Cars From Out of Town


Curtis Lin

Vanity plates around the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City, UT on Tuesday September 25, 2018. (Photo by Curtis Lin | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Palak Jayswal, Arts Editor

License plates are one of the most telling things about an automobile. Aside from the type of car, the year and the color, the license plate tells other drivers a lot about you, especially considering it’s in their visual field most of the time. It can tell them where you are from or where you used to live, how attached you are to your vehicle and even how creative you are. Each state has their “thing,” the design or attribute for their plates which makes other drivers recognize them. It can be a historical landmark or a popular food in a state. In short, it’s what the state is known for. Perhaps you’re familiar with the ones from your own state and ones nearby, but here’s a list of all 50 states and their unique license plate designs:

Alabama: This plate captures the beauty of the state. It’s a nature scene with a river and green hills in front of a golden sky.

Alaska: This plate consists of a small image of the state flag which is paired with the words “The Last Frontier” on a yellow background.

Arizona: This plate shows off cactuses, the yellow sun, and has the words “Grand Canyon State” written on it.

Arkansas: Since this state is the home of the natural resource of diamonds, it has a diamond separating the two sets of numbers on the plate.

California: Surprisingly, the plates for California aren’t that exciting. It’s a simple red, white and blue plate with California written across the top in red cursive.

Colorado: The plate is in the familiar shape of the Rocky Mountains, showing everyone what the state scenery is known for.

Connecticut: This plate claims it is the “Constitution” state, but it isn’t referring to the constitution we all know. It’s referring to a local set of government rules.

Delaware: This plate is blue and has the words “The First State” written on it. This refers back to Delaware being the first state to ratify the constitution.

Florida: This plate is decorated with oranges and has the words “Sunshine State” written on it.

Georgia: With an inscription of the state name and the background of a peach, this plate is simple but easily recognizable.

Hawaii: This plate has a rainbow on it and is captioned with “Aloha State.”

Idaho: This plate says “Scenic Idaho” and depicts a farm scene. On the bottom of the plate, it says “Famous Potatoes.”

Illinois: This plate showcases President Lincoln. In 2016, the state changed the plate to add Chicago’s Willis Tower and the Illinois Capitol Building as well.

Indiana: The design of this plate features one of the state’s infamous bridges.

Iowa: The Iowa plate’s background is a scenic country image.

Kansas: This plate is designed with half the state’s seal.

Kentucky: The design of this plate reflects its name, “Bluegrass State.” It features a blue gradient.

Louisiana: This plate reflects the landscape, featuring the state bird and the nickname “Sportsman’s Paradise.”

Maine: The plate supports the state’s wildlife, featuring a moose and fish as well as the words “Support Wildlife.”

Maryland: The state plate features the state flag as well as commemorating the War of 1812.

Massachusetts: This features the colors red, white and blue and has the state’s motto on it, “The Spirit of America.”

Michigan: The plate features the best-known locations in the state like the Great Lakes.

Minnesota: This plate also features lakes with the saying “10,000 Lakes” on the bottom.

Mississippi: The current plate honors blues singer BB King.

Missouri: This plate design has the words “Show Me State” and the state flower and bird.

Montana: There are several plates from this state, a simple one with the nickname “Treasure State” and one that depicts Yellowstone National Park.

Nebraska: This plate features the state bird and flower.

Nevada: This plate features the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

New Hampshire: These plates have the slogan “Live Free or Die” which was popularized by an American war hero, General John Stark.

New Jersey: This plate is fairly simple, just stating, “The Garden State.”

New Mexico: This plate has bright colors like yellow, green and red. It also states “Land of Enchantment.”

New York: These plates are orange and say “Empire Gold.”

North Carolina: This plate says it is the “First in Freedom.”

North Dakota: The plate features the state’s nickname, “Peace Garden State” and has a small bison.

Ohio: This plate features a farm scene and a skyline along with the words “Beautiful Ohio.”

Oklahoma: This plate features just the state bird.

Oregon: This plate features a Douglas fir, the state tree, against a mountain backdrop.

Pennsylvania: This plate features the words “Keystone State.”

Rhode Island: The smallest state in America features a graphic wave illustration.

South Carolina: This plate has the state tree, Sabal palmetto, in the center.

South Dakota: This plate features the landmark of Mount Rushmore.

Tennessee: This plate is simple, it features a rolling hill graphic.

Texas: This plate has black lettering on white background. Some special plates contain the phrase “The Lone Star State.”

Utah: There are several standard issue plate options in Utah. There’s one with a skier and one with the delicate arch. Some say “Life Elevated” while others say “Greatest Snow on Earth.”

Vermont: This plate is green which is fitting since a good portion of the state consists of forests.

Virginia: This plate features the state’s slogan, “Virginia is for Lovers.”

Washington: This plate features a graphic of Mount Rainier.

West Virginia: Their plate consists of the old gold and navy colors and “Wild Wonderful.”

Wisconsin: This plate features a barn and field with the words “America’s Dairyland.”

Wyoming: This plate has the Lower Green River Lake and Squaretop Mountain.

Sidebar: Did you know the very first license plates were created out of leather or metal? They were engraved with the owner’s initials so others knew who the vehicle or automobile belonged to.

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