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Bicentennial Plate Information

This page contains information about "Bicentennial" plates that were issued by the 50 different states of America. All information on this page was researched and reprinted by permission from noted expert and author Jim Palmer. Jim is a very knowledgeable and friendly plate trader and is a member of ALPCA .Thanks Jim for providing me and the world this information. This just in click here for THE LASTEST UPDATED INFO from Mike Sells. Thanks Mike.

First a few notes

- I'll use an "x" before a year to mean the expiration year as marked on the plate for states which have a monthly registration system (as all do now). For example Missouri's bicentennial plate was not their 76 plate, it was their x77 plate (expired in 1977). As you know, their x76 plate was the yellow on blue plate. An "annual" issue means a plate that was issued for use one year then replaced by another one the next. To cite Missouri again, this is what Missouri was doing from 1968 through 1979 (really I ought to write x68 through x79).Click here to view some Additional Info

Click on any state below to jump down to that states info

AlabamaHawaiiMassachusettsNew MexicoSouth Dakota
AlaskaIdahoMichiganNew YorkTennessee
ArizonaIllinoisMinnesotaNorth CarolinaTexas
ArkansasIndianaMississippiNorth DakotaUtah
CaliforniaIowaMissouriOhioVermont
ColoradoKansasMontanaOklahomaVirginia
ConnecticutKentuckyNebraskaOregonWashington
DelawareLouisianaNevadaPennsylvaniaWest Virginia
FloridaMaineNew HampshireRhode IslandWisconsin
GeorgiaMarylandNew JerseySouth CarolinaWyoming
District of ColumbiaAdditional Info

Alabama

Blue on white annual 76 plate, no bice theme. Their 77 plate (issued in late 1976) was a base used into 1982 and did have the bicentennial logo on it. Return To Table

Alaska

Red on white multi-colored 76 plate issued (which was used into 1982). No bice theme beyond a circle of 13 stars around the "76". Return To Table

Arizona

White on red x76 sticker on 73 base. No bice theme on sticker. By the way, the 73 base was still used as late as the mid-1990s. Return To Table

Arkansas

White on blue x76 sticker on various bases dating back to 1968. No bice theme. Return To Table

California

Blue on light blue x76 sticker on 1963 (black) and 1969 (blue) bases. No bice theme (although the sticker's serial number was red). Return To Table

Colorado

Blue on white 76 sticker on 75 base. The 75 plate had a centennial theme to it since 1976 was Colorado's centennial of statehood. These plates replaced in 1977 with the plate that is still valid today. Never really was a bice. Return To Table

Connecticut

Blue on white x76 sticker on various bases dating back to 1957. No bice theme. Return To Table

Delaware

x76 stickers of varying color (depending on the month of expiration) on various bases dating back to x1942 (yes, 1942! and the 42 base was porcelain!). Return To Table

District of Columbia

Blue on white 76 sticker on xMarch 75 base. Base used at least into the 1980s. Base was bice with "1776 ... 1976" slogan as you've seen. Return To Table

Florida

They had two 1976s, really. The first was a white on green sticker on the 1975 base for their 1975/76 registration year (begining in the 1960s their registration year ran from July through June). When that sticker expired they went to a staggered monthly registration system. Some registrants got a white on red x76 sticker (with a month on the sticker) while some jumped directly to a white on blue x77 sticker. No bice theme anyplace here! Return To Table

Georgia

New plates issued in 76 which were used through 1982. No bice theme although some counties issued leftover blue on white county name stickers on these red on white plates for a red-white-blue color scheme instead of using the red on white county stickers they were supposed to use. Return To Table

Hawaii

New plates issued in 76 which were used through 1980. No bice theme although the plate number was blue and the background had Diamond Head, palm trees and King Kamehamea (pardon my spelling) in the background in pink. Also had a red hibiscus in the corner and the date in red. Return To Table

