Collage of three D.C. plates; link to home page.

Navigation bar element linking to home pageNavigation bar element linking to Other Plates page

U.S. Congress and Congressional Staff
License Plate Attachments
A Series of Permits Issued by the U.S. Congress

76th Congress permit no. 323

 

 
     
 
1976-77 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 544

 

 

Although Congressional permits have been issued for over 75 years, today we know little more about them than what we can conclude through observation of surviving examples. Based upon the existence of two undated permits (pictured below) that appear older than the earliest dated example, that of 1931, it seems reasonable to conclude that they were issued prior to that year, presumably during the late 1920s or 1930. In fact, a Jan. 1929 Associated Press article about low registration numbers assigned to members of Congress and other Washington VIPs (referenced here) indicates that "The members of the diplomatic corps and congress, in addition to these privileged low numbers, receive a special tag stamped 'Diplomatic' and 'Congressional'."

Associated Press photo of the 1932 Congressional Permit
 

How better to identify this wonderful Sept. 1931 image than with the original Associated Press caption: NEW AUTO TAGS AWAIT CONGRESSMEN - Miss Ethel Jaeschke, Washington, D.C., holding the new red, white and blue automobile tag which has been prepared for 1932 for Congressmen and Senators, no. 1 being reserved for Vice-President Curtis and no. 2 for the next Speaker of the House. The patriotic colors are something new. The tags give the legislators special privileges.

 

Only two dated Congressional permits, those of 1931 and 1932, are known. During this era it was not uncommon for Congress to adjourn soon after a new calendar year began and to reconvene just before the year ended. For example, the second session of the 72nd Congress convened on Dec. 5, 1932. (The first session had adjourned in July.) Therefore, during 1932 officials apparently recognized that it made more sense to tie the useful lives of these permits to Congresses rather than calendar years, and they have been issued in this manner ever since. It appears that this change was made with the expiration of the dated 1932 permit, which was likely followed by the permit marked 73rd CONGRESS. However, because the 72nd Congress was seated until March 3, 1933, it is possible that another annual permit (marked “1933”) or the first of the Congress-specific permits (presumably marked “72nd Congress”) was also issued.

In their early years these permits included no distinction between Senators and Congressmen. However, sometime during the 1950s the numbering system was split into two categories, with S-prefix numbers assigned to members of the Senate and H-prefix numbers for members of the House of Representatives. Also initiated in these later years was the practice of assigning numbers to Senators and Congressmen based upon their years of service: the higher the seniority in office, the lower the number.

Display of these permits allows vehicles to be parked in official reserved Congressional parking areas at various buildings including the U.S. Capitol. At various times over the years there has been a special parking area at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport for Senators and Congressmen that could be used only by vehicles with Congressional plate attachments. In addition, use of the permits may also provide some unintended benefits. For example, during special events in the District of Columbia the operator of a vehicle bearing a congressional permit may receive special parking privileges or be allowed access to areas that are not accessible to the general public.

Congressional license plate attachments are believed to have always been made at the same facility as were regular-issue District of Columbia license plates. However, these permits are not issued by the D.C. government, but rather by the U.S. Congress itself.


Permits Used by Members of Congress

Early undated Congressional permit no. 733
Early undated, unnumbered Congressional permit
   
1931 Congressional permit no. 26
1932 Congressional permit no. 300

1931
The 71st Congress adjourned March 3, 1931, and
the 72nd Congress convened Dec. 7, 1931.

1932
The first session of the 72nd Congress adjourned July 16,
1932, and the second session convened Dec. 5, 1932.
   
73rd Congress permit no. 508
74 Congress permit no. 603
73rd Congress: March 1933-June 1934
74th Congress: Jan. 1935-June 1936
   
75th Congress permit no. 167, assigned to Rep. Charles A. Plumley, of Vermont
76th Congress permit no. 323
75th Congress: Jan. 1937-Jan. 1939
76th Congress: Jan. 1939-Dec. 1941
   
77th Congress permit no. 323
79th Congress permit no. 434
77th Congress: Jan. 1941-Dec. 1942
79th Congress: Jan. 1945-Aug. 1946
   
