Do any other states require periodic replacement of license plates?

Probably GQ, but I expect this may thread may attract anecdotes, rants, and other mundane stuff. Besides, this is a mundane thing to start with.

My DoL (Washingtonian for DMV) renewal notices were starting to stack up, so I got online to renew my tags. I noticed my Jeep’s renewal fee was a bit high this year ($72.25), but I figured fees go up periodically. Everything was normal until a page came up that asked whether I wanted generic plates, or if I wanted new plates with the same number I already have.

Ar? :confused: I don’t want new plates. I just want to renew my tags. I started over and got to the same place. It turns out that it’s state law that the actual license plate must be replaced every seven years. The reason, they say, is that the reflective coating is only guaranteed for five years and so new plates are required to make sure everyone’s plates are shiny. They charge $20 for the new plates. (I did get to deduct the optional $5 ‘donation’ to the State Parks.) The new plate for the boat trailer was $10.

Do any other states require periodic replacement of license plates? This is the first time I’ve heard of it.

Texas does. I don’t recall the interval, but I think it’s like 7 years.

And anecdotally, the new plates are quite a bit more reflective than the old ones were.

I don’t know, but I have a childhood memory of my grandfather’s garage having a bunch of old plates hung on a wall. Dozens of them.

He lived in Kansas.

I know Georgia has something similar as well.
They made some cosmetic changes last time.
In fact, it is about time for a new set of plates.

California doesn’t. I see blue places (from the 80s) and even black plates occasionally (from the 60s) driving around.

And 72 bucks for a year is great. Mine was 421 bucks - that’s for a Dodge, not a Mercedes.

Morgenstern: I remember when I was a kid my mom said she needed to ‘get new plates’ for the MGB. She meant ‘new tags’. I was all excited because I thought she was going to get the Shiny New Blue-and-Yellow plates. I was disappointed she kept the black ones.

Yes, registration is very reasonable up here compared to California.

Back in the day, almost all states issued new plates every year. Then the idea caught on that they could save money by keeping the same plates but just issuing a new sticker each year to go in the corner.

Yes, I remember that now that you say it.
I imagine it was tough keeping track of the new license plate number.
My dear bride kept one of our last ones because the three letters were SEA and she has always loved the sea.

ETA: By ‘kept’ I mean it is on the wall in her office as a keepsake.

Missouri replaces plates every few years (five???)

Ah, that explains why there were so many. I thought it was so cool.

I’m pretty sure Illinois only requires new plates if the old ones are too badly damaged or rusted to read properly. Which means, I’d better remember to get new ones this year. I’ve had this set since 1991, IIRC.

Indiana used to replace plates every year until the mid '80s, IIRC. People there never spoke of “tags”, only “plates” back then.

They’re still replaced periodically, but I don’t know the schedule.

Gotta keep the prisoners busy…idle hands and all.

The plate on my truck is old and faded, but no requirement to replace it. The layer of stickers in the corner of the plate is almost 1/4" thick now.

I am tempted to get one of the new Centennial plates. They are good looking in my opinion. Probably too pretty for my truck (see: lipstick on a pig).

In Indiana, we get new plates every other year.

I found a license plate website that has many pictures of them through history (the last couple decades anyway). I linked the the South Dakota page as in the '90s they were updating every 4 years due to horrible plate design. 1st the tan color made the plate unreadable if the car was the least bit dirty/dusty, then they jumped up to 8 digit plates for 700,000 residents making them unreadable again. The most recent kerfluffle was over the de-emphasis of Mt. Rushmore being offensive. So apparently you just can’t win, but reminded me of an Onion Article regarding SD’s love of all things presidential.

In regards to generic plates (as in not “nature” plates, or [insert disease here] awareness plates), in Kentucky you keep your plate when you renew, but every few years the state issues a new plate design. Whenever they do, everybody gets new plates when they renew their registration. There is no additional charge when the state changes plate designs.

I assume they would charge a fee if you lost or damaged your current plate and needed a new one before the new design was available.

Mine is 10 years, I believe.

It looks like Mississippi is every 5 years.

The latest one has an image of the Biloxi Lighthouse on it. I remember handing my son his new plate when they came out and he sputtered “Why did I get a lighthouse ?!?”. He thought it was a vanity plate for some reason.

We have several specialty tags which don’t have to be changed. I have the “cattlemen and farmers” tag (Our Heritage) shown on this page, next to bottom row.

Nevada did a few years ago, phasing out the “Bighorn Sheep” plates for the “Sunset” plates, but it is the only time I know of that they have done this. There are still the old blue ones (pre-Bighorn) around, but you had to shit-can the white Bighorns.

I put a new one on the rear of the Jeep and kept the Bighorn on the front and was stopped the *very first time *I drove it. Hanging on the wall now.