Idaho

Either a white on red or white on blue x76 sticker on x1974 base. No bice theme. The change in color on the stickers was due to a lawsuit. The first stickers were the red ones and had just "76" on them. One motorist thought that that meant the sticker was valid for all of 1976, which it was not. Idaho used a staggered monthly system with the last number of the plate indicating the month of expiration (eg "3" was March). This guy sued the state DMV. While all this was going on (in 1975 as the x76 stickers were being issued) the DMV decided to change the stickers and printed "EXPIRES OCTOBER 31, 1976" (or whatever month) on the stickers. These were the blue ones and this was the design of the stickers for the last half (more or less) of the expire-1976 registration year. They did the same thing for all months of the x77 stickers. By the time the x78 stickers came out the case was settled and they went back to just plain "78" stickers. Return To Table

Illinois

Blue on white multi-colored annual 76 plate with bice theme. Return To Table

Indiana

Blue on white x76 plate, no bice theme. For x77 they issued a blue on white multi-colored bice theme plate. Most new collectors probably don't know it, but the bice plate for Indiana is the x77 plate, even though it is dated 76. Return To Table

Iowa

Blue on white 76 sticker on 75 plate (which was used through 1978). No bice theme. Return To Table

Kansas

White on blue x76 plate issued which was used through x80. No bice theme. Return To Table

Kentucky

Blue on white 76 sticker on 75 plate (which was used through 1977). No bice theme. Return To Table

Louisiana

Black on yellow 77 sticker issued on 74/75 plate. This really screws up bicentennial collectors!! Louisiana has had two year registration since the 1960s. The plate they issued in 1974 was dated 74/75. In 76 they issued a sticker which was valid for two years - so it was dated 77. There is NO passenger plate for Louisiana dated or stickered 76. None! Return To Table

Maine

Various colored x76 sticker (depended on month) issued on 1974 plate (which was used through 1987). No bice theme. Return To Table

Maryland

This is another screwy state. From the 1950s through the time they went monthly in 1986 (if I remember correctly - either 86 or 87) Maryland showed the year of expiration on the plate. They were not a monthly state, however. So, if you were in Maryland in 1972 you would have seen plates dated 71 with a 73 sticker on them. The "73" sticker was for the 1972 registration year. In 1975 they replaced the dated-71 plates (which were issued in 1970) with their "76" plate, a plain, undated red on white plate. This is the "76" plate - used undated. It was really used in 1975. In 1976, for the 1976 registration year, they issued a white on blue 77 sticker. This plate was used through their 1979 registration year (when it bore an 80 sticker). They did this again in 1980, issuing a plain black on white undated plate which expired in March 1981. So if you find plain red on white or plain black on white Maryland plates, they are NOT undated front plates. Those are the plates you'd need for 1976 (really used in 1975) and 1981 (really used in 1980). No bice theme anyplace here! Return To Table

Massachusetts

White on blue x76 sticker used on plates issued as early as 1972 (for x74 registrations - another two-year registration state). No bicentennial theme. Return To Table

Michigan

White on blue and red 76 plate issued (which was used through 1978). Bice theme. Michigan won ALPCA's Best Design award for this plate in 1976. Return To Table

Minnesota

Olive green on white x76 sticker issued for 1974 plate (which was used through x77). No bice theme. Return To Table

Mississippi

annual maroon (some say brown) on white xOct 76 plate. No bice theme. Mississippi's registration year ran from November through October and the plates all had OCT (county name) 76 (75, 74, 73, 72...) on the bottom. Return To Table

Missouri

annual yellow on blue x76 plate, no bicentennial theme. Like Indiana the bicentennial plate was their white on red x77 plate. Return To Table

Montana

Montana went monthly in 1976 with the issue of the longest-runnung bicentenial plate issued. Multi-colored blue on white x76 plate issued (which was used through 1991). A TRUE 76 Montana will have a month expiring late in the year. Since this was the year they adopted staggered-monthly registration some registrants jumped straight to x77 stickers. The x76 was the baseplate with only a month sticker (the 76 was screened on the plate). Bice theme. Return To Table

