Maryland license plate

Rick Kretschmer's License Plate Archives 

Maryland license plate

Maryland License Plate ???Whatzit???

Help in identifying undated plates and unlabeled plate types, 1954 to present

 

This page helps you determine the age of undated Maryland license plates, and identify plate types that don't have identifying legends. 

Latest noteworthy updates to this page
  • November 21, 2017  –  Upgraded 1975-80 local government plate. 
  • September 24, 2017  –  Added a candid photo of a "Maryland "Proud" vanity plate.  Replaced candid photo of a "Maryland Proud" passenger car plate with a photo of a plate I've added to my collection.  Replaced 1975 vanity plate. 
  • April 8, 2017  –  Added a photo of an unstickered 1910 Vintage plate.  Replaced photos of both first- and second-generation unstickered Treasure the Chesapeake plates.  Replaced first-generation Treasure the Chesapeake unstickered front MPV plate with a rear plate with month and year stickers. 

Introduction

My "Whatzit" page is intended to be a supplement to the information found in the ALPCA Archives.  The Archives are sort of like a dictionary; you have know what you are looking for in order to find it easily.  The "Whatzit" page is better suited for those situations where you only know the definition, and you need to find a word.  It can get you pointed in the right direction so that you can go either to the ALPCA Archives or to my own Pictorial History pages, and be able to find what you need without wading through pages of irrelevant data. 

I sincerely hope that you find this information useful.  If you find an error or have additional information, or can provide a plate or a photo of a plate that I'm missing, please send me an e-mail.  There's a link to my e-mail address at the bottom of every page. 

Undated, unstickered Maryland plates, 1976-present

Most all Maryland plates expiring in 1975 or earlier were dated in some way.  The major exceptions to this rule are plates issued to police and fire department vehicles, and plates issued to vehicles owned by specific state government agencies; such plates are not addressed here.  Eventually, I will add these plates to this page, but for now, please visit my History of Maryland Government Plates and History of Maryland Emergency Vehicle Plates pages.  Otherwise, chances are very good that an undated plate was issued in 1975, on what's called the "1976 base" based on its initial expiration date, or later. 

Red on white, formats G 0000 or G 00000 with Local Govt. legend. 

1975-1980 local government

Used March 1975 through April 1980 without stickers.  Local (city or county) government-owned vehicle, generally not used for law enforcement or fire or rescue purposes.  (There were a few known exceptions to this.) 

Red on white, format S 00000 with State legend. 

1975-1980 state government

Used March 1975 through April 1980 without stickers.  State government-owned vehicle generally not used for law enforcement purposes. 

Red on white motorcycle plate; sticker box in the lower right corner. 

1976 motorcycle

This base plate was used March 1975 through March 1980.  Valid through March 1976 without stickers, then renewed with year stickers. 

Other red on white plates, with sticker box in the upper right corner. 

1976 passenger
1976 truck

This base plate was used March-April-May 1975 through March-April-May 1980.  Valid through March-April-May 1976 without stickers.  (Month determined by vehicle class.)  Renewed with year stickers front and back. 

Black on white with embossed Maryland, formats G 0000 or G 00000 with Local Govt. legend. 

1980-1987 local government

Used March 1980 through about April 1987 without stickers.  Local (city or county) government-owned vehicle, generally not used for law enforcement or fire or rescue purposes.  (There were a few known exceptions to this.) 

Black on white with embossed Maryland, format S 00000 with State legend. 

1980-1987 state government

Used March 1980 through about April 1987 without stickers.  State government-owned vehicle generally not used for law enforcement purposes. 

Black on white motorcycle plate with embossed Md.; sticker box in lower right corner. 

1981 motorcycle

This base plate was issued March 1980 through January 1986.  Valid through March 1981 without stickers, then renewed with year stickers through March 1986, and with month and year stickers through September 1987. 
(Sallmen photo / plate)

Other black on white plates with embossed Maryland, sticker box with lightly embossed border in upper right corner. 

1981 passenger
1981 historic

This base plate was issued March-April-May 1980 through early 1986.  Valid through March-April-May 1981 without stickers.  (Month determined by vehicle class.)  Renewed with year stickers front and back through March-April-May 1986, and then with month and year stickers on only the rear plate through September 1987. 

