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image credits: All plate pics are from TXDOT, eBay, or the author.

early 1990 style

1990 style
(type A)


  • The 123-ABC format is exhausted in January. ABC-12D format begins.
  • In April, at BKX-01B, a new base plate is finally issued featuring a waving Texas flag but no slogan.
  • Only a few plates are issued with the new numbering format on the old base.
  • Many new types of plates introduced.
  • The slogan "Lone Star State" is found to be agreeable this time, and is added to the flag design by January, 1992.
  • New plate types continue to be intoduced.
1992-97 style
(type B)


  • Many more plate types introduced.


  • The last passenger license plate revalidation stickers expire; Revalidation is now done by means of a windshield sticker.
  • College & University plates introduced.
  • Plates begin having a hologram down the center of the plate (at around T--). 
  • "Legion of Valor" plates introduced.
  • A new plate design is briefly issued, from January until supplies ran out sometime between March and May.
  • The has a graphic of a shooting star in the middle, with the slogan, "150 Years of Statehood".
  • Registrations ran from VJL-01K to about WSJ then returned to the old plate style.
early 1996 style
  • A new form of reflectorization begins (somewhere after XHM---).  These plates appear "whiter" than previous plates. (Type C)
  • Late in the year, somewhere between ZVY- & ZWT- , the plates undergo a subtle change.  The waving flag moves from the left of the "Texas" to the right.  Otherwise the plates are identical. (Type D)
  • The ABC-12D format is exhausted late in the year.  New plates are issued in the A12-BCD format with the flag on the right. (Type F )
  • As vowels are no longer used on Texas plates, the first plate of the new series is B01-BBB.
  • A few rarities emerge:  plates with the old numbering format, but with the flag on the right (from around ZWB to ZZZ - Type D); and plates with the new numbering format but with the flag on the left (apparently made from leftover stock, randomly distributed early in the -Bxx series; Type E).


  • In January plates begin being issued without debossed sticker wells.  The change occurs somewhere between C##-YCS and YKN. (Type F)

Types of "waving flag" plates:

  • A) AAA-00A format, flag left, no slogan
  • B) AAA-00A format, flag left, old reflectorization, "Lone Star State" slogan from here on
  • C) AAA-00A format, flag left, new reflectorization
  • D) AAA-00A format, flag right
  • E) A00-AAA format, flag left
  • F) A00-AAA format, flag right
  • G) A00-AAA format, flag right, no sticker boxes.
Type C
Type D
Type E
Type F

Type G


graphic passenger plate

New flat personalized plate

Souvenir plate


  • A completely new, fully graphic plate design began being issued in March & April. The new passenger series begins somewhere between J##-DDM & J##-GZM. Truck plates also have the new design, with "TRUCK" screened under the state name.
  • There is also a new design for at least some non-passenger plates. These are similar to the design in use since 1985, except the TEXAS is a much bigger, thicker font. Most dated "01" yearly plates have the design.
  • A small number of Truck plates were apparently issued on the new non-passenger base, before moving to the graphic passenger-style base.


  • Passenger bases reach the P-- series by the end of the year.



  • The Texas Legislature's HB 2971, taking effect 9/1/03, streamlines the license plate laws and introduces many new plate designs to the state.
  • Most plates (except passenger) are now "flat".


  • Souvenir plates introduced
  • November- passenger plates begin reusing the ABC-123 series


  • Seven-digit registrations for Exempt vehicles.


  • Online voting for new 7-digit plate design. The winning design is shown below. Plates will begin issue in 2009; they will be flat-printed.

  • A private company from Australia, "myplates.com", offers a bewildering array of hundreds of design & color combinations on valid Texas license plates. The plates sold for $95 to $795, not including registration fees. Despite the variety, the plates are simplistically designed and, frankly, ugly. The company is out of business within months, after selling only 1296 plates. See more Myplates designs here.


  • MYPLATES is up and running again! They have simplified their design choices, lowered prices, and now offer regular-series numbers in addition to personalized selections.
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The BOLTHOLE's History of Texas License Plates   |  >complete index<