The 4 Basic North American License Plate Font Design Types


About the plate example links below. The links below refer to plate photo pages from Plate Shack and, the two most comprehensive collectors’ sites on the net for North American license plate photos.

Plate Shack has two different types of license plate photo pages:

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  • The first type of page, designated here after each state or jurisdiction’s name with a link labeled “PS,” shows a plate example for each year the “base plate” has changed. “Base plate” here is collector lingo for the underlying plate layout and graphics — in other words, everything appearing on a plate “underneath” the large alphanumeric serial and small plate stickers. (For plate collectors, the differences in base plate artwork — regardless of font — are the main criterion for how plates are classified.)
  • The second type of page, indicated here by links abbreviated as “PSY2K,” “PSY2K-2,” “PSY2K-3,” “PSY2K-4,” or “PSY2K-5” contains compilations of the latest plates in use for a given state, which may sometimes utilize a newer/ different font since the current base plate artwork was first instituted. For that reason, the “Y2K” examples are of special interest here since plate examples at the “PS” links document only changes in base-plate artwork, not necessarily the most recent serial fonts being used. PSY2K-2, -3, -4, and -5 links show the very most recent examples when PSY2K pages have become too big and needed to be split. (Note: “Y2K” is Plate Shack’s slang term loosely referring to plates produced roughly after the year 2000, though there isn’t any strict dividing line, and rare or oddball plates going back to the 1990s and earlier are occasionally included.)

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Xem Thêm : E-2C Hawkeye’s plate example pages are designated by links abbreviated as “15Q.” Like the “PS” links, 15Q’s plate examples document each year the base plate art for a state’s passenger plates has changed. However, additional plate examples highlighting any font changes are also included in the chronological sequence, when available. A bonus at 15Q rarely seen anywhere else is the well-written commentaries accompanying each plate example. These often provide insight into circumstances behind the plate’s design and manufacture, as well as information about events related to die/font changes when known. Notations of this type in the font descriptions below are thanks to such commentary provided on

If you see any corrections to be made to the font descriptions below, please email .

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