Black on dark yellow motorcycle plate with embossed Md.; sticker box in lower right corner. 

circa 1984 state police motorcycle

This is a State Police motorcycle plate, likely from approximately 1983 or 1984.  (I know, I said I wasn't covering police plates, but you might not have known that this even is a police plate without a little help.)  Sticker box was never used. 
(Harbold plate)

Black on reflective white with screened Maryland, serial formats L/G*00000, S/G*00000, *00000L/G, and *00000S/G with graphic shield emblem. 

1986-present local government
2015-present state government

Used February 1986 to present without stickers.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture.  State web site legend appears on plates manufactured since 2005.  L/G plates are for local government vehicles; S/G plates are for state government vehicles, in both cases generally not for law enforcement or fire or rescue applications. 
(both plates in actual use)

Black on reflective white with screened Maryland, actual serials NAA*000, NAA*001, or SAM*PLE with graphic shield separator, or SAMPLE without graphic shield separator. 

previous sample
current sample

Sample plates distributed February 1986 to present without stickers.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture.  State web site legend appears on recently manufactured plates. 
(NAA*000 – O'Connor photo / plate; SAM*PLE – on display at the Maryland MVA)

Black on reflective white motorcycle plate with screened Maryland, actual serials 00000D, 0000D0, 000D00, or SAMPLE

previous motorcycle sample

Motorcycle sample plates distributed February 1986 to present without stickers.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture.  State web site legend probably appears on recently manufactured plates. 

Other black on reflective white with screened Maryland, various serial formats with or without graphic shield separator. 

passenger car front
MPV front

This base plate design has been issued February 1986 to present.  Rear plates always have stickers indicating month and year of expiration.  Unstickered plates are front plates.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture.  Plates with no legend were generally made between 1986 and 2005; those with the state web site legend were made since 2005; plates with other legends could be from any time between 1986 and the present. 

Green on white-to-blue fade Treasure the Chesapeake, various serial formats with or without graphic bird in center. 

Chesapeake gen 1 passenger car front

These first generation Chesapeake plates were issued very late 1990 to late 2003 and are still in use.  Rear plates always have stickers indicating month and year of expiration.  Unstickered plates are front plates.  However, serials SAM*PLE and SAMPLE are, obviously, sample plates.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture. 

Black on blue-to-white fade Treasure the Chesapeake, various serial formats with or without graphic bird at left. 

Chesapeake gen 2 passenger car front

Second generation Chesapeake plates have been issued January 2004 to present.  Rear plates always have stickers indicating month and year of expiration.  Unstickered plates are front plates.  However, serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture. 

Black on orange-to-yellow-fade Our Farms, Our Future, various serial formats. 

Our Farms farm truck front

These plates have been issued early 2001 to present.  Rear plates always have stickers indicating month and year of expiration.  Unstickered plates are front plates.  However, serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture. 

Blue on white War of 1812

War of 1812 passenger car front

This design was the standard plate issued to new registrants between June 2010 and September 2016, for various personal vehicle types.  Rear plates always have stickers indicating month and year of expiration.  Unstickered plates are front plates.  However, serials SAMPLE and 0A/A0000 are both sample plates.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture. 

Black on yellow 1910 Vintage, various serial formats. 

1910 Vintage passenger car front

1910 Vintage plates were issued only in 2014 but are still in use.  Rear plates always have stickers indicating month and year of expiration.  Unstickered plates are front plates. 
(Crum photo and plate)

Black on white with state flag graphic at the bottom. 

Maryland Proud sample

This design is the new standard plate issued to new registrants beginning September 26, 2016, for various personal vehicle types.  Rear plates always have stickers indicating month and year of expiration.  Unstickered plates are front plates.  However, plate number SAMPLE is obviously a sample plate.  Hologram indicates year of manufacture. 

Maryland plate types, 1954-1970

Plate types without identifying legends, 1954-1956

Serial format xx-00-00, with dash, diamond, or colon separators. 

1955 passenger car

Passenger car.  Some letter combinations were reserved for members of certain organizations.  Some of the more common organizational serial letters include AL, BB, CC, EE, FD, and LC.  Serial AA-00-00 is a sample. 

