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Historic Missouri Cities Historic License Plates On Display

Real License Plates from Missouri Cities from the early 1900's

Our Missouri Cities Project Initiative kicked off in 2016.  Please see our separate, dedicated not-for-profit website at MOCITYPLATES.ORG. We do have Missouri old license plates for sale which can be seen under our all license plates category, as well as old license plates for sale from the United States, Canada, and Other Countries.

We are donating and gifting City "Resident" license plates to Cities across the State of Missouri who want to reconnect with their history.  This initiative is intended to educate about this history and to make these license plates available for Cities to display in their communities so that the public may see them.

Starting in the early 1900's through the 1930's, with the advent of the automobile and with the growing number of motor vehicles, a growing number of Cities in Missouri started requiring their residents to pay a tax and display license plates.  For some, this was an attempt to wrestle with the growing number of motor vehicles on the road.  For others, it was undoubtedly an additional source of revenue from the tax.  But as the number of automobiles grew, so did the number of Cities who started to require these City "Resident" license plates.

In many Cities across Missouri, this is a truly "LOST" history.  In Missouri, the City Resident plates were issued by the City Clerk in the local community.  This required the City to pass an ordinance authorizing the tax and issuance of plates.  In some communities, it is difficult to find the ordinance establishing the program so that we can nail down a "first year" that these were issued in that City.  After you'd get your City Resident license plate, you'd also need to get your standard pair of license plates from the State DMV as well.  

In general, many people in the State of Missouri don't realize that these were required in the past;  some have never heard of a City "Resident" license plate;  most have never seen one of these in person.  The shapes, sizes, colors for these were all over the board and not standard, even within a City over the years.  Some were round, some shaped like a badge, some oval or square.  These license plates are truly "rare" because most were discarded and many of the survivors were scrapped during World War II when there was a severe metal shortage.  Anything that wasn't nailed down was scrapped to make ships, planes, ammunition and to supply other wartime needs.

To educate citizens of Missouri and to have the residents of a City be able to actually see these historic license plates from in person will be awesome.  If you have City Resident license plates, pictures of these, or other information, please contact me !

This list includes Cities in Missouri that are confirmed to have required City Resident license plates and it is a work in progress.  Cities include:  Brentwood, Chillicothe (1916), Clarence, Columbia, Clayton, Eldon (1932), Farmington, Florissant, Hannibal, Huntsville (1919), Independence (1912), Joplin (1916, Ord # 5797), Kansas City (1908), Louisiana, Maplewood, Marceline (1931), Moberly, Montgomery (1928), Nevada (1928), Owensville (1926), Savannah (1926), Sedalia, St. Charles, St. Joseph (1913), St. Louis City (1902), St. Louis County (1906), Trenton (1915), Warrensburg (1924, Ord # 51), Warrenton (1927), Washington (1924), and Willow Springs (1924).

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