Nebraska

Another oddity. Red on white bice theme multi-colored plate issued which was dated 76 but was never used without an x77 sticker. Nebraska chose 1976 to be the year that they started showing the date of expiration on the plate rather than the registration year. Since their 1976 registration year ended in January 1977 all 1976 plates were issued with an "expires 1 1977" sticker. This sticker was frequently placed in the middle of the plate because the people issuing the plate didn't want to cover any of the bicentennial theme! Return To Table

Nevada

Black on yellow x76 sticker issued on various bases dating back to 1969 (all of which are still valid, I believe). No bice theme. Return To Table

New Hampshire

red and blue on white sticker issued to 1975 plate. They chose 76 as the year to adopt staggered registration too, so an x76 is fairly hard to find. They used the 75 base through x79. Return To Table

New Jersey

They began using windshield stickers with the issue of their black on straw plate in 1959, so then, like today, they had no plates bearing a date unless you go to a trailer plate or such. Return To Table

New Mexico

Blue on white sticker (with US flag in background) on 1972 plate (which was used through 1991). Only bice theme was the US flag on the sticker. Return To Table

New York

Like New Jersey, was using windshield stickers for their x76 registrations. The plate in se then was the undated blue on orange base which began to be issued in October 1972 with x73 windshield stickers. Since the earlier plate in use (orange on blue) carried x73 stickers as late as xSept 73, the orange plate is usually considered to be the x74 plate. No bice theme but I think the x76 windshield stickers were white on red. Return To Table

North Carolina

White on blue 76 sticker on 75 plate. This plate was phased out sometime in the 1980s. No bice theme. Return To Table

North Dakota

White on red sticker on 74 plate. This plate was used through 1979. No bice theme. Return To Table

Ohio

Undated red on white 76 plate issued. This is the one with just OHIO at the bottom. Plate used through x80. Return To Table

Oklahoma

Annual red on white plate issued with 1776 BICENTENNIAL 1976 slogan. Return To Table

Oregon

White on red x76 sticker issued for various bases dating back to x1956. All of these bases are still valid today! No bice theme. Actually they are another state that had two year registration so the x76 stickers were issued in 1974. Stickers being issued in 1976 were the white on green x78 stickers. Return To Table

Pennsylvania

Blue on white 76 sticker issued to 1971 plate. The 71 plate had BICENTENNIAL STATE '76 slogan along with Liberty Bell. Return To Table

Rhode Island

White on red 76 sticker issued on 1967 and 1972 bases. No bice theme. Return To Table

South Carolina

Blue on white multi-colored 76 plate issued. Bice theme with slogan, cannon and palm tree. This plate was used through x80. Return To Table

South Dakota

Blue on white multi-colored 76 plate issued (which was used through 1980). Bice theme with stylized US flag across top with Mt. Rushmore.This was their first multi-year plate. In both 1974 and 1975 they issued annual plates in red, white and blue color schemes. Return To Table

Tennessee

White on blue 76 sticker issued for 1971 plate. No bice theme. 1976 was the last year of use for this plate. Return To Table

Texas

White on blue 76 sticker issued for 75 plate (which was used through 1990 or so). No bice theme but the serial number of the sticker was in red. Return To Table

Utah

White on blue x76 sticker issued for 73 base (which was used into the 1980s or maybe 90s). No bice theme. Return To Table

Vermont

White on blue and red 76 sticker issued for 1972 plate. Only bice theme was that the top half of the sticker was blue and the bottom half was red (a pretty neat looking sticker!). This was the last year of use for this plate. Return To Table

Virginia

White on red x76 sticker issued for 1973 plate (which was still in use into the 1980s). No bice theme. Return To Table

Washington

Red on white 76 sticker issued on various bases dating back to 1963. The sticker had a minuteman between the "7" and the "6". Another neat looking sticker! Return To Table

