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Author Topic: Posting County Names on Licence Plates  (Read 2528 times)

Flint1979

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #25 on: April 11, 2019, 01:51:07 PM »

You can't tell what part of Michigan I'm from and I like that because I can go anywhere in the state and look like a local. I had some dealership decal and license plate frame that I took off. The only thing you can tell on my car is that I'm from Michigan other than that you can't tell what part of Michigan I'm from.
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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2019, 01:57:59 PM »

Virginia doesn’t and neither does North Carolina (where I’m from).

What Virginia does have instead is the county or city decal. Many, but not all, jurisdictions have done away with those stupid things. Alexandria still has them. If there has to be something indicating county or city, to me the idea of a decal makes more sense than a license plate because it’s easy to change the decal if you move.

Yeah, neither Danville or Pittsylvania County have the stickers. When I lived just outside of Farmville on VA-45 before moving here, Cumberland County didn’t have them and I don’t think Farmville or Prince Edward County did.

My dad and his people are from the Eastern Shore and I remember him telling me that Northampton County had stickers. I think those stickers are ancient history now too, IIRC. Me and my dad last went there in 2010.
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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2019, 02:05:09 PM »

You can't tell what part of Michigan I'm from and I like that because I can go anywhere in the state and look like a local.

Even if your county was on the plate, you would still be regarded as a local, at least IMO.
The only parts of NY that I would visit and expect to be regarded as a non-local if my county was on my plate are south of Westchester County.
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Eth

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2019, 03:00:46 PM »

Also, wouldn't having the county on the plate mean that one would have to get new plates whenever they move?  That seems like needless hassle.

Not if you do it with a sticker. I've had my current plate since I moved back to Georgia in 2011; the county sticker on it was applied when I moved in 2013, covering the previous one.
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kphoger

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #29 on: April 11, 2019, 03:45:26 PM »

Kansas at one time had a two-letter county code on a sticker on the plate (JO = Johnson, etc). They may do so still — I haven’t seen a Kansas plate up close in a while.

Yes, Kansas still has a two-letter county code in the upper-left corner of the plate.  Years ago, one's registration receipt would come in a trifold-sized manila envelope, and on the outside of the envelope was printed a map of all the county codes and a list of what the full name of each county was.

This is only true for standard issue and personalized license plates.  Special issue (veteran, breast cancer awareness, et al.) plates do not have the county code sticker.
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1995hoo

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2019, 04:02:40 PM »

Virginia doesn’t and neither does North Carolina (where I’m from).

What Virginia does have instead is the county or city decal. Many, but not all, jurisdictions have done away with those stupid things. Alexandria still has them. If there has to be something indicating county or city, to me the idea of a decal makes more sense than a license plate because it’s easy to change the decal if you move.

Yeah, neither Danville or Pittsylvania County have the stickers. When I lived just outside of Farmville on VA-45 before moving here, Cumberland County didn’t have them and I don’t think Farmville or Prince Edward County did.

My dad and his people are from the Eastern Shore and I remember him telling me that Northampton County had stickers. I think those stickers are ancient history now too, IIRC. Me and my dad last went there in 2010.

I remember there was a time when the City of Virginia Beach was the only jurisdiction in Virginia that did not issue a local registration decal and it led to problems when city residents visited Charlottesville, as the police there were very aggressive about ticketing people who didn't have county/city decals. When Virginia Beach residents complained that they were receiving tickets, the Charlottesville police chief more or less said, "That's your problem. Go to court and clear it up. We require a decal and it's not our job to keep track of what other Virginia jurisdictions do." Thankfully, as other counties and cities dropped the stupid decals this problem went away, although I kept my old Fairfax County decals on my cars for a couple of years after they were discontinued because I was concerned that Alexandria police might ticket me if I didn't have one. (I eventually removed them in part because of the risk of getting a ticket in DC for having an expired or invalid sticker!)
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hbelkins

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #31 on: April 11, 2019, 07:53:23 PM »

Kentucky does on standard passenger vehicle plates, dating back to the years when the county name was embossed along with the license plate number and plates were plain blue-on-white or white-on-blue.

Years ago, Kentucky floated the idea of not putting the county name on plates, and actually went so far as to produce plates without the county names. The citizenry protested loudly, and they started using stickers with the county names. In Kentucky, county of residency is somewhat of a matter of pride and people will often refer to their county of residence, instead of city or town of residence.

