Indiana 1969 passenger issue. Beginning in 1963 and running to the present, Indiana passenger plates are issued in a 12A3456 format, with the prefix number indicating the county of issue (counties were assigned numbers alphabetically), and the letter and remaining numbers as serial. This plate was issued in county 20, Elkhart county. Clickherefor a complete listing of Indiana county codes.
Indiana 1971 passenger issue. For this issue, the state name was abbreviated as IND and both the year of issue and expiration were embossed. Due to the introduction of staggered registration, this plate ended up being valid for over one year. It was valid for all of 1970 for all motorists, then expired in the indicated month (April in this case) in 1971. Motorists were then issued new plates that expired the same month in 1972, etc., placing the state back on a one-year plate rotation. This plate was issued in Randolph county, 68.
Indiana 1972 passenger issue. Again with this base, the year of issuance and of expiration is embossed. These plates expired in the indicated month in 1972. This plate was issued in Miami county, 52.
Indiana 1973 passenger issue. This was the last issue to carry both embossed years. It was also from Miami county, 52.
Indiana 1974 passenger issue. The state returned to a full embossed state name and only included the year of expiration on this plate. It also comes from county 52, Miami county, which is not surprising since I got it from the same source as the 71-72 and 72-73 plates.
Indiana 1975 passenger issue. Same general format as the 1974 plate, just with different colors. This plate is from county code 95, one of Marion countys overflow codes (95B-95Z, that is, as 95A is reserved for military/special use.)
Indiana 1976 passenger issue. Also same format as above, but in blue on white. This plate was the last of the non-graphic issues in Indiana history, as the state has been a little graphics-happy over the past couple decades. This issue came from Elkhart county, 20.
Indiana exp. 1977 passenger issue. This is kind of an odd case, as while this plate actually expired in 1977, it was dated for 1976 to celebrate the Bicentennial of the U.S. Since the plate was issued and primarily used in 1976, it was appropriately displayed for more of the Bicentennial year than most of the exp. 1976 issues were. Missouri did the same thing, placing the Bicentennial motif on the exp. 1977 issue, but this is the only one I know of to not even carry the actual year of expiration. This Soldier graphic was the first in a long line of Indiana graphics. The letter for the serial was moved to accommodate the graphic on the plate, another oddity. This plate was issued in county code 95, which was used for Military and Special plates in the A serial block.
Indiana 1978 passenger issue. At the expiration of the Bicentennial base in 1977, these new graphic plates featuring the state shape were issued. The state returned to using the year of expiration for this issue, which was good through the month of expiration in 1978. This plate came from Marion county, which is issued plates in the 93, 95B-95Z and 97-99 county code blocks as well as its alphabetical location (49). Marion county comprises the Indianapolis area, and is the largest in the state. This plate also carries a Q character, making it extra good in my book. This was the ALPCA Plate of the Year for 1978.
Indiana 1979 passenger issue. This plate features a racing motif, with lightly screened graphic Indy race cars in the background (which, unfortunately, are hard to pick up in the scan). This plate was a Vigo county plate (84).
Indiana 1980 passenger issue. This plate commemorates the 200th anniversary of George Rogers Clarks expedition in 1779. Clark and his men are seen approaching the British fort at Vincennes, Indiana which they successfully captured, claiming the Northwest for the rebelling colonies. You wouldnt think that you could learn that in a Rand McNally atlas, would you? This plate was from county 45, Lake county. This issue won the ALPCA Plate of the Year award for 1979.
Indiana 1981 passenger issue. This graphic issue featured a series of brightly colored bands at the bottom, not necessarily signifying anything, but still pretty nice looking. This plate was issued in Lake county, which issued plates with codes 45, 94 and 96. This was the last yearly issue for Indiana, making it the last state to switch to a multi-year baseplate.
Indiana 1982 passenger issue. This baseplate was first issued at the expiration of the 1981 issue, and was used through 1984. This base featured the Hoosier State slogan and a farm scene at the top. This was the first multi-year issue for Indiana, renewed each year with a sticker rather than a new plate. This one was issued in Floyd county (22).
Indiana 1982 passenger issue. Another Hoosier State issue, this one features a new, taller set of serial dies that I believe made their debut on this base. Indiana has continued to use a combination of the shorter dies on the previous plate and these taller ones on each baseplate released since. This one came from Clark county.
Indiana 1983 passenger issue. Although this baseplate was a multi-year plate revalidated with stickers, the state continued to issue yearly plates for VIP registrants with serials of 100 or lower. As a result, these plates can be seen with screened 83 and 84 expirations rather than with stickers. This one was an overflow issue from Marion county.
