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Ohio License Plates

The next Ohio base is scheduled to be released on April 12, 2013. Passenger plates will begin at FWA 1000. Stock plates, including Motorcycle, will continue to be embossed. The last series for the "Beautiful" base will be FVQ. FVR through FVZ was left open in case any additional "Beautiful" plates would be needed.

A new general issue base plate for Ohio that was tentatively proposed for release in April 2009 was scrapped, at least in that form, due to the recession. At least one million of the graphic sheeting blanks were produced. These plates became available on an optional basis for an additional $7.50 beginning November 23, 2009. They were produced from ERA 1000 through EUH 7299, excluding the ETS series, which was a special dealer prefix. Only regular issue plates were available at first. Initial and Personalized plates were not be available on the "Beautiful Ohio" plates when they first came into use, but all Initial, Personalized, and Specials ordered after June 7, 2010 will be on the "Beautiful" graphic. Specials will appear on a modified design with only the top portion of the graphics used on the regular plates.

Recent series:

Sunburst DAA - EQZ

Beautiful ERA - EUH

Sunburst EUJ - FAK

Beautiful FAL - FVQ

Pride FWA -

Ohio uses the letters I and O in the second position only on passenger plates, but neither letter is used on any other standard type. The letter Q is used in the second and third position on passenger and non-passenger plates. The letter O is used in the first position on City and County plates.

Passenger, Family, Truck, Apportioned, Trailer, and Motorcycle plates are still embossed. Specials, Vanities, and most Non-Pass types other than Truck and Trailer are flat. Motorcycle Vanities are still embossed. Ohio is now allowing standard plate numbers from previous bases to be remade on the new base. While new bases are still embossed, new issues with numbers carried over from previous bases are flat, the same as Vanities and Specials.

County stickers appear on most plate types and are required. Although it is possible to register in any county, the county sticker must indicate the county of residence, not the county of issue.

The expiration day of the month now appears in tiny print along the bottom of the sticker below the month and year.

Fees for Initial and Personalized plates increased $15 as of Oct. 1, 2009. Initial plates increased from $10 to $25, and Personalized from $35 to $50.

City plates are now appearing in the xxx Yxx series, same as Special types, but they are still red on white.

Stickers

11 - black on blue

12 - black on orange

13 - black on yellow

14 - black on green

15 - black on magenta

16 - black on white

17 - black on yellow

18 - teal/turquoise on black

19 - orange on black

20 - white on black

Commercial stickers were the reverse of passenger, but now they are the same.

County stickers have been white on red since they were introduced in their current form in 2001, but the newest county stickers are black on red. The white on the original stickers was subject to fading over time, which was most likely the reason for the change.

Update: As of at least Sept. 2015, Ohio has changed from steel plates to aluminum.

Standard Passenger Plates

2013 Ohio Pride new

HLF7152
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Embossed

Cuyahoga Co.

Series began at FWA 1000 on April 15, 2013. Colin MG spotted FWA 1000.

The GI- series was used, but those plates did not begin to appear until about a month after GJ- series plates began to appear.

Ohio is now allowing standard plate numbers from previous bases to be remade on the new base. While new bases are still embossed, new issues with numbers carried over from previous bases are flat, the same as Vanities and Specials.

Frank Foster reports remade plates from the Bicentennial series are not consistent. He has seen both "AB12CD" and "AB 12 CD" pattern re-makes.

Plates are now being made with aluminum instead of steel.

Steel high:

Aluminum low: GPN nnnn

Colin Taranovich - 23 Apr ’18

1996 Base

CVV 4685
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Embossed

This base began in the summer of 1996 and it is still valid.

Some out of sequence series have been issued to dealers and leasing companies, such as: BIR, DAG, DLX, ETS, EUR, FAC, FJL, FJP, FLY, FVC, GAN, GFR, GLR, GNH, HOM, JAY, JSL, KAR, KFD, LAS, LEX, LJF, LXS, MAL, MBZ, MCH, MCT, MET, MGM, MVP, MWL, NON, SST, SUN, TOB, and WIN.

Robert - 15 Jul ’02

1996 Base through B

BIF 8668
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Embossed

Series jumped to CAA after BIF. Early C series plates have a much lighter gold stripe across the bottom, but it was darkened later. The slogan change from "The Heart of it All" to "Birthplace of Aviation" took place between ARR 5835 and ARR 5912. Spacing on these plates changed between ACV 8658 and ACW 4114. AAA through about ACV have the characters closer to the edges with more center space, but all plates from about ACW through the current D series have been standardized with more edge margin and less center space.

