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The U.S. state of Indiana first required its residents to register their motor vehicles and display government-provided license plates in 1913, with the law taking effect on July 1 of that year. 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 Indiana license plate that complied with these standards
|Image||First issued||Description||Slogan||Serial format||Serials issued||Notes|
|1915||Green lettering on pink base|
|1919||White lettering on black base|
|1925||Maroon lettering on tan base|
|1927||White lettering on black base|
|1933||White lettering on maroon base|
|1935||Black lettering on light green base|
|1938||Dark red lettering on cream-colored base|
|1940||Silver lettering on black base|
|1945||White lettering on brown base|
|1950||Yellow lettering on black base|
|1960||White lettering on dark blue base|
|1961||White lettering on dark red base|
|1963||Yellow lettering on blue base|
|1964||Reflective white lettering on dark red base|
|1965||Reflective white lettering on dark green base|
|1966||Black lettering on reflective white base|
|1967||Red lettering on reflective white base|
|1968||Blue lettering on reflective white base|
|1969||Black lettering on reflective white base|
|1970||Red serial on reflective white background||County-coded: ||1970 marked the first year of staggered registration for Indiana. Instead of expiring on the last day of February each year, plates would now expire between January 31 and June 30, depending on the registrant's last name. Plates were valid through June 30, 1971.|
|1971||Blue serial on reflective white background||County-coded: ||Plates were valid through June 30, 1972.|
|1972||Green serial on reflective white background||County-coded: ||Plates were valid through June 30, 1973.|
|1973||Red serial on reflective white background||County-coded: ||Plates were valid through June 30, 1974.|
|Wayne County Issued 1974 Plate||1974||Black serial on reflective white background||County-coded: ||Plates were valid through June 30, 1975.|
|1975||Blue serial on reflective white background||County-coded: ||Plates were valid through June 30, 1976.|
|1976||Blue serial on reflective white, red and blue graphic background||Heritage State||County-coded: ||This was Indiana's first graphic plate; the branch letter was pushed down to make room for the Minuteman figure. Plates were valid through June 30, 1977.|
|1977||Green serial on reflective white, green and yellow background||County-coded: ||Plates were valid through June 30, 1978.|
Lawrence County Issued
|1978||Black serial on reflective white, red and light blue background||County-coded: ||Indianapolis 500 race cars in background. This issue is thought by some to be a tribute to Tony Hulman, owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, who died in 1977; sample plates, normally numbered 00A0000 in most years, were numbered 00H0000 this year, lending some credence to this belief. Plates were valid through June 30, 1979.|
|1979||Brown serial on reflective white, yellow and brown background||County-coded: ||1779 George Rogers Clark||Awarded "Plate of the Year" for best new license plate of 1979 by the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, the first and, to date, only time Indiana has been so honored. Plates were valid through June 30, 1980.|
|1980||Black serial on reflective white, yellow, orange and red background||County-coded: ||Final annual issue for Indiana. Plates were valid through June 30, 1981.|
Clark County Issued 1981-84 Plate
|1981||Brown serial on reflective white, light and dark brown and black graphic background||County-coded: ||First multi-year plate in Indiana since 1955, and the first to be renewed with decals (except for plates with numbers up to and including 100, which were reissued annually). Plates were valid until June 30, 1984.|
|1984||Black serial on reflective white, yellow, green and red background||Wander Indiana||County-coded: ||Staggered registration expanded to January–October with 1987 expiration. Plates were valid through October 31, 1987.|
|Spencer County Issued 1987-90 Plate||1987||Blue serial on reflective blue, white and gold background||Back Home Again||County-coded: ||Small white-on-blue county name decal added to lower right corner; hard to read from the start, most were illegible within a year. Plates were valid through October 31, 1990.|
Hamilton County Issued 1990-92 Plate
|1990||Red serial on reflective white background||Hoosier Hospitality||County-coded: ||Small white-on-blue county name decal continues as on Back Home Again issue. Plates were valid through October 31, 1993.|
|1993||Black serial on reflective red, yellow and black background||Amber Waves of Grain||County-coded: ||Replacement cycle moves from 3 to 5 years. Early-issued plates may have a yellow-on-black county name decal in the lower-right corner; this is dropped in most counties before the end of 1993. Plates were valid through October 31, 1998.|
|1998||Dark blue serial on reflective white background, gold state outline and coat of arms - Indiana and Crossroads of America Printed in dark blue.||The Crossroads of America||County-coded: ||Final embossed plate for Indiana. Plates were valid through October 31, 2003.|
|2003||dark blue on reflective farm scene graphic||www.IN.gov||County-coded, with variable number of digits following letter: ||Earlier plates used a larger serial font that included full-height letters. The original design was to have "Back Home Again," but was replaced with the state website. This plate used a serial that was screened on and is completely flat. All previous Indiana plates were embossed. Plates were valid through October 31, 2008.|
2007-2011 "In God We Trust" Plate
white on dark blue with flag of the United States motif and numerical county sticker in lower right corner, although some plates do not have county sticker.