Indiana 1985 passenger issue. This baseplate was introduced in 1984 and was fairly controversial. People didnt much care for the slogan, which some felt portrayed an image of Indiana residents aimlessly wandering the state. It also featured a striped motif similar to the 1981 base. The Wander base lasted from 1984 through 1987. This one was issued in Hamilton county and features the standard, shorter serial dies.
Indiana 1985 passenger issue. Another Wander plate, this time using that taller die set again. The plate wasnt any more popular this way. This one came from Tipton county.
Indiana 1985 passenger issue. Another yearly-issued low number plate. Another advantage to assigning more county codes to Marion county is that it yields more low-number plates such as this for the VIPs in state government. Low-numbered plates in this series were replaced yearly with new stickered plates, rather than screened registration years on the baseplate. I hesitate to mention that this one may carry yet another die variation. My head started to hurt when I found out there were two, so I dont want to think about three or more.
Indiana 1988 passenger issue. This new baseplate was released in 1987 and featured a more well-received slogan, Back Home Again (after Wandering around for a while, no doubt.) The plate featured the state seal lightly screened in yellow in the center. This plate was from Marion county as well, using their initial county code, 49. This is another low-number issue, as well as another Q plate. A small county sticker was used in the lower right of these plates in addition to the county code for easier identification. These plates remained in use through 1990.
Indiana 1988 passenger issue. Standard-format, non-VIP registration on the Back Home Again base, this time from Madison county. This plate uses that taller die set again.
Indiana 1992 passenger issue. This issue, first released in 1990, features the Hoosier Hospitality slogan, state shape in the bottom left, and a copyright on the design and slogan. This was the first plate that Im aware of to carry such a notice of copyright. These issues also used county code stickers in addition to the embossed code. This plate was another Warrick county issue, coded 87. These plates were used through the 1993 expiration.
Indiana 1992 passenger issue. Same series as above, this particular plate uses the taller of the die sets once again. This plate was issued in Marion county, from near the end of their initial allocation, code 49.
Indiana 1993 passenger issue. Starting with late issues on this base, Allen county overran their allocation of county coded plates after 2Z9999. As all the overflow codes in the 90s were in use for other counties, the series was extended via double-letter serials starting with 2AA.
Indiana 1993 passenger issue. VIP registrations on the Hoosier Hospitality plate were once again issued yearly dated plates rather than new stickered plates each year. Therefore, plates dated with screened 91, 92 and 93 expirations can be seen on this base.
Indiana 1995 passenger issue. In 1993, these new graphic plates were introduced. They featured a red sky fading to yellow, then a country skyline at the bottom, with the Amber Waves of Grain slogan taken from America, the Beautiful (couldnt claim copyright on
one). This plate remained Indianas regular issue through the 1998 expiration. County code stickers were used on earlier issues on this base, but later discontinued. This plate is from Wabash county, 85.
Indiana 1997 passenger issue. Late-period Amber Waves plate, this plate features a 12 AB 345 format, which was used in Allen County (2) as the plate demand exceeded their allocation. This plate also features new, slightly narrower dies than older Amber Waves plates (check the different 4s between this plate and the 95). These were also replaced in 1998 with a new baseplate.
Indiana 1998 passenger issue. This one would have counted as my tall-dies issue on this baseplate, except that not
the dies are from the tall set. Note the difference between the 3 characters in the county code. Makes for a good comparison piece, though. This ones from Henry county, 33.
Indiana 1999 passenger issue. This graphic plate replaced the Amber Waves of Grain issue during 1998. The plate features a graphic of the state shape with the torch and stars from the state seal superimposed over it, combining elements used on past issues. The new slogan The Crossroads of America was also introduced on this base. This particular plate is a low number issue from Greene county (28), and in fact is the 9th lowest plate number available from that county. Again with this issue plates with serials 1-100 are replaced yearly with new dated baseplates, as opposed to higher numbered plates which receive yearly stickers.
Indiana 2000 passenger issue. Once again with this baseplate, registrations in Allen County exceeded the initial allocation and a two-letter 2 AB 123 format was put into use for some plates in county 2. This format has also been seen on this baseplate in county 71 (St. Joseph).
Indiana 2003 passenger issue. Starting with 2003 expirations, the state began splitting expiration dates between the end of the month and the 15th of the month in order to reduce the end-of-month rush to renew registrations. As a result, these new-style stickers started appearing during the last year of the Crossroads plates use. This plate is a late issue for Vanderburgh county. After five years of issue, even smaller and mid-sized counties were in danger of running out of available numbers, as this X plate shows.