- 31 Dec ’69

2002 Bicentennial

FC09KV
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Embossed

Franklin Co.

This base began in late 2001 and it is still valid.

Kit Sage - 4 Mar ’09

2004 Sunburst

FAK 9942
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Embossed

Hamilton Co.

This base began in early 2004 and it is still valid.

Note: The series jumped from EQZ to EUJ. We now know that the new "Beautiful Ohio" base that was supposed to be the new general issue, but will now be an optional, was produced in the ERx, ESx, ETx (excluding ETS) series, and the EUx series through EUH 7299. (The ETS series is already in use as a special dealer prefix on the 1996 and 2004 bases.)

The actual high in this type is still in the EZx series. The posted high reflects a mailout series from the central office in Columbus. FAA, FAE, FAF, and FAH have been used so far, but no other lower FAx series plates have been seen. (FAC was a special dealer prefix.)

Sunburst plates ended in the FAK series. "Beautiful" plates resumed in the FAL series.

Sequential counter issue high - EZR 5502 Franklin Co. 2010-06-02 Kit

Series began at DAA 1000. Regular issues are still embossed, but special types are flat. The "sunburst" design (from the state seal) that appears in the background is used on regular passenger, but not on other types. This is the new standard issue for new registrations and replacements, but older plates are still being revalidated unless the owner chooses to pay a fee for the new plates. The 1991 blue on white issue has officially expired and should no longer be in use, but Initial Reserve and Vanities on that base are still fairly commonly seen with current stickers. There appears to be no enforcement effort with respect to eliminating those plates.

Frank Foster - 30 Jul ’10

2009 Beautiful Ohio

FVT 3329
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Embossed

Franklin Co.

First available Nov. 23, 2009. Originally intended to be a general issue, these plates started out being offered as an optional, but they became the standard issue beginning Dec. 1, 2010. Initial, Personalized, and Special plates were not originally available on this new base yet, but they have been since June 7, 2010.

The distribution of these plates has not followed the usual pattern of recent bases. Series range: ERA 1000 through EUH 7299, excluding the ETS series, which has already been used as a special dealer prefix on the 1996 and 2004 bases. Sunburst plates resumed in the EUJ series and ran through the FAK series. Beautiful plates resumed in the FAL series.

The sample plate used in official press releases and on the state web page is the usual AAA 0000, but Jeff Lee saw a sample with BBB 0000 in Orrville.

Dan Mergard spotted the lowest so far, which was ERA 1001 in Butler Co. on 2010-02-15. This would be the 2nd plate issued.

Dan Longerbone - 16 Apr ’13

Non-passenger Plates

1996 Motorcycle

31 FYU
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Embossed

- 31 Dec ’69

2002 Motorcycle

XV4B
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Embossed

Dan Mergard - 24 Jul ’06

2002 Trailer (Comm)

TND 9386
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Embossed

Dan Mergard - 12 Mar ’13

2002 Trailer (Non-Comm)

RY53YJ
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Embossed

Series started at RA01AA.

Frank Foster - 23 Apr ’04

2004 Motorcycle

76THK
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Embossed

Franklin Co.

Possibly started at HHA on the 2004 base, continuing in the same sequence as the 1996 base. The Bicentennial plates ran through at least HFY, but the HAA through HFY series do not have the Bicentennial slogan as the others do.

Motorcycle vanities are still embossed.

Colin Taranovich - 3 Jul ’10

2004 Motorcycle - Veteran

VET
94ZYH
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Embossed

Franklin Co.

"VET" screened vertically in red before embossed blue registration characters.

Note: The current high was on a black on white Historical plate.

Willie C. Brock, Jr. - 3 Jan ’16

2009 Motorcycle (Beautiful)

56VVL
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Embossed

Wayne Co.

First available Nov. 23, 2009.

Tiger Joe Sallmen - 23 Jun ’13

2013 Motorcycle (Pride) new

BKX78
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Embossed

unknown Co.

It appears that upon reaching 99XZZ, the series reversed to AAA01. The Z series has been used for Veteran plates, but it is not known why the Y series was not used.

Colin Taranovich spotted 86YBR, so at least some of the Y series was issued, but we don't know if the whole series was.

Update: It now appears that all of the Y series will be issued since that is what is currently being used.

BGR10 was the high for the forward series that were being issued before the reverse series Y plates began to appear.

- 19 Apr ’18

Apportioned

PXV 8977
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Embossed

Now on 2013 Pride base.

Series started at PUA on 1996 base. No county stickers on this type.

Willie C. Brock, Jr. - 21 Dec ’14

Disabled Veteran

$DV9955
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Flat

Franklin Co.