Serial format 00-00-xx, with dash, diamond, or colon separators. 

1956 trailer

Non-passenger vehicle; first letter or letters indicate vehicle type as follows:  BA = taxi or limousine for hire, CA = commercial ambulance or funeral vehicle, Ex = truck, Gx = trailer, HE = truck for hire.  Suffix letters AE are truly a mystery. 
(Casadonte plate)

Serial format S/R00-00T

1956 SR trailer

A special type of trailer.  "S/R" has been reported to stand for "shuttle relay", "special rate", or "state roads"; exact meaning or use is unknown.  "T" stands for trailer.  Similar plates with "TRAC" instead of "T" are a special type of truck tractor plate. 

Embossed star figure on the left, followed by a four-character serial number in format 00-00

1954 government vehicle

Government-owned motor vehicle or trailer, most likely not used for law enforcement or fire or rescue purposes and not a school bus. 
(Mahaney photo / plate; repainted)

Motorcycle plate in serial format 00-00, with dot separator. 

1954 motorcycle

Regular motorcycle plate. 
(Sallmen photo / plate)

Motorcycle plate in serial format D000; "D" is smaller than the numeric digits. 

1955 motorcycle dealer

Motorcycle dealer plate. 

Small 1954 plate with serial LG-19-53, 5 inches by 2 1/4 inches. 

toy 1954 Maryland plate

This is a toy license plate that was a promotional item for Wheaties cereal in 1953. 

Small 1955 plate with serial MG-10-01, 5 inches by 2 1/4 inches. 

toy 1955 Maryland plate

This is a toy license plate that was a promotional item for Wheaties cereal in 1954. 

For 1954-1956 plate types with cryptic legends, see Plate types with cryptic legends, 1954-1970, below. 

Plate types without identifying legends, 1957-1970

Serial formats xx-00-00, xx-0000, and xx 0000, with dash, diamond, or colon separator(s), or space separator; 3-31 expiration date. 

1961 passenger
1967 passenger

Passenger car.  Some letter combinations were reserved for members of certain organizations.  Some of the more common organizational serial letters include:  AL, BB, CC, EE, FD, and LC.  Serial letters AA and AB followed by all zeroes are sample plates. 

Serial formats 00-00-xx, 0000-xx, and 0000 xx, with dash, diamond, or colon separator(s), or space separator; 4-30 expiration date. 

1959 taxi or limo for hire
1969 truck for hire

Non-passenger vehicle; first letter or letters indicate vehicle type as follows:  BA = taxi or limousine for hire, CA = commercial ambulance or funeral vehicle, Ex = truck, Gx = trailer, HE and HF = truck for hire.  Suffix letters AE are truly a mystery. 

Various three-letter prefix formats, such as xxx-0, xxx-00, xxx-000, xxx-00x, xxx-0x0, xxx-x00, and xxx0000, with dash, diamond, colon, or space separator, or no separator. 

1960 Disabled American Veterans member
1966 Veterans of Foreign Wars member

Organizational member plate; letters indicate organization:  DAV = Disabled American Veterans, VFW = Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Serial format S/R00-00T

1958 SR trailer

A special type of trailer.  "S/R" has been reported to stand for "shuttle relay", "special rate", or "state roads"; exact meaning or use is unknown.  "T" stands for trailer.  Similar plates with "TRAC" instead of "T" are a special type of truck tractor plate. 

Embossed star figure on the left, followed by a four-character serial number; 3-31 expiration date. 

1962 local govt. car
1969 local govt. car

Local (city or county) government-owned passenger car, most likely not used for law enforcement or fire or rescue purposes (there are a few known exceptions to this).  These "star" plates with expirations in 1960 and earlier may have also been used for state government passenger cars. 

Embossed large star figure on the left, or small star figure over the word Truck on the left, followed by a four-character serial; 4-30 expiration date in either case. 

1957 local govt. non-passenger
1965 local govt. non-passenger
1968 local govt. truck

Local (city or county) government-owned non-passenger vehicle, most likely not used for law enforcement or fire or rescue purposes (there are a few known exceptions to this) and not a school bus.  Plates without the Truck legend were used for both trucks and other non-passenger vehicles through 1967 expirations.  These "star" plates with expirations in 1960 and earlier may have also been used for state government non-passenger vehicles. 

