LicensePlates.cc

Massachusetts License Plates

Massachusetts has two bases in use in several formats.

The green on white plate that was issued as a single is still in use in an all numeric six digit style (123-456) and a 3 number/3 letter style from AAA through VZZ.

The Spirit of America plate that has been issued in pairs is still in use in four formats, the latest of which has just been released. The original Spirit plates were in the 3 number/3 letter format from WAA through ZZZ, followed by the 1234 AB format. The next format was the complicated 12A B34 format that is explained below. That format is still being issued for all months except October, keeping in mind that there are no passenger plates issued with November or December expirations.

A new plate configuration started in 2001 for the October month series, and then spread to the other months as needed. The date of first issue for the plates was November 1, 2001. Here is what our collective observations have revealed about the progression: The lowest number in the October month format was 10A A00. As usual for Massachusetts, the last digit corresponds to the month of expiration. Just as 0 (zero) was used in the last position on the October plates, 8 appears in the last position on the August plates. The first plate of the new type for October would have been 10A A00, then 11A A00 and on up to 99A A00, then 10A B00, 11A B00, and on up to 99A B00. After 99A Z00, the next plate would be 10B A00, and the series would continue in the same pattern. The final plate in that sequence would be 99Z Z00, then the next to last number would change from 0 (zero) to 1, so the next series would begin at 10A A10, then 11A A10, and on up to 99A A10, then 10A B10. Upon reaching 99Z Z10, the next plate issued would be 10A A20. There have been at least three distinct discrepancies observed in this issue to date. When the June high was still in the first series, which would have had the plate ending in 06, a mysterious 46 was reported. The 16, 26, and 36 series should have been issued before any 46 plates could appear. No explanation has been given for this large jump. Even worse, when July plates were still in the second series with the 17 suffix, a 97 suffix was reported. With July in the fourth series with the 37 suffix, a 77 suffix appeared. Again, no explanation has been found. Monthly system - as follows (NOV and DEC are not used for passenger)

A new series has been introduced since it appears that October has run through the full series, which would have ended with 99Z Z90. The new format is 123 AA4, but of course, in the case of October the last digit is zero. The letters I, O, Q, and U will not be used in this series. Thanks to Rich Bell for this information.

Eric speculates that the new system for October started at 100 AA0. The progression will likely run as follows: 100 AA0 through 999 AA0, then 100 AB0 through 999 AB0, and so on up to 999 AZ0, then 100 BA0 and up.

Tom Castelli sent in the following update after seeing all numeric 668-953 on a Spirit plate on 2007-04-05: This was on a Spirit plate, stickered to 3/09. This series is on the green plates, usually, and RMV says you cannot replace a green plate with a Spirit having the same number. So we could now be recycling dormant plate numbers.

Jim McCarron reports a similar sighting of 194-MSP on a pair of Spirit plates stickered with an '11 expiration on 2009-08-20.

Tyler Rotondo reports that MAR, APR, and MAY expiration Pass. plates are now showing up with the month flat instead of embossed. Most or all of them with the flat month have the unusual spacing between the numbers and letters.

Stickers

11 - black on yellow

12 - black on green

13 - black on red

14 - black on blue

15 - black on orange

16 - black on yellow

17 - black on green

Standard Passenger Plates

OCT - 14th series

11 ZT00OCT
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Mike Russo - 11 Oct ’19

JAN - original series

1KAD 21JAN
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Phil - 6 Nov ’18

JAN - 2nd series

99Z Z11JAN
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As high as it gets!

JS - 4 Dec ’08

JAN - 5th series

44Z W41JAN
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J. Harris - 15 Jan ’07

JAN - 6th series

34Z Z51JAN
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Tom Castelli - 25 Sep ’07

JAN - 7th series

37Z Z61JAN
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Jim Hough - 14 Jan ’08

JAN - 10th series

31Z Z91JAN
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Jim McCarron reports that 22N C91 was just issued from the Lawrence RMV in 2012 with a natural 14 sticker, so they must have found some old stock.

Mike DiMauro - 1 May ’08

JAN -12th series

8BV 891JAN
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Kyle Wasson - 25 Oct ’18

FEB - original series

9982 YZFEB
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Tom Castelli - 5 Jun ’06

FEB - 5th series

99Z Z42FEB
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As high as it gets!

