License plate enthusiasts rejoice! The website features all the plates from around the world

Have you ever wondered what a license plate looked like in Algeria in 1974? Or what does the first license plate issued by your state or country look like? Well, thanks to, you have the opportunity to see just about every variation of license plates used around the world.

Today, license plates might seem like a boring way for the government to make your car look a little uglier. In fact, some states like California will allow you to use an envelope of your front plate to eliminate the need for a traditional metal license plate.

According to ONTHEROAD, license plates were created out of necessity. When cars first debuted, there were simply not many of them on the roads, so they were easy to identify. As the number of cars on the world’s roads grew, governments needed a way to identify and track them. The first license plates appeared in France in 1893 in the form of a municipal decree in Paris. Germany followed with its first plates appearing in 1896 to help catalog Germany’s growing automobile population. The Netherlands was the first country to introduce a national policy requiring license plates in 1898.

America has followed Europe closely with the growing requirement for license plates. New York required plates beginning in 1901 but did not issue an official means of manufacture. Instead, New Yorkers had to make their own license plates until New York officially began making plates in 1909. Pennsylvania led the charge for official license plates with the state handing out plates in 1903. Pennsylvania is also considered the first state to issue a custom license. plate in 1931.

Today, license plates are used around the world to identify the millions of vehicles that cross the roads around the world. There are even license plates for Antarctica, showing that cars can’t hide from those obligatory rectangles of numbers and letters.

Which license plate design do you prefer? Do you have a personalized plate on your car?


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Edwin S. Wolfe