License Plates By State 2019

In the United States, getting your driver’s license is only the first step to legally operating a vehicle. You must also purchase insurance in some states, pass an emissions inspection in others, and obtain a license plate in all states.

You receive a license plate when you register your vehicle in your state. The price that you will pay to register and receive your plate varies by state.

Where you display your plates on your vehicle also varies by state. In some states, only a rear plate is required. Those states are:

The remaining states require front and rear plates for all vehicles.

Each state has its own unique design for license plates. Those are as follows:

  • Alabama: Design features the American flag, the text “God Bless America,” and a heart inscribed with the state’s nickname, “Heart of Dixie.”
  • Alaska: Yellow and blue tag with an image of the state flag and the state’s nickname, “The Last Frontier.”
  • Arizona: Features the state’s nickname, “Grand Canyon State,” and a desert landscape.
  • Arkansas: Features a diamond graphic.
  • California: Designed in red, white, and blue with no images.
  • Colorado: Features the Rocky Mountains.
  • Connecticut: Includes the text, “Constitution State.”
  • Delaware: Includes the text “The First State.”
  • District of Columbia: Features Washington, D.C.’s slogan “Taxation Without Representation.”
  • Florida: Features the outline of the state topped with oranges.
  • Georgia: Showcases the outline of the state and its most famous export – peaches.
  • Hawaii: Features a rainbow.
  • Idaho: Showcases the mountainous scenery of the state.
  • Illinois: Includes images of Abraham Lincoln, the Willis Tower, and the Illinois Capitol.
  • Indiana: Has a design and motto, “The Crossroads of America,” referencing the state’s many interstates.
  • Iowa: Features an image of a farm and also has the name of each person’s county.
  • Kansas: Includes half of the state seal and the state’s motto, “Ad astra per aspera.”
  • Kentucky: Features the text, “Unbridled Spirit,” an image of a horse, a graphic of the state, and county names.
  • Louisiana: Includes the state’s nickname, “Sportsman’s Paradise,” and an image of a pelican, which is the state bird.
  • Maine: Features the black-capped chickadee, a pine cone, and the text “Vacationland.”
  • Maryland: Incorporates Maryland’s state flag.
  • Massachusetts: Features the slogan, “The Spirit of America.”
  • Michigan: Includes the peninsulas of Michigan, the Mackinac Bridge, and the Great Lakes.
  • Minnesota: Features the state’s nickname with the inclusion of the text, “10,000 Lakes.”
  • Mississippi: Includes an image of the Biloxi Lighthouse.
  • Missouri: Includes the state bird and the state flower.
  • Montana: Has a silhouette of the state along with the text, “Treasure State.”
  • Nebraska: Features a minimalistic image of the state’s capitol building.
  • Nevada: Includes an image if the Sierra Nevada mountains.
  • New Hampshire: Includes the slogan, “Live Free or Die.”
  • New Jersey: Simple plate with the text, “Garden State.”
  • New Mexico: Includes the text “USA” and “Land of Enchantment” and is bold with a red, yellow, and green color scheme. It also features the state flower – the yucca.
  • New York: Features the text, “Empire State.”
  • North Carolina: Features text, “First in Freedom.”
  • North Dakota: Features a bison and the state nickname, “Peace Garden State.”
  • Ohio: Features blue lettering on a white background.
  • Oklahoma: Includes an image of the state bird, the scissor-tailed flycatcher.
  • Oregon: Includes an image of the mountains and the Douglas fir, which is the state tree.
  • Pennsylvania: Includes a keystone-shaped emblem as homage to its nickname, the Keystone State.
  • Rhode Island: Includes an image of a wave and the text, “Ocean State.”
  • South Carolina: Features the sabal palmetto, the state tree.
  • South Dakota: Prominently showcases Mount Rushmore.
  • Tennessee: Features a rolling-hill design and includes the name of the driver’s county.
  • Texas: Features black lettering on a white background.
  • Utah: There are several plate options here, including a skiing design and a design incorporating Arches National Park.
  • Vermont: Has a green plate with white lettering and the text, “Green Mountain State.”
  • Virginia: Includes the slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers.”
  • Washington: Features Mount Rainier.
  • West Virginia: Has the text, “Wild, Wonderful.”
  • Wisconsin: Features the nickname, “America’s Dairyland,” and an image of a farm.
  • Wyoming: Depicts the Lower Green River Lake and Squaretop Mountain.

In addition to standard-issue plates, residents of each state can pay extra money to receive special plates. There are plates available for different professions, alma maters, sororities, groups, and clubs. A driver can also pay for vanity plates, which allows the driver to choose a personalized combination of numbers and letters.

