Numbering formats were all-numeric on this base, starting at 10001 and using both 5-digit and 6-digit numbers. 

Maryland standard passenger
Maryland optional Bicentennial passenger
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Massachusetts
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Michigan
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Minnesota
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Mississippi
Missouri motorcycle
Missouri

Missouri motorcycle plates had fixed April expirations from 1970 until just a few years ago.  New plates were issued annually through the April 1979 plate.  The 4 by 7 inch standard dimensions began on the April 1972 plate.  There is apparently no hidden meaning behind the numbering format. 

Missouri passenger
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Montana
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Nebraska
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Nevada
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
New Hampshire
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
New Jersey
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
New Mexico
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
New York
North Carolina motorcycle
North Carolina

North Carolina switched to both standard dimensions and reflective backgrounds in 1967.  The six-digit, all-numeric numbering format began in 1973.  Motorcycle plates continue to be issued annually through 1978. 

North Carolina passenger
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
North Dakota
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Ohio
Oklahoma motorcycle
Oklahoma

Oklahoma motorcycle plates were made in these non-standard 4-3/8 by 7 inch dimensions and were issued annualy between 1961 and 1979.  That is, with the exception of some mid-1970s plates made by Arkansas due to a riot and fire at the Oklahoma prison that made their plates. 

Oklahoma passenger
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Oregon
Pennsylvania motorcycle
Pennsylvania

Even though Pennsylvania stopped using the abbreviation Penna on passenger car plates after 1957, and the state shaped outline after 1970, motorcycle plates continued to be made and issued with both through 2001.  Same with the non-standard 4-1/2 by 8 inch dimensions.  This undated, reflective, yellow-background base was issued as a general replacement in 1977 and was used without any validation sticker the first year. 

Pennsylvania passenger
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Rhode Island
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
South Carolina
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
South Dakota
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Tennessee
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Texas
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Utah
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Vermont
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Virginia
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Washington
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
West Virginia
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Wisconsin
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Wyoming
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
American Samoa
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Canal Zone
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
District of Columbia
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Guam
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
Puerto Rico
(1977 motorcycle
plate wanted)
U.S. Virgin Islands

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