The county name is a bit misleading, though, as most vehicles are initially licensed in the county where they're purchased instead of the county of the owner's residence. People can get stickers from their local county clerk's office with their home county to cover up the county listed on the plate when you buy the car.

The numbers used to be issued sequentially in XXX-nnn format, where letters in a series could let you know which county the plate originally came from -- say -BAL, BAM and BAN were all from a certain county.

But why? What benefit does it provide?

Back in the 1970s, lots of folks used county names in license plates for marketing research, either formally or informally. A survey of the license plates in a Lexington shopping center parking lot can tell researchers where most of the customers are coming from. The reason I mentioned the 1970s was because back then, Fayette County had "blue laws" prohibiting most retailers from opening on Sundays. Surrounding counties like Clark and Madison, however, did not, so it was common to see lots of Fayette County cars at businesses in Richmond and Winchester.
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Sam

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #32 on: April 11, 2019, 09:41:46 PM »

I don’t think New York letter combinations indicate the county where the plate was issued the way they used to, but it’s pretty easy to tell where a car is from by the dealer name on the plate frame or trunk lid.
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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2019, 12:43:15 PM »

I don't think so either, but given that they're all shipped out to DMV offices in batched and handed out when registered, with the right data one could probably figure out which parts of the letter/number sequence went where.  Dealer plate frames aren't really reliable either - they just tell you where the car was bought.  Someone could have moved in the interim, or bought their car in another area.  One of my coworkers even bought her car from some dealer in the Boston exurbs!
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PHLBOS

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #34 on: April 12, 2019, 01:27:28 PM »

None of the six New England States (CT, NH, MA, ME, RI & VT) list any county names on their plates.  In MA, outside of courts and the Registry of Deeds, county governments are hardly emphasized/utilized; so why bother placing county names on the plates? 

In PA, which also doesn't list county names on their plates, the listing of certain counties (mainly Philadelphia) on license plates could have the potential of motorists being geographically-profiled in traffic stops. 

Similar was experienced over a decade ago during the short-lived Post-It-style registration stickers that PennDOT was experimenting with (these stickers would be placed on a vehicle's rear window & on the inside).  Such was done to combat plate-sticker cutting that was taking place mainly in Philadelphia.  Only PA vehicles registered in Philadelphia were issued these stickers and the complaints of geographic profiling in traffic stops went on the uptick.

In case it wasn't already mentioned, neither DE or NJ list county names on their license plates as well.
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kphoger

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #35 on: April 12, 2019, 02:18:00 PM »

What benefit does it provide?

Admittedly, this has nothing to do with the state government, but...  If you're in a crowded place (a concert, a grocery store) and they make an announcement on the PA about someone having left their headlights on, it's a useful cue to hear the county name first:  if it's your county, then listen up but, otherwise, tune it out.

For example, if the PA says "Would the owner of a white Dodge, license plate Rawlins County NKP 620..."
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #36 on: April 12, 2019, 02:24:24 PM »

What benefit does it provide?

Admittedly, this has nothing to do with the state government, but...  If you're in a crowded place (a concert, a grocery store) and they make an announcement on the PA about someone having left their headlights on, it's a useful cue to hear the county name first:  if it's your county, then listen up but, otherwise, tune it out.

For example, if the PA says "Would the owner of a white Dodge, license plate Rawlins County NKP 620..."

But again, that would mean either the person that located the vehicle or the store employee would need to know those codes.

You are way overestimating the general population knowledge of these codes.  They will have no idea that certain numbers or letters represents a specific county.
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kphoger

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #37 on: April 12, 2019, 02:38:36 PM »



What benefit does it provide?

Admittedly, this has nothing to do with the state government, but...  If you're in a crowded place (a concert, a grocery store) and they make an announcement on the PA about someone having left their headlights on, it's a useful cue to hear the county name first:  if it's your county, then listen up but, otherwise, tune it out.

For example, if the PA says "Would the owner of a white Dodge, license plate Rawlins County NKP 620..."

But again, that would mean either the person that located the vehicle or the store employee would need to know those codes.

You are way overestimating the general population knowledge of these codes.  They will have no idea that certain numbers or letters represents a specific county.

For Kansas specifically, yes.  But not for license plates that have the county name in full.