Indiana 2004 passenger issue. This was
a nice plate. Indiana began issuing this new design in January, 2003. The design was selected through a vote held on the states web site. Trouble is, this isnt
the design that was selected. Somewhere between the design and production phase, the state removed the original slogan from the plate (a scripted Back Home Again) and replaced it with the states web address (using Eurostile, no less – one of my least-favorite typefaces). They also had the plates made using 3Ms Digital Flat Plate Technology, resulting in these extremely ugly looking flat characters in the serial. I wont even get into how thin and flimsy the thing is. Anyway, the end result is that the state and 3M combined to ruin what started out as a pretty nice looking plate design.
Indiana 2004 passenger issue. Law enforcement in Indiana didnt much care for the initial revision of this plate either, complaining that the serial was difficult to read at any sort of distance. They also requested that the letter be made smaller than the numbers again, as the states plates had been made in that configuration for decades previous. This was the end result, with 3M switching from the fat version of their ugly typeface to the thin version and shrinking the size of the alpha character on the plate. When issuing new plates, Indiana will typically re-issue the same number to the same registrant as on their previous plates. For this reason, there is no clear break between the large font and the small font on this base – higher numbered plates can be seen with the large font and vice-versa.
Indiana 2008 passenger issue. Indiana released this In God We Trust graphic as a no-cost optional in 2007. Not sure how I feel about this trend of slapping Gods name on a license plate (Im a pretty big separation of Church and State fan), but theyve become quite popular, surpassing one million issues in the first year. The sheer number of issues has required the state to use over 100 different stacked alpha combinations, which have proven difficult to read at a distance. These plates have reportedly become favored by some gang members and criminals for this reason.
Indiana 2009/2010 passenger issues. Hey, you like blue, dont you? Sure you do! One of the selling points for 3Ms flat plates is that they can produce more colorful, vibrant graphics for less cost than traditional embossed plates. Indiana chose to ignore that part of the presentation for their general reissue in 2008, releasing this relatively stark white-on-blue issue featuring the state seal. This is the first Indiana issue since 1963 to eliminate the use of county coding in the serial, instead using a generic serial in three different formats: 123A, 123AB and 123ABC (three numbers are constant). County decals are added, featuring the county name and previous numeric county code. These plates show each of the serial formats, single-letter from Marion county (code 49 on the old system) and others from Hamilton county (old 29.)
Indiana 2011 passenger issues. A minor change was made to this issue shortly after its introduction, with a small Recycle icon added to the bottom left corner of the plate, indicating the plates use of recycled aluminum and its eventual ability to be recycled itself. The plate design remained unchanged otherwise. Theres no clear cutoff with the serials for this change, as the state jumped around issuing different serial blocks to different counties, so the icon may be seen on lower or higher numbered plates depending on when they were produced.
Indiana 2013 passenger issue. As of 2012, Indiana has implemented a system where all plates are sent by mail rather than being stocked at individual BMV offices. As a result, plates are now made essentially on a print-on-demand basis, with the month, year and county name printed directly on to the plate, eliminating the need for stickers. Plates of this type were issued through the end of 2012 when a new base was introduced.
Indiana 2013 passenger issue. Starting in 2012, the state gave a facelift to the no-cost optional In God We Trust plate, including a full-graphic flag motif and eliminating the difficult-to-read stacked characters from the previous issue. These plates are produced in the same on-demand method as the passenger issue above, with the expiration month, year and county number screened on. This issue replaced all previous optional In God We Truct plates by the end of 2012.
Indiana 2014 passenger issue. A new base was introduced in January, 2013 celebrating Indianas bicentennial which occured in 2016. The relatively simple design includes the states bicentennial logo and dates. These plates are again made on a print-on-demand basis and issued by mail, with the month, year and county designation (now just the numerical code) screened directly onto the plate. Serial formats are the same as the previous base, with plates appearing in the 123A, 123AB and 123ABC formats. These plates wer issued in Elkhart county, 20 and Vanderburgh county, 82.
Indiana 2018 passenger issue. Indiana retired the Centennial issue at the end of 2016 and began issuing a new graphic featuring a blue sky background with a covered bridge spanning the bottom below the serial. Indiana changed to a seven-year rolling replacement cycle starting in 2016, so this plate has rolled out slowly, being issued only to new registrants or by special request. Motorists with Bicentennial plates less than seven years old can continue to receive renewal stickers instead, so the two bases will continue concurrently for the foreseeable future.
Additional Indiana information provided by: Steve Armstrong, Scott Kaiser
Copyright 1998-2018 David Nicholson. All Rights Reserved.
Last Modified 3/29/2018 (added 2018 plate).