Sunburst base, red wheelchair in front of number, number in blue.

John Garko - 22 Jun ’10

Permanent

TSB2469
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New plate type as of October 2015. Probably began at TSA1000. No space between letters and numbers, and plate is flat. "PERMANENT" on bottom of plate.

Frank Foster - 5 Oct ’15

Temporary

C100360
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From John Farkas: 8/19/12 Temporary tags are now being produced with a new look; the top of the tag sports the new block font "Ohio" (with the first "O" having the state shape in the center) inside a wide blue triangle. This is a precursor to the new plate design that will replace "Beautiful Ohio" plates in December. The new temp tags also have the words "Ohio" and "Temporary Tag" repeating diagonally in bright orange throughout the portion outside the black triangle.

John Farkas - 12 Dec ’15

Temporary - Motorcycle

2S6255
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John Farkas - 5 Aug ’12

Trailer (Comm)

TQQ 9852
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Embossed

Comm. Trailer plates do not have county number stickers, but Non-Comm Trailers do. Trailer plates on this latest base appear to have started at TNE 1000. "TRAILER" is embossed bottom center. Series went from TNZ to TPA, skipping O in the center position.

Beautiful base.

John Farkas - 25 Sep ’15

Trailer (Non-Comm)

SSK 1979
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Embossed

Cuyahoga Co.

Non-Comm Trailer plates have county number stickers, but Comm. Trailers do not.

Ohio usually uses the letter "O" in the middle position for passenger plates, but it appears that Non-Comm Trailer plates skipped from SNZ to SPA. Unlike the standard Trailer plate for commercial use that is embossed with "TRAILER" at the bottom, non-commercial Trailer plates are not marked as being for trailers. As with Truck plates, it is not unusual to see trailers that should have commercial plates using the less expensive non-commercial plates since there is very little enforcement.

Dan Mergard - 24 Mar ’10

Trailer - Comm (Pride)

TQR 4689
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John Farkas - 8 Nov ’15

Trailer - Non Comm (Pride)

SVS 6640
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Embossed

Cuyahoga Co.

John Farkas - 28 Oct ’15

Trailer - Non Comm (Pride)

SUE 6613
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Embossed

unknown Co.

Frank Foster - 13 May ’13

Trailer - Non-Comm

STZ 7447
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Cuyahoga Co.

This is the new Beautiful graphic base.

John Farkas - 1 Jun ’13

Truck

PIA 6526
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Embossed

Truck plates do not have county stickers, but the rear plate has a white on brown weight class sticker in the lower left where a county sticker would otherwise appear.

Non-Commercial Trucks use the standard Passenger plate. It is not unusual to see Commercial Trucks illegally using the less expensive Non-Commercial plates because there seems to be very little enforcement.

John Farkas - 9 Dec ’15

Truck - 2013 Pride

PJE 5711
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Embossed

Frank Foster - 13 Nov ’15

Truck - 2013 Pride

PID 9003
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Embossed

John Garko - 27 Apr ’13

Specialty Plates

Family

3756026
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Embossed

Cuyahoga Co.

Series started at 3700000. Plates are red on yellow without graphics or legends. Only the state name appears on the plate at the top. Standard validation sticker and county sticker is used. These plates have been in use since 1967, but were rare until recent years. As of Jan. 1, 2004, judges are required to issue these plates to all drivers convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but they are not strictly limited to DUI offenders. They have also been issued to those who drove without insurance. These plates allow limited driving privileges while under suspension, such as driving to and from work.

Some recently issued Family plates were made and issued without the state name at the top. They just have the embossed numbers and should have county and expiration stickers.

John Farkas - 23 Dec ’15

Specials new

936ZBW
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Flat

Cuyahoga Co.

Pride base

Beautiful base high: 962YMZ 2013-05-13 Frank Foster (Franklin Co.)

Pride base low: 558YNB 2013-05-04 Frank Foster

Special issues (Wildlife, Lake Erie, etc.) are now using the same series. Most special types including personalized are now being issued as silk-screened flat plates. Regular issue plates will continue to be embossed.

The high of 163 XKX stands in the original sequential issue for specials, but there was an unexplained jump to at least the XRE series in October 2005. It appears that the original sequential series is still progressing, but no reason is known for the split.

Specials are now being issued on the modified Beautiful graphic, starting with the YDR series.

CITY plates (red on white) used to use the OS-OZ series, but upon reaching OZ 9999 they began using the Special format in the Y suffix series, but the plates are still red on white.

Colin Taranovich - 22 Apr ’18

Inactive Series

Passenger - 1991 base

YWA-946
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Kit Sage - 27 Aug ’00