West Virginia

Here things get confusing as there are three "76" West Virginias. The first was a yellow on green x76 sticker issued on the x71 plate. No bice theme. These were for registrations expiring in 1976. In 1976, when motorists renewed to expire in 1977 they received a new blue on white plate which was dated "76" (even though it expired in 1977). Halfway through 1976 as these plates were being issued it was decided that ALL cars ought to have the nrew plates. So more plates were hurriedly made by an out of state firm (so the plates have different dies from the traditional W. Va. dies) and these plates were sent to the motorists whose plates expired later in 1976 or their x77 registration. These later-month plates were not used without a sticker as were the earlier month plates (which were dated "76"). These late-month 1977 expirations were issued with a red and blue on white "76" sticker (even though it expired in 1977). So, for all registrations expiring in 1976 you had the blue on gold x71 plate used with a gold on green "1976" sticker. For registrations expiring from January through July of 1977 you had a blue on white graphic plate (like the current design with the state map), dated "76" in the lower right corner. For registrations expiring from August through December of 1977 you had the same graphic plate with a manufacturing style similar to Illinois' 1976 plate (same manufacturer) carrying a red and blue on white "1976" sticker. And who says this hobby isn't interesting!! (By the way, the first character on West Virginia's passenger plates indicated the month of expiration - 1 for January through 9 for September then the letters O, N and D for the last three months, so 5D-1129 expires in May and DF-4901 expires in December). Return To Table

Wisconsin

Yellow on blue x76 sticker used on x73 plate (which was used through x79). No bice theme. Return To Table

Wyoming

White on blue 76 sticker issued for 1975 plate. The 75 plate was a blue on white multi-colored affair with the slogan "THE SPIRIT OF'76 - In the American West!" on it which was used through 1977. Return To Table

Additional Info

In the mid-1970s the graphic screening that is so common today was new technology. The first modern graphic was South Dakota's 1974 plate. Many states saw it as a way to do something for the bicentennial so did employ it in 1976. But the process was expensive so most states used their early graphic plates for several years, such as South Carolina and the extreme example of Montana (still issuing the bicentennial plate in 1990!) Some states could not afford to have a general reissue in 1976 so offered an optional bicentennial plate for an extra fee. The bicentennial was what gave birth to the billions of extra-fee plates we have today. I've never tried to get all of the extra-fee plates so I might be missing some, but I believe these are all of the states that offered optional extra-fee bicentennial theme plates (all were used for several years after 1976): Maryland, Virginia, Georgia. The Virginia is the most common, the Maryland isn't hard to find but the Georgia is RARE. The few I remember seeing advertized had a price tag of $100 or more on them and that was in the late 1970s or early 80s! Needless to day I don't have a Georgia bicentennial! Additionally some states made and offered a bicentennial booster plate for the front of the car. These included Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico and Vermont. The mid-70s was when many states began adopting what folks in Missouri had been doing since 1948 - a staggered-monthly registration system. In order to spread all of the registrations out across the year from their previous calendar year system, most states used the plate number to determine the month of expiration and the registrant payed a prorated fee, adjusted for the correct number of months. For example, if the last number on the plate was a "9" the month assigned was the 9th month, September, and the registrant only paid for nine months. When September rolled around he'd pay for the full twelve months again to expire in September of the following year. Early months would usually jump to the next year so that the registrant didn't have to pay for a short term then return again after only a few months to pay for a year. If the month assigned to him was February, instead of paying for two months he'd pay for 14 months all in one go and not have to return for over a year. Because of this, the year that a state goes monthly is sometimes a fairly hard year to find for a run, because most vehicles skipped that year. That is what happened in Montana in 1976. They were calendar year in 1975 with a nice-looking 1975 plate. In 76 they went monthly and most cars jumped from a 75 plate to a plate with a 77 sticker, never having a 76.

NEW ADDITIONAL INFO

There were two styles of base plates for Idaho in
76. Utah used several variations on the 73 plate, a couple of which are the
only two passenger plates that I have not run across yet, New Mexico used the
72 base and short lived 74 base. There were two sticker varieties.This Information
was submitted by Mike Sells(ALPCA#6464) another friendly and knowledgable plate trader.
Be sure to visit his web site at http://www.plateshack.com/76/index.html 
Return To Table

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