Other serial formats. 

1959 amateur radio car

Probably an amateur radio operator plate.  3-31 expiration date indicates a passenger car; 4-30 expiration date indiciates a truck or other non-passenger vehicle. 

Motorcycle plate with serial formats 00-00, x0-00, 0000, x000, or 000x, with dot or colon separator or no separator; serial letter, if any, is the same size as the numbers. 

1961 motorcycle
1968 motorcycle

1967 plate with a full-sized "D" prefix is a motorcycle dealer plate; possibly also 1965 and 1966 plates.  Serials that are all-numeric or have other serial letters are standard motorcycle plates; letters or lack of letters have no significance.  Plates with a full-sized "D" from 1968 or later are also standard motorcycle plates. 
(1961:  Sallmen photo / plate)

Motorcycle plate in formats D0-00 or D000, with dot, colon, or diamond separator or no separator; "D" is smaller than the numeric digits. 

1958 motorcycle dealer

Motorcycle dealer plate. 
(Sallmen photo / plate)

Small plate with 3-31-60 expiration date and serial AM-19-27

photo unavailable

This is a toy license plate that was a promotional item for Baker's Square chocolate in 1959. 

Plate types with cryptic legends, 1954-1970

Maryland plate types, 1971-1975

Plate types without identifying legends

Serial format x 00000

1975 dealer

Automotive business interchangeable plate; letter indicates business type as follows:  D = motor vehicle dealer, W = automotive wrecker (not a tow truck, but rather issued to a junkyard operator to allow them to move driveable unregistered vehicles).  The plain "D" dealer plates replaced earlier plates on this base that had either New Car Dealer or Used Car Dealer embossed on the plate. 

Serial format xx 0000

1974 passenger
1975 passenger with 1976 dies

Passenger car.  Some letter combinations were reserved for members of certain organizations.  Some of the more common organizational serial letters include:  AL, BB, CC, EE, FD, and LC.  Serial AA 0000 is a sample plate. 

Serial format 0000 xx

1972 truck
1975 trailer with 1976 dies

Non-passenger vehicle; first letter or letters indicate vehicle type as follows:  BA = taxi or limousine for hire, BM = bus; CA = commercial ambulance or funeral vehicle, Dx = truck, Ex = truck; FA, FB, FC = truck tractor; FD = Firemen's Association organizational member plate assigned to a personal truck; FR = PSC freight truck, Gx = trailer, Hx = trailer, Jx = truck; PB = bus. 

Various three-letter prefix formats such as xxx 0, xxx 00, xxx 000, and xxx0000

1975 Disabled American Veterans

Organizational member plate; letters indicate organization:  DAV = Disabled American Veterans, VFW = Veterans of Foreign Wars. Other letter combinations are probably vanity plates. 

Embossed star figure on the left, followed by a four-character serial number. 

1973 local govt. car

Local (city or county) government-owned passenger car, most likely not used for law enforcement or fire or rescue purposes (there are a few known exceptions to this). 

Four-character serial number, followed by an embossed star figure on the right. 

1975 local govt. truck

Local (city or county) government-owned non-passenger vehicle, most likely not used for law enforcement or fire or rescue purposes (there are a few known exceptions to this), and not a school bus.  Serial letters or lack of letters have no significance. 

Embossed maltese cross containing the letters "F/D" on the left, followed by a five-digit numeric serial. 

1975 Firemen's Association member's car

These plates were not used on actual firefighting equipment.  They were Firemen's Association organizational member plates issued for personal cars.  These replaced earlier plates on this base that looked like normal passenger car plates and had serial format FD 0000. 

Five-digit numeric serial, followed by an embossed maltese cross containing the letters "F/D" on the right. 

1975 Firemen's Association member's truck

These plates were not used on actual firefighting equipment.  They were Firemen's Association organizational member plates issued for personal trucks.  These replaced earlier plates on this base that looked like normal non-passenger plates and had serial format 0000 FD. 

Other serial formats. 

1975 vanity

Probably a vanity plate or an amateur radio operator plate.  (This one is a vanity plate.) 