Rich Dragon - 30 Nov ’06

FEB - 6th series

78Z G52FEB
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Mike DiMauro - 8 Jul ’08

FEB - 10th series

27Z N92FEB
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Mike Hart - 13 Mar ’08

FEB - 11th series

674 ZZ2FEB
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A plate from the 12th series was seen on 7/22/12 by Jim McCarron, but based on the number, it was obviously an early pull for someone with influence. The plate is 2DD 222.

Ed Angiolillo reports 9RYE 12 on 2012-12-04, which would be a 13th series plate. Another Mass. mystery.

- 11 Dec ’18

FEB - 12th series

6AL 542FEB
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Scott Anderson reports 1H N262 spaced that way.

- 14 May ’19

MAR - original series

9073 ZZMAR
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Phil - 17 Jul ’05

MAR - 3rd series

56Z Z23MAR
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Jason - 25 Sep ’09

MAR - 4th series

94Z Z33MAR
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Dave Hermanson - 9 Aug ’04

MAR - 6th series

82Z Z53MAR
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Dave Hermanson - 29 May ’06

MAR - 8th series

78Z K73MAR
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Spaced as indicated. There have been numerous inconsistencies in the spacing on these plates at different times. Tom Castelli reports that all of the VA series in 73 have been spaced this way.

Paul Freeze - 3 Feb ’11

MAR - 9th series

97Z Z83MAR
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Screened month

J. Harris - 27 Jun ’07

MAR - 10th series

58Z Z93MAR
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Screened month

Mike DiMauro - 18 Jun ’08

MAR - 11th series

995 ZZ3MAR
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Stephen C. - 7 Jul ’14

MAR - 12th series

9ZZ 153MAR
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March is now into the 12th series, but see below for some oddities.

Massachusetts has been known for "special" out of sequence issues. When regular issues were not even halfway through the 11th series, a 12th series number (8BL 713) was spotted and confirmed in Dec. 2009.

Another oddity has appeared. When March still had plates available in the 11th and 12th series, a 13th series plate was spotted by Rich Dragon on 2011-12-06. It is in the same basic format as the 13th series October, but the spacing is different. This plate appeared as 1KJ A43.

- 14 Apr ’19

APR - original series

9944 ZZAPR
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Mike DiMauro - 24 Jun ’08

APR - 1st series

89Z Z04APR
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Tom Castelli - 18 May ’06

APR - 2nd series

56Z Z14APR
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J. P. Hitesman - 18 Aug ’03

APR - 3rd series

82Z Z24APR
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Tom Castelli - 2 Oct ’06

APR - 5th series

92Z Z44APR
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J. Harris - 7 Aug ’08

APR - 7th series

68Z C64APR
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Jim Hough - 19 Jun ’06

APR - 9th series

92Z Z84APR
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Screened month

JS - 13 May ’09

MAR - 12th series

3WY 214MAR
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Kit Sage - 22 Sep ’15

APR - 11th series

657 ZX4APR
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Spaced as indicated. 724Y A4 and nnnX Y4 also oddly spaced. 567 YA4 spotted but normally spaced.

Mike Hart reports 456C R4 spaced as indicated to show the erratic production standards that have periodically surfaced. Jason reports a similar spacing in the nnnC S4 range.

Kyle Wasson - 15 Jan ’15

MAY - original series

9595 ZZMAY
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Tyler Rotondo - 8 Jun ’06

MAY - 4th series

97Z Z35MAY
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Jason - 17 May ’09

MAY - 7th series

72Z Z65MAY
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Embossed month. 83, 94, 75, and 85 series have screened (flat) month.

JS - 28 Sep ’07

MAY - 8th series

53Z Z75MAY
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Screened month

Jason Taylor - 5 May ’10

MAY - 9th series

91Z V85MAY
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Screened month

Mike DiMauro - 27 Jul ’08

MAY - 10th series

MAY
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None reported yet

MAY - 11th series

126 ZW5MAY
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Paul Anderson - 7 Nov ’14

JUN - original series

9966 ZZJUN
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Mike Hart - 21 Sep ’03

JUN - 1st series

81Z Z06JUN
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J. Harris - 16 Nov ’06

JUN - 4th series

88Z Z36JUN
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Mike DiMauro - 4 Jul ’08

JUN - 5th series

98Z Z46JUN
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23L M46 was issued way out of sequence and was reported by J.P. Hitesman on 2003-08-18, which was two years before this series was reached in regular sequential order.

Tom Castelli - 11 Jun ’06

JUN - 7th series

65Z W66JUN
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J. Harris - 7 Aug ’07

JUN - 8th series

98Z Z76JUN
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Screened month

This is the next to last plate for this series.

