Top 10 Reasons Why People Collect License Plates

Top 10 Reasons Why People Collect License Plates

So many people collect license plates of all kinds, from vintage and antique license plates, to newly designed, used and expired license plates.  From the neighbor who  hangs these in a garage or a barn, to celebrities  like Jay Leno who collects both rare and one-of-a-kind vehicles and old license plates.

The reasons are so varied and fascinating enough that we thought we would share the top 10 reasons that people collect license plates.

  1.  YOM or Year of Manufacture, to run on old vehicles.  People buy old license plates to register and run on their vintage, classic and antique vehicles.  This includes automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and even commercial vehicles.  Some of these are “daily drivers”, while others are destined for vehicle shows and competitions.  The way each State governs and manages this process varies, and most have Year of Manufacture or YOM Laws.  Most of the 50 States allow some variety or flavor of this type of use.  Some States base their decision to allow the use of vintage and antique old license plates in this manner based on the number of years old as a minimum.  Others are defined under Antique Vehicle, Historic Vehicle or Horseless Carriage Laws that the State has on the books that specify a manufacture date for the vehicle.  The State of Illinois actually allows a license plate from ANYWHERE to be displayed as long as it is from the YEAR OF THE VEHICLE without requiring the license plate be from Illinois!  This was due to an oversight by the State Legislature and adds an interesting twist there.  Oops!  Other States are very strict and require inspection of the actual plates and availability of that digit combination – in other words – that digit combination cannot be on a license plate of any kind that is on the road in that State at the time you want to register your vehicle and vintage license plates.  Some folks have waited for many years for that specific combination to “become available” after the one in use expires, so that they can rush over to the DMV and get their old license plate registered to their vehicle!
  2. To decorate.  Old license plates are also bought by countless people in order to decorate garages, sheds, barns and mancaves of all kinds.  These cool displays become a focal point of interest and invoke a lot of conversation, where everyone can relax and have a cold one!  Displays of old license plates are a time honored tradition and are typically shared with friends and family when folks gather for activities like sports games, shooting pool, or working on cars.  The types of plates selected for displays like this vary - because some may prefer to show new graphic designs, while others may want to have genuine and authentic old license plates.  Others want specific vibrant colors on the old license plates in order to form complex patterns on a wall.  This is truly only limited by ones’ imagination!
  3. To promote a business.  License plates are often bought in order to promote a business.  There are countless restaurants, bars and barbeque joints across the USCanadaMexico and the World where real, expired and collectible old license plates are focal points and elicit visions of travel, good food and awesome experiences.  Some farms collect old farm license plates in order to display the history of their farm and to promote organic farming, which is referred to as agritourism.  Movie production companies and even Actor Josh Hutcherson from Hunger Games fame buys these to have authentic license plates for shooting their films in order to add an element of realism to the place, time or vehicles used for the scenes.  Some Companies including Ralph Lauren promote a product line with “American Values” or “Canadian Values” and have displays of their products surrounded by authentic old license plates.  Auto dealers have purchased license plates in order to make a map out of old, used and expired license plates from the States that they operate in and hang this prominently in their showrooms.
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ShopLicensePlates Teams With RIP Medical Debt

We are pleased to announce that we have teamed with the non-profit RIP Medical Debt.  We are donating 15 percent of our total sales  - so all license plates sold from now through Midnight on April 15, 2020 - to RIP Medical Debt.  They will use this donation to purchase past due medical debts from across America.  Let me describe it a bit more.

Like most, I have felt overwhelmed by the situation the coronavirus has created.  It shows us how totally broken our healthcare "system" is here in the U.S.  I have been asking myself  "what can we do to help"?

We are switching gears.  Now it is time to be proactive. The virus reminded me of the overwhelming medical debt that folks end up getting stuck with nowadays.  Even if you think you have healthcare coverage, sometimes you don't!

Many of you will recognize RIP Medical Debt from numerous news stories, like:

PBS News Hour 12/19/19

CNN 3/1/20

USA Today 5/31/19

NPR 12/25/19

RIP Medical Debt was founded in 2014.  Since then, over $1 BILLION in medical debt has been eliminated for the most impoverished;  and over 1 million families have been helped.

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Where Can I Buy The Best Used License Plates?

Where Can I Buy The Best Used License Plates?

“Where can I buy the best used license plates?” If you are a collector of antique license plates, this is a question you may have heard, or perhaps even asked of others.  After all, you are likely always looking for something special to add to your collection.

This question is important. True collectors want to work with reputable suppliers. There are a number of things that are critical when looking for collectible plates.

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Anheuser Busch InBev “taps” to supply real, old and collectible license plates for use in its annual SAMCOM 2019 Conference in Dallas.