Motorcycle plate with serial formats 0000, x000, 000x, xx00, or 00000

1971 motorcycle

Standard motorcycle plates; letters or lack of letters have no significance. 
(1971 plate with inexplicable hand-painted "74")

Plate types with cryptic legends

Maryland plate types, 1976-1987

Standard base (embossed state name) plate types without identifying legends

Most non-passenger plates of this era were fairly clearly identified with an embossed legend at the bottom of the plate.  This section deals with those plates with no legend or an ambiguous legend.

Two letter serial formats AL 0, AL 00, AL 000, and xx 0000

1980 American Legion member
1980 ambulance or funeral

Letters indicate type:  AL = American Legion organizational member; CA = commercial ambulance or funeral vehicle.  Other letter combinations are probably vanity plates. 

Serial format xxx 000

1978 passenger car
1986 passenger car

Passenger car.  Vehicles later registered as multi-purpose vehicles (usually passenger vans, SUVs, motor homes, or not-for-hire buses) used passenger car plates through 1980.  Some alpha combinations were reserved for members of certain organizations.  Some of the more common organizational serial letters include: BBx, DAV, EEx, FPx, HGx, KCx, LCx, NGx, RIx, TCx, and VFW.  Serial AAA 000 is a sample plate. 

Other three letter formats xxx 0, xxx 00, xxx0000, and xxx 0000, with or without the legend Truck at the bottom. 

1980 Disabled American Veterans member's car
1986 Veterans of Foreign Wars member's truck

Organizational member plates; letters indicate the organization:  DAV = Disabled American Veterans, ELK = Elks Lodge, VFW = Veterans of Foreign Wars.  Other letter combinations are probably vanity plates.  No legend at bottom indicates a plate issued for a passenger car; Truck legend was used on a plate issued for a personal truck. 

Embossed maltese cross containing the letters "F/D" on the left, followed by a five-digit numeric serial, with or without the legend Truck at the bottom. 

1978 Firemen's Association member's car
1980 Firemen's Association member's truck

These plates were not used on actual firefighting equipment.  They were Firemen's Association organizational member plates issued for personal vehicles.  No legend at bottom indicates a plate issued for a passenger car; Truck legend was used on a plate issued for a personal truck. 

Other serial formats. 

1980 amateur radio car
1986 vanity car

Probably a vanity plate or an amateur radio operator plate.  (One of each is shown.)  No legend at bottom indicates a plate issued for a passenger car; Truck legend was used on a plate issued for a personal truck. 

Motorcycle plate in format 00000 or 000000

1977 motorcycle
1985 motorcycle

Standard motorcycle plate. 
(1977: Sallmen photo / plate)

Motorcycle plate in other formats; black on white plate only. 

photo unavailable

Probably a vanity plate. 

Standard base plate types with cryptic legends
Special interest plate types without identifying legends

Bicentennial, serial format 000 xxx

1977 Bicentennial

Extra-cost optional issue plate for passenger cars and multi-purpose vehicles, 1976-1980.  Most serial suffixes were sequentially-issued, but ANG, ART, and DAV suffixes are organizational member plates.  VFW suffixes would be, too, if they exist.  Serial number 000 AAA is a sample plate.

Bicentennial, other three letter formats 0 xxx, 00 xxx, and xxx0000,

1980 Bicentennial Disabled American Veterans member

Extra-cost optional issue plate for members of specific organizations, 1976-1980.  I've seen a couple of examples of DAV = Disabled American Veterans plates; I'm guessing that VFW = Veterans of Foreign Wars plates may also exist. 

Bicentennial, other serial formats. 

1980 Bicentennial vanity
1980 Bicentennial amateur radio

Probably a vanity plate or an amateur radio operator plate.  (One of each is shown.) 

350th Anniversary, serial format 000*xxx

1986 350th Anniversary passenger car

Extra-cost optional issue plate for passenger cars, 1984-1987.  Serial number 000*AAA is a sample plate. 

350th Anniversary, serial formats 00000 X and 00000X, with no shield graphic. 

1987 350th Anniversary MPV
1985 350th Anniversary MPV

Extra-cost optional issue plate for multi-purpose vehicles (usually passenger vans, SUVs, and motor homes), 1984-1987. 

350th Anniversary, other serial formats. 

1986 350th Anniversary amateur radio
1986 350th Anniversary vanity

Probably a vanity plate or an amateur radio operator plate.  (One of each is shown.) 

