A List The Best License Plates We’ve Seen In A While
There's something about vanity license plates that can cause a severe case of an eye roll. This person refuses to make do with a random assortment of letters and numbers like the rest of us and insists on making a statement with their undoubtedly best license plates ever. "Oh, look at me, everybody!"
Well, not always. While some use the funny license plates as an opportunity to promote themselves, their wealth, and the lack of a good sense of humor, others take advantage of this tiny piece of advertising real estate to make us laugh. Because on a long drive, any portion of entertainment on the roads should be welcomed, shouldn't it?
While the DMV and other automobile authorities try to keep things civilized and take the fun out of cool license plate ideas, these people have found a way, regardless. From dad jokes and Pokemon to even getting their puppy involved, this list compiled by Bored Panda is the very best of funny license plate creativity!
Scroll down below to check these absolute best license plates out for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!
The History of the Humble License Plate
Every vehicle has to display a license plate, but how much do you really know about them? Well, strap in and get ready for a treat, because we are about to hit you with some absolutely scintillating vehicle registration facts!
In the U.S., New York was the first state to require that vehicles display a license plate, doing so in 1901. However, Massachusetts was the first state to have state-issued plates, issuing them in 1903. Before New York created state-issued plates, drivers had to make their own, which they did by writing their initials on a vehicle-identifying tag.
The very first state-issued license plate in Massachusetts was short and sweet, reading simply “1.” It was registered to a guy named Frederick Tudor, and a member of his family still holds an active registration on the cool license plate today!
According to the blog Chrysler Capital, the first state-issued license plates were made of iron covered with porcelain enamel. "Delaware still offers a porcelain plate and is the only state to continue to do so. The starting fee for the porcelain version is $110."
"Because the fragility of the porcelain plates made them impractical, manufacturers experimented with replacement materials such as cardboard, leather and even pressed soybeans."
Idaho was the first state to manufacture license plates with a graphic on them in 1928. Fittingly for Idaho, the graphic was a potato.
Soon after, Pennsylvania produced the first personalized license plate in 1931. According to licenseplates.tv, "As Americans became more prosperous, custom or official vanity license plates became very popular."
"The increased fees for custom, personalized or vanity official license plates have earned the states hundreds of millions of dollars and a great source of tax revenue for education (colleges), wildlife conservation and other projects."
This Car Cut Me Off. I Was Mad Until I Looked At Their License Plate
Today, all but three states make use of the cheap labor supplied by correctional facilities to produce their license plates. Alaska, Hawaii and Oregon are the exceptions, contracting privately-owned manufacturers to produce their state-issued plates.
Vehicles owned by the United States Postal Service do not require license plates, and don't display them.
Finally, all 50 states allow the use of vanity plates. Out of the 50, Virginia has the highest percentage of custom plates, followed by New Hampshire and Illinois. At the other end of the scale, Texas has the lowest use of custom plates. What does that say about these states?
Clever Saab Owner
Which is the Best License Plate in the World?
Determining the most badass license plates would depend on the eccentricity of your sense of humor and your specific preferences! However, with the Internet being the way it is, you can find a lot of interesting information, including which funny license plate ideas are the best and which ones cost the most.
So, without any further ado, here it is. According to the general consensus of the Internet folk, this is the best license plate in the world:
A license plate that has “P7” written on it.
Why is it so cool? Well, this plate was the most expensive vanity plate in the world, costing its owner a hefty $15 million. It was sold at an auction in August 2023, with all the money going to a charity. The price itself makes up for a solid coolness factor!
And as for the meaning of the “P7” plate, well, there’s none! It’s so pricey simply because it’s one of a kind. A bummer, right? We always thought that a secret meaning behind vanity plate ideas is what makes them so cool!
What is the Rarest License Plate?
You’d be glad to know that license plate collecting and spotting is a legit, albeit a bit weird hobby with its own association and rules. And, when we speak about collecting things, some are bound to be rarer than the rest.
According to U.S. license plate collectors, the rarest license plate to get your hand on is the 1921 Alaska plate. Although it looks absolutely ordinary and is by no means one of those funny vanity plates, its rarity lies in its quantity. Around 2008, there were (presumably) only four of them left around, and it could cost you a solid $60K.
Of course, all of the VIP and one-of-a-kind numbers can also be considered rare since there’s only one of each of them. The list of those would include a “California MM” vanity plate with a laser-inscribed NFT on its back, the number “1” plate belonging to Saeed Abdul Ghaffar Khouri, and a license plate with “New York” written on it.
As for the best license plates, though, just keep on scrolling through this list to see them all!