Anheuser Busch InBev “taps” for SAMCOM 2019 Conference

Anheuser Busch InBev “taps” to supply real license plates. Providing old license plates and collectible license plates for use in its annual SAMCOM 2019 Conference in Dallas. is pleased to have been tapped to supply real, old and collectible license plates to Anheuser Busch InBev for use its annual SAMCOM 2019 Conference in Dallas.  This year, the SAMCOM Conference was held from January 28th through January 31st at the Kay Bailey Hutchison (KBH) Conference Center in Dallas.  With over 1 million visitors each year, the KBH Center is one of the largest in the Country.  It sports 1 million square feet, with 3 ballrooms, 88 meeting rooms, a theater that seats 1750 people and an arena that holds 9816 people. 

With the goal of energizing its partners and stakeholders at its annual SAMCOM 2019 Conference, Anheuser Busch InBev hosted its wholesalers, marketing, communication and sales team.  There, they produce, test and present their potential future products and new offerings.  Here, you can see pictures and details about the 2018 SAMCOM Conference in Dallas and the 2016 SAMCOM conference in New Orleans.  It is also an opportunity to interactively present its business strategy for the upcoming year.

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Auto Enthusiast "Doc" In Florida's Passion For One-Of-A-Kind Vintage Automobiles Spans A Lifetime

For Doc, mechanical design and engineering are fascinating, and the great names and objects of bygone eras captivate his mind. Impressive individuals such as Frederic Moskviocs, engineer for the Stutz Motor Company; General John T. Thompson, originator of the prohibition period submachine gun; and Pratt & Whitney with their radial aircraft engine design…  these are the people who he believes deserve recognition. He does not concern himself with the functions or consequences of these products but he reflects only upon each person for their capabilities. Items in Doc's collection have included; a P-51 fighter aircraft engine, machine guns of various designs and most importantly unique automobiles.

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Real Collectible Old License Plates. Animal Rescue. Birdhouses. A Natural Combination

Real Collectible Old License Plates, Animal Rescue, Birdhouses.  A Natural Combination!

Jolinda Lampo's story about her journey in life that brought her to having a need for used license plates from ShopLicensePlates is driven primarily by her love of animals.  How does the love of animals lead to or relate to old expired license plates, you might ask?  At first, it may seem strange jump.  But here is how it started...
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Old License Plates Make Chicago Artist's Craft Come Alive

Participating in art fairs in the summertime, and armed with just a Facebook page and no website, Derek Christensen’s Reclaimed Creations has made a splash in the arts & crafts community. Derek creates one of a kind artwork using reclaimed materials and real vintage license plates from ShopLicensePlates. Last year, he took first place in the category of 2D mixed-media at the Fountain Square Artisan Summerfest in Evanston, Illinois. His full-time job is teaching high school geography at Plainfield South High School in Chicago.

Derek’s journey as an artist has been a crazy one, at least to him anyway. In fact, this is a part-time gig for him. One of his friends, a fellow teacher, invited him to hang out one day. He was admiring a US flag piece that his friend had hanging in his garage. It was made from real old Illinois license plates. Derek remembered thinking that it was really cool, but also he was thinking, hey, I can do something like that!

Having just moved into a new place, Derek wanted something unique to hang on his wall. So he set out to make a Chicago Blackhawks logo out of antique license plates. He had never envisioned making anything else. But then a friend of his from Detroit asked if he could make him a Red Wings piece using authentic old license plates. He thought, sure, why not? Before Derek knew it, he had more friends asking him to make pieces for them too. Then they told two friends. And so on and so on.

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Ralph Lauren selects ShopLicensePlates for Photo Shoots

With tight deadlines coming up for an advertising campaign and photo shoot that includes automobiles, Ralph Lauren needed authentic vintage license plates for their project.  And they needed these old license plates pronto.

Ralph Lauren turned to ShopLicensePlates to fulfill their needs.  Because of our great low prices, they were able to make a large and diverse selection that was cost effective.  And, because time was so short, and to facilitate speedy delivery, we shipped these to their Headquarters using USPS overnight express mail delivery.  This ensured that their deadlines and their budget requirements were met without any delays.

Real license plates are often the preferred choice for advertising and for photo shoots.  Because of the large quantity and variety of genuine license plates offered by ShopLicensePlates from the U.S., Canada and the World, we were able to be the one-stop-shop that was needed for the campaign.  

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ShopLicensePlates now accepts Amazon Pay is pleased to offer Amazon Pay as a payment method for our customers.  As payment methods and technology evolves, we'll continue to update our systems so that making a purchase on our website is as easy as possible.  
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CocoVail Beer Hall, Barcelona, Spain. A Must Stop And See.

