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About is intended to be a source of historical information on the subject of motor vehicle license plates issued in Washington, D.C. since registration was first required in 1903. This site is not affiliated with the D.C. Dept. of Motor Vehicles or any other government agency. Rather, it is privately supported for the benefit of license plate collectors and others with an interest in the subject matter.

This site is based upon a 2003 paper in which details of the multi-year baseplates issued since 1966 were explained. During March and April 2004, this resource was fashioned into seven separate pages, one for each base. A few other pages were prepared in early 2004, after which the project was abandoned until being revived in late December 2005. Following several weeks of work, a period during which a few pages were added and others completed, the site was published on the Web as on January 16, 2006. Its name was changed to on January 8, 2008.


  • Brian Alcorn (D.C.)
  • John Anshant (Pa.)
  • Andrew Apgar (Okla.)
  • George Balsamo (Ill.)
  • Erik Bos (Neth.)
  • Chuck Crisler (Ind.)
  • Shannon Dickinson (Ala.)
  • David Doernberg (Md.)
  • Jim Fox (Ohio)
  • J. Ray Frank (Md.)
  • Bradley Gallagher (D.C.)
  • John D. Garst, Jr. (D.C.)
  • Charlie Gauthier (Va.)
  • Kevin Gauthier (D.C.)
  • Mike Hart (Mass.)
  • Robert Hart (Ohio)
  • Skip Lackie (D.C.)
  • Dave Lincoln (Pa.)
  • Johnny Miles (D.C.)
  • Jeff Minard (Cal.)
  • Corb Moister (Vt.)
  • Dave Nicholson (Me.)
  • Andrew Pang (Va.)
  • Steve Raiche (Fla.)
  • Joe Sallmen (W.Va.)
  • Eric Tanner (Mich.)
  • Rex Turner (Va.)
  • John Willard (Pa.)
  • J. Reid Williamson (Va.)

Regular contributors to in June 2011

Several regular contributors to assembled at the display of J. Ray Frank at the Auto License Plate Collectors Assn. 2011 internatiional convention. Click here to read about and see additional images of the display.


Contributing to

Everyone with information about and images of Washington, D.C. plates is encouraged to contact us about contributing to this site. accepts all relevant data and photos, including (but not limited to):

Contact Us

To contact via e-mail, click here. To reach us by regular mail, write: Eastern Seaboard Press, P.O. Box 2274, Providence, RI 02905.


"120,000 Auto Tags Planned For 1924," The Washington Post June 16, 1923: 1.

"1924 City Auto Tags To Be Black and White," The Washington Post May 24, 1923: 2.

"2,500 Get Auto Tags," The Washington Post Dec. 1, 1921: 12.

"A Few of Washington's Luxury Licenses," The Washington Post Aug. 1, 1909: 8.

Balsamo, George, "The 3M Ensure Image Lot Coding System," PLATES Magazine 54, no. 4 (2008): 43.

DeGregorio, William A. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. New York: Barricade Books, Inc., 1993.

Digest of Motor Laws, 71st Edition (2005), Washington, D.C.: AAA Government Relations, 2004.

District of Columbia ALPCA Archives. Online document of the Automobile License Plate Collectors Association, 2005.

Dragon, Richard E. District of Columbia General-Issue Passenger Car License Plates Issued Since 1966, Warwick, R.I.: published privately by the author, 2003.

Elsasser, Glen "Capital's Bicentennial Celebration Is Anything But," Chicago Tribune Dec. 13, 1991.

Frank, J. Ray; Garst, John D., Jr.; Gauthier, Charles; and Lackie, Kenneth W., "The District of Columbia, Part II: Special-Event, Vanity, Government, Non-Passenger Plates," ALPCA Newsletter 33, no. 2 (1987): 35.

Gauthier, Charles, "The 1989 Presidential Inaugural Plates," ALPCA Newsletter 35, no.3 (1989): 83.

Hard, William "National Men and Affairs," The Ogden (Utah) Standard-Examiner Jan. 12, 1930: 8.

"Know Your License Letter," American Motorist (District of Columbia Edition) (Sept. 1926): 8-F. Washington, D.C.: AAA, 1926.

Leonnig, Carol D. "Duplicate License Plates Uncovered," The Washington Post (Maryland & D.C. Edition) Nov. 8, 2001: B4.

Leonnig, Carol D. "Illegal Sale Of D.C. Tags Scrutinized, DMV Says," The Washington Post (Maryland & D.C. Edition) Nov. 14, 2001: B1.

"Life of Auto Tag May Be Extended," The Frederick Post March 22, 1923: 1.

"New Auto Fee Rule," The Washington Post Jan. 15, 1913.

Plummer, Herbert C. (Associated Press) "A Washington Daybook," The Waterloo (Iowa) Evening Courier Jan. 24, 1929: 8.

Raiche, Stephen P. "The District of Columbia, Part I: Passenger Plates from 1903 to 'A Capital City'," ALPCA Newsletter 33, no. 1 (1987): 18.

Raiche, Stephen P. Nine Decades of Automobile Licensing in the Nation's Capital, A Brief and Concise History, 1903-1994, Washington, D.C.: published privately by the author, 1994.

"Ritchie Orders Auto Reciprocity," The Frederick Post Dec. 6, 1923: 1.

"Roosevelt's Auto License is Number 100," The Oakland (Cal.) Tribune Feb. 5, 1934.

Tanner, Eric N. Notebook of Information on Passenger License Plates of the United States and Canada, Grand Rapids, Mich.: published privately by the author, 2005.

Taylor, Eric Robert Porcelain District of Columbia Archive accessed Nov. 2, 2008.

"Washington Yesterday and To-Day, Automobile Development," The Washington Post Oct. 7, 1909: 6.

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