Click here to return to the 2013 section of our page about 2005-2013 presidential inaugural plates
Presented upon this page is information about the use of standard DMV-issue White House fleet plates on the presidential limousine in the 2013 inaugural parade instead of the specially designed presidential inaugural plates. To summarize, inaugural plates numbered 1 and 2 were not used in the parade due to a last-minute decision by Obama administration officials to use the same Washington, D.C. plates that routinely adorn many vehicles in the White House and Secret Service fleets. Plates that closely resemble standard-issue D.C. plates but with the number 800-002 and without any reference to their being validated by a window sticker have been used on all official vehicles for many years, which is to say there are many vehicles upon which are displayed D.C. registration no. 800-002.
When the TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION slogan was introduced in early Nov. 2000, during the waning days of the Clinton administration, plates with the new legend were promptly affixed to all vehicles in White House service. Not long after the Bush presidency began in early 2001, however, they were replaced by plates bearing the city Web site’s URL in place of the TAXATION legend. This alternative slogan appears to have been made available specifically for this purpose, to appease the Bush administration. Supporters of D.C. representation in Congress were disappointed but not surprised at the Republican administration’s move, and when a Democrat retook the White House in Jan. 2009 they began lobbying for a shift back to plates with the bold TAXATION slogan.
Their efforts did not succeed until just before President Obama’s second inauguration, when on Jan. 15 administration officials announced that plates with the Web site URL would be replaced with TAXATION plates, and just in time for the inauguration. To the delight of statehood and voting rights proponents the defiant legend was front and center on the presidential limousine during the inaugural parade and other high-profile events, leaving specially-made inaugural plates out of the picture for the first time since 1929, four years before they were first used.
Most of the information and images on this page were provided by Charlie Gauthier, an expert on the subject of Presidential Inaugural license plate history. Mr. Gauthier has published a number of articles on the subject and has, over a period of decades, carefully built and maintained the most complete collection of inaugural plates and ephemera. As a District of Columbia native who now resides in Northern Virginia, he has worked directly with a number of past inaugural committees on their commemorative license plate programs. DCplates.com is sincerely grateful for his willingness to share his collection and knowledge through this page. For more information about these plates or to provide more information about or images of them, please send an e-mail to Mr. Gauthier at Charlie@DCplates.com.
This page last updated on December 31, 2017
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