JS - 11 Apr ’09

JUN - 9th series

48Z Z86JUN
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Jason Taylor - 6 Aug ’11

JUN - 10th series

JUN
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No 10th series plates for June have been reported yet, but 11th series plates are now appearing.

JUN - 11th series

122 ZY6JUN
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Jason Taylor - 25 Sep ’14

JUL - original series

9997 ZZJUL
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Stephen C. - 10 Jun ’10

JUL - 2nd series

86Z Z17JUL
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Kit Foster - 6 Mar ’04

JUL - 5th series

94Z Z47JUL
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Tom Castelli - 1 Sep ’05

JUL - 6th series

74Z Y57JUL
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Rich Dragon - 12 Dec ’06

JUL - 7th series

95Z Z67JUL
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Jason Taylor - 25 Jun ’12

JUL - 8th series

57Z Z77JUL
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77Z Z77 was issued way out of sequence in early 2005, undoubtedly as a favor to some well-connected person.

Jason - 19 Jun ’09

JUL - 9th series

99Z Z87JUL
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As high as it gets!

JS - 25 Nov ’08

JUL - 10th series

61YY 97JUL
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Plate spacing was as indicated.

Note: 90J P97 was reported by Tom Castelli on 7/17/03 way out of sequence. The actual 97 series was not reached until five years later in 2008.

Ed Angiolillo - 2 Feb ’10

JUL - 11th series

469 ZZ7JUL
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Jim Hough reports 777 SC7, which is obviously a special request, well out of sequence.

Stephen Crook - 11 Jan ’15

JUL - 12th series

4ZR 157JUL
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Scott Anderson reports a way out of sequence 7CRM17.

Phil - 7 Jul ’18

AUG - original series

9878 ZZAUG
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Jason - 4 Sep ’09

AUG - 2nd series

55Z Z18AUG
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Jim Hough - 28 Aug ’07

AUG - 3rd series

99Z Z28AUG
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As high as it gets!

Mike Hart - 6 Oct ’03

AUG - 6th series

99Z Z58AUG
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As high as it gets!

Jim Hough reports that some 58 series plates were manufactured flush left or with no center space and a space at the end.

JS - 18 Jun ’07

AUG - 7th series

27Z Z68AUG
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Tom Castelli reports that many 68 series plates were manufactured flush left with no center space and a space at the end, from about 10DA68 to 99EZ68. He wonders if it could be a test run for adding a 7th character to the plates because a similar test was done with May and September plates in the original series that resulted in the format of 123 4SX instead od the more standard 1234 SX. That was test for the upcoming format that we are seeing now with the center space.

JS - 18 Sep ’06

AUG - 9th series

95Z Z88AUG
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Jason - 24 May ’08

AUG - 10th series

97Z Z98AUG
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Tyler Rotondo - 5 Oct ’07

AUG - 11th series

744 ZZ8AUG
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Tyler Rotondo spotted what was obviously a special issue, but it could be an early pull from what will be the next series. The plate was 8BB B88.

Mike Hart - 11 Apr ’14

AUG 12th series

8ZK 898AUG
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Chris Martin - 7 Oct ’19

SEP - original series

9999 ZZSEP
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Mike Sullivan reports 9399 YO on what looked like new plates in July 2014. Month was NOT embossed, "O" was square shaped.

Mike Hart - 4 May ’02

SEP - 2nd series

57Z Y19SEP
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Jim Hough - 29 Dec ’03

SEP - 4th series

92Z Z39SEP
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Mike Hart - 29 Dec ’03

SEP - 8th series

75Z Z79SEP
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J. Harris - 13 Apr ’07

SEP - 9th series

47Z Z89SEP
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Mike Hart - 3 Oct ’07

SEP - 10th series

98Z Z99SEP
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Jason Taylor - 15 Jan ’11

SEP - 11th series

193 ZW9SEP
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197 AA9 reported as a low for this series by Mike Hart 2008-02-12

M. J. Barnes - 27 Nov ’14

OCT - original series

9930 ZZOCT
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JS - 29 Oct ’06

OCT - 1st series

99Z Z00OCT
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This is the last plate in the first series for October.