Maryland plate types plates, 1986-present

Previous standard base (black on white with embossed state name) plate type without identifying legend

Full-sized plate with serial format 00000

1992 fleet trailer

Eight-year registration fleet trailer plate.  Issued between 1980 and 1985 with unique 1988 through 1993 expiration stickers, always red on white.  Some of these plates had a Trailer legend, but others did not. 

Standard base (black on white with screened state name) plate types without identifying legends

Many non-passenger and most organizational plates of this era are clearly identified with a screened legend at the bottom of the plate and/or a logo of some type.  This section deals with plates without such identifiers, and also with Apportioned and Farm plates, whose legends do not indicate the vehicle type.  The state government web site address www.maryland.gov was added to the bottom of many plate types beginning in 2005.  This base stopped being issued to new registrants for some, but not all, vehicle types in June 2010; those vehicle types are now issued War of 1812 base plates. 

Serial formats 000*000 and 00x*000, with shield separator. 

1988 truck
2008 truck

Regular truck.  Format 00x*000 was introduced in 1992.  Letter (or lack of letter) has no significance other than to identify the age of the plate.  Regular truck plates are no longer issued effective June 2010, but may continue to be renewed. 

Serial format I00*000, with shield separator. 

1988 charter bus

Charter bus; this plate type became obsolete in 1988. 
(Doernberg photo / plate)

Serial format 000*00x, with shield separator. 

2006 farm area truck
2011 taxi

Letter indicates type of vehicle:  B = taxi; C = commercial ambulance or funeral vehicle; F = truck tractor; J = van pool; K = farm area truck with limited on-road privileges, and since 2006, a vehicle used on an island with no access to the mainland; P = bus for hire. 

Serial formats TT0*000 and 000*0TT, with shield separator. 

1994 tow truck

Tow truck. 

Serial formats xxx*000 and 0xx*x00, with shield separator. 

1987 passenger car
2007 passenger car

Passenger car.  Serials NAA*000 and NAA*001 are sample plates.  Format 0xx*x00 debuted in September 2004.  State web site legend began in February 2005.  Passenger car plates are no longer issued on this base effective June 2010, but may continue to be renewed. 

One letter, six number serial formats, with no separator:  000000x, x000000, 000x000, and 00000x0.

2001 trailer
2007 mpv

Letter indicates type of vehicle:  G = trailer; M = multi-purpose vehicle (usually a passenger van, SUV, motor home, or not-for-hire bus); X = trailer.  Among these formats, trailers use only 000000x; multi-purpose vehicles use all four formats.  Multi-purpose vehicle plates are no longer issued effective June 2010, but may continue to be renewed. 

Serial format x/x*00000, with shield separator. 

1992 rental car
2005-present local government

Letters indicate vehicle use:  D/R = rental car, L/G = local government-owned motor vehicle or trailer, S/G = state government-owned motor vehicle or trailer.  Rental cars used stickers on rear plates; government vehicles do not.  Rental car plates became obsolete in the mid-1990s.  These government plates are generally not used on law enforcement or fire or rescue vehicles.  (There are a few known exceptions to this.) 
(plate with web site legend in actual use)

Serial formats xx00000 and xxx0000 with no separator. 

1988 Fraternal Order of Police

Organizational member plate; letters indicate the specific organization.  Most also have a legend identifying the organization, but these do not:  BB = Boumi Temple (Shriners), BNA = B'nai B'rith, CCC = Grace Bible Church of North Carroll, DV = Disabled American Veterans, FP = Fraternal Order of Police, FPA = Fraternal Order of Police Associate Members, JWV = Jewish War Veterans, NOW = National Organization for Women, ROJ = Royal Order of Jesters, YG = Yedz Grotto (Masons). 

Serial format *00000x/x, with shield graphic at the far left. 

2015-present state government

Letters indicate vehicle use:  L/G = local government-owned motor vehicle or trailer, S/G = state government-owned motor vehicle or trailer.  Neither plate type uses expiration stickers.  These government plates are generally not used on law enforcement or fire or rescue vehicles.  (There are a few known exceptions to this.) 
(plate in actual use)

Serial format 00000xx with no separator. 

