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old vs. new license plates

In yet another instance that the older I get, the more retro I'm becoming, I prefer old license plates (sometimes called tags) compared to new ones.

When living in CT I knew of three types of license plates.

CT very-old school:


As a kid I saw a few of these here and there. Blue field, white letters, CONNECTICUT on bottom, a registration sticker at bottom right and nothing else. Simple, effective and it worked.

CT old school:


When I registered my first vehicle, this is the style of plate I had. It was taller, had a small image of the state in the top left, followed by CONNECTICUT, and CONSTITUTION STATE on bottom. The sticker location moved from the bottom right to the top right.

My plate in particular was unique because I drove a truck at the time, so it said COMBINATION on the plate, replacing the CONSTITUTION STATE portion of it.

CT current:


This is the current CT plate, and it sucks. The embossed letters were replaced with printed, and the distinctive blue field was changed to a gradient. Sky blue on the top, white on the bottom. The all-caps was changed for Connecticut and Constitution State as well.

I remember when I first got one of these and thinking how utterly boring it was. Sure, it looks classier.. I guess.. but it lost all the character the old plate had.

MA old school:


I always considered this a boring-ass plate. It was very similar to CT very-old school design. White field, green letters, MASSACHUSETTS on top, reg sticker on top right.

MA current:


This is an improvement over the old design as it does look more distinctive. What's interesting about this one is the addition of embossed letters at top left for the month. Why this is there I have no idea. Printed on top is Massachusetts with The Spirit of America on the bottom.

FL old school:


I'm on the fence to whether I like this plate or not. White field, orange letters, FLORIDA on top, county name on bottom, image of state in center, reg sticker on top right.

It is interesting that Florida allows the use of the letter I on plates. Most states don't do that because it can be too easily confused with a 1.

FL semi-old school:


This plate is slowly but surely disappearing from cars, as per state law. White field, green letters, printed FLORIDA in top middle, SUNSHINE STATE (or county name) on bottom, image of orange in the middle.

FL current:


A simpler plate, however it has an extremely irritating dot-com on it. I'm the type that feels that web site URLs have absolutely no place on a license plate, because the state isn't MYFLORIDA.COM, it's FLORIDA, you idiots.

Anyway.. white field, green letters, MYFLORIDA.COM on top, image in the center changed to a pair of oranges, SUNSHINE STATE at bottom, or county name or the recently introduced IN GOD WE TRUST.

I chose to have SUNSHINE STATE on mine.

The saving grace of this plate is at least the bottom logo is still embossed rather than printed. But that MYFLORIDA.COM crap has to go.

States need to introduce a "retro" specialty plate option

I really wish states would wise up and offer a specialty plate that looked like plates did years ago. I guarantee they would sell like crazy and probably be the most sought after.

This is FL's antique plate:


Specialty plates normally run for $25 to $50 a year that you have to pay extra for. I would happily put down the money for this if one of these were available for non-vintage passenger vehicles. Instead of ANTIQUE it could simply say RETRO, and believe me, scores of people would want them.

If anybody that reads this has any say-so in the design of specialty plates, please offer a retro option.


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