FWIW, when this has happened to me with Kansas plates and the person didn't know the county codes, he simply announced the license plate as "TH BNF 133" (or whatever it was).  I knew that TH wasn't the code for the county I lived in, so I knew it wasn't my car.
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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #38 on: April 12, 2019, 02:41:21 PM »

In how many states does no county = rental?
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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #39 on: April 12, 2019, 03:31:05 PM »

In how many states does no county = rental?

Rentals from Idaho definitely have a county code. I thought that most states did away with labeling rentals on license plates to deter criminals from targeting them. I know that Florida especially had problems with cars saying "Lease" instead of a county name being targeted. I've seen a few red Colorado plates around here, apparently those are exclusively for rentals.

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kphoger

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #40 on: April 12, 2019, 04:10:57 PM »


In how many states does no county = rental?

Rentals from Idaho definitely have a county code. I thought that most states did away with labeling rentals on license plates to deter criminals from targeting them. I know that Florida especially had problems with cars saying "Lease" instead of a county name being targeted. I've seen a few red Colorado plates around here, apparently those are exclusively for rentals.

I live only a few blocks away from an Enterprise location, and the only Colorado tags I've seen in their parking lot were red.

Targeting rental cars had never even occurred to me until my honeymoon back in 2006.  We were in the Puerto Vallarta area, having rented a car in the nearby town of Bucerías, Nayarit.  One day, we drove to the tourist area of Vallarta and parallel-parked along the malecón.  As we were getting out of the car, a guy on the sidewalk asked if we were renting the car or if we had bought it.  Something told me it wasn't a good idea to answer that question, so we just didn't say a word to him and walked away.
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1995hoo

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #41 on: April 12, 2019, 04:46:24 PM »

I don't think so either, but given that they're all shipped out to DMV offices in batched and handed out when registered, with the right data one could probably figure out which parts of the letter/number sequence went where.  Dealer plate frames aren't really reliable either - they just tell you where the car was bought.  Someone could have moved in the interim, or bought their car in another area.  One of my coworkers even bought her car from some dealer in the Boston exurbs!

Indeed. My RX-7 has a dealer logo from New London, Connecticut (I've never lived in Connecticut). The other day I was behind a car with Virginia plates and a dealer logo from Rick Case Honda, which I know is located in Davie, Florida (northwest of Miami).
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kphoger

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #42 on: April 12, 2019, 04:50:02 PM »

I don't think so either, but given that they're all shipped out to DMV offices in batched and handed out when registered, with the right data one could probably figure out which parts of the letter/number sequence went where.  Dealer plate frames aren't really reliable either - they just tell you where the car was bought.  Someone could have moved in the interim, or bought their car in another area.  One of my coworkers even bought her car from some dealer in the Boston exurbs!

Indeed. My RX-7 has a dealer logo from New London, Connecticut (I've never lived in Connecticut). The other day I was behind a car with Virginia plates and a dealer logo from Rick Case Honda, which I know is located in Davie, Florida (northwest of Miami).

My last two cars were bought in Lebanon (TN) and a suburb of Kansas City, both while I was living in Wichita.
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1995hoo

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #43 on: April 12, 2019, 04:59:15 PM »

I don't think so either, but given that they're all shipped out to DMV offices in batched and handed out when registered, with the right data one could probably figure out which parts of the letter/number sequence went where.  Dealer plate frames aren't really reliable either - they just tell you where the car was bought.  Someone could have moved in the interim, or bought their car in another area.  One of my coworkers even bought her car from some dealer in the Boston exurbs!

Indeed. My RX-7 has a dealer logo from New London, Connecticut (I've never lived in Connecticut). The other day I was behind a car with Virginia plates and a dealer logo from Rick Case Honda, which I know is located in Davie, Florida (northwest of Miami).

My last two cars were bought in Lebanon (TN) and a suburb of Kansas City, both while I was living in Wichita.

Another possibility is that a used car might have been purchased through a private transaction, rather than from a dealer or a place like Carmax or wherever.
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corco

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #44 on: April 12, 2019, 05:19:26 PM »

In how many states does no county = rental?

Rentals from Idaho definitely have a county code. I thought that most states did away with labeling rentals on license plates to deter criminals from targeting them. I know that Florida especially had problems with cars saying "Lease" instead of a county name being targeted. I've seen a few red Colorado plates around here, apparently those are exclusively for rentals.



