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KGI Online Library

The Kansas Government Information (KGI) Online Library
Kansas government publications, resources and information available from the State Library of Kansas

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Nov 29

Kansas License Plates, 1970-2000

Posted on November 29, 2017 at 12:47 PM by Bill Sowers

License plates...

Other than viewing them on passing or parked vehicles on the street, you might see them arranged in neat rows on garage walls, in man caves, basement hobby rooms or even automobile museums.  Often rectagular shaped and metallic they contain registration number formats, typically alphanumeric, designed to provide enough unique numbers for all motor vehicles a jurisdiction expects to register.  Some license plates have color schemes, designs, logos, map outlines etc on them.  Through the years Kansas has used state symbols such as wheat, the rectangular outline of the state map, the State Capitol dome and different slogans on its plates.

According to licenseplateshistory.com:

"Cities and counties in Kansas started registering motor vehicles as early as 1904. Some of the cities and counties issued porcelain license plates while other required motor vehicle owners to get their own. The first statewide license plates were issued in 1913 and these were undated until 1921. The abbreviation KAN appeared on all state issued Kansas license plates until 1929 when the entire name KANSAS was embossed/stamped on all license plates. All state plates were made of steel or aluminum."

The Kansas Department of Revenue and its predecessor, the Kansas Motor Vehicle Department, published pamphlets displaying color replicas of the different license plates used by our state for many years.  The State Library of Kansas' KGI Online Library has 27 years of these publications, 1970-2000, online. You can see the changes in plate colors and designs here:

KANSAS LICENSE PLATES, 1970-2000