80th Congress permit no. 124
80th Congress: Jan. 1947-Dec. 1948
   
81st Congress permit no. 124
81st Congress sample permit
81st Congress: Jan. 1949-Jan. 1951
81st Congress sample permit
   
82nd Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-54
82nd Congress: Jan. 1951-July 1952
   
84th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-466
86th Congress (Senate) permit no. S-52
84th Congress: Jan. 1955-July 1956
86th Congress: Jan. 1959-Sept. 1960
   
87th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-171
87th Congress (Senate) permit no. S-69
87th Congress: Jan. 1961-Dec. 1962
   
88th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-452
88th Congress: Jan. 1963-Oct. 1964
   
90th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-11490th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-252
90th Congress: Jan. 1967-Oct. 1968
   
91st Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-461
91st Congress: Jan. 1969-Jan. 1971
   
92nd Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-185
93rd Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-141
92nd Congress: Jan. 1971-Oct. 1972
93rd Congress: Jan. 1973-Dec. 1974
   
94th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-104
94th Congress (Senate) permit no. S-25
94th Congress: Jan. 1975-Oct. 1976
   
95th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-7095th Congress (Senate) permit no. S-4
95th Congress: Jan. 1977-Oct. 1978
   
96th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. S-5196th Congress (Senate) permit no. S-1A
96th Congress: Jan. 1979-Oct. 1980
   
97th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. S-23197th Congress (Senate) permit no. S-130
97th Congress: Jan. 1981-Oct. 1982
   
98th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-27
99th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-157
98th Congress: Jan. 1983-Oct. 1984
99th Congress: Jan. 1985-Oct. 1986
 
100th Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. 25
101st Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-116
100th Congress: Jan. 1987-Oct. 1988
101st Congress: Jan. 1989-Oct. 1990
 
102nd Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-134
103rd Congress (House of Rep.) permit no. H-70
102nd Congress: Jan. 1991-Oct. 1992
103rd Congress: Jan. 1993-Dec. 1994
 
108th Congress (Senate) permit no. S-78
108th Congress: Jan. 2003-Dec. 2004


Permits Used by U.S. House of Representatives Staff

1958 U.S. Congress Staff permit
1960 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 930
   
1961 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 10
1962 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 666
   
1963 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 5
1964 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 479
   
1965 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 550
1966 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 12
   
1967 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 1549
1968 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 513
   
1969 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 1199
1970 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 1688
   
1971 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 525
1972-73 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 728
   
1973-74 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 1940
1974-75 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 150
   
1975-76 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 512
1977-78 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 552
   
1978-79 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 423
1980-81 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 1501
   
1981-82 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 787
1982-83 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 14
   
1983-84 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 97
1984-85 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 15
   
1985-86 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 590
1987 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 1
   
1988 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 69
1989 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 18
   
1990 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 220
1991 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 338
   
1992 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 43
1993 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 43
   
1994 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 64
1995 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 29
   
Seal of the Congressional Staff Club
1996 U.S. Congress Staff permit no. 100
Seal of the Congressional Staff Club


Permits Used by U.S. Senate Staff

1967 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 434
1968 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 555
   
1970 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 388
1971-72 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 699
1972-73 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 405
1973-74 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 1060
1974-75 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 909
1975-76 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 1
   
1976-77 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 1383
1979 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 683
   
1980 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 503
1981-82 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 454
   
1984 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 538
1986 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 360
   
1987 U.S. Senate Staff permit no. 263


Other Congressional Permits

1976 U.S.Capitol Staff permit



DCplates.net is grateful for the work of Charlie Gauthier, an expert on the subject of license plates and permits issued in his native Washington, D.C., for his assistance in the preparation of this page. Many of the permits pictured above are from his collection. For additional information about these permits or to provide more information about or images of them, please send an e-mail to Mr. Gauthier at Charlie@DCplates.net.



D.C. flag

This page last updated on January 1, 2017

DCplates.net logo
copyright 2006-2017 Eastern Seaboard Press
Information and images on this Web site may not be copied or reproduced
in any manner without consent of the owner.
For information, send an e-mail to admin@DCplates.net