|In God We Trust||AB 1234 (variable number of digits following letters); formatted like a specialty plate.|
2012 New Version: ABC123
Four Gibson County 2008-2013 Plate Types
|2008||White on dark blue with white Indiana state flag on left and sticker of county name and number on top||none||Standard Version|
123A, 123AB or 123ABC Grandfathered
00A0, 00A00 or 00A000
|Serials not issued sequentially.|
Letters or combinations of letters are unique to a particular county.
|Issued concurrently with "In God We Trust" base. Staggered registration once again expanded to include all twelve months of the calendar year; four dates, the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of each month, are used (except in January and December). Grandfathered Version are laid out by county coding depending on demand for them. Some counties may only use single suffix numbers while others may use as much as three.|
Indiana's new "In God We Trust" Plate
White fading into the canton of the US Flag with Black Serials, Month, Year, and County Number printed on plate.
|In God We Trust||ABC123|
Started with RAA101 and finished around VHC500. Plate is now in second year of issue.
|In God We Trust||"In God We Trust" now appears across the bottom instead of on the left side. Change was made to address visibility issues with previous version and to coincide with new standard version being issued in 2013.|
Indiana 2013-2018 Bicentennial Plate
|2013||White fading to gold. Instead of the flag of Indiana, the outline of Indiana, a circle of 19 stars revolving around the number 200 with the 19th enlarged and colored gold appears. Black Serials with black Month, Year, and County Number printed on plate.||Bicentennial 1816-2016||Standard Version|
123A, 123AB or 123ABC, No Grandfathered Version
|Serial tied to vehicle.||If vehicle was issued a previous plate with serial 661XYZ for example, the vehicle's 2013 issued plate will have serial 661XYZ.|
black on white with logo at left
|Lincoln's Boyhood Home||BF1234|
|Aside from this and the In God We Trust Plates, there are approximately 70 other various organizations, schools, and other entities that offer plates using the same format but come with a $15 organizational fee. See Indiana Plate Types for further details.|
Starting in 2010 special plates such as the handicapped, POW, National Guard, Disabled American Veteran that use the background of the standard plates will no longer use just numbers. Instead they will now use a predetermined prefix three mumbers and one or two suffix letters depending on if they have one or two prefix numbers. In all the max total characters will amount to six and, except the Disabled American Veteran plate will use the background of the standard plate.
Starting in 2012 veterans of each of the five branches of the armed forces will be able, for an extra $15, to obtain a plate with the seal of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps or Coast Guard beginning in 2012. The $15 fee will benefit the state's Military Family Relief Fund.
Indiana maintains separate plates for trucks, trailers, tractors/trailers, and farm vehicles. Except for farm vehicles, the plates follow an eight character AB123CDE format. All following plates use a plain white background
From 1963 through 2008, the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles issued standard automobile license plates bearing a one- or two-digit number identifying the county in which the vehicle is registered. These prefixes proceeded alphabetically, with prefixes greater than 92 reserved as overflow for the state's historically most-populous counties, Lake (94 and 96) and Marion (93, 95, 97, 98 and 99).
Individual license plate numbers are assigned sequentially in each licensing office. The numbers are usually in the format #A1234 or ##A1234, depending on whether the prefix is one or two digits. Special overflow consideration was given for Allen and St. Joseph counties and, more recently, Hamilton, Elkhart, and Vanderburgh counties, which issued plates of the formats 2AB123, 71AB123, 29AB123, 20AB123, and 82AB123, respectively.
From 1981 through 2008, following the introduction of multi-year plates, plates numbered 1 through 99 were reissued annually; numbers 100 and higher were revalidated with decals.
In 2008, new white-on-dark-blue license plates with white county name decals (located in the top center of each plate) replaced the old county number system, used since 1963, with a new system of license plates bearing a format of 123A, 123AB, or 123ABC with the stars and torch that adorn the state flag on the left quarter of the plate. For the first time since 1987, "INDIANA" is printed on the bottom of the plate.
In January 2007, Indiana started to issue new plates bearing the words "IN GOD WE TRUST" on the left third as a no-cost alternative to the regular plate. Like Indiana's other specialty plates, this plate has two vertical letters and one to four numbers. The county number is, when applied, on a sticker at the bottom right corner, and, like the other specialty plates, it too is available on trucks up to 11,000 lbs. gross weight.
While very popular, this plate was controversial as the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana claimed that it is a symbol of endorsement of a religion. After a lawsuit from the ACLU because the God plates were of no cost, unlike other specialty plates, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the plates' constitutionality.
Indiana uses a numerical county-coding scheme to indicate the county of registration. The county code is displayed on a black on white sticker placed on the lower right corner of speciality plates like the In God we Trust plate shown above while long sticker with both the county number and name adorns the standard plates.
Under the previous licence plate system, these seven numbers were distributed among the two largest counties in Indiana.
In the past, Indiana colored its due date tags by month. Another change to the plate system is that there are only four colors of tags which are the same regardless of the month, whether it be January, June, or December, another change because Indiana used to only issue month tags from January to October. These are all found on the top left corner of an Indiana plate based on the first three letters of the last name of the owner. Note: January tags are issued to company vehicles, based on the first three letters of the company name.