Rank State 2019 Pop. 2019 Growth 2018 Pop. 2010 Census Growth Since 2010 % of US
1California39,747,2670.48%39,557,04537,320,9036.50%11.96%
2Texas29,087,0701.34%28,701,84525,242,67915.23%8.75%
3Florida21,646,1551.63%21,299,32518,845,78514.86%6.51%
4New York19,491,339-0.26%19,542,20919,400,0800.47%5.86%
5Pennsylvania12,813,9690.05%12,807,06012,711,1580.81%3.86%
6Illinois12,700,381-0.32%12,741,08012,840,762-1.09%3.82%
7Ohio11,718,5680.25%11,689,44211,539,3271.55%3.53%
8Georgia10,627,7671.03%10,519,4759,711,8109.43%3.20%
9North Carolina10,497,7411.10%10,383,6209,574,2939.65%3.16%
10Michigan10,020,4720.25%9,995,9159,877,5351.45%3.01%
11New Jersey8,922,5470.16%8,908,5208,799,6241.40%2.68%
12Virginia8,571,9460.64%8,517,6858,023,6806.83%2.58%
13Washington7,666,3431.74%7,535,5916,742,90213.70%2.31%
14Arizona7,275,0701.44%7,171,6466,407,77413.54%2.19%
15Massachusetts6,939,3730.54%6,902,1496,566,4315.68%2.09%
16Tennessee6,833,7930.94%6,770,0106,355,3017.53%2.06%
17Indiana6,718,6160.40%6,691,8786,490,4363.52%2.02%
18Missouri6,147,8610.35%6,126,4525,995,9762.53%1.85%
19Maryland6,062,9170.33%6,042,7185,788,6424.74%1.82%
20Wisconsin5,832,6610.33%5,813,5685,690,4792.50%1.75%
21Colorado5,770,5451.32%5,695,5645,048,28114.31%1.74%
22Minnesota5,655,9250.80%5,611,1795,310,8436.50%1.70%
23South Carolina5,147,1111.24%5,084,1274,635,65611.03%1.55%
24Alabama4,898,2460.21%4,887,8714,785,4482.36%1.47%
25Louisiana4,652,581-0.16%4,659,9784,544,5322.38%1.40%
26Kentucky4,484,0470.35%4,468,4024,348,2003.12%1.35%
27Oregon4,245,9011.32%4,190,7133,837,53210.64%1.28%
28Oklahoma3,948,9500.15%3,943,0793,759,6325.04%1.19%
29Connecticut3,567,871-0.13%3,572,6653,579,125-0.31%1.07%
30Utah3,221,6101.91%3,161,1052,775,33416.08%0.97%
31Iowa3,167,9970.38%3,156,1453,050,7673.84%0.95%
32Puerto Rico3,113,659-2.55%3,195,1533,721,525-16.33%0.94%
33Nevada3,087,0251.73%3,034,3922,702,46414.23%0.93%
34Arkansas3,026,4120.42%3,013,8252,921,9783.57%0.91%
35Mississippi2,987,8950.05%2,986,5302,970,5360.58%0.90%
36Kansas2,910,931-0.02%2,911,5052,858,2131.84%0.88%
37New Mexico2,096,0340.03%2,095,4282,064,5881.52%0.63%
38Nebraska1,940,9190.60%1,929,2681,829,5366.09%0.58%
39West Virginia1,791,951-0.77%1,805,8321,854,214-3.36%0.54%
40Idaho1,790,1822.05%1,754,2081,570,77313.97%0.54%
41Hawaii1,416,589-0.27%1,420,4911,363,9633.86%0.43%
42New Hampshire1,363,8520.55%1,356,4581,316,7773.58%0.41%
43Maine1,342,0970.28%1,338,4041,327,6321.09%0.40%
44Montana1,074,5321.15%1,062,305990,7228.46%0.32%
45Rhode Island1,056,738-0.05%1,057,3151,053,9380.27%0.32%
46Delaware975,0330.81%967,171899,5958.39%0.29%
47South Dakota892,6311.18%882,235816,1659.37%0.27%
48North Dakota760,9000.11%760,077674,71012.77%0.23%
49Alaska735,720-0.23%737,438713,9063.06%0.22%
50District of Columbia711,5711.30%702,455605,08517.60%0.21%
51Vermont627,1800.14%626,299625,8800.21%0.19%
52Wyoming572,381-0.93%577,737564,4831.40%0.17%