Yep- most rentals in Idaho have Bonneville County/Idaho Falls plates.

Montana and Wyoming also have county codes on their rental car plates. Most Montana rental cars are Billings/Yellowstone county.

It varies in Wyoming because there aren't many Wyoming plated rental cars, due to the lack of any major airports and high vehicle registration fees. I've rented six or seven cars in Wyoming and they always had Colorado or Utah plates.

I've rented a lot of cars with red Colorado plates but notably I did rent a car from Hertz in Boise once that had normal green Colorado plates. No idea how that happened.

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #45 on: April 12, 2019, 09:15:35 PM »

Iowa does, I hope it never goes away, and I think it should be mandatory.

But why? What benefit does it provide?
I don't know what benefits there are, but when I lived in Omaha, I met someone from Hooker County (county 93 in NE) and it's safe to say they take pride in the fact it's the highest number county there. Frankly, I think it leaves you as a mark. I was driving back from Norfolk to Omaha years ago at night and in 3 different towns along US 275, the police were following me all the way through town. It probably benefits law enforcement more than anyone.
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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #46 on: April 12, 2019, 09:46:10 PM »

Iowa does, I hope it never goes away, and I think it should be mandatory.

But why? What benefit does it provide?
I don't know what benefits there are, but when I lived in Omaha, I met someone from Hooker County (county 93 in NE) and it's safe to say they take pride in the fact it's the highest number county there. Frankly, I think it leaves you as a mark. I was driving back from Norfolk to Omaha years ago at night and in 3 different towns along US 275, the police were following me all the way through town. It probably benefits law enforcement more than anyone.

Heck, when I'm out roadtripping, I'm often a bit leery driving around in a car with Wisconsin plates, no less plates from an in-state county that is on the opposite end of whatever state that I might be in.  At least for in-state driving, I'm glad that Wisconsin includes no mention of a county on its plates, with them all being numbered from the same pool.

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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #47 on: April 12, 2019, 11:30:16 PM »

In how many states does no county = rental?

Rentals from Idaho definitely have a county code. I thought that most states did away with labeling rentals on license plates to deter criminals from targeting them. I know that Florida especially had problems with cars saying "Lease" instead of a county name being targeted. I've seen a few red Colorado plates around here, apparently those are exclusively for rentals.


Red Colorado plates are fleet plates (with the vertical code FLT). (Virtually) all rental cars have fleet plates, but not all fleet plates are on rental cars. I used to work for the local electric utility, and all their vehicles, both cars and heavy trucks, had FLT plates.
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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #48 on: April 13, 2019, 08:11:05 AM »

Growing up, Indiana had a county number as the first one or two digits of the license plate number. The numbers were in alphabetical order, 1 for Adams County, 92 for Whitley County. Marion and Lake Counties had their respective numbers (49 and 45) plus a few overflow numbers. Marion County had 93, 95, 97, 98 and 99 and Lake County had 94 and 96. No other county had an overflow number but soon they had to get creative with the license plate numbers of the next few largest counties (Allen, St. Joseph, Hamilton, Vanderburgh and Elkhart.)

At several points in the past there was a county name sticker used in the upper left corner, along with the county-coded license plate number. Somewhere in the 90s that stopped and the license plate number alone designated the county.

As of 2008 they changed the format of the license plate numbers and placed the county name on the top of the plate. It featured both the county number and the county name. This was the only time that the name was featured prominently at the top or bottom of the plate as it's done in some other states.

In 2013 with the next series of plates they put the county number on the lower right corner of the plate where it is now, numbers 1 through 92. All specialty plates and the In God We Trust plates feature the same format.

I've changed counties twice since getting my 2013 plate, and each time I got my registration address changed, I got a new county number sticker to affix on the plate.  The original 10 got covered by a 22 and then by a 45.
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Re: Posting County Names on Licence Plates
« Reply #49 on: April 13, 2019, 08:36:42 AM »

What Virginia does have instead is the county or city decal. Many, but not all, jurisdictions have done away with those stupid things. Alexandria still has them. If there has to be something indicating county or city, to me the idea of a decal makes more sense than a license plate because it’s easy to change the decal if you move.

AIUI, Alexandria city has followed Fairfax County in doing away with the PITA windshield decal. I wish Arlington County would do same.
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