License Plate Typesby Maureen Malone
In the United States, vehicles are required to be registered and display a current license plate. The length of time the registration is valid varies by each state. A license plate is required to be displayed on the rear of every vehicle and some states also require a plate on the front of the vehicle. License plates display a license plate number which consists of numbers and letters. Several types of license plates are available.
Passenger Vehicle License Plate
Each state has its own standard license plate that is issued to passenger cars. The plates are assigned numbers or in many cases individuals can request a customized license plate number. These plates are called personalized or vanity license plates.
Government vehicles receive different license plates. Federal Government vehicles typically have a white plate with blue lettering identifying the plate as a "US Government" plate. These plates typically do not expire. States and municipalities also issue government plates. Diplomats also receive special license plates to identify their status. The letters on the plate identify the country and status of the diplomat.
Trucks and trailers have different license plates than passenger vehicles. For example, the State of Illinois has plates for RV's, trucks and trailers for farm use and flat-weight trailers. Motorcycles receive a license plate that is smaller in size than the typical license plate.
License plates are also available for members of certain organizations. Specific plates available vary by state. For example, the State of Illinois offers special plates for Firefighters Memorial, Illinois Police Association, Eagle Scout and Support Our Troops. The State of North Dakota offers Disabled American Veteran, Future Farmers of America, Prisoner of War and Purple Heart license plates among others.
- photo_camera license plates image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com