2009 limousine for hire
2010 trailer

Letters indicate type of vehicle:  LM = limousine for hire, TL = trailer, TT = tow truck. 
(both plates in actual use)

Serial format E00000D with no separator. 

1990 dump truck

Dump truck plate; also issued to cement mixer trucks. 

Other serial formats with no shield separator, and no identifying legend. 

current vanity

Probably a vanity plate.  (This one is a vanity plate.)  However, serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate.  Vanity plates are no longer issued on this base effective June 2010, but may continue to be renewed. 
(unstickered front plate)

Apportioned plates, serial formats 000*x00 and 000*x/x00, both with shield separator. 

2009 apportioned bus
2009 apportioned dump truck

Letter or letters indicate type of vehicle:  E = regular truck, E/D = dump truck, F = truck tractor, G = trailer, P = bus for hire, T/E = tow truck. 
(bus plate in actual use)

Farm plates, format 000*00x/x with shield separator. 

1988 farm truck

Letters indicate type of vehicle:  F/T = farm truck, T/R = farm-use "big rig" truck tractor. 

Motorcycle plates with serial formats 00000D, 0000D0, 000D00, 000M00, 0D0000, or D00000

2009 motorcycle
2008 motorcycle
2012 motorcycle 4" by 7"

Regular motorcycle plates; however, motorcycle plates with these actual serial numbers are samples.  Regular motorcycle plates are no longer issued on this base effective June 2010, but may continue to be renewed. 
(2012 plate: Ellis photo of plate in actual use)

Motorcycle plates with other serial formats. 

2002 motorcycle vanity
2011 motorcycle vanity

Probably a vanity plate.  However, serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate.  Motorcycle vanity plates are no longer issued on this base effective June 2010, but may continue to be renewed. 
(Plate SF CA: Bodie plate; plate 88MGNA: Ellis photo of plate in actual use)

Standard base (black on white with screened state name) plate types with cryptic legends
Standard War of 1812 base plate types without identifying legends

War of 1812, serial format 0x/x0000

War of 1812 passenger car

The War of 1812 base was the standard plate issued to new registrants between June 14, 2010 and September 25, 2016, but only for some specific vehicle types.  This odd serial format was issued to passenger cars as well as multi-purpose vehicles (primarily SUVs, mini-vans, and motor homes) and regular trucks regardless of weight.  The M/D series was issued first, followed by the A/A series, and then progressing alphabetically to the C/N series.  Actual serial number 0A/A0000 is a sample plate. 

War of 1812, other serial formats without stacked letters. 

War of 1812 vanity

Vanity plates issued to new registrants between June 14, 2010 and September 25, 2016.  However, serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate. 

War of 1812 motorcycle plate, serial formats D00000 and 00000Y

War of 1812 motorcycle

Regular motorcycle plate issued to new registrants between June 14, 2010 and September 25, 2016. 
(plate in actual use)

War of 1812 motorcycle plate, other serial formats. 

photo unavailable

Probably a vanity motorcycle plate issued to new registrants between June 14, 2010 and September 25, 2016. 

Standard "Maryland Proud" base plate types without identifying legends

Serial format 0xx0000

"Maryland Proud" passenger car

No, this isn't a new special interest plate; it's actually the standard plate issued to new registrants beginning September 26, 2016, but only for the specific vehicle types that had previously been issued War of 1812 plates.  This 0xx0000 serial format is issued to passenger cars as well as multi-purpose vehicles (primarily SUVs, mini-vans, and motor homes) and regular trucks regardless of weight.  Plate numbers began at 8CN0000 on this base; all numbers advance before any letters do. 

Other serial formats. 

"Maryland Proud" vanity

Probably a vanity plate issued to new registrants beginning September 26, 2016.  However, serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate. 
(plate in actual use)

Motorcycle plate, serial formats 00000Y and 000Y00

photo unavailable

Regular motorcycle plate issued to new registrants beginning September 26, 2016. 

Motorcycle plate, other serial formats. 

photo unavailable

Probably a vanity motorcycle plate issued to new registrants beginning September 26, 2016. 

Special interest plate types without identifying legends

Treasure the Chesapeake, green on white-to-blue fade, serial format x00*000, with bird separator. 