Picture this:  two friends who lived for 8 years in the United States had a vision.  Creating a Beer Hall in their native Barcelona, Spain that would be a must see destination for residents and travelers alike.  In August 2016, Creators Andres and Toni transformed an 18th Century textile factory into Barcelona's first Beer Hall.  CocoVail Beer Hall was born.

Andres and Toni have been steadily filling their historic old, red-brick building with collectible license plates, college pennants and other interesting memorabilia which add a touch of flair and ambiance.  Because they wanted to have real, authentic vintage and old license plates from the United States and the World, CocoVail founders Andres and Toni selected ShopLicensePlates as their supplier of choice.

CocoVail Beer Hall is a must stop, must see destination for both residents and travelers.
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Earth Day 2018 - Confluence Academy Campus Renewal

Confluence Academy’s South City location serves students from grades 3 through 8.  Directly behind the Academy is Providence Place, a street with 7 homes that adjoins the back side of the entire length of the building.  The entire block along Providence Place had a "double row" of sidewalks that were old and cracked.  


There was also an original old 35 foot long driveway that had settled over the years.  Patches from years ago had worn and also needed repair or replacement.  In the “old days”, the drive was used to access a grease dumpster which was located there.  Pumps in the kitchen of the School would send the old grease through a series of pipes which dumped into this container.


Rather than replace the sidewalks that were cracked, and to replace or re-patch the old driveway, a “green solution” was called for.  One row of the "double row" of sidewalks was removed entirely.  Sidewalk areas that were in need of replacement were replaced.  The old driveway was removed entirely and the curb was replaced.  


Collaborators include:  Confluence Academy South City Campus, the building occupant;   St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, the owner of the property; Residents on Providence Place; St. Louis City Alderwoman Cara Spencer; and Holloran Contracting who did the sidewalk removal and replacement.  


The project included:  removal of 325 feet of concrete sidewalk and driveway, which is an entire City block; placement of 20,000 lbs of topsoil;  replacement of 35 feet of sidewalk area and curb where the driveway used to be;  and 2 truckloads of mulch.  20 trees will be planted in Spring 2018, which will create a “boulevard” or “canopy” of trees for those walking on the sidewalk.  The City of St. Louis has this included as a featured project for sustainability, and the Confluence Academy has done an article about it as well.  The latest update on this initiative is here.


Terry Hammer, the owner of St. Louis-based, provided the funding for this project and will handle the ongoing maintenance and planting that will be needed.

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KSDK Channel 5 St. Louis News Anchors Like ShopLicensePlates

KSDK Channel 5 St. Louis News Anchors Christina Coleman, Ryan Dean, and PJ Randhawa like ShopLicensePlates.  They are pictured here signing the "mascot" license plate.  Hats off to the professional and dedicated news crew at KSDK Channel 5 in St. Louis.

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Historic Missouri City License Plates

In depth details and information about Historic Missouri City license plates from the turn of the 20th Century can be found on our non-profit website MOCITYPLATES.ORG
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Movie Production Companies are turning to to furnish real, genuine license plates.  Actor Josh Hutcherson, highly acclaimed for his role in Hunger Games, is pictured here holding a license plate that is being used in the upcoming thriller movie "Burn".  The use of old license plates has increased as HD technology has shown the use of real license plates enhances the movie experience.  The use of "prop plates" that worked with old camera technology isn't compatible with HD cameras.


Actor Josh Hutcherson's profile is here:
More about the movie Burn is here:
Cannes first look at the movie Burn:
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Terry Hammer announces donation of baby grand piano to Pianos For People

Terry Hammer, Proprietor of ShopLicensePlates, is pleased to announce the donation of a baby grand piano to the St. Louis based Pianos for People, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing both free pianos and lessons to worthy students who may be disadvantaged.

Terry also wanted to express his gratitude to City of St. Louis 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer who was crucial to making this donation a reality.  Terry noted that he feels so lucky and fortunate to have Cara Spencer as his Alderwoman.  Cara has been so proactive and engaged in making the City of St. Louis a better place to work, live, and play.

Please see the related article in the Riverfront Times.

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ShopLicensePlates now accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover & American Express online payments

Secure online credit card payment options enhanced.
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Missouri changes mind on new base plate design for 2019

After much deliberation, the State of Missouri has decided on a new license plate design that will hit the streets in January 2019.  A picture of what they've selected is below:


Originally, in October 2016, the license plate design that Missouri was considering is below:

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2018 ILLINOIS Base license plate already getting revisions

After a lot of discussion, the State of Illinois issued its new Illinois base plate design for 2018.  These started hitting the streets this year.  A picture of what they selected is below:


The State of Illinois is already needing to make revisions to its new base license plate because of law enforcement complaints.  The new Illinois license plate and the design issues that they've experienced is related to readability.

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