Tom Castelli - 4 Sep ’02

OCT - 2nd series

42Z A10OCT
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Tom Castelli - 7 Feb ’08

OCT - 4th series

96Z Z30OCT
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Mike Hart - 22 May ’06

OCT - 5th series

94Z Z40OCT
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Mike Hart - 10 Aug ’04

OCT - 6th series

58Z Z50OCT
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Tom Castelli - 1 Apr ’05

OCT - 8th series

99Z Z70OCT
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The last plate of the 8th series for October.

Jason - 19 Apr ’08

OCT - 9th series

97Z Z80OCT
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Tom Castelli - 18 Jul ’07

OCT - 10th series

98Z Z90OCT
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Jim McCarron - 16 Oct ’09

OCT - 11th series

985 NZ0OCT
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This is the latest format for the Spirit of America base. Scott reports what appears to be the low in this format with 122 AA0. Please refer to the notes at the top of the page for the format and progression of this new type. Remember, that is not a letter "O", but a zero in the last position, indicating OCT as the expiration month.

Rich Dragon - 15 Dec ’07

OCT - 12th series

9ZH 970OCT
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October was the first month to use the 1AB 234 format. Most other months still use the 123 AB4 format.

Progression: 1AA 000 through 1ZZ 990, then 2AA 000 through 2ZZ 990, and up.

Jason Taylor reports 1AA 100 as the low for this series.

Mike Hart - 8 Mar ’12

OCT - 13th series

4TXG 30OCT
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The latest format is now appearing on OCT plates, and the spacing is as shown. The progression is 1AAA 10 through 9ZZZ 90. then 2AAA 10 through 2ZZZ 90 and up. (Zero at the end for an Oct. expiration.)

- 2 Jul ’19

Non-passenger Plates

Ambulance

6468
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From Ryan Cheney:

Massachusetts is screen printed in blue on the top, with AMBULANCE embossed on the bottom. Letters and numbers are red. Animal Ambulance plates are also available.

The Animal Ambulance plate has the basic The Spirit of America on the bottom as well as the spirit style Massachusetts on top. To the left of the numbers is ANIMAL AMBULANCE silk screened in red, all capitals.

Animal Ambulance high: 84

Chris Martin - 20 Sep ’19

Antique

D 2403
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New Format -- old format was 12345

Antique Motorcycle: 601 reported by Sam Farley on 2015-07-06. ANTIQUE/CYCLE to the left of the serial. Very rare type.

Andrew Turnbull - 30 Dec ’18

Apportioned

3520 B
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Chris Martin - 26 Jun ’19

Bus

39211
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Sam Farley - 25 Jan ’16

Camper

8767 K
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99999 reached, new series now 1234 A format

Chris Martin - 20 Sep ’19

Commercial

V49-814
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J series Commercial plates had no space and no dot between the third and fourth digit from J10000 to somewhere between J32000 and J33-000, when the dot was restored. If anyone can help pinpoint the change, it would be helpful. J32927 has been reported with no space and no dot, and J33-093 with the dot in the center, so it now appears that the change was made at J33-000.

Commercial plates have a DEC expiration, and the DEC on the plates changed from embossed to screened at or around M64-000.

Stephen C. reports O10-000 on 2010-09-11, but he adds that he isn't sure if it was an O in the first position, or possibly a remanufactured D.

Stephen Crook also reports P68-777 with an orange "15" sticker Instead of the usual "12" on 2012-08-06.

Chris Martin - 8 Nov ’19

Fire Official

B925
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"FIRE" embossed diagonally before serial number, "OFFICIAL" embossed along bottom. Some have the Spirit style "Massachusetts" legend screened, others embossed.

New series of 1 to 3 numbers followed by a small suffix letter. New Fire Official plates are being issued in with an "A" suffix, although older plates with other suffix letters exist as special requests and blocks for various cities and fire agencies.

Chris Martin - 23 May ’19

Handicap Motorcycle

HP1230
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Sam Farley - 24 May ’15

Handicapped

%D 569
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Previous format was 123 A. 12 AB format used next. A 123 format seems to be the latest since it has the month screened, but the earlier types did not.

Sam Farley - 8 Jul ’15

Livery new

LV
87102
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L/V90256 reported by Jason Taylor on 2010-11-19. Another way out of sequnce number, but not uncommon for Mass.

Chris Martin - 13 Nov ’19

Motorcycle

1T6713
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Series progression AX1000 to ZX9999, then AZ1000 forward (2nd letter always X or Z)

1X1234 is the new format after ZZ9999 was reached.

It appears that the tradition of using only X or Z has now been broken after reaching 9X9999. From what we can tell, A is now in use.