2006 Chesapeake gen 1 trailer

First generation Chesapeake non-passenger plate, issued 1991 to 2003 and still in use.  Letter indicates type of vehicle:  B = taxi, G = trailer. 

Treasure the Chesapeake, green on white-to-blue fade, serial format 0xx*000, with bird separator. 

2000 Chesapeake gen 1 truck

First generation Chesapeake light truck plate; issued 1991 to 2003 and still in use. 

Treasure the Chesapeake, green on white-to-blue fade, serial format 000*xxx, with bird separator. 

1992 Chesapeake gen 1 passenger car

First generation Chesapeake passenger car plate; issued 1991 to 2003 and still in use. 

Treasure the Chesapeake, green on white-to-blue fade, serial format xxx*00x, with bird separator. 

2000 Chesapeake gen 1 MPV

First generation Chesapeake multi-purpose vehicle (usually a passenger van, SUV, motor home, or not-for-hire bus) plate; issued 1991 to 2003 and still in use. 

Treasure the Chesapeake, green on white-to-blue fade, other serial formats, with no bird separator. 

1999 Chesapeake gen 1 vanity

First generation Chesapeake plates without the bird were used only for handicapped, vanity, and sample plates.  Issued 1991 to 2003 and still in use.  Serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate. 

Treasure the Chesapeake, black on blue-to-white fade, serial formats 00000B/Y and 00000C/x, with bird graphic at left. 

2009 Chesapeake gen 2 passenger car

Second generation Chesapeake passenger car plate, issued 2004 to present.  On this base, passenger car serial formats were issued not only for cars, but also for multi-purpose vehicles, light trucks, and taxis. 

Treasure the Chesapeake, black on blue-to-white fade, serial format 00000G/A, with bird graphic at left. 

2015 Chesapeake gen 2 trailer

Second generation Chesapeake trailer plate, issued 2004 to present. 

Treasure the Chesapeake, black on blue-to-white fade, other serial formats with no stacked letters, with or without the bird graphic at left. 

2012 Chesapeake gen 2 vanity
2014 Chesapeake gen 2 vanity

Second generation Chesapeake plate without stacked serial letters are used only for vanity and sample plates.  The bird graphic is omitted for serials with seven characters and spaces.  Issued 2004 to present.  Serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate. 
(GOALIE plate in actual use)

Our Farms, Our Future, serial format A000000, where the first numeric digit is other than a "9". 

2004 Our Farms passenger car

Passenger car, issued 2001 to present.  On this base, however, the passenger car serial format is issued not only for cars, but also for multi-purpose vehicles, light trucks, and taxis. 

Our Farms, Our Future, serial format A900000, where the first numeric digit is a "9". 

2015 Our Farms trailer

Trailer, issued 2001 to present. 
(plate in actual use)

Our Farms, Our Future, serial format F/T 00000

Our Farms farm truck front

Farm truck, issued 2001 to present. 
(unstickered front plate)

Our Farms, Our Future, other serial formats. 

2007 Our Farms vanity

Probably a vanity plate, issued 2001 to present.  However, serial SAMPLE is, obviously, a sample plate. 
(plate in actual use)

1910 Vintage, serial format VR00000

2014 - 1910 Vintage passenger car

Passenger car plate, issued only in 2014.  On this base, however, the passenger car serial format is issued not only for cars, but also for multi-purpose vehicles and light trucks. 
(Crum photo / plate)

1910 Vintage, numbering formats other than Vx00000. 

photo unavailable

Probably a vanity plate, issued only in 2014. 

Page credits

Thanks to those who have directly contributed to the information on this page:  Jeff Ellis, Paul Casadonte, "Tiger" Joe Sallmen, David Doernberg, Shawn Mahaney, and Greg Crum. 

O'Connor photograph © copyright by Tim O'Connor.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission. 
Sallmen, Ellis, Doernberg, Mahaney, and Crum photographs are presumed to be copyrighted by "Tiger" Joe Sallmen, Jeff Ellis, David Doernberg, Shawn Mahaney, and Greg Crum, respectively, and are used with permission.  Casadonte, Harbold, and Bodie plates are from the collections of Paul Casadonte, Harold Harbold, and Lou Bodie, respectively. 


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