M. J. Barnes - 9 Jun ’15

Motorcycle veteran

VT6593
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Letters are always VT. Series progression was VT 100 through VT 999, then VT1000 forward with no space.

Sam Farley - 31 Aug ’13

Municipal

M1194A
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Spacing as indicated. Spacing continues to fluctuate randomly between M 12345 and M12-345.

"Spirit of America" dies are now being used on this type, but refer to the notes below about the former type.

New Base: white on blue, like "Spirit of America" base. Still using old dies, "OFFICIAL" still embossed on bottom (unlike City of Boston plates which use new dies and have "Official" screened at bottom.) Changeover probably occured at M 75000.

Municipal plates in the MB 1234 format are for the City of Boston only. The high is MB 2850 from JS on 2007-06-11.

Newly issued plates in the municipal, fire, police, and state series are now border-less.

Chris Scott - 22 Aug ’18

Municipal Motorcycle

M8022
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White on Blue Spirit Base.

Jim Hough - 28 Sep ’09

Pupils

109312
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Navy blue on goldenrod. Issued to cars and vans that transport students.

Heather Embee reports 100363 on this type, which must be a second variety.

Chris Martin - 7 Oct ’19

School Bus

99130
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- 18 Dec ’18

Semi-Trailer

2744 D
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Chris Martin - 11 Nov ’19

Snow Removal Equipment

SR
536 M
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Registration valid Sept to May only. S/R stacked prefix, "COMMERCIAL" embossed on bottom. S/R plates expire in September, not December as on other commercial plates.

Note: The current high has "COMMERCIAL" screened on bottom, not embossed.

Jim McCarron - 16 Jan ’13

State-Owned Vehicle

E472
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New format, "STATE" diagonally printed on left, Spirit of America dies, full-sized "A"

The previous type had "STATE" embossed diagonally, then the number, then a small letter. Now appearing on the Spirit of America base with embossed "OFFICIAL" in place of "The Spirit of America" at bottom. These were previously on the 1977 base. 743G is the high on the old base.

Newly issued plates in the municipal, fire, police, and state series are now border-less.

Jason Taylor - 12 Jun ’14

Taxi

28293
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Jason reports Taxi plates with 125 C, 340 C, and 538 C on them. Regular issues are still all-numeric, but it's not unusual for Mass. to issue oddball plates now and then. Mike Hart also confirms 123 C format Taxi plates, yet straight numeric plates have not yet reached 30000.

Mike Hart - 8 Mar ’13

Trailer

E83 042
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The alpha prefix was introduced (beginning with A) when the all-numeric series reached 999-999. Series ran with 4 digits through Z 9999, then expanded to A00-000 format with the usual dot separator in the middle.

Chris Martin - 7 Aug ’19

Turnpike

1998
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Issued to vehicles owned by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority. "Spirit" style base, "TURNPIKE" embossed along bottom and embossed Pilgrim hat (Mass Pike logo) to the left of serial number.

Jim Hough - 17 Aug ’09

Specialty Plates

Bruins

BR
83RG
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This is the Boston Bruins - Support Youth Hockey issue that is available to the public. There has been a different special issue for Bruins team members in previous years.

Jim Sadler reports a similar Bruins issue with B/R2442 with the legend "Invest in Youth Hockey."

Jim Hough - 20 Feb ’07

Cape Cod & Islands

IC
236K
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Daniel Savage reports the order of issuance for Cape Cod & Islands plates is as follows:

C/I 1234

C/I 12AB

C/I 123A

C/I A123

I/C 12AB

I/C 123A

Heather Embee - 24 Oct ’11

Red Sox

JF
2923
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After the R/S 123A format was exhausted, the series progressed to R/S12AB.

It appears that J/F1234 is the new series for Red Sox plates, at least for October. All Sox plates have "Jimmy Fund" on the bottom since that is where the proceeds go - so a J/F prefix makes logical sense.

Sam Farley - 29 Jul ’14

United We Stand

US
49ZS
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Progression uncertain, but as with most other Massachusetts types, the last digit indicates the expiration month. Spacing on some plates has included a small space between the numbers and letters, such as U/S12 AB.

MAR - U/S 73HG

AUG - U/S 38ZV

SEP - U/S 19ZE

OCT - U/S 40ZE

Chris Martin - 25 Mar ’19

Veterans’ Plates

Disabled Veteran

5540
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Spirit base with red/white/blue flag style bars on right and left

Jason - 3 Oct ’09